This is a request for advice about whether or not the conditions surrounding a repair are suspicious.
My mother-in-law owns a 2002 Ford Focus, and yesterday she took it to the local Firestone for an oil change. My wife and I received a call from her later that afternoon, and she told us that the oil change turned into a $600 repair. The mechanic claims that after the oil change, as he was backing the car out of the bay he heard a "pop". He parked the car, and when my mother-in-law tried to drive it out of the lot, she noticed a problem. Upon examining the car, the technicians found that both rear struts were broken. They claim that this is a common problem with older Ford Focus cars, and the fact that both struts broke as they were pulling the car out of the garage was pure coincidence. "Luckily" for my mother-in-law, they were able to offer a $600 solution to the problem. So, here are my questions:
- Is the mechanics’ claim valid? Are the rear struts on the Focus known to fail simultaneously (even when slowly backing up the car)?
- Is there a way to check the car to see if the failure was due to wear, corrosion or a mistake on the part of the technician?
- As long as the rear struts have to be replaced, should we have the front ones repaired as well?
- Am I being too suspicious? Things break on older cars all the time, but to have two struts fail when the car is moving slowly (and the owner is NOT present) seems fishy to me.
- If this was your mother-in-law’s car and you decided to fix the struts (paying for it since mom is retired and on a fixed income), would you seek out a different mechanic?