I do a lot of alignments for other shops here in town after they’ve replaced frontend parts. Sometimes they bring the vehicle to me and sometimes they just send the customer to me. One alignment I did last week had everything but the kitchen sink replaced on the front suspension. And still had a noise in it… It had parts replaced that NEVER wear out.
I get vehicles in here on a regular basis that had work done to them which was either excessive, or just plain wrong. I’ve bit my tongue long enough, in the future I’m going to be writing more about the crap I see from other shops. The photo below is a good example of someone working on the suspension that really should have went and done something else.
The photos below are from a truck that came in this morning for an alignment after a local shop installed a bunch of new frontend parts and shocks.
Notice the oily residue on the bushing? People that don’t know what they’re doing sometimes spray bushings trying to fix squeaks.
1. That never works.
2. Most general repair mechanics know better than this. “Most”. A real frontend guy would never do this. Never.
The shop installed upper and lower balljoints on this truck, which I don’t doubt were wornout, but what I do doubt is the 2 outer tierods. I’ve almost never seen these need replacement on this particular model of truck.
The next thing they did that I totally disagreed with was installing the cheapest KYB shocks made. KYB makes 3 different grades of shock. I never use the bottom of the line KYB because they’re JUNK! This poor guy had a complete set front and back installed. A complete waste of his money. I use their middle shock most of the time with great results.
It takes a frontend suspension professional to know what to use and what to stay away from when it comes to shocks and struts on a vehicle.
This poor guy paid money for tierod ends he probably didn’t need. And he paid money for shocks that are substandard in my opinion to what came on his truck when it was new.
Bottom line? He went to the wrong shop. When your vehicle needs suspension work, you should go to the frontend shop, not the “we do everything shop”. If your feet hurt, you don’t go to the heart doctor right?
So the next time the general repair shop or the transmission shop or the dealer hands you a big fat frontend estimate, please call me for a second opinion. You’ll be glad you did.