Thought I'd share my holiday fun with you guys...
Around 4500 miles my '03 starting squeaking in the front end going up and down fairly steep grades. Took it to the dealer for a checkup.
I walked in and told the service writer what was wrong...I had a pretty good description and location of the problem, and I told her under what conditions the squeaking occured. She, of course, didn't tell the tech a thing I said, so I sat for two hours while he farted around bouncing the front end and rolling the car back and forth (lovely grease on my headliner from that manuever). He never drove the car under the conditions I described.
Finally he decided the rotors were glazed, so he put a non-directional finish on them and deglazed the pads. They let me know that the pads weren't factory ones and they were doing me a favor by not charging me for the deglazing. Not factory? At 4500 miles? Real sweethearts.
Anyway, three hours burned, because I pulled out on the highway up a little grade and guess what...the squeaking was still there. Plus, I had complimentary gouge marks on my wheels from the jackhammer the tech must have used to leverage the center caps off. Too pissed to go back 'cause my off-day was pretty well gone already. Why are they so afraid to let a customer actually talk to the technician to describe what's going on so all the important information isn't lost between the service desk and the service bay? Five minutes is all I ask!
Talked with a friend of mine who owns a garage. "Seen it a lot." he said. "Take a grease gun and needle and shoot the ball joint boots full. It'll stop it."
That night I'm under the car filling the boots, and when I took it up the road on a test run, it fixed it! I pulled back in my driveway and...squeak!
Next week I took it back and told them the squeak was still there. After a couple hours of TSB's and consultation with the higher-ups, the technician (same one, looked about 13 years old), decided the ball joints were squeaking, and said the control arms had to be replaced. Of course they weren't in stock, so...I'm back NEXT week!
Went back the next week and sat five hours because I didn't have anyone to come pick me up. Finally got the car fixed and took it home! 8)
In the meantime I'd been smelling oil burning, so I put it on a lift at work and found oil on the bellhousing. Yeah.
I told them I thought the rear main was leaking, so on my last visit they did a dye check and couldn't find a thing. Problem was I had cleaned the oil off the tranny, so everyone was lost and confused I guess when they saw a clean underbelly. Pissed me off, but I left with a non-squeaky car. More grease on the headliner, though.
Drove the 'Stang about 2000 more miles, came up my drive one night after work and something CLUNKED under the passenger side. Oh, boy. Here we go again.
Next morning (another off day), I get it back on the lift at work and...this is SO frustrating...I see that the passenger end link nut is gone, along with the bottom end link bushing. The sway bar link has danced merrily back into the coil spring after slightly elongating the hole in the (BRAND NEW) control arm as it wallowed around. The clunking is the coil spring chewing on the end link.
Back to the dealer we go, and I'm ticked. I went in and told them I didn't care what they had to do, but my car was going to be fixed THAT DAY and I wasn't sitting around for hours and hours while they pooted around. Four trips for one problem sucked, not to mention the fact that I ride my kids around in that car, and I don't want them dead. Oh, and by the way, I'M STILL SMELLING BURNING OIL!
I got slick then...I went to parts and checked to see if they had an endlink. Of course, they didn't. I sat there for two hours before I finally had enough and called a friend to take me home for awhile. When I went back four hours later they were "wrapping it up", because they not only fixed the end link with parts robbed off a new GT, but they miraculously followed the quart of oil on the bellhousing all the way up to the rear main seal, correctly deduced that it was leaking, and managed to outdo themselves by fixing that problem also.
At that point I was almost happy...TWO problems fixed in one day! I got in the car with my son, heading out to meet my wife and daughter at a local restaurant for a grand celebration of good over evil! I pulled out on the highway and goosed 'er a little, but the tranny acted WEIRD!
I looked down and saw that the speedometer was at zero and my mileage readout was blank, so I wheeled right into the next side road and circled right back to the service department. The tech said he'd hook the speedometer right up, so he drove the car to his lift where I watched him for the next ten minutes trying to fumble that connector back into its socket.
I kind of wonder if something about it was broke because he took so long, but that will have to wait until I can get it on the lift at work again. Tomorrow...on my off day.
Owners, beware. Here's the moral: there is nothing free in this life, and even if you get the bonus of a bumper-to-bumper warranty included with your car...you WILL pay for all those free repairs...one way or another!