First issue: Ford Explorers and Expeditions have a known issue with the blend door actuator - the motor that controls the heat setting on the climate controls. The $30 motor was designed with 2-cent plastic gears, and located in a $900 repair location under the dash. The 2-cent plastic gears break easily, which requires buying a new $30 motor and paying a mechanic close to a grand to replace it. All to be able to switch from heat to AC in the summer and back again in the winter. I knew what the problem was ... my local mechanic knew what the problem was when I told him the symptoms. He pulled the dash off to see if he could get to it and fix it - he couldn't. He charged me -0- for looking and recommended that I take it to the dealer if I wanted it fixed. I took it to the dealer, Auffenberg, and told them what the problem was. They had to look for themselves - by which I mean they put the key in the ignition and turned the climate control knob so they could hear the 2-cent plastic gears in the $30 motor clacking as they slipped past each other in a futile attempt to catch. They charged $101 for this and for giving me an $800+ estimate to repair. Next issue: A routine oil change at Jiffy Lube; the mechanic couldn't get the valve stem caps off three of my tires when they went to put air in them. The caps were fused onto the stem. Ford has a bell/whistle deal with tire pressure sensors - in the valve stem. "We don't want to break the valve stem sensor - take it to the dealer" Jiffy Lube told me. Dobbs couldn't get the three valve stem caps off either when they rotated the tires - "only the dealer" they said. Auffenberg could get two of the three stuck caps off, but not the third. So they replaced one valve stem. Of the nearly $300 I paid for this one trip to Auffenberg: $101 was for being told what I already knew was wrong, and for the estimate to fix it $180 was to replace a valve stem [$79 part - built-in pressure sensor] and fill my tires with air. Obscene. You expect loyyers to come up with 2 billable hours [at 3 figures per hour] for 20 minutes of work. Not an auto mechanic with a GED.
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206 Vandalia Street, Collinsville, IL 62234