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Q: front suspension and steering repair ripoff? on 1997 Lincoln Town Car

Is it okay to ask to inspect the finished work on their lift before I settle up? The Autotire tech totaled the charge of $1285 when he called (I had dropped the car off earlier) told me the diagnosis for repairing this (by replacing both tie rods, idler arms, the pitman arm and lower right and left ball joint, replacing both shocks, doing an alignment, and flushing the coolant). I gave the go ahead for the $1285 estimate and after he got into the job called again to claim the old right ball joint just fell out when he started working on it and then said I needed a new lower passenger control arm after the original estimate of 1285. At first he told me that he could only get the part new at the dealer for $500 and then I asked about a used one. He lter called back and said he found one in good condition for $100. Then he also added another $100 for labor charge which made $1285 become $1485. He also told me the control arm didn't need new bushings (seems like it should when replacing the lower control arm on a 1997 Lincoln town car with 118k miles). I'm going in tomorrow to settle up (they didn't finish on Saturday) and I'd like to inspect to see if he did all of that, because of how he handled the control arm (it would take much longer to explain why). I figure if he did all of this, then $1485 seems okay. Also, how can I tell if the coolant was flushed and replaced? Thanks.
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Yes, by ALL MEANS, inspect the work. When I had my own shop, I INSISTED that the customer see the work and I would show the the old parts and where they came from. That way, there is no question.
Call ahead, to prepare them to have the car up on a lift, with the tires off, so you can really see what they did and did not do. Any objection is a red flag!
$1485 is a lot for tie-rods, lower ball joints, pitman arm, idler arm, alignment, uses control arm and a coolant flush.
If you look in to the coolant reserve bottle, that coolant needs to be a beautiful jade green.

Best of luck.
Thanks dandd. They also replaced both shocks. Also, if they object, is there any way I can withold payment unless they comply, and, what if after the inspection I see anything I strongly suspect they really didn't do? Should I just pay them and tell them I think they have unfair business practices and make my complaint to the bbb? Then, afterwards let them know I will not be using their services anymore? Thanks again. I thought that the $1485 was too high also.

next day update: They were very good about all of this so I'm satisfied. The car rides like new. :-)

I'll be inspecting all auto repair work from now on. Thanks again dandd.
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