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$320 to replace outer tie rods on 99 escort

1999 ford escort zx2 - repair cost was $320 to replace outer tie rods on car plus alignment. Daughter took her car to the ford place and the cost was $320 dollars. This sounds a little expensive to me. She went in for a oil change and I felt like she got taken. Am I wrong to think this way. Silly college girl
I called the ford dealership in my area and they told me they charge $160 without an alignment.
She goes to school in Iowa

Taken ?
No
Just a high priced place to fix a car that age. With most dealers and some shops running $100 an hour, I can see it.
–BUT –
A cheaper option could easily have been found.
Ford o.e. outer tie rod ends list at $50 dollars each.
Auto zone at 30 or 20 each.
An indy shop may be much less in labor too.

Stay away from the dealer and save money.

Dealers are usually more expensive, in many cases 2X or more.
But if the work was needed and if the job was done properly, it’s worth the money. This was truely a safety issue.

Did the $320 include the oil change? If it did, then I’d say that with alignments going for $80 or more, the price was a little on the high side, but not unreasonable. One more thing, did it include new dust boots for the rack ends? That would have been an opportune time to replace those while everything is apart and the vehicle is about the age where these go bad.

If I remember right my tie rods were more like $60-80 each. I had a year old Moog break on me on the freeway, just after a bridge, and its not much fun. So even if a hundred or so high, the job was done right and the parts are quality so feel good about the safety aspect.

Outer tie rods are about an hours worth of work, I’d say. Not sure what the designated number of hours a dealer’s manual would state it should be, though. Dealers are always high so let’s say 2 hours at 100 bucks an hour. Two tie rods could cost $100, tax, etc…
$320 might be about right for a $tealer.

Meh. Here, local independent shop:
2 Motorcraft Outer Tie Rods, 53.32 each
Labor 90.00
Alignment 89.95
Sales tax 27.23
Total $313.82

I missed that they did an alignment. Yeah, that sounds right.

The oil change was $16.00

Ahh, the $16 oil change…avoid those like the plague. A decent oil filter will cost a shop $3. Good quality oil of the proper viscosity will be $2-$2.50 per quart. So for just the cost of oil and filter alone the shop has invested $13. Supposing they pay a guy minimum wage and he spends 30 minutes on your oil change/tire rotation and checking fluids, lights, etc, , the labor cost is $5. So now the shop is already $2 in the hole. Hmm, how to make up for the loss? Lets be sure we find some needed service and repair to sell…

Now that’s not to say the Escort didn’t need tie rods. If they hadn’t been replaced before I can almost guarantee they needed it. And the price seemed fair. But have your daughter talk to a staff or faculty member at school and get a recommendation to a decent independent local garage.