Car Repair questions.. - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
Old 04-20-2009, 02:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
Pinoikoi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Earth
Posts: 9,888
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have a paid off car (paid the last 6k in October). It is a subaru, with 62k. It was running rough (as in steering wheel was vibrating pretty hard and engine noise does not sound the same as it used to) and needed the IM stickers renewed, so I took it in to have a 57 point inspection.. They told me that it can pass IM without a problem, but wrote me the following list of "fixits".. please keep in mind labor here is more expensive than other places. Also, my car is considered an "import" and there are only a couple of places in town that will attempt to fix it. Here's the quote (each line has two prices, because they said if they remove the engine to fix the gaskets, then it will be cheaper to fix all the other stuff at the same time)

Wipers worn (no price)
coolant hoses worn (179-129)
transmission fluid dirty 195
air filter dirty 18-0 (we have had a lot of volcanic eruptions, so I expected this)
crank pulley beginning to wobble 269-130
front struts leaking and soft 789
rear brakes at metal may need rotors (295-469)
oil pump seeping 769-329
headgaskets leaking onto crossmember 1900-2500
air bag light on- air bag deployment (dp slid into a stop sign pole a few years ago) no price
alignment 139

So what things should I fix first, and what can I put off? I can't drive the car without the IM stickers, (law), I wouldn't WANT to drive it without brakes (safety issue)... but what else? I can spend a few hundred on the car additionally this month, I also can park it and not drive it at all if I need to as we have another car big enough for us with full warranty..

Additionally, I COULD sell the car but I don't think I could get the $6k back out of it that I just paid off, so that would seem like an immediate loss.. so I don't really want to do that. I really like the car when it runs WELL it sounds like a tiger that sings BASS..

The mechanic said that if I brought it in to be fixed it might have to sit there a while because it would have to wait for parts, so what parts could I order now, store in the trunk, and then bring with me to have installed? Could I do that? Should I do that?
Pinoikoi is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 04-20-2009, 02:28 PM
 
Denvergirlie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Foothills west of Denver
Posts: 2,042
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
brakes

head gasket

struts and alignment at the same time.

Things you should be able to do yourself:
Window wipers
Air fliter


Is it a 1999 Subaru by chance? This model year on the Outback/ Legacy had major issues with head gaskets blowing out around 100K miles. We got rid of ours just at 101K miles as a few other things popped up that needed fixed as well.
Denvergirlie is offline  
Old 04-20-2009, 02:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
Pinoikoi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Earth
Posts: 9,888
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by denvergirlie View Post
is it a 1999 subaru by chance? This model year on the outback/ legacy had major issues with head gaskets blowing out around 100k miles. We got rid of ours just at 101k miles as a few other things popped up that needed fixed as well.
2001 Subaru Impreza RS
Pinoikoi is offline  
Old 04-20-2009, 02:53 PM
 
confustication's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 2,276
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
On your own:
Wipers worn (no price) (easy as pie)
coolant hoses worn (179-129) (hoses are cheap, installation can take time, but unless it's a really weird setup, it isn't difficult)
transmission fluid dirty 195 (this isn't a whole lot more complicated than changing oil, time consuming, but not miserably hard)
air filter dirty 18-0 (this shouldn't take any time at all to change)



Service Center in order of importance to keep from needing a new engine:

headgaskets leaking onto crossmember 1900-2500
oil pump seeping 769-329
crank pulley beginning to wobble 269-130

Service Center to avoid more expensive repairs later, additionally, do these before heading out on mountains, curves, long trips etc:

front struts leaking and soft 789
rear brakes at metal may need rotors (295-469)
alignment 139


Meh- when you get around to it... this may be as minor as needing a sensor reset, or it might mean you need to replace the whole shebang. However, you do need to make sure that there's no risk of it accidentally deploying.

air bag light on- air bag deployment (dp slid into a stop sign pole a few years ago) no price


Personally, I'd do the repairs as you can, and pretty much park it until things like brakes and engine are repaired. Overall, you'll be able to use it for quite a bit longer and it will all be paid off, but some of this is important to do.
confustication is offline  
Old 04-20-2009, 03:44 PM
 
Delicateflower's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,283
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I would take it to the other place in town and get a second opinion and a quote.
Delicateflower is offline  
Old 04-20-2009, 03:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
Pinoikoi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Earth
Posts: 9,888
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Delicateflower View Post
I would take it to the other place in town and get a second opinion and a quote.
Well I fully intend to.. but assuming the quote is accurate, and not inflated.. my question really is what group items should I fix first and why?

I cannot fix the gaskets at this time. There is no way it would fit in my budget.
Pinoikoi is offline  
Old 04-21-2009, 02:08 AM
 
eggsandpancakes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: under the covers
Posts: 463
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Okay, you need to take this car somewhere where the mechanics know what they are talking about. IF and it's a huge if, the head gasket was leaking onto the crossmember, you would have oil and coolant everywhere. And loosing both like nobodys buisness. If the valve cover gasket (s) are leaking, you can more than likely do it yourself. Messy, and you have to stay calm, but not hard in most cases.
I wouldn't even worry about the oil pump until you get new valve cover gasket (s) on it.
Struts are supposed to bleed a little bit. If there is a little bit of "leakage", you know the strut isn't dry, which is bad.
Tranny fluid, take it to subaru. Could be a special fluid, could have a special interval, could need the differential fluid changed too. Read the owner's manual or call and ask.
Crank pulley? How did they diagnose that? A belt can wobble for all sorts of different reasons. Get it somewhere reputable, quickly, and figure out what exactly is going on with your car.
Oh, and the airbag light being on means it is absolutely NOT going to go off, unless you take the steering wheel aboart and drop the airbag on the ground.
Um, and on that steering wheel vibration, did you try having your tires balanced and rotated?
eggsandpancakes is offline  
Old 04-21-2009, 11:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
Pinoikoi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Earth
Posts: 9,888
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinahiggins View Post
Um, and on that steering wheel vibration, did you try having your tires balanced and rotated?
We have to have our tires changed out here about every 6 months (studs are not allowed in summer). Not sure the last time my summer tires were balanced and rotated, though, so I might do that again before dp puts the summer ones on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tinahiggins View Post
Okay, you need to take this car somewhere where the mechanics know what they are talking about.
Their parking lot is always full of subarus. That is all they work on- their specialty. I am not sure why they wouldn't know "what they are talking about."

UPDATE: I did talk to a mechanic neighbor last night that went through my list with me. He said the gaskets can wait. They aren't leaking that badly. He said to either do the rear brakes myself or get them done, get the im tags done, and do the filters, window wipers, and maybe even the hoses myself. He said just because something is "worn" does not mean it is bad. And he said the most telling thing on my list was the statement that the oil was "overfilled".. he suggested keeping the oil at a more consistent, lower level, and if the leaking gets really bad in the future, then look at the more expensive items on the list at that point. I was so relieved I talked to him.

He said if the worst thing is a new engine at some point way in the future, then it wouldn't cost a ton more than I am getting quoted for repairing the old one anyway.
Pinoikoi is offline  
Old 04-21-2009, 01:51 PM
 
2cutiekitties's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Georgia baby
Posts: 1,150
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Subarus have such a good rep. I think if you sink some money into maintaining it, it will last "forever." Especially if you like your car when it is healthy, that is half the battle. If you hated your car, I think it would be different.

I would keep it and work on it little by little.
2cutiekitties is offline  
Old 04-21-2009, 03:26 PM
 
Ola_'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 3,126
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Was this one of those "free inspection" shops? I've heard that they often give you a pretty inflated list of issues to make up for it. If your mechanic neighbour could take a look at it himself (maybe you can bake him some goodies or something in exchange ) and tell you if it's really a problem.
Ola_ is offline  
Old 04-21-2009, 04:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
Pinoikoi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Earth
Posts: 9,888
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ola_ View Post
Was this one of those "free inspection" shops? I've heard that they often give you a pretty inflated list of issues to make up for it. If your mechanic neighbour could take a look at it himself (maybe you can bake him some goodies or something in exchange ) and tell you if it's really a problem.
Yes and no. I paid for an oil change and inspection. They replaced a light bulb as well. They only do 57 point inspections. I know other places do 20 or so..
Pinoikoi is offline  
Old 04-21-2009, 04:14 PM
 
SleeplessMommy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 5,113
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
If the head gasket is majorly leaking oil, the oil level in the car should be dropping. I drove a Volkswagon Rabbit with this problem a long time ago... it had to be "fed" oil every so often. Your 2nd opinion mechanic seems to have said the oil leak is not so bad. If you have no puddle in the driveway and no loss of oil level on the dipstick, you may be able to continue driving for a long, long time.

On the other things, I would shop around for additional opinions. You may be able to drop some repairs from the list.
SleeplessMommy is offline  
Old 04-21-2009, 04:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
Pinoikoi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Earth
Posts: 9,888
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by SleeplessMommy View Post
If the head gasket is majorly leaking oil, the oil level in the car should be dropping. I drove a Volkswagon Rabbit with this problem a long time ago... it had to be "fed" oil every so often. Your 2nd opinion mechanic seems to have said the oil leak is not so bad. If you have no puddle in the driveway and no loss of oil level on the dipstick, you may be able to continue driving for a long, long time.
My neighbor said that if I get to the point that I have to add a qt of oil everytime I fill up then that is bad. We have had the same piece of cardboard underneath our car for the last year. Yes, it has spots, but one would think that if it were a bad leak, a piece of cardboard would not be absorbant enough, or that it would be a huge mass of oil spot- but it isn't.

My neighbor said that when it gets "bad" (as defined above) then there is some kind of spray I can get that will reseal holes and leaks from the inside of the oil tank (drain it, spray, let seal).. then I can drive it until such point that I need a new engine. He said I can only spray the sealer one time, so to put it off as long as possible.. but his point was that the repair bill I was given is about the same as a new engine.. so if I were to spend that kind of money, why wouldn't I want a whole new engine?

Good question.
Pinoikoi is offline  
 
User Tag List

Thread Tools


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off