Reconciling assholes for nearly a decade.

THAT NEVER HAPPENS!!!!1!!!

Something was rattling under the car - rattling shifted with RPM's, and definitely when the car shifted. I'm thinking transmission, hoping exhaust system, figuring coupla hundred either way.

Garage just called - the heat shield was loose; they put a few clamps on it. Price: $26.

Philo
Permalink Philo 
January 5th, 2006
OMGWTFBBQ! NO WAY!!!!!! D00D U R STOKED!!!!
Permalink Star Wars Kid 
January 5th, 2006
Course they also made a few 'adjustments' that will gaurantee you'll back in a month or so...

;-)
Permalink Jeff Barton 
January 5th, 2006
My girlfriend has been having trouble with her clutch for many months. She took it in once a while back, and the guy said that it would eventually have to be replaced. So she took it in around Christmas, and when she goes to pick it up the guy tells her that there's nothing wrong. The floormat has been bunching up under the pedal, so she's been shifting gears without the clutch completely engaged. $28.50.
Permalink sixtyten 
January 5th, 2006
On one hand, replacing a clutch is like a thousand bucks on most cars. On the other hand, $28 bucks to move a floormat11111123456
Permalink Kasey 
January 5th, 2006
I think I'm in the wrong profession.
Permalink sixtyten 
January 5th, 2006
Woooo

I always say, save up $300 whatever it is, oil-change, whatever. They will find something to tack on and I dont care.

What you are saying must be a lie.
Permalink Not Berlin 
January 5th, 2006
Just out of curiosity Philo, is it a Honda? I've continually had problems with Civic heat shields.
Permalink Phil 
January 5th, 2006
Honda Civic is the winner!

(do you know offhand how much to replace the timing belt? It's that time...)

Philo
Permalink Philo 
January 5th, 2006
How many miles you got on that thing Philo? I heard a Honda can go 200K.
Permalink Kasey 
January 5th, 2006
91k so far, and going strong.

Philo
Permalink Philo 
January 6th, 2006
Oh, here's something that I can reply to!

I have a Mitsubishi Magna 1997 TF Sports, V6.

I had to have the clutch replaced about 18mths ago. No problem there.

Then one day, the water pumped seized. When I turned it off, there was steam/smoke coming out of the engine bay. When I tried to restart it, no go.

Had the car towed to a local mechanic (who replaced the clutch last time) - and then my troubles really began.

They told me I needed a new engine, since the labour cost to pull it apart, replace the water pump etc (and whatever else might have gone wrong) would probably be more than the price of a new engine. So they suggested a "crated" engine from Mitsubishi. This was on the order of $3500 AUD (not including fitting!)

Well, that was a bit expensive for me, so I asked if a 2nd hand engine from a wrecker would do. They said, sure, but we won't honour any warranty on the engine itself, only their labour to fit it.

I said fine. Paid $1600 AUD for a 2nd hand engine. Borrowed my daughter's boyfriends' utility, put my old engine in it, drove 100km to the only place that specialised in Mitsubishi, gave them the old engine and picked up the 2nd hand one. Drove 100km back. Dropped off the 2nd hand engine to the mechanics.

All of this, up to this point, is probably ok.

Next thing I know, I have the mechanic saying I have to pay for *another* clutch kit ($700 AUD) because they couldn't get the thrust bearing out without damaging it (off the old engine, mind you - sorry, I should have said that before)

I said to them, but the new clutch (they they fitted) is less than 2 years old - to which they replied "Well, 99 times out of a 100, the thrust bearing won't let go, so you need to put in a new clutch kit" - hmmmm.

I said, well, you're the mechanics.

So, I've paid for a 2nd hand engine, and *another* clutch kit, and labour. All up, $4326 AUD

I rang Mitsubishi after this, because I really wanted to assure myself that a 2nd clutch was necessary. I was told by the head mechanic *at Mitsubishi* that a new clutch kit was "totally unnecessary" - apparently, it is a simple matter of putting a screwdriver through a known inspection hole, prising the thrust bearing fork backward, and lo and behold, the transmission and the engine separate quite cleanly and easily. The head mechanic said "It sounds like these guys don't know what they're doing"

So I put that to the manager of this mechanical workshop, who gave me a big schpiel about how they followed all the practices etc etc, and said that if I didn't believe them to ring a clutch specialist (although, I had already rung Mitsibishi themselves) who would verify their claims.

I told him that I had talked with Mitsubishi, and just couldn't understand why I needed a 2nd clutch kit. He maintained his position that 99 times out of a 100 it doesn't always work.

When they finally got the engine reconnected with the transmission (a Mitsubishi Magna is a front wheel drive vehicle) they started the engine - it ran for about two minutes they said, and then stopped with a bang.

Oh crap. Now I'm really up shit creek. What if the engine has just shit itself? No worries, I have a warranty at the 2nd hand motor wreckers.

Rang them, and he said "did they put oil and water in the engine? Did they fiddle with the heat tags?"

I don't know, I said. I told him that they said they couldn't (wouldn't) work on it anymore, and he said, fine, get it down to me and I'll have a look at it.

$90 later, I found a bod to put it on a trailer and drive the entire car down to the wreckers.

Then I get a call from the wrecker to say that the heads needed replacing, and possibly the valve stems, rocker arms, pushrods - I can't remember now. All I was seeing was a slowly mounting dollar value. I said, well, have a look and tell me how much.

He rang back with $500 AUD. I said ok.

So he fixed it, and finally I have my car back.

Total cost: $4916

I should have taken it directly to Mitsubishi in the first place. Now, my TX valve in the air-conditioner needs replacing. I won't be taking it anyone but Mitsubishi from now on.

Please, don't get caught like me. You may think that the manufacturer of your car will be a dearer proposition, but check check check beforehand. You might be pleasantly surprised.

Thanks for reading. Hope my experience helps someone to avoid what I went through.

PS - my car was on a lease thing through the business - the very last payment was around $6200.

So in total I've spent over $10000 just in the last couple of months, to actually own a car that is worth about $8500 on the open market (retail).

As soon as I pay off the $6200 loan I took out, I'm going to sell the Magna, and buy a new car, and *replace it every two years*, just like my wife is about to do with her car.

Wish I had done the same three years ago.
Permalink Brad Thomas 
January 6th, 2006
1981 Citation, totalled in 1988.
1988 Firebird, stolen in 1996.
1994 Saturn, donated in 2003.
Right now driving a 1996 Honda.

I can't see *ever* leasing a car...

Philo
Permalink Philo 
January 6th, 2006
So with a dodgy heat shield future missions requiring atmospheric re-entry are going to be tricky.
Permalink Simon Lucy 
January 6th, 2006
"(do you know offhand how much to replace the timing belt? It's that time...)"

I was quoted 40 Euro in labour for an '88 Accord, and just under 20 Euro in parts. :)

Repairs prices are insane in the US. A thousand bucks for a clutch replacement? Even with the cost of parts, that's still ridiculous.
Permalink Flasher T 
January 6th, 2006
Brad - admittedly the Mitsubishi Diamante (aka Magna) is known to be a very complicated and expensive car to work on, but replacing the engine because of a broken water pump? Damn.

And yes, the dealer can actually be a better place to go to. The guy I'm buying the Volvo from said that he'd been looking for a new downpipe for it, asked at all the non-franchised shops, and then just for laughs went to the official dealer. The dealer's price was the lowest - on an authorized A-part in a Volvo Cars box! For a twenty-year-old 240!
Permalink Flasher T 
January 6th, 2006
Philo - heh...

1976 Volvo 245 - crashed into the back of a panel van and torched
1982 Mazda 323 - crashed head-on into a Mondeo
1988 Honda Accord - reversed into a pylon and sold
1983 Volvo 240GL imminent, hopefully.

It's called comprehensive insurance. :)
Permalink Flasher T 
January 6th, 2006
"(do you know offhand how much to replace the timing belt? It's that time...)"

Flasher gets a much better deal over in Estonia, I pay $250 from my guy, which also gets the water pump changed and coolant system flushed. 

And yeah Honda's are awesome. I put 250k on my first accord, 200k on my last civic, and have 125k on my current one, they all still are running (some with their new owners) with little work ever needed besides replacing the mufflers (they sit low and i have evil speed bumps), tighening the heat sheild (do this myself now), and the regular maintenance of belts and oil.
Permalink Phil 
January 6th, 2006
I've found that with old cars, you can do most of the maintenance work yourself after watching the mechanic do it once. Of course I don't have access to a pit or lift, and no tools... so it's much less of a hassle to have the garage do it.
Permalink Flasher T 
January 6th, 2006
I changed my oil once... once. It was a pain in the ass to get the little cap off of the oil tank and then it spit oil out at a high enough angle/velocity to totally miss the oil pan. Then I had to pour the old oil into the containers the new oil came in so I could have it disposed of.... Which I never did, it sat in the basement for years, probably right up until my mother sold the house.

It wasn't worth the effort.

I'd be afraid to do much else. I'd be like one of those people who clicks & drags things out of their start menu and doesn't understand where they went.
Permalink MarkTAW 
January 6th, 2006
I used to think changing oil wasn't worth the effort, and really if you are valuing your time at a certain dollar amount, it probably isn't. The reason I do it is just to keep my car in better condition, I use the oil the manufacturer recommends instead of crappy Jiffy Lube "everyone gets 10W-40". And they've screwed up too many things in the past. After doing it two or three times you get good enough where you spill no oil and can do it in under 20 minutes (it takes 10 min for the oil alone to drain). Plus it gets changed more often since you don't keep putting it off, dreading the wait at the lube place.
Permalink Phil 
January 6th, 2006
Oh, certainly if I did it more than once I'd get the oil pan in the right spot, though getting the bolt off of the car, or whatever it was that kept the oil in, required a bit of elbow grease, I'm not sure that would change. It might be different on different model cars.
Permalink MarkTAW 
January 6th, 2006
"though getting the bolt off of the car, or whatever it was that kept the oil in, required a bit of elbow grease"

After you do it yourself once this is a non issue (usually same problem for the oil filter) because when you do it yourself you never get them as tight as the dealer/oil change place. I can do mine now in about 10 minutes if I was the last one to do it - if it ended up being done by a *professional* usually 30 minutes later and a bunch of swearing, im done and really teed-off.
Permalink MikeG 
January 6th, 2006
Flasher - Bloke, under 25, with that claim history? How the hell did you get fully comp?
Permalink a cynic writes... 
January 6th, 2006
We have to get state inspections annually here. I noticed my car's inspection expired in January, so I took it to the neighborhood mechanic. I told him I wanted an inspection and I needed him to pay particular attention to the brakes - things were feeling off lately. He said ok.

He called me back later in the day and told me the inspection sticker was a 10, not a 1, so no need for an inspection. Then he told me he went ahead and checked out the brakes - everything's fine, fluid, pads, etc. I asked him how much $ and he said, "oh, no charge. have a great day."

A normal mechanic would have charged me for the inspection, or in lieu of that charged me for inspecting the brakes. At least that's been my experience in the past.
Permalink nathan 
January 6th, 2006
Wow - here they scrape the sticker as soon as they start, so if you fail your car is hostage.

Philo
Permalink Philo 
January 6th, 2006

This topic was orginally posted to the off-topic forum of the
Joel on Software discussion board.

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