I'm screwed

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  #1  
Old 11-01-02, 01:11 AM
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Thumbs down I'm screwed

Mistubishi Galant 1995, automatic transaxle, 2.4 piece of crap.

Started fine last night, idleing well. I was just waiting for it to warm up-although I hear that with today's fuel injected cars I'd be better off if I just go! That's another story and I'm glad I didn't go anywhere or else I would have been stranded. The darned thing just shut off on me. The electrical stuff seemed in good shape. Pushed it around the corner to the Gettey service station and the man changed spark plug wires and the distributor cap and rotor for $215. Then after I gave him the okay to rip me off for that amount, he says the distribuotr is broken. Now he needs another $400. I said "Hell nah" and pushed the thing down the block. Should I give in and recycle enough plastic bottles to pay the man? Have it towed to a Mitsubishi service place and have them replace it with original Mitsubishi parts or look for another mechanic (and probably get screwed like a hooker as well)? Although I know your responses will be strictly opinionated, I highly cherish all of your opinions on this forum and am waiting in dark anticipation for a reply. Thanks!
 
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  #2  
Old 11-01-02, 03:24 AM
Joe_F
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The first thing to do is start with the links and posts in my signature file below.

What puzzles me is why the cap and rotor was changed and why the car still doesn't run. Did you check to see if you have spark or not?

The cap and rotor are maintenance items, but 215 sounds a little steep for the parts and labor on that.
 
  #3  
Old 11-01-02, 03:56 AM
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Same thing I thought Joe. They told me that I need a new distributor though. I do have spark-according to the mechanic-not enough spark. What can I say? As soon as I can, I'm signing up for one of those continuing education courses at the local high school for a class in automotvie mechanics. The B.A. in psychology I have will be the death of me. I'm just tired of feeling like I got ripped off everytime I see a mechanic. My $0.02. Thanks Joe.
 
  #4  
Old 11-01-02, 04:38 AM
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Unfortunately the continuing ed courses may not be in-depth enough for something like you are describing. Still worthwhile for the average consumer as an anti-ripoff education ["your muffler bearings are shot and we have to change the pneumatic fluid in your ac ducts"]. Until then, ask friends and relatives for referrals to a good mechanic. Independent towing companies are also a good place for referrrals, but make sure they are truly independent (this includes NOT being affiliated with AAA) and ask for 2 or 3 garages that they would recommend. Trust me, a good towing company is NOT going to send you to some fly-by-night garage; bad for their own business if you're not satisfied.

Here's my short list of things to look for:

1. Independent shop [non-franchise] unless it's warranty work; in most cases you'll pay considerably less for labor and parts [don't need the overhead to cover the cost of the cappucino machine in the air conditioned waiting room with the cable tv]
2. Owner-operated [you get to talk to the owner about your problem and not a service writer who is three times removed from the guy who will actually work on it]
3. Two or three bay garage [small enough for the big guy to know what's going on]
4. Been in business at least 5 years
5. Has enough business to make it necessary for you to schedule in [same reason the best rides at the amusement park have the longest lines]

This isn't meant to be all-inclusive; there are plenty of manager-run franchises with 6 service bays open 2 or 3 years that can see you the same day AND do quality work.

My $.02 worth.
 
  #5  
Old 11-01-02, 11:34 AM
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Tow Guy

I love it, all very sensible things. You da man! I think I will avoid the Mitsubishi service folks. If in deed I have a problem with the distributor, they want $517, and that's just for the part, no towing or installation. I'd be homeless. I'll call a tow truck and see who they suggest.
 
  #6  
Old 11-01-02, 04:01 PM
Joe_F
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Thumbs up

TowGuy didn't give you .02, he gave you a million bucks in advice.

I couldn't have said it better myself, bravo!
 
  #7  
Old 11-02-02, 01:46 PM
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If all else fails, drive it over to Joe Cool's; you're both in NY!

Considering the metro area you are in, you might try calling 2 or 3 (or 20 or 30; got to be a bunch around there) towing companies in your local part of the area. If you're lucky you will get a hit on a garage or two recommended by more than one tow'er, which would be good confirmation of the quality of their service.

FULL DISCLOSURE NOTE HERE: When someone asks us for a referral we give them [high quality] garages who are our regular clients.
 
  #8  
Old 11-02-02, 01:51 PM
Joe_F
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Wink

No thanks, worked on enough crap today .

Got my cousin's 1993 Taurus running, dead battery.

Had to change the oil and filter on my uncle's 1997 LHS, as Firestone screwed it up and barreled the drain plug on and left the filter finger tight.

Fixed my mother's friends 1999 Honda Civic bumper after she tore it out driving over a parking stop.
 
  #9  
Old 11-02-02, 10:12 PM
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Have you checked your battery or tried a different one? I just had my Merc do almost the same thing. I just got done doing the front brakes...A fine job I might add!....and let the car down off the jackstands. Started the engine and it ran beautiful for about 30 seconds and stopped, all the lights on the dash went crazy and then the interior lights went slightly dim. Turns out the battery diecided to have a heart attack in one or more cells and was only putting out 8 volts! Gave it a rap with the handle of a screwdriver and it went back up to 12 volts and the interior light came on bright, gave it another rap and that was it-she died. It was 8.5 years old and just happened to fail after I did the brakes.
 
  #10  
Old 11-03-02, 06:27 AM
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Game Over

Turns out, the distributor was bad. A friend of mine has an aunt who manages an RS Strauss who sent us over to their special orders place (a place called Steinway Auto parts in either Floral Park or Queens Village) and I got the distributor for about $260. Brought it to another shop around the way and they charged me $70 for labor. The battery was dieing as well, must've cranked it so many times without giving it a chance to recharge, so they charged her up and it seems fine. Hey Joe, wonder if I could bring over to your shop. Do you do any body work? I got a rotor that I think needs resurfacing and a fender that needs some banging into shape. If not, I still need someone to check the shape my timing belt is in.
 
  #11  
Old 11-03-02, 07:08 AM
Joe_F
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Sorry, I don't do any work other than family or my own cars. Way too much to do already .

I've heard of Steinway Auto Parts....they are in Astoria. You should be OK if someone is dealing with them for you that has an account with them, etc.

If you want to learn for yourself, you can hit the local library, start reading up on car repair books, buy the Chilton or Haynes manual (or start with the links and posts in my signature file---free), or take some courses in auto repair at a local vocational school.

Then, as you go along, you can buy the tools and information you need as your confidence builds.

If that's too daunting, either help a friend do some work to learn, or at minimum do your homework when you bring your car in so as to be an informed consumer.
 
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