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The NEVERENDING car/truck repair thread

Planit

Cyburbian
Messages
12,703
Points
49
I know there have been posts concerning vehicle repairs found in the RT thread, but now there's one devoted specifically to the subject. Rant, explain, help, give advice, or whatever to do about this. I thought about this because...

Car repair has never been a possibility for me, I can change the oil and rotate tires, but that's about the limit.

My brakes were starting to make the very unpleasant grinding noise on an occassional basis so I knew I needed new pads. Well as it turned out they couldn't turn the rotors (truck has 110k miles on it and they have already been turned twice) so a nice easy $170 job went to $350. UGH!

The place I went has a very good reputation and recommended by a friend, so I don't think I'm getting shafted, but it sure doesn't feel good. Not the best first impression.
 

Fat Cat

Cyburbian
Messages
1,679
Points
20
Fat Cat

Call around and get prices for this work.
Dont tell them you already had it done
And then you will know
 

zman

Cyburbian
Messages
9,245
Points
32
My streering and front end feel loose and shaky. There doesn't seem to be a safety issue and I am able to swerve around stuff if I need to, but it feels frustrating.

This could be part of my not driving everyday, so driving a vehicle feels different now,.
 

Richmond Jake

You can't fight in here. This is the War Room!
Messages
18,313
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44
My streering and front end feel loose and shaky. There doesn't seem to be a safety issue and I am able to swerve around stuff if I need to, but it feels frustrating.
[ot]You need to read the title of the threads more carefully, zman. This is not about your sexual prowess, or lack thereof. ;) [/ot]
 

craines

Cyburbian
Messages
578
Points
17
You could by and install the rotors and pads yourself though for $350 for rotors and pads thats not to bad. It is really simple though could be time consuming. On my BMW it is around $800 to do the just the front. And the sinterd pads go out every 18months (though I drive reallly hard thinking i am about to pass Michael Schumacher enter the first corner)
 

graciela

Cyburbian
Messages
298
Points
10
$350 is not bad, but what sort of rotors are they putting on at that price?

Replace them yourself and save some $$$ and get higher quality parts. If you google brake and rotor replacement along with the make and model of your car you can get some great step by step instructions with pictures. I also enjoy those repair manuals that autozones and the like sell.

The best rotors I ever had were cross drilled. They seemed to hold up much better and did not warp as easily.
 

tsc

Cyburbian
Messages
1,905
Points
23
love it...although could be called the Click and Clack thread...

I get some of my car stuff through JC Whitney. They are cheaper for a lot of things than most dept. stores and can get accessories for most any type of car.
 

Tom R

Cyburbian
Messages
2,274
Points
25
Brakes

Just remember to bleed the brakes An air bubble can ruin your day.
I've done some brake work in the past but I've come to the conclusion that if my car does nothing else, I want it to stop, so I take mine to a reliable professional. You can check the Cartalk web site. They have a rate the mechanic in your area link.
 

TexanOkie

Cyburbian
Messages
2,903
Points
20
Frustration with Auto Repairs

I've bought three cars since I started driving (1986 Oldsmobile Calais, 1991 Geo Prism, and 2000 Chevy Monte Carlo SS [current]), and they've all been used due to budget concerns, etc. Even after doing thorough background checks on each car and having the cars inspected by a trusted mechanic and my uncle (a 30-year veteran GM mechanic), I've always wound up spending almost as much or more of my initial purchase price in repairs in the life the cars. The only car I didn't have either numerous or expensive non-numerous repairs on was my 1991 Geo Prism (which was a great car... until I wrecked it going 20mph, which was apparently enough to total the thing). It's getting really frustrating because it seems like seemingly simple problems most always wind up being larger problems or just outrageously expensive to fix (like my multipurpose lever not locking my hi-beams and winding up costing close to $700 because of the price of the new lever and what's involved to disconnect and reconnect everything associated with it).

Anywho, I don't remember the last time I spent less than $500 on a car repair or maintenance issue (except for oil changes and tire rotations) and I'm growing paranoid (some might say I already am) about things going wrong with my car due to my apparent bad luck with them. The part that kills me most is that there is no other way to get anywhere in my parts, so I'm forcibly spending money I don't have just so I can live. Planners are often times laughed at because of their apparent hatred of cars. However, in my case it's a deep-seated personal hatred that often seems to be a mutual hatred, and my question to Cyburbia is if anyone else has similar stories, and if these circumstances have contributed to their passion for their work? Also, does anyone who might have been in a similar situation have any advice on how to get out of it?
 

Maister

Chairman of the bored
Staff member
Moderator
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28,185
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71
Moderator note:

merged 'frustration with auto repairs' thread with 'neverending car/truck repair thread'. Carry on.
 

Planit

Cyburbian
Messages
12,703
Points
49
I feel lucky it's been since 2008 when I needed the truck repaired. Well looks like I need a new thermostat or water pump - verdict will be called soon...Thanks Monday.
 

wahday

Cyburbian
Messages
3,960
Points
23
I finally got my van to stop stalling when I come to a stop. This problem has been plaguing me for about 2 years on and off now (its not a daily driver - its the utility vehicle with nothing sporty about it). All I had to do was:

Replace O2 sensor, PCV valve, fuel pump, fuel lines, gas tank, and mass air flow sensor. The final solution? I cleaned out the throttle body and that did it. A $20 fix (if you do it yourself). Still, it was way cheaper than upgrading the vehicle. But maybe not worth the frustration...

So simple...
 

Zoning Goddess

Cyburbian
Messages
13,853
Points
39
My small SUV is 8.5 yrs old but under 90k miles. It's had 2 new batteries, 2 rounds of new tires, a computer chip repair, car lock/window repair, all in the first 5 yrs. Now I'm not really into high-end repairs except for the basics/essentials: tires, brakes, etc. The usual oil change. Love the car, but as another lock has quit working, well, not going there.

I have found the two Honda dealerships I've taken it to to be very responsive, but they always want me to spent big bucks at the 10,000 mile milestones, but at this point, I think I'm gonna go for the neighborhood place with the cheap oil/lube service.
 

kjel

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
12,384
Points
39
2007 Chevy Impala.

Last week it was a new battery and new front turn signal assembly. Like the bulb just simply couldn't go out...it was the socket too.

And now the temperature sensor is on the fritz. Cheap part, unfortunate a PITA to get to in the engine so it will end up being $100 installed.

Your car knows when you have money.
 

Planit

Cyburbian
Messages
12,703
Points
49
Verdict is the Intake Gasket & Manifold was cracked. They've been making them out of plastic since 1999 so it is just a matter of time on any of these. My wallet is $450 lighter thank you very much.
 

Richmond Jake

You can't fight in here. This is the War Room!
Messages
18,313
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44
My bank account is $93 lighter today. I had a new battery installed (by a woman) in my car during my lunch hour. :-{
 

kjel

Super Moderator
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Moderator
Messages
12,384
Points
39
My bank account is $93 lighter today. I had a new battery installed (by a woman) in my car during my lunch hour. :-{
I had that experience in October, conveniently on the same day I had scheduled an oil change. My car needs a new muffler. Apparently it knows my tax refund will be here soon :-{
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
19,904
Points
49
Last weekend I needed to get one tire fixed and two others replaced. Midweek I needed to put a new battery in my wife’s car. Last night we dropped it off to get the AC fixed and got a call this morning that while the motor they need to get is not all that expensive, we are looking at 8 hours of labor...

Not happy...
 

Planit

Cyburbian
Messages
12,703
Points
49
Over the last year or so I've started replacing a few things on the car. It's a 2008 so it's time for some refreshing.

The rear third brake light was cracked (LED strip) and although there was no YouTube video available, I was able to replace it with a new one. The guy I ordered the part from online was very helpful with a quick run down of what to look for doing it.

I also replaced the plugs & coils a while back.

Something I want to do is replace the fog light / running lights (not just the bulb, but the entire thing) since the lenses are hazy & scratched. I looked around and this will require removal of the front bumper assembly and a couple bits behind that. Not sure I want to go there, but it will save probably $200+ in labor.
 

AG74683

Cyburbian
Messages
6,878
Points
34
I decided that it was time to look into the rear breaks for the Jeep when I tried to stop on the way to a fire call and couldn't. The front is great, I had that whole thing rebuilt 2 years ago. The rears are in rough shape. It'll be around $400 to fix it. I need new shocks too, so that'll be another $300 probably. There goes half my Trump Bux!!
 

MD Planner

Cyburbian
Messages
2,282
Points
33
I replaced my front rotors and pads over the weekend. It's really not that bad if you take your time and do some research and make sure you have the right tools or equivalent for the job. Right now my vehicle is in the shop to fix the left rear where someone backed into me in a parking lot. Of course they didn't leave a note or anything so my deductible for uninsured motorist is $200. The estimate is almost $1,500 so I guess it could have been worse.
 

mendelman

Unfrozen Caveman Planner
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13,629
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53
With the pandemic on, we're holding off on the non-emergency muffler and tune-up work on our older vehicle (2008 Chrysler T&C minivan).
 

AG74683

Cyburbian
Messages
6,878
Points
34
I replaced my front rotors and pads over the weekend. It's really not that bad if you take your time and do some research and make sure you have the right tools or equivalent for the job. Right now my vehicle is in the shop to fix the left rear where someone backed into me in a parking lot. Of course they didn't leave a note or anything so my deductible for uninsured motorist is $200. The estimate is almost $1,500 so I guess it could have been worse.
I'm passed the point where I want to do most automotive maintenance myself. My Jeep is a '99 and any small project on it amounts to some huge ridiculous event because it's just old.

The shop quoted me $700 for new shocks, which seems super expensive to me. I can get the shocks for around $200, so $500 of that is labor? Seems very expensive.
 

WSU MUP Student

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Messages
10,266
Points
42
I'm passed the point where I want to do most automotive maintenance myself. My Jeep is a '99 and any small project on it amounts to some huge ridiculous event because it's just old.

The shop quoted me $700 for new shocks, which seems super expensive to me. I can get the shocks for around $200, so $500 of that is labor? Seems very expensive.
That does sound high for labor but also make sure you ask them what shocks they are using. There is a pretty wide range of costs/quality for shocks and other suspension parts and, along with tires, I think that's something where "you get what you pay for" really comes into play.
 

Faust_Motel

Cyburbian
Messages
527
Points
23
Windshield washer pump in my car is only working intermittently. When it doesn't work, the motor doesn't even "try," so I'm guessing the plug is loose or wiring bad somewhere between the fuse box and the motor. It seems like if the motor was going it would be weak when it does work, but it's fine.
 

AG74683

Cyburbian
Messages
6,878
Points
34
That does sound high for labor but also make sure you ask them what shocks they are using. There is a pretty wide range of costs/quality for shocks and other suspension parts and, along with tires, I think that's something where "you get what you pay for" really comes into play.
Same shocks I was going to buy myself and have them install, Rancho 5000X, basically the best you can get for that vehicle without going to Bilstein or Fox (which are overkill IMO).

My other shop quoted me at $580. It's back home though. I'm not sure it's worth the $120 savings to take it back there. The shop here told me that he overquoted on labor intentionally just in case. He suspects the rust will cause issues.
 

AG74683

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6,878
Points
34
I have decided to attempt the shock installation myself. I need a jack and jack stands anyway, even if this project doesn't work out. Worst that comes of it is that I need to have the shop do it anyway. They quoted extra labor in case the bolts break off. There's no difference if I break them or if the shop does so ultimately what does it matter? I just can't wrap my head around paying someone $600 bucks for what amounts to 12 bolts. I have an impact driver, I have the know how to do it, why not attempt it?
 

WSU MUP Student

Cyburbian
Messages
10,266
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42
^ If you're just replacing the absorbers it should be pretty straightforward. I've done that on a couple different TJs I owned and it was easy, especially with an impact wrench. Rusted bolts can definitely be a problem in that area but if you have access to a torch that can help a lot too.

I tried to do coils on my own too but without a coil/spring compressor, that was a PITA.
 

AG74683

Cyburbian
Messages
6,878
Points
34
^ If you're just replacing the absorbers it should be pretty straightforward. I've done that on a couple different TJs I owned and it was easy, especially with an impact wrench. Rusted bolts can definitely be a problem in that area but if you have access to a torch that can help a lot too.

I tried to do coils on my own too but without a coil/spring compressor, that was a PITA.
I'm just concerned about breaking the bolts. The rears are problematic. The top bolts have no real access besides from the bottom. Drilling them out will be difficult if they break, something I don't think I have the capability to do. They screw in to captive nuts welded within the body. The only real fix is to take up the carpet, cut a hole in the body where the bolts are, remove them entirely and replace them with something else.
 

giff57

Corn Burning Fool
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Moderator
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5,434
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Get some Blaster, spray the bolts down, wait a day, spray them again. That will help a ton.
 

AG74683

Cyburbian
Messages
6,878
Points
34
Get some Blaster, spray the bolts down, wait a day, spray them again. That will help a ton.
I'm gonna go about a week spraying them twice daily I think. I found a cool repair piece for those inside the body called a bar pin flag nut. Basically it's a large T shaped piece that goes inside the frame and allows you to install new nuts. A set is only 30 dollars so I'll probably get them just in case. I'll have to air chisel the old ones off but I have access to one of those.

EDIT* Now I'm starting to price out what I need and it's quickly approaching the cost just to have the shop to do it.
 
Last edited:

AG74683

Cyburbian
Messages
6,878
Points
34
Update - I started spraying the bolts down and made some nice discoveries.

Two of the to rear shock bolts have already been replaced. I guess that happened when I had one of the local shops attempt to repair the existing shock bushing. They are new bolts. I'm not sure if they broke off the old ones and simply tapped in new ones, or they're the correct pitch and everything. Either way, that means that 1 side will come off easy AND that they can come out.

Also discovered that the top bolts for both front shocks was basically hand tight. I was able to loosen them easy. So that's 4 of the 12 down already. I did try and break the others loose, but they wouldn't budge. I ordered some impact sockets and a 24" breaker bar over the weekend. I'm worried my impact gun won't work though. It's only a 1/4" drive. I got it primarily for woodworking and light duty jobs around the house. I never intended it to be used for automotive work. Reviews online say it's possible and it actually works quite well, but I'm not sure those guys are dealing with a 21 year old vehicle. I ordered some 1/4 to 3/8 and 1/4 to 1/2 adapters, but I suspect those will definitely break.
 

Big Owl

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2,597
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29
Update - I started spraying the bolts down and made some nice discoveries.

Two of the to rear shock bolts have already been replaced. I guess that happened when I had one of the local shops attempt to repair the existing shock bushing. They are new bolts. I'm not sure if they broke off the old ones and simply tapped in new ones, or they're the correct pitch and everything. Either way, that means that 1 side will come off easy AND that they can come out.

Also discovered that the top bolts for both front shocks was basically hand tight. I was able to loosen them easy. So that's 4 of the 12 down already. I did try and break the others loose, but they wouldn't budge. I ordered some impact sockets and a 24" breaker bar over the weekend. I'm worried my impact gun won't work though. It's only a 1/4" drive. I got it primarily for woodworking and light duty jobs around the house. I never intended it to be used for automotive work. Reviews online say it's possible and it actually works quite well, but I'm not sure those guys are dealing with a 21 year old vehicle. I ordered some 1/4 to 3/8 and 1/4 to 1/2 adapters, but I suspect those will definitely break.
A 1/2 inch drive manual impact driver wouldn't be a bad investment.
 

AG74683

Cyburbian
Messages
6,878
Points
34
I totally forgot that we actually own one. We bought it for the old Jeep. I'll have to ask my dad to bring it with him. Against my (our) better judgement, he plans to come visit to help me do this. He has a jack and jack stands so I get some savings there. I'm not super enthusiastic about him coming to visit though. It'll be in 2 or 3 weeks so maybe the current virus outlook will be different then.
 

MD Planner

Cyburbian
Messages
2,282
Points
33
Man, I am so pissed right now. Yesterday my vehicle wouldn't start. I tried to jump it because I figured if it wasn't completely dead (the radio and other stuff still came on) it would take a jump. The one thing I don't have is a battery tester. It wouldn't take a jump and it made a clicking/grinding sound so I"m thinking it's the starter or solenoid. Towing is included in my insurance so I have it towed this morning to a local shop that several recommended. Turns out it is the battery but this car has some sensors that don't allow it to take a jump. I'm like "ok, go ahead and replace the battery". They then inform me it's going to be $368 out the door because the battery is $294 plus tax. I have no issue with the labor charge. Said they called several vendors. I'm like "whoa, wait a minute". So I go to the Advance Auto down the street and find the battery for $199 and go ahead and buy it. Then I also look at the places very close to the shop. They all have it in stock as well for $199. So obviously somebody is trying to gouge me. Needless to say they just bought themselves a TON of bad PR. Effing crooks.
 

Whose Yur Planner

Cyburbian
Messages
11,217
Points
37
I had to replace a battery myself and it's not cheap. Since I've moved to the deep south, I've never bought a new set of jumper cables. I also associated jumper cables with cold weather up north. Since it never gets truly cold here, I figured what's the point. let's just say lesson learned and I'm the proud owner of jumper cables now.:r:
 

DVD

Cyburbian
Messages
14,502
Points
51
That better be an Optima gold top. I can get a red top for $199
 
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