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Need some advice...

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Old 27 Apr 2008, 12:25 pm
Fresh Cruiser
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 3
Unhappy Need some advice...

OK... so I am in for some stupid tax here... but I can take it. I just want to know what some of ya'll think about this.

March 31 I took my PT in for it's 90K service. It was actually a little early, but she was running rough, and due for an oil change as well, so I went for it. I told them my problems, and went about my business. When I picked up the vehicle, they told me they didn't notice any other issues, so I paid and left.

Within a few days, I realized she was still sputtering along. Unfortunately, some personal issues had come into play, and I was unable to get her back to the shop. The outside issues came to a close, but not before I scraped the right front undercarriage going off the raised edge of the road yielding a small leak of unknown origin, so I rolled her back to the dealer for service.

I left her running, so they could hear my issue. I then described how I scraped the undercarriage, so would they please check it out.

They called me back to tell me that the rough running was due to faulty spark plug wires... for $243 they could fix it. I asked why they did not fix that during the 90k check - inspection only item apparently. I had told them about the problem then, so after some minor hysterics, I got them to drop the price $100.

I then asked about the undercarriage. What about it, they said... I then shrieked - don't you listen to me when I talk? Am I too blonde? He assured me they would check it out, after doing the plug wires and call me back.

Sure enough, he calls back... yes, I have a leak... yes, it is the radiator... yes, the hoses look to be all original, so they are going to replace all of the above... for the hefty sum of $680+. And while they were under there, they noticed one of my engine mounts is showing wear, which they can fix for a mere $213... And by the way, since the vehicle is over 90K, I should think about the water pump and timing belts as well - roughly another $900.

Again, why did they not mention the water pump and timing belts at the 90K? And, we had already talked about them last year, during a previous issue, when I told them to go ahead, and they didn't. But that is neither here, nor there.

Sorry for the LONG rant.... BUT:
Are these charges fairly consistent with standard?
Are all of these things necessary?
Or am I just a gullible blonde gal, being taken for a ride?
(I have them going ahead on the radiator and the engine mount, holding on the water pump/timing belts to reschedule. I love this car, and want to drive it forever.)

Thoughts, anyone?
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 27 Apr 2008, 01:26 pm
Obsessed Cruiser
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 27,744
Default Re: Need some advice...

Welcome to the forum. You should have asked here before giving the go-ahead for the radiator and engine mount. The big problem with everything you need is that your being quoted dealer prices for parts and dealer labor, which is probably the highest you can find.

Any decent auto maintenance place (Firestone, Goodyear Tires Plus, Kimmel etc.) can do the work for a lot less. We can't see the actual damage or condition of the hoses, radiator or engine mount to see if your being taken for a ride on those parts, but dealers make a living on replacing parts not covered by warranty so anything they can talk you into is gravy on their plate.

90K isn't a bad time to replace the timing belt and water pump (I have 92k now and looking around for a good place) but I've been quoted $900 for more parts than what your getting (newer tensioner, all the belts plus plugs and wires).

By the way, even at $143 for replacing the wires is way too much and always replace the plugs when doing the wires since they are right there in the same area. That's if they didn't already replace the plugs, but you didn't mention that they did in fact you didn't mention what they did do to help the rough running engine the first time you took it in.
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 27 Apr 2008, 04:17 pm
Fresh Cruiser
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 3
Default Re: Need some advice...

I was advised that they replaced the plugs during the 90k service, but that the wires were only inspected at that time. !!!???!!! Seemed kinda stupid to me... those should have been done at the same time according to any former boyfriend/mechanic in my past... unfortunately I am not with anyone particularly handy at this time.

Yes, I am a bit at their mercy here....

And I have no guidance for finding a reputable mechanic other than the dealer... the last one supposedly reputable did more harm than good, so I am quite gun-shy...
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