Auto Repair Problem!!?

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by B2bKen, Aug 27, 2004.

  1. B2bKen

    B2bKen Well-Known Member

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    OK, need some advice! Took my van to a major well known national auto repair shop a year and a half ago due to some sudden jerking and hesitation in the engine. During the initial checking, they suggested that all hoses should be replaced because they said they are getting old, and I gave them permission, but, it took three visits and $1400.00 before they finally found the real problem (which I then had to pay to fix that). My wife and I was mad as hell at all the different repairs and replacements of parts they did before they finally found the real problem. Their excuse was "we are only human and we make mistakes, but those other things needed repaired and corrected!!!". OK, the problem...
    Several months ago, I began to occasionally smell antifreeze (kind of a burning smell of antifreeze). About six weeks ago, I had a sudden jerk of the vehicle like it had lost power for a second, and this happened twice within a week, with a strong smell of something burning like a electrical component or wiring. A couple of days later, my battery voltage suddenly jumped up to 18 volts, and I made it home, but the next morning my battery was dead (fried). I got the vehicle towed to a mechanic friend, who found that the internal alternator regulator had gone wacky and shot the voltage up to 18 volts, which fried my battery. Here is the problem... the radiator hose that the big name company had installed a year and a half ago, was just barely sitting on top of the alternator pulley, and a hole had finally worn through, spraying antifreeze into the alternator. My mechanic friend said that was the reason the alternator went bad and destroyed the battery too.
    The big name company Manager does not want to admit that somehow they put the hose on incorrectly, and he stated that he talked to four master mechanics and they all stated that antifreeze shooting into the alternator (apparently for several months) would not damage the alternator! Ok, I have talked to many people, and they said the big name company is full of crap, so, is there any knowledgable people out there on this... Who is correct?
    This cost me over $200 to get that problem fixed. Maybe I need to contact the BBB and see an attorney!
    Thanks for your help
    B2bken
     
  2. You should be checking your oil and all fluids, checking for loose or worn belts, checking the condition of all hoses on a regular basis. If you're not mechanically inclined, you should be having a mechanic do a general inspection regularly. If the hose was touching the pulley, for 18 months, that should have been caught during one of the inspections.

    Also, some alternators are adjustable (for belt tension), perhaps the belt was not touching the rad hose when it was installed, and someone adjusted the alternator into the rad hose?

    You could never prove that the auto repair centre installed the hose improperly (not 18 months later), and even if you could, a lawyer will cost far more than the repair bill.
     

  3. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    A voltage regulator that is built into an alternator is a sensitive piece of electronic equipment. Sensitive equipment is subject to damage if shorted. Coolant (antifreeze) is a conductor. Introduce a sensitive piece of electronic equipment with the power applied to a conductor and you have a major short. Results...destroyed regulator which then results with destroyed other electric equipment (over charged 12 volt battery that should not receive more than 13.6 volts typically. If you do not believe this happens put your turned on cell phone in some coolant and see if it works afterward. Ask your cell phone company if they will warranty replace a cell phone that was exposed to water....the answer is, you guessed it...No.
     
  4. Dave in Ohio

    Dave in Ohio Well-Known Member

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    OH
    Ussually things are gauranteed for 12 months against workmen defects, The alternater does goes bad on their own, I found by taking my vehicles to Tuffy they have a decent pricing, they only charge a fee for diagnostics and for parts and time to replace parts, I had a truck in to them and they spent days trying to figure it out and I only got charged the one time diagnostic fee instead ot so-much an hour for troubleshooting. I once took my van to the dealer and they charge by the hour and they go by a troubleshooting chart and change the first thing on the chart and if that fixes it fine if not you pay for that and then they move down the chart to the next item, cost $600.00 for a wire ate through the wiper wire causing a short, they looked at their chart and said it was one of the computers then they said it was the switch, then they said it was the motor, I found it myself and will not do business with them again.
    Dave
     
  5. B2bKen

    B2bKen Well-Known Member

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    My Mechanic friend showed me how the hose had been installed. The new one that he installed, went to the right and up, the one the Repair shop Company installed went to the left and down across the alternator pulley. My friend showed me it was installed incorrectly.
    I have had alot of bad luck with getting repairs! Another well known brake repair company charged me $600.00 for repairs to my brakes, I had asked them to fix a problem with the loss of my brake fluid every couple of days. They did replace just about everything, but never fixed the original problem that I brought it in for. Had to take the van to my friend again to fix the brake fluid loss problem. I went to another well known repair Company, to get a transmission flush and refill of fluid. They did it, and stated the oil was also changed. I said that I did not ask for a oil change. The man stated "well it was real dirty!". I then told him, I did not ask for a oil change, because I just had my oil changed two hours earlier at Walmart! What in the heck is wrong with these companies??? I would take my Van for repairs to my friend every time, but he usually has a 1 to 3 week backlog at his shop in the Country - he is very reasonable, doesn't mark up the parts he gets for the repairs, and fixes everyones car correctly everytime, so he is very sought out for repair work.
    Murphys Law is a proven fact I guess!
    B2bken
     
  6. WanderingOak

    WanderingOak Well-Known Member

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    It sounds like you and I have the same mechanic friend. Since your friend is in 'the trade', why don't you ask him to reccomend an honest shop? I wind up having to do that most of the time because of my friend's work backlog. He hasn't let me down yet.