ASE certified, auto savvy please help

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by JacoLesFlea, Apr 10, 2014.


  1. JacoLesFlea

    JacoLesFlea

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2006
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Common sense tells me to get a second opinion but wanted to get your guys take.
    I have done my own oil changes on a '85 Horizon and even replaced the starter on my ex-girlfriends '85 Cavalier but thats about it when it comes to my auto talents.
    I have a 2006 Pacifica which I took to the dealer for an oil change and they do a courtesy inspection, heres what the service advisor told me:
    Left front tie rod end loose. 244.60 Alingment 99.95
    Rear brakes 374.16
    Oil pan has oversized plug and leaks a little 827.96 :eek:
    I declined the service but do plan on getting it done going with the most important one first which according to the vehicle checkup sheet that the tech did is the rear brakes which was checked Requires immediate attention all others fell under Will need future attention.
    Reason for my post is are those price quotes a bit steep? I know that the dealer will be more, and by the way the 827.96 is for a new oil pan. Any chain auto service that are dependable and affordable? Thanks.
  2. Freightshaker

    Freightshaker

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2013
    Location:
    Detroit burbs
    Those are typical dealership markups. If you can change a starter, you can swap an oil pan. Check Rockauto.com first for prices. The tire shops and Pep Boys around me only charge 50 for alignment. Dealerships make their money on parts and repair like gas stations do with beverages and tobacco.
  3. Indiana Mike

    Indiana Mike

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Get a second opinion from a trusted mechanic

    Really


    Before you do any of this

    I smell ********
  4. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2001
    Location:
    New York
    The oil pan price seems a wee bit steep but I'd have to look up part and labor pricing to be sure on that. Which engine do you have in that car?

    The brakes and tie rod prices seem about right, the alignment is about $20 too much. You can get it done cheaper elsewhere, just be sure they're not hanging the cheapest Chinese parts they can find on your car. Remember that you get what you pay for.
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  6. Riseinside1892

    Riseinside1892 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2013
    Location:
    Plainfield, Illinois
    Not necessarily. Most newer vehicles require lifting the engine a few inches. Is it hard? No, but I'm assuming OP has limited tools which may be an issue. OP can you use a fumoto valve instead of a plug and just seal the threads really good. I use one on my F250 that gets abused offroad a lot after having a leaky plug from the previous owner and haven't had an issue
    http://www.fumotousa.com/main.htm
  7. JacoLesFlea

    JacoLesFlea

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2006
    Location:
    Minnesota
    On the dealer invoice it says: ENG: 3.5_Liter_MPI

    Thanks for the advice and help.
  8. 96tbird

    96tbird Supporter Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2010
    Location:
    Manitoba, Canada
    Aluminum oil pan on the 3.5. $$$
  9. JacoLesFlea

    JacoLesFlea

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2006
    Location:
    Minnesota
    :eek: :bawl:
  10. placedesjardins

    placedesjardins

    Joined:
    May 7, 2012
    Okay.
    Bare minimum, visually inspect those items yourself.
    1. Jack up the front of the car and remove the front left wheel.
    Grab the left front tie rod and see if it is physically loose. Check the tie rod end seal. The seal is rubber and a bolt pokes through it and connects to the steering knuckle. It is the seal worn or torn? Removing a tie rod end requires a special removal too to break the tie rod end free from the steering knuckle, but it is free to borrow at an auto parts store or really cheap from a tool rental store. I can talk you through this if you want. $244??? are they replacing it with a Formula 1 piece? You will want to bring it to a tire shop to get it aligned.

    2. Jack up the rear of the car and remove the wheels. Visually see if the rotors are scored. Check if the pads are worn down. The 2006 Pacifica has brake rotors. Pad and rotors are very easy to change out. Don't bother turning down the rotors unless you want to save maybe $20 to $30.
    This is easy also. Remove bolt to caliper, lift it up, remove pads, remove rotor, put new rotor on, put new pads on, use brake grease where pads contact caliper (not the pad to rotor surface), press caliper piston back, clamp down caliper down, put back replace bolt. $327?? It's super mega easy. The most difficult thing is to loosen the caliper bolt if it is rusty. Second part that's not simple is putting the pads back in. Sometimes, there are spring clips that hold the pads in which require some dexterity and patience. Pressing the caliper piston will require a C-clamp.

    3. Jack up the front of the car. Locate the oil pan. See if there is any oil leaking. If it is, it usually comes from the gasket or oil plug. Most of the time, you can just replace the oil pan gasket (or for some cars, just make-your-own gasket using a silicone-based sealant). Oil pan gasket is around $16 to $20. If the oil pan is damaged, a Mopar oil pan is $300. It's cast metal item so that's pricey. An aftermarket oil pan is around $100. Dorman makes a stamped steel one that is a lot cheaper and does the same thing. Removal? You can take pictures and post them here. I've worked on Japanese imports mainly. Oil pan access is blocked by nothing. You empty the oil, remove the bolts around the perimeter of the oil pan, clean any residual gasket material from the engine block and oil pan, place oil pan gasket on the oil pan, put it back and replace all the screws. Put oil plug in. Fill with oil.

    :spit: $827 is totally nuts.
  11. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2004
    Location:
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    Many times you can get an oversize bolt for the oil pan - you may not need a pan at all.

    Go to an independent shop for this stuff. Dealers are always high.
  12. ZenG

    ZenG

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2013
    'You get what you pay for"..

    No way in hell if you're getting a car fixed at a dealer.

    You are getting ripped off automatically.

    I could write a book about my dealings with Ford.

    BTW all of Fords' maintenance replacement parts......(filters,plugs, belts etc etc ) are way overpriced...and better cheaper products can be bought at independent AutoPart stores....or even in the autoparts aisle at bigbox stores.

    It's more like:-

    "You pay what you get sucked into"

    897 bucks for an oil pan?.......don't make me laugh.
  13. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2001
    Location:
    New York
    Oil pan retails for $400 from Chrysler, gasket is $50, labor is 2.5 hours and figure on oil & filter cost, shop supplies etc and I guess $827 is kinda close for a dealer to do that job.

    Rear brakes may require a tool to rotate the piston back into the caliper if you have the calipers with the built in parking brake. A c clamp won't work for that.
  14. placedesjardins

    placedesjardins

    Joined:
    May 7, 2012
    Ah yes. I would suggest that the OP get a Haynes or Chilton manual if one is available for your car. Not all cars are alike.
    I recall my Mazda has this allen bolt in the back of the caliper that needed to be unscrewed because the self-adjusting mechanism tightens it as the pad wears down.
  15. Truktek2

    Truktek2

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2008
    Location:
    Queens, NY
    I"ve always wondered why a 4000.00 boutique bass price is justified by using words like "overhead" "materials" "tools" and "labor" , but your mechanic is always trying to rip you off. Hmmm. :eyebrow:
  16. 68Goldfish

    68Goldfish Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2006
    Location:
    Port Orchard WA
    No special tools needed to push the piston back in the brake caliper. You may have a hard time getting the rotors off if there's any issues with the E brake shoes. Factory premium pads and rotors aren't cheap but like someone else said you get what you pay for.
    I can't remember off the top of my head but I'd be willing to bet the exhaust needs to be removed to replace the pan. Which may be a PIA if it's an all wheel drive. Especially if you live in an area that has rust problems.
    The tie rod end shouldn't be a big deal. Just count the turns taking it off and put it back on the same amount and then have it aligned. you'll probably need a special tool to remove it as it's not a good idea to beat on the aluminum knuckle with a hammer.
    And all this BS about the dealer being a place where you only get ripped off is just that. I don't have the freedom to charge you more labor time just because. I use the same labor guide that Mike or truktek probably uses. Do I bump times up a bit.....sure. If it's 2.5 I probably charge 3.0. That's going to happen anywhere. If you think you can get my level of expertise and experience at your local Midas then go for it. Half the time I have to work on your stupid car for free under warranty anyway. Maybe you won't begrudge me the extra .5 I might charge you when I have a chance of actually making a paycheck. Frankly all the dealer bashing that goes on here is annoying.
  17. Factor88

    Factor88

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2011
    What car company does your dealership franchise with? I want to make sure I never inconvenience you or any other franchise dealer staff by making your dealership honor "stupid" warranty service.
  18. 68Goldfish

    68Goldfish Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2006
    Location:
    Port Orchard WA
    In my case it's Chrysler but you'll probably get the same response from any dealer tech. And it's not about not honoring the warranty, it's part of the deal. It's about a constant harping on the dealership as being a ripoff when most folks don't know the half of what goes on there. It's not really pertinent to this thread so I probably shouldn't have mentioned it.
    I do like the way you worded that though. Clever.
    And I wasn't talking about the OP's car, I just meant cars in general.
  19. Truktek2

    Truktek2

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2008
    Location:
    Queens, NY
    Just to touch on what Goldfish said, dealerships do charge more than an independant shop. Why? Look at the overhead dealerships have. The ones I worked at had more than 25 techs, not including sales people, warrantee administrators, service writers,parts people etc. They also have to have their people factory trained. That's a big nut to crack.

    Throw in specialized tooling, building costs etc, I'm surprised they don't charge more. Most of the guys in the dealership usually know what's wrong with your car before they pull it into the bay, and all the quirks that go along with it.

    An indy shop has less overhead, but also less resources to fix it right the first time. Could you get the same or better service elsewhere? Maybe, but when I worked at a dealer I liked the fact that I had access to the right tools rather than holding cams from spinning using two vice-grips.

    There will always be people saying the 1000.00 dealer bill is a ripoff because the indy shop charges 700.00, and then there will be the guys who say the Indy price is a ripoff because his buddy can do it with two sticks in his driveway for a six-pack.

    Electricians, now that's a different story.......:)
  20. echoSE7EN

    echoSE7EN Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2010
    Location:
    Balto., MD
    I just said goodbye to my F-150 FX4. Luckily it was still under warranty, but man...it's been between two different dealerships 11 times since September of '13, and one of those dealerships had it for 3 weeks in November swapping out the turbos and rebuilding the engine. Amazed me how many phone calls I got about, "needing to order a part", or, "it will be ready tomorrow," only to receive a follow-up call that something broke while they were "fixing" it. Really dug that truck (it was my second F-150), but its reliability, and my trust of the (both dealerships) mechanics made me switch manufacturers.

    With 1000 miles before the end of the warranty...it was traded.

  21. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2001
    Location:
    New York
    You mechanics are all ripoffs. Lolz, you're all knuckle dragging neanderthals that charge, like $100 an hour to hook up that magic box that tells you what the problem is. I can get the experts at Vato zone to do that for free.

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