Joe Z. on Yellow Pages
4 years ago
03/01/2017, 03:00 AM
I dropped off my truck for state inspection after first having gone over it myself. (I am a licensed state inspector myself, have been an ASE certified master technician, and have manufacturer certifications, but am not currently working at an inspection station.) Bob called, failing it for too much play in the pitman arm. He also wanted to replace the idler arm, and tried to upsell a fuel filter, saying that the existing one looked old, and wanted to look into noise from the transfer case. I was interested only in the pitman and idler arms. He wanted way too much for the work and I've done this job many times. So I picked up the truck and drove it home.
When I got the truck home, only about 5 miles away, and pulled the front wheels, I found that the outer CV joint boot on the left-front axle was cut by the small band and there was CV grease around the tire, wheel well, and suspension arms. This area was clean before I took the truck to Skippack for inspection. Bob had mentioned nothing about the CV boot being cut or leaking. So did this coincidentally happen on the short 5-mile drive home? If so, it would have had to happen as I left their shop with the amount of grease I found. Did Bob or his technician somehow completely miss it? (not likely) Or is there more to it than that?
After replacing the pitman and idler arms, and now also the axle, I returned to Skippack Automotive for reinspection. After the work was done, I explained what I found when I first took the truck back home. Bob's only reply was "CV boots aren't an inspection item." That's true, but neither are fuel filters and transfer case noises, which he wanted to upsell. It seems odd that he'd want to upsell a fuel filter but not an easily-replaced axle shaft with a lot more margin. So was this coincidence, a gross oversight, or foul play? Either of the latter two means that I can't trust them and no longer can recommend them.