Last month I took my 2005 Ford 500 to my dealer to diagnose a problem with the dash board. The board shut off and on while driving and I had no clue as to the cause. To cover repairs I had purchased an “extended” warranty when I bought the car. My first gripe was that I was not told about a “standard diagnosis fee” for all repairs. The original salesman did not tell me about this “diagnosis” fee even with my warranty purchase. But what is really getting me was when the repair manager said he could not look further into my issue until my “battery” which failed its test was replaced to continue the diagnosis. The dash was found to be faulty, but I felt there was no need to replace the battery since there had been no other electrical issues. I felt trapped, I had bought the warranty and it took over $150 to continue. Question: was the dealer in the right to “follow each step” to find the real problem? Should I call my credit card company to dispute the transaction and/or forward this info to the BBB? I will have to go back to this dealer eventually for other repair work that comes up.
If the battery was really bad (it could have been, it’s old enough), then it really did need to be replaced.
Few 4-5 year old batteries can pass a load test. When working on these electronic marvels, especially repairs covered under warranty, certain procedures must be followed to rule out incorrect diagnosis. You really mean instrument cluster, not dash-board, right?
First lesson, buying additional warranties (really insurance policies) is generally a waste of money. Remember they only sell them to make money so on average people pay more than they get back, usually they get less than 50% back.
I felt trapped, I had bought the warranty and it took over $150 to continue. Yea, it sounds like your warranty was really designed to get you back to the dealership. You don’t need to go to the dealer for repairs. Just forget that $150 and consider it a cost of learning a lesson.
I was not told about a “standard diagnosis fee” for all repairs. I’d bet it was in the fine print. If so nothing you can do about it now. That said it is fair to pay diagnosis fees as they are on the clock when they are doing it so someway or another you are going to pay.
I will have to go back to this dealer eventually for other repair work that comes up. No you don’t. It is your choice. Chances are that going to a good independent local mechanic will result in less expensive repairs.
On the diagnosis fee, it doesn’t really matter what the salesman said. What’s written in the paperwork that came with the warranty? If it’s in there, you were told, so you have no basis to complain.
As for the battery, if it failed a load test, then it was about to die anyway. If you live up north, this has probably saved you from being stranded somewhere in the cold this winter, so the replacement now is actually a good thing.
I can’t imagine what the “dash” replacement would have cost me without the warranty. The car went to the dealer first, the dealer said he would stop if i did not auth the “diagnosis” i guess i was looking for just a bit more of a bargain than i got!! Thanks