This is many years back. I bought a Mercury Tracer with the Japanese engine, (there was a standard, I think American engine, and then the very powerful Japanese one) at a lien sale auction. The car had less than 50,000 miles on it. It was not running right. So, I took the car into Albany Ford, and asked them to diagnose it. They told me the injectors were fouled by some type of contamination in the fuel system, and I would need to have the gas tank removed and cleaned out, and the injectors replaced. Total bill, parts and labor, about $2,500 or $2,800, I forget which. I paid them around $300 dianostic fees, took the car home. I then tried to repair it msyelf. Since there was an error code running, I retrieved that code from the system. For those who don’t know about car repairs, modern cars have a computer to run the engine, and that computer can diagnose many problems. If you follow the procedures, the computer will tell you what system it detects a fault in by error code number. The number of the error code came out to be the distributor. I found out the distributor, as part of the emission control system, was covered by a Federally mandated EPA warranty for the first 50,000 miles, no matter who owned the car. So I took it back to Albany Ford and demanded they replace the distributor, and refund me my money paid for the diagnostic. It’s important to understand, getting that diagnostic code from the computer is the first thing their mechanic probably did, it’s basic. They replaced the distributor, but did not want to give me my money back for the diagnostic. I got the Bureau of Automotive Repair involed, and got half my money back. (the BAR worker was really not helpful or professional, epecially considering this was a pretty clear case of fraud, and an attempt to violate, or maybe an actual violation, of the Federal warranty law) The service department made up that story of the contamination so they would not have to eat the cost of the distributor, (in theory, the manufacturer pays the dealer for that stuff, but they pay the labor at some reduced rate, the dealer makes no money on it, AND, generally, the manufacturers want the dealers to discourage it as much as possible.) So, these people blatantly lied to me, and tried to rip me off for almost $3,000, and if I had not known to check the error codes, I would have been trying to replace the injectors and clean out the gas tank on my own, a huge expensive job, (though it would cost me far less, because the dealer’s price for an injector was four times, yes, four times, normal retail) all FOR NOTHING. In case anyone thinks they can use the BAR, dont’ depend on that, like I said, the “lady” at that agency would not help much, and when I insisted she do, and that they had obviously tried to pull a fraud, she said, “if you are going to be a pain in the a*s I can’t help you” — when I had used no such profanity, or insulted her, in any way whatever. Don’t go to Albany Ford. Steve Oakland, ColoradoU.S.A.
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