Local Firestone charged me for part and repair it never performed. on 2006 Honda Element

Hi, I drive a 2006 Honda Element, 5-speed. I am diligent w/ maintenance. In December 2013, my engine light went on. I didn't delay, and took it to the local Firestone. The diagnosis was I needed a new ignition coil (never said which one, and it's not on the receipt) and new spark plugs and wires. I agreed, and paid around $420. In February 2014, my engine light came back on. Returned to the same Firestone, and was told another ignition coil needed to be replaced. I paid $284 for that job. No mention of which coil and again, the receipt does not specify which coil was replaced. Just lists "ignition coil." March 16, my engine light is back on. Now, frustrated and suspicious, I go to the local AutoZone for a scan code. P0303, misfired cylinder. I asked the AutoZone service rep if he would look under the hood to see which of the two ignition coils were replaced, so I could determine if the misfire was coming from one of the new coils I just had installed by Firestone. The current P0303 misfire is coming from a replaced coil. But that is not the worst part. The AutoZone service rep said he did not see any evidence of a second newly replaced ignition coil. He said based on his observations, that there was only ONE new coil. I did not have my Firestone receipts with me. The AutoZone rep said to bring the receipts to him this week, so that he could help me prepare my Firestone recourse. How could it be proven that Firestone never installed a second coil? I have two receipts for two service jobs, each one for a new ignition coil. What do I do? I'm so mad and upset. I don't have a lot of money, nor do I have a lot of time, as I'm a full-time student who also works full-time. Any help or feedback is appreciated.

by in Lindenhurst, NY on March 19, 2014
1 answer 6 comments
ANSWER by on March 19, 2014
There should be some difference in the numbers, stampings, or symbols from the original coils to the replacements! Also in the general appearance!! That and your recripts are enough! You mentioned plugs and wires,, there are no plug wires on this engine!
COMMENT by on March 19, 2014
Good eye bro.
COMMENT by on March 19, 2014
Thanks, Pushrod... I can't even believe these guys. AutoZone guy showed me how to change the coils myself, which I'm tempted to do, as it looked pretty easy. If I can prove all their is only one new coil (not two), receipts and all, and that the misfire is from the one new coil they did install, do you think I can get my money back? Honestly, I'm concerned for the safety of my car. And I'm not sure I want them touching it anymore. If I demand to stand there and watch them remove coils, etc, examine serial numbers, etc.? These guys are real pr*&%$, and took advantage of me. I just don't want to spend anymore money, and I want my car fixed. Thanks.
COMMENT by on March 19, 2014
It's a shame !! I hate this kind of crap, even though it is a 'big chain' shop,, makes us all look bad! Talk to the manager, show the receipts and the obvious and i feel sure you'll get 'some' money back! Should take their ass to court! If you had the time! Overcharged you to boot!!
COMMENT by on March 19, 2014
It's awful. Believe me, I know going into these places, they are already overpriced. But you almost accept that in exchange for trusted service, as most of us are not mechanics. It's really frustrating. The economy stinks, and for most of us, every dollar counts. My car has been in such good shape so far, I hope Firestone didn't f*&^ it up. How does a newly placed coil misfire? How do you charge hundreds of dollars for something that was never installed? I'm so disgusted. I'm glad I went to AutoZone. But if Firestone doesn't do right by me, I'm going to have to pay, again, for their "repairs." And it won't be at their shop.
COMMENT by on March 19, 2014
Get you a coil at Zone, or better yet Honda, and install it yourself! It's easy to do or get a buddy to help you out, dont go back to Firestone! Check around for a good (word of mouth) independent shop!! Then stick with that mechanic for ALL your car needs, you will be way ahead of the game with that!! We care what our customers think of our work, we have to!! The BIG SHOPS do not!
COMMENT by on March 20, 2014
Thanks, Pushrod. I wish I could find a local mechanic. I've asked around, but no one recommends anything local to me. However, there are two places that this site recommends. Maybe I'll try there. I'd like to change coils by myself, but I have several concerns about that, the biggest one being, just because a P0303 code was read, how do I know the problem is the coil itself? Is there something in the car making them go? How do you know the problem from that code is definitively the coil? I'm going to see the rep at AutoZone tomorrow and show him those Firestone receipts. Hopefully he can steer me in the right direction. Frankly, I feel so defeated by the whole thing. I paid all this money. I don't have any to spare. I'm so busy with work and school, now I have to run around because of this. It's like you can't trust anyone. And I just want my car fixed and this over with. Anyway, thanks for your great feedback. :)

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