I'm pretty sure the AF motor in my wife's 55-300 has died. I've tried cleaning the contacts. Other lenses AF just fine on her D90.
Manual mode is OK... no focus markings (!) but at f/11 to f/14 the images are OK.
No, it's not under warranty.
Option 1: Just got off the phone with Nikon Canada. If it's the motor, which of course they can't diagnose on the phone, it's $163++ ... call it $200.
Option 2: New copy, Digital Rev, $290.
Option 3: Do I dare to try to buy the part and install it myself? How hard is that to do? I've never even opened an AF lens and looked inside. Leaning to just buying a new copy unless you guys can talk me into this.
Option 4: local repair... does not really exist in my town. They'd be sending it in.
Spend my money! I know, I know, she should upgrade, or get a V1 on the cheap, or something, but as it sits this lens is exactly what she wants for her photography. Light, 5x range, and the image looks fine online. She has absolutely no idea why somebody would pay 6x the price for a lens that is much heavier with much less focal range (70-200 f/2.8 VRII). No idea at all. So...