Three weeks ago everything went dead. The dash wouldn't light up, nothing electrical would work. I put the charger on it and I could get the dome lights but nothing else except the security light. I called the dealer and was told the security system set when the voltage went below 9 volts because it thought it was being stolen. They told me to let it sit a day or two and it should reset itself. Well, it didn't.
Monday, the middle child showed up with a GM tech. I let them do their thing while I was out getting a tire fixed on the truck. It sucks that the most dependable vehicle you have is a 33 year old Chevy pickup. When I got back, they had everything lit up and it was running. The kids truck had the same battery and that was what they were using.
The battery out of the van had a 2 year free replacement. I took just the battery to AAMCO and lo and behold, it was bad. it was also two months past the free replacement date. The battery new is 136.00. They charged me 81.00 for the replacement.
As soon as I got the new battery in, I went to the local parts store and had the alternator tested. It tested fine. Now the question I have, back in Feb. when AAMCO tested it, was I being scammed? 550.00 for a alternator. A battery that is still under the free replacement window. Could the plan have been to replace the alternator, warranty the battery with out telling me and send me on my way 550.00 poorer? It wouldn't be the first shop that scammed someone. I won't be going back. I also won't be recommending them to anyone.
I spent about a 1/3 of my working life fixing cars and trucks. I know a lot of different ways to scam people into repairs that they don't really need. When Ford sent me to school, we spent half a day in the engine performance class talking about all the different scams. When they take your car back and test it without you there to watch, they can pretty much tell you anything and with the cars that have multiple computers, very few people have a clue as to how everything works.
My main mistake was taking them at their word. Like going to the doctor, I should have gotten a 2nd opinion. I was going to change the alternator myself but we were in the grip of a stretch of sub freezing temps. Without a shop to work in, I decided to wait for warmer weather. That decision saved me a bunch of labor and the 160.00 for a alternator.
If you are having repairs done to your ride, be sure of what you are getting. If you aren't sure, get a second opinion. Finding a good local shop and building a relationship with the owners and techs is a good way to keep from getting ripped off. When I ran a independent shop we had a couple of people that would come around. We always had a pot of coffee on and it was nice to have someone to talk to. We worked on their cars and trucks and they even got some free advice on what they either needed done or could do themselves. They also spread the word. Word of mouth is the best way to find a good shop.