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Old 11-13-2019, 12:30 PM
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Failed inspection due to tie rod problems

Hello folks,

My 13' Sahara Unlimited just failed the state inspection (NY) because tie rods were loose.

The tech showed me the rod is moving by putting a minus driver into the gap and pushed with a little force. He said it should've not moved at all, rock solid, but it was moving a little when forced.

I got the inspection at the dealership I purchased the car from. Having very little knowledge on vehicle mechanisms, and with a few prior negative experiences with them, I have to suspect they're trying to rip me off.

My warranty was expired last year. The rep at the dealership pushed me so hard to buy another warranty, as fixing the problem will cost more than 3 year Mopar warranty (quote attached, plus $1300 for 8hr labor)

I was given only a 10 day temporary inspection sticker so i need to move fast. Here are my options

1) Buy a warrnaty and fix the car: As for now the passenger seat also has problems (heated seat not working, loose seat belt), and I'm keeping the car for the next 5 years at least, I guess it won't be a terrible investment.

2) Get it lifted: I always wanted to lift the suspension by 2 inches and get bigger tires. I believe that process will replace tie rod as well, so maybe it's time to do that.

As far as I know once it's lifted the warranty is void, so can't do both. Need advice/suggestions from you.

Calvin

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Old 11-13-2019, 12:43 PM   #2
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Old 11-13-2019, 12:44 PM   #3
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You are getting ripped off on that tie rod. Adding a lift won't replace the tie rod, a good quality lift will replace the track bar, which is a different thing.

A tie rod is a really easy repair if it's truly bad. You can get all of that from Rock Auto for about $250 for the best stuff.

When he pushed on it was it up and down (a rolling of the tie rod) or was it left to right (lateral)? Lateral movement is bad, rotational movement isn't an issue.
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Old 11-13-2019, 12:50 PM   #4
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You can either replace the Tie Rod Ends, or you can simply replace the Tie Rod. Either can be done by the average person at home in the driveway. Or you should be able to pay someone to do it. But $1200 seems very excessive for replacing the Tie Rod Ends.
Your attached doc shows ball joints in there too. Did they say the ball joints are bad?
The two are not the same thing.
I am not a fan of those warranties. Most people are better off avoiding them. But most people are also better off not taking their Jeep to the dealer for work when out of warranty.
A new Tie Rod, complete with ends ready to bolt up, is a few hundred dollars. Installation is fairly simple, unbolt the one that is there, adjust the new one to the same length, and bolt the new one up. A professional mechanic should be able to do that in under an hour. You at home might take two hours to make sure you do it right.
But I would stay away from that dealer.
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Old 11-13-2019, 01:05 PM   #5
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ridiculous! could get these, install yourself in less than an hour and do an alignment in your driveway on two jack stands with a friend for less WAY less than that!!!! holy F**K! what scumbag dealer is this so everyone else can avoid them like the plague?
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Old 11-13-2019, 01:29 PM   #6
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Actually find a different inspection station for a second opinion. If it passes then send a complaint to the BBB and the States Attorney General. IMO the dealer failed you because they want your business.
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Old 11-13-2019, 10:40 PM   #7
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Over the past decades some states have dropped vehicle inspections because the process is so open to abuse. When I had the misfortune to live in a state where vehicle inspections were required, the only one I ever had done at a dealer was the one they did for initial delivery.

That being said, I agree find another station and have it inspected. If you can find a local tire shop with a good reputation and does inspections would be ideal.
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Old 11-13-2019, 11:16 PM   #8
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Over the past decades some states have dropped vehicle inspections because the process is so open to abuse. When I had the misfortune to live in a state where vehicle inspections were required, the only one I ever had done at a dealer was the one they did for initial delivery.

That being said, I agree find another station and have it inspected. If you can find a local tire shop with a good reputation and does inspections would be ideal.
Wow..vehicle inspection.. We don't have this in Arizona..
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Old 11-14-2019, 09:11 AM   #9
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Sounds like that inspection service is off the wall and looking to make some fast bucks. if the tie rods are worn then a 1 hour fix with a socket set, do some on-line searching for a replacement set. I have replaced several over the years in my garage.
No such inspection requirements or emission stickers here in my county in Colorado.
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Old 11-14-2019, 06:53 PM   #10
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Actually find a different inspection station for a second opinion. If it passes then send a complaint to the BBB and the States Attorney General. IMO the dealer failed you because they want your business.
This. And if you need to change the tie rod, it's about $100 and an easy DIY job requiring minimum skills and tools.
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Old 11-14-2019, 07:21 PM   #11
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Get another opinion, if it's the same maybe the 2nd place will be a lot cheaper. How many miles?
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Old 11-14-2019, 08:38 PM   #12
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IMO.. skip the warranty; pay as you go and as you need. Get to a good independent shop that does inspections (they will see the 10 day temp so they are going to know something is up so be prepared.)
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Old 11-16-2019, 10:17 AM   #13
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Wow..vehicle inspection.. We don't have this in Arizona..
Welcome to the communist state of NY, where in 2020, we are going to release serious criminal offenders with no bail, and have two of the dumbest mf's to walk the face of the earth, Bill de Blasio, and Andrew Cuomo!!!!
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Old 11-16-2019, 02:18 PM
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Inspection passed

Here's what happened:

With all the advices you guys gave me, I decided to get a second opinion, from a non-dealership atuoshop.

I googled, and one in Plainview popped up with the highest rating. It's called Plainview Auto Care. I went there on Thursday.

I didn't tell them it failed inspection few days ago because I wanted to get an objective, unbiased opinion.

Within 5 minutes the car got into their garage, this guy named Jay came back with a face, and the inspection sheet I got from the dealership in his hand.

He said "Why didn't you tell me it previously failed? You gotta be honest. Your car failed inspection and I need to charge you the full $37"

I paid, and asked if they found the same issue on the tie rod and everything. The guy just kept saying "YES YES IT FAILED!"

I thought 5 minutes wasn't enough to do a full inspection which they charged me for, but anyways that was it with them.

Then I headed to another auto shop in Hicksville. This time I told them it previously failed, I would like to get a re-inspection.

THE RESULT WAS PASS.

They found a little play on the tie rod but wasn't worse than the standard it should be failed. I got the inspection sticker right away.

That was yesterday, and I rushed to Plainview Auto Care to get my money back. Fortunately or unfortunately Jay was not there today. I explained everything to another guy and got a refund.

What happened on Thursday was, this guy Jay didn't do an inspection. He just found the inspection sheet (from the dealer) I put on the dashboard and automatically marked as failed. He didn't even create the inspection sheet. He couldn't because he didn't do the job.

Then charged me. Even after I got the money back, still angry at those dishonest people. I'm going to write a decent review regarding my experience. Also for the dealership that gave me a pain for like a week.

Thank you so much for all the advices. No $2500 repair, no warranty. Only $10 for the re-inspection, though I had a good amount of stress over it.

Calvin
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Old 11-17-2019, 11:45 AM   #15
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Going forward find a good reputable tire shop. Most shops can get any brand of tire, not just the one that is displayed on their building. Periodically have your tires rebalanced and if they will do a five tire rotation have them do that. Any good tire shop when doing that work and removing and remounting the wheel/tire combo will look at everything underneath and warn you if you are having an issue.

Or if you do your own tire rotations, add a few steps. When you remove the tire, look closely at the brake pads to see if they are getting thin. In the front, only raise one wheel at a time. Then grab the top and bottom of the tire and see if you can get any movement. You should not be able to, if you can, the ball joints are suspect. Then grab the tire at 9 and 3 positions and see if you can get any movement. This will test your tie rod and ends. When raising the front tire on the other side, you only need to check for vertical movement to test the ball joints on that side.

The mistake they made was quoting the $2500 repair which set off alarm bells for you. If they had quoted more like $350 ($200 parts and $150 labor is what I would expect here) you may have gone ahead and let them do it and not be any wiser. In short they got greedy.

When I lived in Texas and they had the annual vehicle inspection (I don't know if they still do) the usual scam was headlight aiming. In Virginia (I lived there in the '80s) when you took it in for inspection, the first thing they did was to scrape off the old sticker, then did the inspection. If you failed you got a red sticker for all the world to know you had failed. (I failed in one vehicle due to muffler - that was legit).

Kudos to you on paying attention on the second one. His mistake was coming back so fast you knew he couldn't have done a true inspection. The vast majority of people wouldn't have had a second one done, and the vast majority of those would have thought on the second that the first one was correct and had the work done.

Vehicle inspections on the face of it are a good idea. However, they are unfortunately an opportunity for the inspection station to add a bit to the bill. The second shop readily refunded your money for they did not want you to complain to the DMV who would have come down on them.
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Old 11-17-2019, 12:00 PM   #16
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I'm glad it all worked out for you.....now you have a honest shop to take your vehicles to in the future.
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Old 11-17-2019, 12:16 PM   #17
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Good to hear things turned out OK... I'm late to the thread.. But I wanted to share a similar experience..

Quite a few years ago I got called in for inspection on a car I used to own. It had a bit of wander when driving in a straight line. I went to a Goodyear center and asked them to do a non-inspection check to find the cause. I got an estimate showing the entire front end was shot.. Upper & lower ball joints, tie rod ends etc etc.. Was going to cost a fortune.

I went to a Sears auto center for a second opinion.. They looked and all they could find wrong was a sloppy pitman arm.. $60 plus labor. I passed inspection and drove the car for years without any problems..

It pays to find a good shop that you can trust...
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Old 11-18-2019, 10:11 AM   #18
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This is why i dont trust ANY shop! Most of them are simply out to screw you over!
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Old 11-22-2019, 01:52 AM   #19
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Sounds like that inspection service is off the wall and looking to make some fast bucks. if the tie rods are worn then a 1 hour fix with a socket set, do some on-line searching for a replacement set. I have replaced several over the years in my garage.
No such inspection requirements or emission stickers here in my county in Colorado.
My oldest son lives in Denver which does have the emission inspections! His 1984 Jeep Wagoneer does require the &*#$ emission inspection as well as the mechanical. We are thinking of him "selling" the Wagoneer to me and allowing me to register it here in New Mexico. I have more time than he does to work on things like this. (He's a full time engineer who commutes far more than I ever did in my working career).
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Old 11-22-2019, 02:01 AM   #20
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Back in the mid '80's I lived in Germany. They required a vehicle inspection every two years. All the inspections were done by a State Inspection shop. The inspection usually took about two hours and was extremely thorough; for example, if the paint on the vehicle was too blatant (e.g., hippy) it would fail the inspection. I suspect the reason was it could be distracting and at 200 kph, that could be deadly!

New Mexico, by the way, no longer has State (mechanical) inspections, but Albuquerque has emission inspections.
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Old 11-24-2019, 04:52 AM   #21
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Oklahoma got rid of inspections years ago. People said it would make things unsafe - well, it's no worse now than before, people still drive the same or worse and cars are being made better. The biggest complaint we ever had was failing for a slipping parking brake, Had to pay $65 to have it fixed on our beater car. People often would pass by slipping a $20 to the mechanics or bringing up a case of high point beer from Texas. That was really popular. Inspections never really worked here - even the inspection guys didn't buy it.

I'm glad to hear you found a decent mechanic and got it done. I did have a few issues reading it since the references to a car kept confusing me, it's a Jeep after all. haha
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Old 11-24-2019, 06:31 AM   #22
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Typically in NY they plug them into the machine, make sure there were no codes cleared, look at the brakes, and collect the fee. Others try and dig for gold on NYS inspections. Having said that, the tie rod could be bad. As mentioned I would get a second opinion. If it's bad they're easy enough to replace. Then get a wheel alignment from a competent shop after the tie-rod is replaced.
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Old 11-27-2019, 10:18 PM   #23
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We have inspections in PA. I generally go to an independent mechanic I trust. It is a good excuse to have a professional give it a once over. I like the piece of mind.

Several years ago I was picking up my TJ from another mechanic. I had been there probably a half dozen times. My wife had dropped me and my one year old off when I was picking it up. He proceeded to tell me he replaced my front brakes and rotors as they were bad, but didnít call b/c he didnít think I would have a problem with it. I about lost it on him. I had pulled the tires a few days before and the brakes were about half worn. I didnít call the state police because I didnít want to deal with it while holding a baby. I still regret not calling. Iím sure I wasnít the last person he tried to scam.


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Old 11-28-2019, 01:15 AM   #24
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You still might consider replacing tie rod ends soon if they are worn. A little play in tie rod ends could mean death wobble isn’t far behind. It was my death wobble culprit you could replace just the ends on the cheap or upgrade for not much more. You might need to rent some tie rod tools for free at one of the auto parts store if you decide to try it.

A local Jeep club might be a good resource for state inspection. Mine definitely would come back with a few recommendations if asked where the place might be a bit more “forgiving”

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