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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I take my car to get aligned at my local Town Fair Tire, car is in and out within an hour and print out looks good, grab my keys and go to head home.
Start car, key feels a little funny in the ignition, think nothing of it. Go to roll up the window, nothing, try the other switches still nothing, weird maybe a fuse blew, no biggie I'll check it when I get home. Pulling out of the parking lot no indicators, hmmmmm not just a fuse, get home seems like ignition switch no longer springs back from start to the on position. Light bulb goes off, OK the neanderthal alignment tech didn't realize it needed to be in reverse to get the key out, broke it while wrestling with the key. Drive back to TFT they claim they will pay to fix it if I can have a shop that actually does regular mechanical work say that they broke it, take it to the local Foreign Car shop and they say that the ignition switch is broken, quote is about $550 but they can't say for sure that TFT broke it, obviously. So 2 questions:

1. I know the spring that is in question here is the circular flat spring in the top of the electrical portion of the switch, but does anyone that has encountered this know if it's likely just come unseated or if something actually broke?

2. Any advice on getting some compensation from TFT and proving my case?

Oh and a 3rd, anyone ever do a DIY alignment with one of those portable kits (as seen on Wheeler Dealers), after my melted adjustment rods at NTB and now this I'm batting 0-2 on alignment places and running out of patience.
 

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Jake:
I feel kind of bad because I was the guy who said he had good luck at TFT and suggested them, although it was another location. All it takes is one bozo anywhere to ruin a car though.

I'd figure it this way: we know how these switches are... yours was probably on the weak side. Some hard knocks by a dufas pushed it over the edge. With gentle use it might have lasted a while longer.

I'd tell TFT that you think they are responsible. Be nice, but firm. Talk to the manager. I'm sure the manager at TFT doesn't know that these switches wear, so he probably won't balk at sending you to their insurance carrier and you can deal with them. Tell him that the car was working when you drove it in, not working when you drove it out, fairly simple: they broke it.

If they balk at even giving you the insurance carrier name, then just deal with the corporate management. Keep in your back pocket an offer to share the cost and settle for half the estimate - then you can buy the part and DIY.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Bob and Ron, Bob don't feel bad, I have used them in the past with other cars and had no problems. Yeah I'm going to go back done there, tell them what the estimate was, that the Foreign Car place mentioned it was likely that they caused the problem, mention again it was fine when I dropped it off and ask who their liability agent/carrier is and see what they say. I need to take it back since the steering wheel is ever so slightly off center and if I'm gonna end up with a damaged ignition switch out of this whole thing the least they can do is make sure the alignment is absolutely spot on.
 

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That steering wheel thing drives me nuts. I always go back and ask for additional work if it's off.

Be aware that the alignment can be "correct" but the steering wheel can still be off. It's because of the fact that there are ranges for the values, and some variations in the range will cause odd tracking. Also, they don't actually align the rear unless you bring shims and tell them they can do it ( then they will look it up and agree it can be done). But, the computer checks the rear ("thrust angle" ... although there's no thrust in a FWD) and makes suggestions for the front based on that. So, the front gets slightly tweaked within the range to compensate for anything off in the back.

Bottom line, a good tech can usually tweak it to where you like the tracking and are still within range.
 

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every time i take my car to a place other than a dealer ship or a garage that has dealt with saabs i leave ittle memos. like lift bottom of shift knob to put in reverse (had conrads bust off my reverse lockout because they couldn't figure out how to get into reverse.) and car must be in reverse to remove key (had atb twist my key because they tried to force the key out) the key to this is, check your car over before you leave. it is pretty much tail light guarantee if they break something and you don't notice it before you leave the parking lot. but while you are in their lot they are responsible for any and all damages unless you sign a paper releasing them from it. :nono;
 
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