CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

High Pitch Screeching isn't gone after PS flush?

Hi there! I have a 2009 Kia Spectra, with only just over 51k miles on it. About two and a half months ago, I took it into my family’s favorite car shop that was just down the road, because I knew that it needed an oil changed. The came out of just doing a maintenance check on it and came out with four things (aside from the oil change) that needed to be done. I was surprised but I knew that it was going to be coming sooner or later (because I’ve had it for a few years now and haven’t had to do anything to it yet).
They said it needed: the rotor brake pads replaced, a PS (Power Steering) flush, a wheel alignment, and there was a cracked belt (I’m sorry, I don’t have the receipt in hand and I can’t remember what belt it was off the top of my hand) that needed to be replaced.
Because I was supposed to go on a trip to Cincinnati in just a few days, and I couldn’t afford to get everything, so I asked what was the worst and most important. They said the cracked belt and break pads needed to be done the most, so I okay’ed those and ended up paying about $350. I was okay with that since it was important, and went on my trip just fine. However, during the trip I noticed that my car was starting to make these high pitched screeching sounds when I would start it, and on particularly sharp turns. The shop had said before that that might happen and that it was the PS flush-problem. I figured, “Annoying, but I can deal for a while until I can afford to take care of it”.
I decided I could get the PS flush today, so I went in to the same car shop, and this is when things start getting sour. When I told them what my car needed, they said Okay, it’ll end up being about $80 something. Ouch, but okay, it needs it.
When it got out though, it was suddenly $123! They said it was labor cost plus taxes, which is bull seeing as they shouldn’t have had told me one price beforehand and then change it so drastically afterwards, and I don’t see how they came up with the $80 one to begin with because the flush itself was $59 on the receipt and $46 in labor costs (tax was $10, plus the actual fluid was about $5). This is not the first time they have done something like this, a few months prior my stepfather had taken his Camry in for an oil change as well and they had come back to him with a bunch of little stuff like his windshield wipers needed replacing, which he KNEW did not because he had just had them replaced. He ended up just walking out with the oil change though thankfully.
Anyway, so I thought, Okay. That’s really sh#%@y of you guys, but its done, the flush has been done, whatever, I just won’t come back here again.
Except that the second time starting my car later that day, it started screeching at me again! It has since continued to all day, though it is much less then what it was before.
I’m fairly certain at this point I’ve been duped and messed with, and I’m pretty angry that my poor car is still having this problem. Can anyone tell me what is going on? What would cause the screeching if not the PS fluid? Or did they not do it correctly? At this point I’m thinking of taking it somewhere else as soon as I can and getting a second opinion, but I thought I should try here first, see if anyone had any clues. Please let me know if you have any ideas!
Thanks! Faaia

P.S. The cruise control no longer works either! This has happened in the past week on its own, but from past experience I’ve found that my little Kia likes for some specific little things to just not work when it needs some sort of work done (last time this sort of thing happened, it was the lock button on my door wouldn’t lock my car because it needed an oil change, which is the real reason I’m so good about doing it a little early now).

It sounds as if your power steering belt is slipping. Find a new shop and have it looked at, I am guessing it was not installed tight enough when they replaced it or if it has an automatic tensioner it is beginning to fail.

I’ve had new belts loosen up and squeal after they had a chance to settle in. That sounds exactly what happened here. Take it back and have them re-check the belt tensions. I think you got taken on the PS flush, but that’s water under the bridge now.

Why is this your family’s favorite shop if they repeatedly mistreat you?

Check the “Mechanics Files” of this site for a recommended shop near you and don’t go back to these guys.

@SteveC76 After talking to a few more car minded people at work, they’ve all said similarly, so I’ll be going to a different place soon. Thank you!
@BustedKnuckles I won’t be going back to the same place, but I will keep that in mind to ask them to look for when I go to get it looked at. Thanks!
@jesmed1 They were our favorite place because until a few months ago, this sort of thing never happened and the crew there was always very good to us. But a few months ago they got some new people and I think they fired a few of the old because I never saw my particular favorite crew member after that point. I’m not sure, but I think they underwent a change in management and its the new management that screwed me over. I did notice the Mech Files though I will definately be using that, thank you!