Are any dealers honest these days?

Lincoln LS

  1. skizot722

    skizot722 Well-Known LVC Member

    Messages:
    404
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest
    So, I'm about to take a road trip across the country in my 2002 Lincoln LS. Decided it was time to have them check out a noise coming from the frontend. It's a very minor noise, and you only hear it over bumps while going slowly. Sounded like the sway bar link to me. But, I decided to take it to the dealer just to make sure nothing more serious was going on.

    Guy calls me this afternoon and says that all kinds of things need replaced on it. That's interesting, because it drives fine, other than that minor noise over bumps sometimes at slow speed. He said that all 4 sway bar links were shot, and needed replaced (both front and rear). Ok, how much are those I asked him, and he said $350 total for all 4 plus $280 in labor. Online they are much, much cheaper. Then he tells me that both front ball joints are bad. I've had a ball joint start going bad in another vehicle, and it makes all kinds of noise over every bump. Ok, so how much for that I ask. He said $388 per ball joint since they came as part of the control arm (lower?) And over $350 in labor for those. The total ended up around $1700 for all of this.

    2+ hours of labor to replace the sway bar links? And $800 for two control arms (just parts)? He said they could install aftermarket parts on there, but couldn't warranty anything, not even the labor. Am I off base to think this is ridiculous? You can find these parts online for less than half what they're trying to charge here.

    On the ball joints, I know how dangerous it is for one to fail. But what are the chances that mine are bad with zero noise or driveability issues?
     
  2. joegr

    joegr Dedicated LVC Member

    Messages:
    19,366
    Likes Received:
    1,392
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2005
    Location:
    Gulfport
    While there could be some dishonestly there, it could all be true or at least mostly true. It would help to know how many miles are on your LS.

    From my experiences, I am positive that none of your sway bar end links have lasted 17+ years. You're lucky to get half that. I am amazed that the rear toe-links aren't on that list. They don't seem to last very long.

    Your LS has six ball joints. Which one are they talking about?
    Two in the back, one on each upper control arm.
    Four in the front. One on each upper control arm, and one on each knuckle (connects to lower control arm).
    Probably the issue is that the dust boot has rotted. It could go years like that without a problem. Some of mine have. Of course, the safe answer is to replace it. If I could be held liable, I would tell you that you need to do so.

    It must be one of the uppers, because the knuckle costs way more than that.
    Yes, the dealer is only going to warranty OEM parts, and yes they are that expensive.

    Really, at the current age of all the LSes, the dealer is rarely the right place to go. I feel the same way about most chain shops too. Find a good local independent shop. They can use aftermarket and some will give a lifetime warranty. Best if you can find one with Jaguar experience.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • skizot722

      skizot722 Well-Known LVC Member

      Messages:
      404
      Likes Received:
      2
      Joined:
      Nov 18, 2007
      Location:
      Midwest
      They said it was the front lower ball joints. I found Moog's online for $155, control arm included. I don't think Ford even makes the lowers with ball joint for this car anymore, so I doubt their $388 a pop pieces are even OEM.

      My LS has right at 91,000 miles on it. I don't drive much, and when I do, I drive like a grandma. :)

      I know the sway bar end links need to be replaced. I know the bushing is split on the front left for sure. But $80 a piece in parts for those is too much as well. I get the warranty issue, and the liability issue. But I've never seen a ball joint completely fail without making a sound first (usually lots of noise, over any kind of bump). And you're exactly right, the dust boots are ripped, and have been for the past 5 years. There's zero play in either ball joint, no inner tire wear, and no driveability issues. So I just can't see dropping that kind of cash.

      I get it, they don't want to leave it up to the customer to determine whether the ball joint has gone from torn dust boots to actually beginning to fail. But they should not be telling customers that the whole thing has failed. Also, on the liability, it's still up to the customer to decline the repair. Then the dealership/shop is relieved of their liability if the part fails and there's an accident. I'm just saying they should be honest about the whole thing instead of trying to swindle. I guess they have to all live up to their name of "stealership". I'm new to the town I'm in and haven't found a shop yet, so I decided to go to the dealership instead. Live and learn I guess.

      I declined the repairs and paid the $103 diagnostic fee and took her home.
       
    • jerrym3

      jerrym3 Well-Known LVC Member

      Messages:
      236
      Likes Received:
      11
      Joined:
      May 3, 2005
      Location:
      Bergen County
      No, most dealers are not honest. I just had an experience with a local Ford dealer.

      I went with my wife to look at a 2019 Ford Escape that my daughter had seen and liked. We negotiated a price, and I gave them a $500 credit to hold the car for her to finalize the deal on the next day. Sales rep gave me a printout showing the bottom line minus the $500 credit.

      When she showed up the next day with check in hand, they told her that they had already credited my account, and she'd have to come up with the $500 deposit, which she did. But, after checking with my credit card company everyday for a week, we learned that they hadn't issued a credit.

      Then, they refused to return my phone calls. In fact, when I called them and dialed "1" for sales, I was automatically forwarded to the sales rep's voice mailbox. I didn't even need to tell a "live" person who I wanted to speak with!! They had programmed my number automatically to his mailbox so that he didn't have to answer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!I was able to leave messages for the sales manager, but he didn't return my calls either.

      Finally, after my daughter replied with all the gory details to their "how did we do?" customer service department emails, I got a call from the sales manager, he processed the credit, and I went to the dealer to get the hard copy, which I now have.

      Did they really think that I was just going to write this off as a "oh, well, I'll be more careful next time"? Now they lost a shot at selling us a new car that we need to replace our LS, and any service revenue from her car.

      This is the 5th Ford I've bought off this dealer going back to 1972. Never had this problem before.

      As they say, all's fair in love, war, and selling/servicing cars. Making a profit is one thing; blatantly cheating is another.
       
      Last edited: Jul 4, 2019
      • Like Like x 1
      • joegr

        joegr Dedicated LVC Member

        Messages:
        19,366
        Likes Received:
        1,392
        Joined:
        Dec 10, 2005
        Location:
        Gulfport
        The front lower ball joints are not part of the lower control arms. They bolt (and unbolt) to/from the lower control arm. The ball joint itself is pressed into the knuckle. Therefore the knuckles come with the ball joints, not the lower control arms.

        Front lower control arm:
        f709054d83484ad0a6413fb43918d152_490.jpg
        Knuckle
        upload_2019-7-3_20-40-47.jpeg
         
      • skizot722

        skizot722 Well-Known LVC Member

        Messages:
        404
        Likes Received:
        2
        Joined:
        Nov 18, 2007
        Location:
        Midwest
      • joegr

        joegr Dedicated LVC Member

        Messages:
        19,366
        Likes Received:
        1,392
        Joined:
        Dec 10, 2005
        Location:
        Gulfport
        • Agree Agree x 1
        • skizot722

          skizot722 Well-Known LVC Member

          Messages:
          404
          Likes Received:
          2
          Joined:
          Nov 18, 2007
          Location:
          Midwest
          The other that I found for under $200 was Moog. Are you telling me that Ford is really making that much better of a part than someone like Moog? There are other reasons OEM is so much more expensive, and it's not quality alone. What do you consider a good aftermarket knuckle?

          By the way, you mentioned in an earlier post that for these cars we should be taking them to a mechanic shop, not a dealership. Do you think those shops are putting OEM replacement parts on your vehicle? Probably not, unless you specifically asked them to. Which brings us back around, full circle. Someone who doesn't want to be raped at the dealership very likely isn't going to be putting OEM parts back in their car.
           
        • skizot722

          skizot722 Well-Known LVC Member

          Messages:
          404
          Likes Received:
          2
          Joined:
          Nov 18, 2007
          Location:
          Midwest
          I do appreciate the help here, Joe. Thank you.

          I definitely won't be going back to this stealership for anything again. The service manager told me on the phone that his suspension mechanic has 45+ years of experience and knows his stuff. I would have expected him to know that the front lower ball joint is pressed into the steering knuckle, not lower control arm. I certainly didn't know that, but that's why I'm taking my car in for someone else to do this work. What if I OK'ed them to proceed, and they finally realize that it's the knuckle, not lower control arm, that needs replacing and that will cost another $300?
           
        • jerryg2112

          jerryg2112 Active LVC Member

          Messages:
          80
          Likes Received:
          10
          Joined:
          Jul 5, 2014
          Location:
          San Diego
          I haven't been able to find knuckles made by Moog only replacement ball joints. Do you have a part number?
           
        • skizot722

          skizot722 Well-Known LVC Member

          Messages:
          404
          Likes Received:
          2
          Joined:
          Nov 18, 2007
          Location:
          Midwest
          Doh. When I looked again I noticed that it was actually the lower control arm, not knuckle. :(
           
        • 04_Sport_LS

          04_Sport_LS Dedicated LVC Member

          Messages:
          2,604
          Likes Received:
          246
          Joined:
          Jun 12, 2012
          Location:
          Somewhere around Lake Erie
          2002 LINCOLN LS 3.9L V8 Knuckle | RockAuto

          This is one if the better parts suppliers on the net... and they offer Motorcraft parts. $388 seems like a very good price... if they actually are installing Motorcraft parts.

          Thing is... since yours is a 2002... there are 2 different sizes of ball joint studs.

          Any dealership is only as good as the weakest link. The service manager told you control arms. He obviously doesn't know the LS... and probably a poor assumption on his part.
           
          • Like Like x 1
          • 04_Sport_LS

            04_Sport_LS Dedicated LVC Member

            Messages:
            2,604
            Likes Received:
            246
            Joined:
            Jun 12, 2012
            Location:
            Somewhere around Lake Erie
            I will. Moog quality has fallen off over the last few years... but they are still better than most of the aftermarket manufacturers. The weakest link in the knuckle assembly is the ball joint. There are many others on this forum who have gone with cheaper, (than at least Moog... which as you found out doesn't make knuckles), and regretted it. The knuckle itself may be ok... but when the ball joint needs replaced again in 30k miles... is it actually cheaper???

            You may do ok with Moog for as little as you drive it... but most long term members on this forum have learned that OEM is the best way to go with the LS.
             
          • 04_Sport_LS

            04_Sport_LS Dedicated LVC Member

            Messages:
            2,604
            Likes Received:
            246
            Joined:
            Jun 12, 2012
            Location:
            Somewhere around Lake Erie
            BTW... Mevotech is junk.
             
            • Like Like x 1
            • 04_Sport_LS

              04_Sport_LS Dedicated LVC Member

              Messages:
              2,604
              Likes Received:
              246
              Joined:
              Jun 12, 2012
              Location:
              Somewhere around Lake Erie
              Going back to the weakest link at the dealership...

              The one I use... the parts department is excellent. Service is pretty good... but the last time I went there was 2 years ago for an alignment. The tech obviously beat the crap out of my LS... because when I got it back, (at closing time), the brakes were cooked and the rotors were warped... and 2 of my speakers were blown. It didn't come in that way. I complained to service... and let them know I probably wouldn't be back... and I haven't, but still do business with the parts department.
               
            • skizot722

              skizot722 Well-Known LVC Member

              Messages:
              404
              Likes Received:
              2
              Joined:
              Nov 18, 2007
              Location:
              Midwest
              04_Sport_LS, thanks for the info. The $388 was definitely for the lower control arm, according to the sheet they printed me off. They'd probably quote me $600+ for the Ford Motorcraft knuckles.
               
            • 04_Sport_LS

              04_Sport_LS Dedicated LVC Member

              Messages:
              2,604
              Likes Received:
              246
              Joined:
              Jun 12, 2012
              Location:
              Somewhere around Lake Erie
              That could be. I don't think even the "blue box" Ford parts are that expensive, ("red box" parts are Motorcraft).

              Seems your biggest issue is age... not milage. Which is why your boots are torn... but everything may still be tight.

              If Lower control arm was written down... somebody definitely isn't familiar with the LS.

              As far as indy shops. Start asking around who does the best work with readonable prices. Eventually a name or 2 should stand out. Then go to that shop and ask questions.

              As far as the cheap "lifetime warranty" parts... ask yourself how many times in YOUR lifetime... you want to replace them. ;)
               
            • AmsterDutch

              AmsterDutch Dedicated LVC Member

              Messages:
              1,214
              Likes Received:
              207
              Joined:
              Jul 9, 2017
              Location:
              Midwest
              I've purchased the Mevotech Knuckles for my 2001 from Rockauto and yes the ball joints are less than good quality ....but the Knuckles/spindles on the LS are aluminum and will bend like a weeping willow in a windstorm when trying to press the Ball joint in the Knuckle/Spindle ....so I suggest buying the entire part new... it's not a matter of ' IF '...but rather ' WHEN ' I need to replace my lower Ball Joints in my 2006 LS I will go MotorCraft ...remember that everything is riding on the Knuckle/Spindle and the your Wheel Hub assembly, Rotor, Caliper. brake Pads, Rims/Wheels, and Tires all connect to the Knuckle/Spindle ...with that being said it's a crucial part of the Lincoln LS's suspension ...if you wanna save a boatload of money I could walk you through a ball Joint inspection for the Knuckles/Spindles ....here it is
              component Tests

              Ball Joint Inspection

              1. Prior to inspecting the ball joints for wear, inspect the wheel bearings. For additional information, refer to Section 100-04 .
              1. NOTE: In order to get accurate measurements, the suspension must be in full rebound with the weight of the vehicle supported by the frame.

                Raise and support the vehicle by the frame to allow the wheels to hang in the rebound position.
              1. Inspect the ball joint and ball joint boot for damage.
                • If the ball joint or ball joint boot is damaged, install a new ball joint. For additional information, refer to Section 204-01 .
              NOTE: Carry out Steps 4-6 to inspect the lower ball joint. Carry out Steps 7-9 to inspect the upper ball joint.

              1. s6x~us~en~file=ani_caut.gif~gen~ref.gif CAUTION: Do not use any tools or equipment to move the wheel and tire assembly or suspension components while checking for relative movement. Suspension damage can occur. The use of tools or equipment will also create relative movement that may not exists when using hand force. Relative movement must be measured using hand force only.

                NOTE: The weight of the wheel and tire assembly must be overcome to get an accurate measurement on the dial indicator.

                Inspect the ball joint for relative movement by alternately pulling downward and pushing upward on the wheel and tire assembly by hand. Note any relative vertical movement between the wheel knuckle and lower arm at the lower ball joint
                • If relative movement is not felt or seen, the ball joint is OK. Do not install a new ball joint.
                • If relative movement is found, continue with Step 5.
              1. NOTE: In order to obtain an accurate measurement, the dial indicator should be aligned as close as possible with the vertical axis (center line) of the ball joint.

                To measure ball joint deflection, attach a suitable dial indicator with a flexible arm between the lower control arm and the wheel knuckle or ball joint stud.
              s6x~us~en~file=n0044032.gif~gen~ref.gif
              1. Measure the ball joint deflection, while an assistant pushes up and pulls down on the wheel and tire assembly, by hand.
                • If the deflection exceeds the specification, a new ball joint must be installed. For additional information, refer to Section 204-01 .
                • If the deflection meets the specification, continue with the procedure.
              1. s6x~us~en~file=ani_caut.gif~gen~ref.gif CAUTION: Do not use any tools or equipment to move the wheel and tire assembly or suspension components while checking for relative movement or suspension damage can occur. The use of tools or equipment will also create relative movement that may not exist when using hand force. Relative movement must be measured using hand force only.

                Inspect the ball joint for relative movement by alternately pulling downward and pushing upward on the upper control arm by hand. Note any relative vertical movement between the wheel knuckle and upper arm at the upper ball joint.
                • If relative movement is not felt or seen, the ball joint is OK. Do not install a new ball joint.
                • If relative movement is found, continue with Step 8.
              s6x~us~en~file=n0044169.gif~gen~ref.gif
              1. NOTE: In order to obtain an accurate measurement, the dial indicator should be aligned as close as possible with the vertical axis of the ball joint.

                To measure ball joint deflection, attach a suitable dial indicator with a flexible arm between the upper control arm and the wheel knuckle or ball joint stud.
              1. Measure the ball joint deflection, while an assistant pushes up and then pulls down on the upper control arm, by hand.
                • If the deflection exceeds the specification, a new ball joint must be installed. For additional information, refer to Section 204-01 .
                • If the deflection meets the specification, no further action is required.
               
            • 04_Sport_LS

              04_Sport_LS Dedicated LVC Member

              Messages:
              2,604
              Likes Received:
              246
              Joined:
              Jun 12, 2012
              Location:
              Somewhere around Lake Erie
              skizot,

              This may be an option for you... and definitely a cheaper alternative:

              Source for replacement ball joint dust boots? - Jaguar Forums - Jaguar Enthusiasts Forum

              They are for the upper control arm ball joints. But it gives the math to figure out what is needed. Will probably work out for figuring the size of the main one's too.

              Make sure you scroll to the bottom and check related links too.

              I didn't go through the whole post... so I can't directly verify anything.
               
            • skizot722

              skizot722 Well-Known LVC Member

              Messages:
              404
              Likes Received:
              2
              Joined:
              Nov 18, 2007
              Location:
              Midwest
              AmsterDutch and 04_Sport_LS thank you for the info! I took the LS into an independent shop today, and they mentioned that there is play in the ball joints. They weren't able to tell me how much deflection (assuming they should have measured it) there was, or if it was just visibly noted. They quoted me at $735 for replacing the knuckles, and claimed that they were Moog's. I asked the person twice on the phone, are you sure? They said yes, but like others have mentioned and that I also found out myself, Moog doesn't make knuckles for this car. :confused: They are $100 / hr. Assuming 2 hours to replace the knuckles, that'd put the knuckles at $225-ish / each (quote included tax). They said that the sway bar end links were completely fine, but the noise at low-speed bumps still has me thinking otherwise. I don't like to argue with people, but I feel like they should be able to tell me which brand they're really installing since there's no way they could be Moog. Suggestions?
               
            • AmsterDutch

              AmsterDutch Dedicated LVC Member

              Messages:
              1,214
              Likes Received:
              207
              Joined:
              Jul 9, 2017
              Location:
              Midwest
              Personally when I was searching for knuckles/Spindles for the Lincoln LS I could only find the Moog brand ball joints ...not the complete Moog Knuckle/Spindle with Ball Joints already installed complete assembly ...hence that is why I chose Mevotech ...I did however buy the Moog ball Joints initially and had my tire shop press them in to the existing MotorCraft Knuckles...of course I was warned not to do this by Joegr due to the Knuckles/Spindles bending because THEY ARE ALUMINUM well low and behold Joegr was right ...I found out the hard way when my caliper was rubbing because the Knuckle got bent with the shop press...Now I'm sure this procedure has been done successfully without any bending of the knuckles but I wouldn't trust them myself ...not after experiencing first hand what I did...but please by all means let us all know if Moog has started a new line of Knuckles/Spindles with Ball Joints for the Lincoln LS ..I like the brand Moog and would really be pleased to see if they truly exist...good luck
               
            • skizot722

              skizot722 Well-Known LVC Member

              Messages:
              404
              Likes Received:
              2
              Joined:
              Nov 18, 2007
              Location:
              Midwest
            • AmsterDutch

              AmsterDutch Dedicated LVC Member

              Messages:
              1,214
              Likes Received:
              207
              Joined:
              Jul 9, 2017
              Location:
              Midwest
              By the way I suggest asking the Shop for the Part # for the Moog Knuckles...see what they say
               
              • Like Like x 1
              • Agree Agree x 1
              • 04_Sport_LS

                04_Sport_LS Dedicated LVC Member

                Messages:
                2,604
                Likes Received:
                246
                Joined:
                Jun 12, 2012
                Location:
                Somewhere around Lake Erie
                Boy... IDK. Wish I'd have suggested that you go out and have them show you the play. I always ask to see when skeptical.

                You could try throwing them a curve ball, and ask them what size ball joint stud you had.

                I've been doing some digging... and it seems Moog is making knuckle "assemblies" now, (knuckle, bearing, and hub), but I have not been able to find them for the LS. Seems the parts all start with LK... and then a 3 digit number.
                 
              • skizot722

                skizot722 Well-Known LVC Member

                Messages:
                404
                Likes Received:
                2
                Joined:
                Nov 18, 2007
                Location:
                Midwest
                Thanks. This is what I did with the stealership, and the best the tech could do was point at the boots and say "when those are ripped, we will tell you the ball joint is bad." I'm definitely skeptical because these things make zero noise. I'd assume that once there's any measurable play, you can start to hear the typical clunking noise over most bumps.

                Good suggestion, I'll call them and ask this afternoon.
                 

              Share This Page

              1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
                By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.