2000 CR-V trailing arm bushings and sway bar links

Having driven very little in 6 months, brought the car in a bit early based on miles but way late based on time for the next recommended dealer visit. Was told at check-in that since had had service, probably would just do oil and I’d be out in 1-2 hours so I waited. Told service advisor would probably be be driving from Texas to California in about a month to move there (now wonder if should not have shared that). Was told after about 1.5 hours (in writing) that the trailing arm bushings were “torn” and the tech recommended replacing them and that the front and rear sway bars were “worn” and that the tech also recommended replacing them. Said go ahead as would like safe, uneventful drive half way across the country. That evening they got me a loaner car because they needed it a 2nd day in order to get the parts. Next day got it, paid $1200 after discounts, and on the short 1.2 mile drive home, the car was not at all pleasant or easy to drive, stiff and super-bumpy, with a lilt to the right, once even felt like it caught air under the left front tire tilting right. The road is kind of bumpy in the right lane but I felt all the bumps 3 times more than usual and felt bumps I could not even see which is not usual.

At home, stared at invoice/bill which said the tech test drove the vehicle and that it “is now working as designed”. I am a woman and am somewhat ready to be taken or not believed or both about cars so watched U-tube videos about replacing trailing arm bushings and sway bar links on the CR-V. It did not look fool-proof at all. As the car felt like a bucking bronco to me (although the closest I’ve ridden is to post a horse trotting in Oxford, England), I called the service advisor the next day which was a Friday and said it just cannot be right. Said wondered if maybe they had taken off the right front shock. He said bring it back but really it was too hard until today, Monday. Just drove a little around town and after going over the first speed bump in a parking lot, literally got out and looked underneath because heard a loud metal scrunch sound thought like squashed something underneath but there was nothing underneath that was remotely low enough to have hit those little speed bumps. Had to wait 30 minutes for service advisor to “help these guys with a customer’s car”. He was nice and apologized for the issue. Told him hope the tech lied (aka did not adjust computer boilerplate template…did you know that computers are supposed to be making our documentation systems better?) in writing that he had test driven the car because if he had really test driven the car then that would be worse because he must either be incompetent or want to kill me. Asked him if they have a more experienced “technician” or better, yet, actually an mechanic. Did not express yukky feeling that the person who has performed the operation on my car (and would have been responsible if like a woman in the news yesterday the wheel fell off and I died) was not even having his or her name revealed. Service advisor asked if I wanted to test drive it with him and I told him I had been driving it all weekend but I wish he would drive it. He called me while driving it with the tech and he never admitted it was as bad as it was. He said something mildly insulting like to someone who did not know cars it would seem dangerous.

He called me back at the end of the day and I asked what they had found. He said when they had it up on the rack the weight of the tires was too much for the old struts so it needed front struts and “I am going to cover it and it may need rear ones sometime in the future too”. I asked and got him to tell me 3 times and when my nose was pretty sure he was not coming clean as much as it seemed someone should have been able to, he said he was just trying to say it in a way I could understand (did not tell him how many degrees I had already before he was born). What he said sounded like he was saying that what they had done was only to work on the back of the car so nothing they did caused the front struts to have trouble. I reminded his that they had replaced the sway bars both in the front and in the rear and it seemed like he needed to check on that. The way he was talking did not seem as forthcoming as I might have hoped although he did admit that he believed that the technician did not test drive the car. Maybe his saying he would “cover” and “take care of” fixing the front struts made me wonder if that was a technique for me to feel badly or if the dealership was somehow taking this out of his compensation. I was pretty upset because it had been scary. I asked him if he had told the “technician” that I was planning to drive the car half way across the country next month and he said he had “typed it in there”. I was thinking that at least I would make sure my whole family knows about this so if my dad and I die on the drive they do not let this go. I did not say that but I did tell him I was somewhat traumatized by the experience. He told me that “at no time was your life in danger”. Tell that to the rodeo riders on other bucking broncos. It is simply not believable. I am now just wishing I could find an article about crashes from struts (which is what they now are admitting is wrong) being…although I asked three times, he still would not use a clear word to describe what they think is wrong with the struts…guess I’ll have to wait until I read it in the invoice.

Due to the length of your post it is very difficult to aborb and retain all of that. Part way through it I got the feeling that what happened is that a strut failed after the vehicle was raised on a lift.

This is not caused by the weight of the tire/wheel assembly. It’s simply due to an aged strut reaching full extension, or close to it, and giving up the ghost so to speak. While aggravating to a customer, it’s also something that can’t be helped and it’s not that rare.

I agree with ok4450 on all counts.
I also was unable to stay with that extremely long post, but I also picked up a strut-related issue, post-servicing.

As ok mentioned, it is not that unusual for an aged strut to fail when it is fully extended on a chassis lift, and this problem is not likely to be related to anything that the shop might have done incorrectly.

That type of thing happened with one of my cars about 5 years ago. One weekend I jacked it up just to do a lowly oil change only. Shortly afterwards I drove it somewhere and it was bouncing like a tennis ball.

The left front strut had given completely up.

Does happen as said. Broken struts are dangerous. It causes dangerous instability, uneven tire wear and increased stopping distances.

I’d like to add to OK4450s, with which I agree, explanation to please understand that under normal use struts never extend fully, and that the insides wear based upon their normal range of travel. Sometimes when they get old and the car’s body goes up on a lift the struts’ internals travel to areas they rarely go and they can’t handle it.

Personally, I’m comfortable with the explanation that the weight of the wheels pulled them there as long as the explanation is competed as to why that happens.

In short, I believe your real problem is simply that the car is getting old. Things wear out.

under normal use struts never extend fully

I would consider racking a vehicle “normal use.”

Only if you insist on twisting my words and undermining my point.

You know damned well what I meant. If you disagree, say why and explain your position. If you feel better words could have been chosen, offer your version of the explanation. But don’t play these games with me.

Oooo…a little touchy tonight…

No, not at all. I just get tired of this crap. We’re trying to help the OP understand what happened to her car and you’re trying to start an argument about whether full extension of the struts when it’s up on a rack should be considered “normal use”.

If you don’t think full extension of the struts during racking was a factor, than say so and explain your reasoning.
If you do agree that it was a factor, say so.
If you think it was poorly explained, than offer an alternative way of explaining it.

Simply criticizing the posts of others contributes absolutely nothing.