You might want to rethink the "getting ripped off by an expensive unnecessary repair" We DO want to avoid the "ripped off" part, but a lot of times we think we know the answer and we recommend the appropriate service, then we are just as surprised as you are when we find out that wasn't the solution. Funny how we never question doctors when they're wrong the first time. What would be the point of intentionally selling you a service when we know we're going to have to explain why we were wrong.
Often we have to perform a number of tests before one of them provides the clue or information we need to make a diagnosis. Similarly, often, in the name of saving you time and therefore, money, we have to quickly try things instead of wasting time with a lot of tests that take longer to provide the same results. The problem is sometimes you don't have time to wait for us to try all those things, so we'll pick the most likely thing, then have you drive the car to see if the problem is solved. We expect you to come back, but we often do a very poor job of communicating why that is necessary. The alternative might be to keep your car for a few days, and neither of us wants to see that bill!
This story is a perfect example of what can go wrong. Whose idea was it to go after tires and balancing? If you asked for those services, you can't blame the mechanic for doing what you asked for, but you could also say you got ripped off for unneeded services. If the mechanic took the car for a test-drive, and you pointed out the vibration, that is his fault for not recognizing the symptom. Either way, you ended up with something you didn't need, but that doesn't mean there was no value for what you spent.
The best clue you provided was that this occurred consistently at around 35 mph. That's what prompted me to bring up the torque converter, but not everyone is familiar with this problem. Everyone at a tire store should know a tire balance problem won't cause that, but a wobbling wheel will. Somewhere someone's thought train got derailed.
I'm actually dealing with this right now on my daily-driver minivan by, ... Uhm, .... Not dealing with it! I'm pretty sure it has the wrong fluid in it from the previous owner, so I just live with it. You should take the mechanic on a test-drive and be sure to point out that the vibration stops when you tap the brake pedal. If a shop says the transmission needs to be rebuilt, that is the time to get a second opinion, preferably from a transmission specialty shop.
Wednesday, October 26th, 2016 AT 10:35 PM