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A Long Time Ago, In a Ford Contour 68,000 miles away...


Jackofalltradez's Avatar
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09-05-02, 12:54 PM   #1  
A Long Time Ago, In a Ford Contour 68,000 miles away...

...I had my timing belt and water pump replaced at a local garage. He also replaced my accessory belt.

The 1-man garage spent 7 hours attempting to remove the accessory belt and water pump to get at the timing belt on the 4cyl Contour, then finally discovered the *correct* way to access and remove these parts - which took him barely 2 hours. Total labor = 9 Hrs.

$1,100 and change later, I drove the car away and noticed that it had lost it's pep and that I practically had to floor the car to get out of it's own shadow!

The garage above INSISTED the belt was lined up right, but I know my car, and it just wasn't right. The mileage had gone compeletely south, and the engine pinged even after only driving it a couple miles.

Two months later my friend introduced me to his garage, and after 1.5hrs labor and $120 later, found the timing belt off by one tooth on the gears, reset it, and also found out my "mass air flow valve" was gummed up.

Needless to say this cat has seen it's second life. The car is now so responsive to the gas pedal that I nearly rearended somebody! Gone are the ping and hesitation, and my mileage resembles what it used to.

Question for the gang: What is a mass air flow sensor valve??

-Jack

 
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OH

09-05-02, 01:32 PM   #2  
The Mass Air Flow Sensor is a sensor located in the air intake track somewhere, that senses the amount, and density of air coming into the engine. It sends a signal to the computer, telling it how much fuel to add to acheive the proper air/fuel ratio. someone correct me if my explanation is wrong, or too vague, but I think that's about the jist of it.

 
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09-05-02, 04:48 PM   #3  
Jack not my concern but I would get a sworn statement from the second shop and sue the first guy for some money back.It is not your position to help him learn your vehicle for repairs.

 
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09-05-02, 05:14 PM   #4  
Oh teksup95 seems close enough to me.Most mass air flow sensors are fairly high priced and dont really go bad often on newer cars.Yes I remember the old GM sensors.Most mass air flow sensors get oil or cheap air filter debris on them and cause problems.

 
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09-06-02, 06:06 AM   #5  
Joe_F
I agree with Davo on the recourse against the first mechanic.

 
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09-10-02, 01:50 PM   #6  
Thanks for your help guys!

So you folks think it's odd that the MAFS was found gunked up on my '96? Well anyhow the mileage down to the 1/4 tank mark averaged 230 miles on the trip odometer the last couple months since the timing belt replaced. After the adjustment and MAFS work at the second garage I'm now getting 300 miles in at the 3/4 mark. YAY!!

As far as pursuing the first garage for even half the $1,100, I don't think the potential legal fees are worth it. Live and learn, I guess. The guy ran a peculiar operation - he WAS the garage - no assistants, apprentices, or even gophers to get parts he needed from supply stores. He worked on all the cars, claimed he did all the work because he "doesn't want to worry about somebody else screwing up something without direct supervision".

Needless to say I will take my business elsewhere.

-Jack

 
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09-10-02, 02:08 PM   #7  
No I don't think it was odd that it was gunked up I mentioned that oil and air filter debris cause most MAF sensor problems,anyway glad it's fixed.

 
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09-10-02, 02:47 PM   #8  
alumtuna
"trade 1 eye of yours for 2 of theirs"

Jackofalltradez,

You could take him to small claims court and check with the better Business Berau about filing a complaint.

SMC would be worth it and would cause enough trouble for him that in the end could put him in a world of hurt (more than $1100 worth).

"trade 1 eye of yours for 2 of theirs"


 
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09-10-02, 04:26 PM   #9  
darrell McCoy
Agree 100%, go to BBB or SMCC. He would not get into my dinner bucket and get away with it. Knew a guy that smacked a deer, ins gave shop 3 grand to repair it. Shop had to replace a fender,door, cut all wires inside door instead of unplugging them. A real bungle job all over. Anyway took 1 atty and 5 grand more to have the car repaired right. Not to mention, body shop is "no longer" in business. Guy with damaged car even ended up with a few chinkles left for his pocket. Should have been done right to begin with and no hassle. Ins co said he was considered in the 1% to complain category. Hard to imagine some of these horror stories.

 
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09-10-02, 04:35 PM   #10  
darrell McCoy
Oh, BTW, I may not have clarified the previous statement as I should have. Ins Co. Footed entire 8 grand, plus atty fees. Atty said complaints like this guy's complaint was what kept them in business. However the 1 percent complaint still has me a little baffled.

 
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