Friday, April 27, 2018

So shady.

Earlier in the year we took our Solstice into the local dealership to have a bunch of recall stuff done. We also had them do a 60 thousand mile tune up. At the time they told us we had a minor crack in the exhaust manifold. We also had that heating problem I blogged about going on and we felt the deanship was going to rape us on the price. So we didn't get it fixed there.

Fast forward to last week when registration for that car came and we decided we needed to have that thing fixed because it's a smog check year.. We took it to a shop here in town. Guess what he said?

The manifold was fine but "somehow the bolts to the manifold were loose". Because I'm sure that just happens on it's own. I've totally heard of that a million times. Said in the most sarcastic way.

So yeah... that happened and I guess I'm never going back to that dealership. They were going to charge us like 600 bucks. We debated fixing it ourselves because youtube can teach you anything. But ultimately decided we'd already bought enough new tools for projects this month.

That car is kind fun to work on - if you are small like a girl. Otherwise.. I'm not surprised there are things that mechanics don't want to work on with it. To change the battery you have to remove the right front quarter panel. They really packed everything in tight. Man hands no good.


  1. Capital of Texas RefugeeSaturday, April 28, 2018 9:39:00 PM

    Many years ago, I had a vehicle going through some transmission shifting problems, so I took it in to a local repair shop because I didn't really have the time to bother with it ...

    Who after dropping the drain pan showed me it full of a few broken parts and some burnt-looking transmission fluid.

    One problem: those parts were for a Chrysler, my vehicle was German, and this was decades before the two had any kind of intersection.

    I didn't let this concern me too much, and I decided on the spot I'd make time to bother with it.

    "Go ahead and put the pan back on, don't bother filling it up with fluid, I'm going to have this thing towed out of here so I can work on it in a garage myself ..."

    When they figured out that their little trick wasn't going to work, they got angry and were trying to refuse to let me haul the vehicle out of there on a flatbed tow truck.

    When I told them that I was within my rights to reclaim my vehicle after my "free inspection" and that I didn't have a problem with calling up the county's sheriff to help "lubricate" my vehicle onto the tow truck, they got it put back together enough to where it could sit in their parking lot until I could get it picked up.

    I didn't even bother with trying to fix the transmission -- I found a company that sold full re-manufactured transmissions for the vehicle and spent the next two evenings installing the transmission myself.

    I'm sure the rebuilding process of the one that shop messed up would have been highly entertaining -- without a doubt it was missing some key parts.

    These jokers thought that because I drove a nice looking German vehicle into their shop that I'd just bend over and give them a bunch of money after showing me a transmission drain pan full of parts from another vehicle.

    Obviously the wallet damage that would have been caused was a lot more than six hundred bucks, even almost thirty years ago, because the re-manufactured transmission was a lot more than that ...

    That's why the Caterham kit doesn't scare me: I've already replaced transmissions and engines in far more complex vehicles, so how is a full vehicle build going to be that much worse?

    The fact that it's a 50+ year old design should make things a lot easier.

    BTW, DIY on your Solstice for the transmission might be a very good idea if you're up to it eventually: the 5L40-E transmission has a bunch of different gear configurations and if you install one with the wrong one (or the installer just doesn't care), you'll be back in the shop getting the transmission "fixed" again.

  2. Back when I first started dating my husband his car needed a new muffler and exhaust. Dealership wanted $2k, which he didn't have to spare, and so was driving around with it loud. I convinced him to take it into a little shop that I'd been in to a few times. They quoted him $500. Great service, properly done replacement, that lasted till he finally got rid of the car a few years ago. Unfortunately they got bought out by a bigger name not to long ago, and I haven't seen the same faces in there since.

  3. I guess I understand why American cars are being eaten alive by others. The deanships from the two American cars I've owned have totally sucked and were rapey with service costs. My Toyota truck was the first one where the service department made me want to buy another car from that same company. They post their prices and are really competitive.