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Sad Day for Ford Owners Says Mechanic When Dealership Won’t Diagnose Your Car Problem

Here’s why a dealership service department might not bother to diagnose your car problem and why you should always have a backup mechanic plan for a second opinion. Plus, how to diagnose a spongy brake problem on your own.

Scotty Says

How many times have you taken your car to the dealership for a problem only to be told that “It’s either this component or that component, we’re not sure which, but here is how much it will cost to replace both,” without a proper diagnosis to determine for sure which component it is?

Related article: A Dealership Horror Story That Could Happen to You

According to a recent Scotty Kilmer YouTube channel video, this is a common problem car owners have to face---dealership service departments who cannot take the time (or have the skills) to diagnose a vehicle beyond what a scan tool tells them is the problem.

Why? Basically, it comes down to money.

That is the problem with all of these dealerships. Everybody including the mechanics are under pressure to make a lot of money. They don’t want to spend hours and hours trying to diagnose something correctly. They want fast moneymakers…they just want fast turnarounds: struts, shocks, water pumps---something they can make a lot of money that is easy to do,” says Scotty.

Related article: Why Ford Customers Don’t Trust Ford Dealerships to Fix Their Cars

Scotty Explains How to Diagnose a Spongy Brake Problem the Dealership Couldn’t (or Wouldn’t)

As an example of this problem, Scotty does a show and tell with a customer’s 2009 Ford Mustang that has an intermittent spongy brake problem---something you would think a dealership mechanic could correctly diagnose easily enough. Go figure. But aside from this, Scotty takes the time to explain what is going on:

• The reasons for a spongy brake
• How to differentiate between the different causes
• Whether or not a spongy brake is an immediate safety issue.

That said, here is the video in its entirety that is definitely informative and can help you should your vehicle ever have a similar brake-related problem.

Related article: Is Your Dealership a Stealership?

A Sad Day for Ford Owners

And finally…

For additional articles about car repair diagnosing, here are a few related articles for your consideration:

3 Simple Tests to Diagnose This Common Used Car Problem

Old School Diagnosing a 1990 Ford F-150

Quick 5 Minutes of Diagnosing a Used American Car with a German Engine That Won’t Start

COMING UP NEXT: Best Extension Cord for Your Garage: Here’s What to Look for and the Brand to Choose

Timothy Boyer is a Torque News automotive reporter based in Cincinnati. Experienced with early car restorations, he regularly restores older vehicles with engine modifications for improved performance. Follow Tim on Twitter at @TimBoyerWrites for daily new and used vehicle news.

Image Source: Pexels


Tom Leisner (not verified)    July 30, 2022 - 2:40PM

My ‘67 Ford Galaxy would have spongy brakes at times. Ford and other mechanics couldn’t locate the problem. My repair was to sell the car and never buy another FORD!!!!

Todd (not verified)    July 31, 2022 - 4:49PM

This mechanic is sadly part of the real problem. As a recently retired Service Consultant, he is atypical. NO dealership is going to turn you away if you're willing to pay for diagnosis time. And NO trained technician will turn down looking at a vehicle if there is diag time ($$) on a repair order. The real problems lay with customers that believe everything can be diagnosed by plugging in a scanner and don't want to pay for an actual diagnosis. OR the technicians that want 5hrs of diag time up front for a something that they already have a pretty good idea what it is. I've seen it 100s of times that a customer agrees to 4hrs of diag time then vehicle sits outside the mechanic then walks out and installs a part, flags 4+ 1hr install and says it's fixed.

Clittle (not verified)    August 22, 2022 - 3:38PM

In reply to by Todd (not verified)

I have been having issues with my sync system. I made an appointment, showed up, and the service person at the desk went out and turned on my truck and at that moment it wasn't doing anything wrong. He told me it would be a waste of time to having a tech do the diagnostic equipment because after so many key turns it will not show. He told me to bring it back when it is happening, yet he told me before the technician that can diagnose it is oy there on certain days and he is booked weeks out. So ford will avoid making repairs for some reason.

Oneperson0416 (not verified)    August 1, 2022 - 1:01PM

It's all too often this situation happens. As I've worked in the repair stalls for 20 years for stellantis fca mercedez chrysler times and have full knowledge of repairs amd the equipment to diagnose. Yet so many dealerships are this companies biggest downfall for return customers. I've had so many issues with mechanics at several dealerships over the years for minor to major recalls. I've had my vehicle returned with more damages after repairs and many many stories I could list here. I'll just explain the last scenario I've had only for now. I brought my 2015 ram 1500 sport to dealership for satellite antenna loose leaking water in cab. K fixed now sunroof won't work properly so I return right back to dealership in like 2 min amd they state I did something plus showed the cab of my truck just filthy from greasy hands and fibers all over from headliner. So they reluctantly do a recalibration which I can do with select push of buttons on my own. Yet it's the dealership problem and had to point out thus mechanics not good for the company. Well it works obviously after recalibration for a few times and stops again. I state "do you not hear the grinding of the motor" something is trapped or not replaced properly. Dealership ignores since sunroof opens closes 2xs than stops and says my problem. OK now so I go in to dealership 9 times over course of 5 years to see if I can get someone to actually fix. I barely use sunroof and forget about it till I go use it. So dealership still does nothing won't even inspect unless I pay for full repair. Nope it's under...well was under warranty than. So I go to another dealership out of town 2 hrs away as I haven't traveled in 3 years due to covid. I find out the dealership in my town puts a message on north American system that I was at fault for sunroof motor problems and do not fix under warranty. Wtf...I'm pissed now and than warranty expires while I'm awaiting customer care to figure this out. Well guess what now they don't have to fix I'm legally out of warranty for a 5 year issue. So ya I track a sunroof motor down as it took months because of auto parts shortages. Cost me $400 and 12 hrs to replace in my garage and now works just as ot should for the last few months. I use the sunroof alot more now because of gas prices so I keep ac off now lol. So ya so many dealerships are the main auto manufacturers biggest enemies and makes them look bad. Again I have so many more and blatant right out lies from the dealerships near me but I could write a book about it. It is embarrassing that I work for a big 3 and what the dealerships do to even an employee because I'm told I should be use to it. Well I am unfortunately but pray customers and families would at least get way better service but they don't. Makes me feel bad and embarrassed as a employee. So many times I've gone out of my way to fix issues free or my time for many I've seen having issues on auto forums amd if somewhat near me. Heck I've even fixed vehicles while traveling out of town on vacation with my family.

BR (not verified)    August 1, 2022 - 2:44PM

I can't believe Scotty is being quoted as a reliable source... Wasn't this the guy who said you can use compression fittings on brake lines?

Steve Dennis (not verified)    August 1, 2022 - 11:47PM

2 local Jaguar dealership service centers told me they don't accept pre-2014 Jaguars for service except for routine oil & filter changes.
I have a 2003 with 69,000 garage kept miles I wanted to put on diagnostics computer.
Absolutely NO was the answer.
Local Ford dealership would not look at 2006 Lincoln Signature Town Car. Refused to eblven look at safety belt/airbag issues.
After a certain age it is hands off a vehicle that they manufactured and sold.

Delmarman (not verified)    August 2, 2022 - 11:57AM

This article is mostly a waste of time and so is Scotty and his YouTube channel. Not all dealerships are created equal and the same goes for independent repair shops.
Scotty is after eyeballs and clicks for his income from youtube. Also known as bait and switch.
In my opinion the same thing goes for manufacturers along with repair facilities.

Just a guy (not verified)    August 5, 2022 - 8:04AM

See this story as well as Scotty is going to get someone hurt. I work in a service department and depending on what the issue is, it can take time. We've had a car for months trying figure out a battery drain. Most vehicles brakes and accelerator is computer controlled. So it's not just a quick diag. All those computers are tied together so if the problem is intermittent. It will take a while. No the issue is customers who listen to this and tries to rush us through the diag or say my mechanic said it's this. Well if your mechanic doesn't have the manufacturer specific computers, then he is in fact taking a guess. If that wasn't the case, well your mechanic would have fixed the problem.

Dutch Warner (not verified)    August 6, 2022 - 10:42AM

I took my truck to Jones Ford, in Cottonwood Az. Told them, on acceleration around 70 going up hill she would break up. This has been going on for about a year. I took it to multiple service areas, no one could figure it out? Keeping in mind its not occasional it happens all the time under the same conditions? Well Jones Fords answers were different, theirs were we can't make it happen and after complete testing they found nothing wrong??? Oh and CHARGED ME $152.O7 ???

Herman D i Claudio (not verified)    August 6, 2022 - 11:58AM

My ford escape 22 thousands on it new, the paint is peeling off
Ford. Will not cover it, I bought it at valley ford, Huron oh
Will not cover it,, 2018 model,

Calvin Knittel (not verified)    September 2, 2022 - 7:20PM

I think there are several reputable dealerships out there, but unfortunately several that are not. I had my 2013 Chevy Cruz, very well taken care of, in for an oil change and the technician noticed an oil leak but didn't know where it was coming from. He wrote down 4 different possibilities on the estimate with the "fix" being to change the gasket or seals on all 4 areas. Almost $3000. I said to heck with that, and you would think there would be a puddle on my driveway...nothing. I know there must be a small leak somewhere because I can smell burning oil when I drive sometimes, nothing major. They would rather replace than diagnose.