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Any Auto Mechs?
Old 02-28-2013, 01:01 PM   #1
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Any Auto Mechs?

Is it possible for a tie rod to go from "nice & tight" to "lose & needs replacement; will not pass inspection" in 2 weeks and ~100 miles normal driving (no mishaps, potholes, etc.)? Sounds fishy to me, but I'm automotively challenged.

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Old 02-28-2013, 01:23 PM   #2
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No it should not go from good to bad that quickly but How do you know it was good before the inspection? Did you have it aligned recently?
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Old 02-28-2013, 01:37 PM   #3
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How do you know it was good before the inspection? Did you have it aligned recently?
They did a pre-inspection when we had it in for the engine light 2 weeks ago.
Said we needed to drive it 50 miles after they reset the light before inspection.
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Old 02-28-2013, 02:04 PM   #4
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They probably just did a lousy job on the pre-inspection. I would not have that shop fix it unless they did it at cost for missing it the first time. Do you feel anything in the steering wheel while driving?
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Old 02-28-2013, 02:15 PM   #5
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They probably just did a lousy job on the pre-inspection. I would not have that shop fix it unless they did it at cost for missing it the first time. Do you feel anything in the steering wheel while driving?
No, but I'm araid it's moot. We tried to argue that, but they just argued it could have been anything in 2 weeks and not their fault. It's the only dealership within 50 miles, and they know it. If I'd been there, I might have been better able to argue, but DW took it in... It shoots the rest of our vehicle expenses for the year (and then some) and it's only Feb. Thanks anyway. I don't think there's much we can do at this point.
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Old 02-28-2013, 02:42 PM   #6
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I can't see that happening in two weeks. The connection points wear out over time and get loose. Here's a short video on how to check. Tie rod replacement isn't a major item more like a brake pad replacement, get some prices from other shops beside the stealership.

Video: How to Check Tie Rod Ends | eHow.com
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Old 02-28-2013, 02:49 PM   #7
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While I know it's too late, I agree with others that it could not deteriorate that much in 100 miles. Either they missed it earlier or they are short on revenues this month and screwing you. For the most part my mantra is if it ain't broke, don't fix it. But it sounds like they are the only game in town and were holding your inspection sticker hostage. Sucks.
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Old 02-28-2013, 03:00 PM   #8
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I had a similar issue at a Toyota dealer years ago. Was told I needed a transmission fluid power flush, $129. At the time, I hadn't done one myself so I told them to do the fluid change. Brought the car in less than 3 weeks later for a recall and got the same "You need a transmission fluid power flush". When I asked why since I just had one done, he looked it up and said "Oh, it looks dirty to me!" then let it go. I stopped going to the dealer for service other than recall work. Either do it myself or use an independent shop.
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Old 02-28-2013, 03:01 PM   #9
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Inspections are just a joke here. I got one yesterday, he had the new sticker put on before I got back from the cashier, not more than 5 minutes.
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Old 02-28-2013, 03:16 PM   #10
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I'm sure I've driven a million miles or so in numerous vehicles, including a few that belonged on the scrap heap, and have NEVER had to replace a tie-rod/tie-rod end.

YMMV, of course...
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Old 02-28-2013, 05:18 PM   #11
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It shouldn't happen that fast, but I had two (an inner and an outer) go from OK to "needs replacement" within 6 months.
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Old 02-28-2013, 06:06 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyro View Post
Is it possible for a tie rod to go from "nice & tight" to "lose & needs replacement; will not pass inspection" in 2 weeks and ~100 miles normal driving (no mishaps, potholes, etc.)? Sounds fishy to me, but I'm automotively challenged.


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No the tie rod should not have gone bad.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NotMyFault View Post
They probably just did a lousy job on the pre-inspection. I would not have that shop fix it unless they did it at cost for missing it the first time. Do you feel anything in the steering wheel while driving?
I dont think a tie rod end would be felt in driving unless it is hanging off. Now I am with you they either did a lousey job inspecting it the first time or they just didnt look there.

The post with the link on how to check it yourself is good. Everyone should get to learn a little about their cars if for nothing else so that they dont get taken at the repair shop.
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Old 02-28-2013, 06:15 PM   #13
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Tie rod end? I thought he was a quarterback. Tyrod Taylor
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Old 02-28-2013, 07:32 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyro View Post
Is it possible for a tie rod to go from "nice & tight" to "lose & needs replacement; will not pass inspection" in 2 weeks and ~100 miles normal driving (no mishaps, potholes, etc.)? Sounds fishy to me, but I'm automotively challenged.

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Is "nice & tight" the actual, exact wording the mechanic gave you in writing following the pre-inspection? Or, perhaps you are paraphrasing a bit?

Was this "pre-inspection" an actual service with a billed dollar amount? For example, for $39.95 the dealer puts the vehicle up on the lift and checks a list of items to ensure they are in condition to pass the official inspection and documents it in writing.

Or was the "pre-inspection" just an informal arrangement? You brought the vehicle in to have the warning light issue taken care of and asked them to check the car over (at no charge) and see if they noticed anything that would keep it from passing the inspection.

I think the real issue is whether the tie rod is defective at this point in time. If they missed it being "lose and needs replacement" at the pre-inspection, it was poor work but not an action they would have benefitted from monetarily. If they're saying it's "lose and needs replacement" now and it isn't, then they're trying to rip you off.

You need to find out the actual condition of the tie rod today since this shop has diagnosed it both ways.
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Old 03-01-2013, 09:32 AM   #15
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As others have said, it was probably worn to begin with. Some other considerations, when changing one worn out tie rod, it might make sense to replace the other side as well, since it too may may not be long for the world. Also, an alignment may be in order as well after replacement to avoid uneven tire wear.
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Old 03-01-2013, 12:09 PM   #16
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I had a similar issue at a Toyota dealer years ago. Was told I needed a transmission fluid power flush, $129. At the time, I hadn't done one myself so I told them to do the fluid change. Brought the car in less than 3 weeks later for a recall and got the same "You need a transmission fluid power flush". When I asked why since I just had one done, he looked it up and said "Oh, it looks dirty to me!" then let it go. I stopped going to the dealer for service other than recall work. Either do it myself or use an independent shop.
Same as with me once - in for a small recall item and the service writer guy goes on and on about how I MUST get a tranny power flush. On and on and on. Until I interrupt him and show him the stick shift. Oh, nevermind.

The big picture is become as comfortable as you want with understanding basic auto mechanics. Start searching when you don't have problems for a trusted mechanic and shop. Recommendations help, but your friends might be clueless about getting ripped off. And sometimes, usually rarely, the trusted shop might be the dealer.
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Old 03-01-2013, 12:18 PM   #17
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Tyro's DW here. Thank you all for your input. I'm prepared to call the Service Manager on this one, but wanted to run something by you before I do.

Yesterday at the dealership, I questioned how a tie rod could come loose in the short time since we had been there last. He told me that if it were loose then, that they would not have been able to do the front end alignment at that time (which the invoice says they did). Is this a legitimate argument?

Thanks,

Mrs. Tyro
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Old 03-01-2013, 12:24 PM   #18
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...tranny power flush...
Sounds kinky...

http://www.ehow.com/list_6730266_bad...-symptoms.html

http://www.ehow.com/how_6292668_check-bad-tie-rods.html

http://auto.howstuffworks.com/under-...-rods-last.htm
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Old 03-01-2013, 12:44 PM   #19
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Tyro's DW here. Thank you all for your input. I'm prepared to call the Service Manager on this one, but wanted to run something by you before I do.

Yesterday at the dealership, I questioned how a tie rod could come loose in the short time since we had been there last. He told me that if it were loose then, that they would not have been able to do the front end alignment at that time (which the invoice says they did). Is this a legitimate argument?

Thanks,

Mrs. Tyro
Well they shouldn't do an alignment with a bad tie rod, but that's not to say they didn't try and charge you for it. You could do the alignment but it wouldn't stay.
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Old 03-02-2013, 02:59 PM   #20
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I worked as a mechanic and later owned my own shop for 30 years and the answer I will give you is NO. Not possible. I think you are being ripped off and I would take my vehicle to another shop. oldtrig
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