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Thread: OT: Quick car question

  1. #1
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    OT: Quick car question

    So my father brought in his car for what he thought was the timing chain. The mechanic said he hooked up the car to the diagnostic machine to comfirm it was indeed the chain and proceeded to fix it to the tune of $600.

    Upon completion, the mechanic took it for a test drive and discovered there was a knocking in the motor and told him that in additon to the cost of the timing chain they want to charge him $1100 to put in a rebuilt motor.

    Now I don't know anything about fixing cars but shouldn't the hook up to the diagnostic machine revealed the engine trouble before they fixed the timing chain?!

    I ask because while he'd rather junk it then pay for a new engine they are trying to tell him regardless of what he does he still needs to pay the $600. I think he should tell them to **** themselves and to keep the car I don't know if that's within his right to do? I appreciate the jokes but any legit answers would be cool too if anyone knows.

  2. #2
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    I'd say you're getting scammed..

    But you knew that all ready, didn't you..

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    Quote Originally Posted by CTM View Post
    I'd say you're getting scammed..

    But you knew that all ready, didn't you..
    that's what I figured but I don't know if "I'm getting scammed" is gonna fly as a retort to the mechanic.

    plus this is for my dad. I want to tell him he can say with confidence that if they hooked it up to the diagnostic machine as they had claimed, there's no way they would have worked on it without telling him about the engine.

    I just don't know enough about what a diagnostic machine is able to detect. When he brought it in he told them he suspected the timing chain so my guess is they confirmed that without ever hooking it up to dm (after telling him they did) and only after fixing it found out about the engine.
    Last edited by Pac2566; 03-28-2008 at 10:05 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pac2566 View Post
    So my father brought in his car for what he thought was the timing chain. The mechanic said he hooked up the car to the diagnostic machine to comfirm it was indeed the chain and proceeded to fix it to the tune of $600.

    Upon completion, the mechanic took it for a test drive and discovered there was a knocking in the motor and told him that in additon to the cost of the timing chain they want to charge him $1100 to put in a rebuilt motor.

    Now I don't know anything about fixing cars but shouldn't the hook up to the diagnostic machine revealed the engine trouble before they fixed the timing chain?!

    I ask because while he'd rather junk it then pay for a new engine they are trying to tell him regardless of what he does he still needs to pay the $600. I think he should tell them to **** themselves and to keep the car I don't know if that's within his right to do? I appreciate the jokes but any legit answers would be cool too if anyone knows.
    It depends, I'm not a mechanic or anything but I know a decent bit about cars. A lot of the time "knocking" noises have something to do with valves... be it the timing of the lifting of the valves as the pistons move up and down or whatever. I would think that anything timing like that, could be picked up by a diagnostic machine. Again, take my opinion with a grain of salt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pac2566 View Post
    that's what I figured but I don't know if "I'm getting scammed" is gonna fly as a retort to the mechanic.
    Las time it happened to me, I took my raping and never went back..

    It's hard to get out of it when the car isn't really running and you have to pay a tow truck to bring it to another guy who could be even more crooked..

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    This is why I am thankful to have an honest mechanic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CTM View Post
    Las time it happened to me, I took my raping and never went back..

    It's hard to get out of it when the car isn't really running and you have to pay a tow truck to bring it to another guy who could be even more crooked..
    I want to tell him to tell the guy to shove it up his a$$ and simply leave the car there (cars too old to worry about for 2 G's) but he fears that would result in the mechanic taking legal action. I told him the mechanic isn't going to pay a lawyer to get $600 but my dad is worried he's doing something immoral since "they did do the timing chain work".

    I'm just trying to convince him that there is nothing wrong with telling them to eff themselves but he needs more than "I think your getting scammed dad".

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pac2566 View Post
    I want to tell him to tell the guy to shove it up his a$$ and simply leave the car there (cars too old to worry about for 2 G's) but he fears that would result in the mechanic taking legal action. I told him the mechanic isn't going to pay a lawyer to get $600 but my dad is worried he's doing something immoral since "they did do the timing chain work".

    I'm just trying to convince him that there is nothing wrong with telling them to eff themselves but he needs more than "I think your getting scammed dad".
    Dude they got you by the shorthairs..

    It's friggen terrible and why I would echo the post above, that it's great to have an honest mechanic

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pac2566 View Post
    So my father brought in his car for what he thought was the timing chain. The mechanic said he hooked up the car to the diagnostic machine to comfirm it was indeed the chain and proceeded to fix it to the tune of $600.

    Upon completion, the mechanic took it for a test drive and discovered there was a knocking in the motor and told him that in additon to the cost of the timing chain they want to charge him $1100 to put in a rebuilt motor.

    Now I don't know anything about fixing cars but shouldn't the hook up to the diagnostic machine revealed the engine trouble before they fixed the timing chain?!

    I ask because while he'd rather junk it then pay for a new engine they are trying to tell him regardless of what he does he still needs to pay the $600. I think he should tell them to **** themselves and to keep the car I don't know if that's within his right to do? I appreciate the jokes but any legit answers would be cool too if anyone knows.


    Father works on cars, uncle works on cars, I work on cars... not as a profession but as a part of life when they break. My uncle actually freelances for a few shops around town down in Alabama. I myself am not certified, but I have taken several ASE classes, and I did work on cars as a profession in my late teens... I say all that to say that while I love being a financial adviser, my first love is cars.

    That being said...

    A diagnostic machine SHOULD have given some kind of reading indicating a problem with the vehicle, but that reading may not have indicated WHAT was wrong with the vehicle. In other words, the diagnostic will tell you that your oil pressure is lower than manufacturers specifications (called spec, by mechanics)... it can not tell you that the reason is that your engine needs piston rings, or that your oil pump is specifically bad, or that its a simple oil pan gasket failure. So with any car, decreased oil pressure, for example, could be attributed to any number of reasons. Now, the newer the car, the more sensors it has... in other words, it may be able to isolate where a particular problem is located within the engine and your mechanic will know where to look in that area of the engine.

    Is your dad getting hosed... hard to say. Cars are not an exact science unfortunately. I myself have started fixing broken cars only to find out upon tearing them apart that there are larger issues that could not have been noticed until taking the car apart.

    An engine knocking as opposed to an engine tapping is two distinctly different issues. A tapping valve can be repaired without removing the engine... its a big job no doubt, but it could be fixed without removing the engine. A knocking noise would come from the crankcase, the lower half of the engine... likely a bad connecting rod or a bad piston. Engine needs replacing, or at least removal, re-building, and re-installation.

    What kind of car is it? Was it running when he took it to the mechanic?

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    pay the $600, take the car to another garage and tell them what happened, sort of a second opinion

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    Probably a valve rocker.

    Check the oil.

    Pay the $600 and tell mechanic you need to take it for a second opinion.

    Take it to Jiffy lube, get an oil change with synthetic w/cleaning additive.

    If problem not solved, take it to another mechanic without telling the new mechanic about what the previous said (if you do, he will "find" the same expensive problem).

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by samwise View Post
    pay the $600, take the car to another garage and tell them what happened, sort of a second opinion
    DON'T TELL THEM WHAT HAPPENED. The preconceived notion will give the new mechanic the opportunity to "find" the same problem.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by JetFanTransplant View Post
    Probably a valve rocker.

    Check the oil.

    Pay the $600 and tell mechanic you need to take it for a second opinion.

    Take it to Jiffy lube, get an oil change with synthetic w/cleaning additive.

    If problem not solved, take it to another mechanic without telling the new mechanic about what the previous said (if you do, he will "find" the same expensive problem).
    Excellent advice.

  14. #14
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    #1. What kind of vehicle is it!
    #2. How many miles on it!
    #3. Was it knocking when your Dad brought the vehicle in!
    #4. In writing did the so called mechanic says that this might not guarantee the problem solved!
    #5. Did your Dad sign an o.k to fix the timing chain with a social security number etc..!
    The possibility may be the gears are off and the valve timing could be off to where piston to valve slap might be occuring.Also,sometimes the oil looses its prime on the gears of the oil pump.The mechanic should have taken a oil pressure check to see if it had good oil pressure if the car came in running.It could be a good time to find out how abouts He diagnosed it as a chain but the question is if He guaranteed the fix or suspected it may be that.I am a Chevrolet Master Tech and I know that there are some bad mechanics out there and We should not be condemned as ripoffs. If it did not knock before i would yank the car out of there pay the bill and tell them you are getting a lawyer.Bring it to another place where the repair places do not know each other and disassemble the engine and see maybe they dropped a bolt in the valvetrain! If the vehicle is not worth the money just pay and decide if it is worth fixing.Report the repair station to the BBB. THE WHOLE THING BOILS DOWN IF THE MECHANIC GUARANTEED THE REPAIR IN WRITING.

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    Thanks for the explanation JF and the advice JFT.

    I'll pass it along now.

    edit: I asked about this as well brookshea... Nothing in writing and there was a "noise" in the engine when he brought it in. It was not running at the time.

    I'll tell him to pay the $600 but get it the hell out of there. I'll also mention the possible causes you mentioned as well. Thanks.
    Last edited by Pac2566; 03-29-2008 at 10:54 AM.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pac2566 View Post

    I told him the mechanic isn't going to pay a lawyer to get $600 but my dad is worried he's doing something immoral.
    Do you have good locks on your doors?

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    Quote Originally Posted by PatsFanTX View Post
    Do you have good locks on your doors?
    you saying I should go there round midnight tonight dressed like a ninja and steal it back?

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    Depending on the type of vehicle and engine, a skipped tooth on a timing chain (or belt) will cause the engine to be out of time and misfire....This misfire could disguise the noise of a "knock", depending on what kind of knock....Ask the mechanic if it it a bearing knock (a spun or partially spun crank bearing) or a top end knock coming from the valve train....Either way, DO NOT allow him to replace the engine without a second opinion....As much as I do not like dealerships, they do offer more specialized work on the type of vehicle they regularly repair....My wife has a Plymouth Voyager that had a crank bearing knock....The service department tried to convince us the engine needed to be pulled to fix the problem at a staggering cost....I asked to speak with the mechanic....When he came out, I suggested to him that the engine could be left in the car, the oil pan could be dropped and the work done from the bottom....He nodded and realized I had a better idea....I avoided a $2,000.00 bill and ended up paying $600.00....I helps to know a little about cars in these types of situations....Get a second opinion.

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    You did not mention make, year, mileage etc. Anyway, if it's an older car the timing chain might have restored some lost compression which would cause some engine knock due to carbon build up.

    Go to the auto parts store and buy Chevron Techroline additive. Follow the directions carefully and fill-up with some decent high octane gasoline (Sunoco 93, avoid any ethanol mix) if it's carbon knock it might take care of the problem.

    I've used it on my 2002 E430 and '87 Porsche Turbo, worked great in both cases and I now add it regularly to my Benz.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cluremoser4 View Post
    You did not mention make, year, mileage etc. Anyway, if it's an older car the timing chain might have restored some lost compression which would cause some engine knock due to carbon build up.

    Go to the auto parts store and buy Chevron Techroline additive. Follow the directions carefully and fill-up with some decent high octane gasoline (Sunoco 93, avoid any ethanol mix) if it's carbon knock it might take care of the problem.

    I've used it on my 2002 E430 and '87 Porsche Turbo, worked great in both cases and I now add it regularly to my Benz.

    It's an old piece of crap is what it is (my mom has the nice car)... Aesthetically perfect but apparently a nightmare under the hood. I purposely left out the year (87) and make (Chevy) because I didn't want anyone to dismiss the issue altogether based on age of the vehicle.

    But now I have another possible fix to relay to him.. Thanks.
    Last edited by Pac2566; 03-29-2008 at 11:05 AM.

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