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Mechanic shop screwing me?

Discussion in 'Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers' started by 358R, February 14, 2018.

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    1. 358R

      358R Member

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      So, a well known chain shop has my truck. I went in and asked to have the water pump and it's pieces replaced because it was going bad. Normally, I would have done it, but it's pretty tight in there and I simply didn't want to do it. Well, all of this turned into: a water pump, thermostat, all new radiator hoses, all new bolts for the pump (old ones apparently rusted and snapped), and now a new timing cover. As it stands, I'm going to be out well over a grand and I'm having to taxi back and forth to work. Does all this sound legit or am I getting it up the butt? I know you can't always predict what you're going to find/run into when you get in there, but this seems excessive.
       
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    3. Turdle

      Turdle I bake stuff Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Nope, not at all. Having done this several times it seems accurate. expect to pay 100% markup on parts replaced by a mechanic. This job could easily take a good mechanic 5 hours. sourcing the bolts is nearly impossible, they are worth their weight in gold it seems.

      Good luck.
       
    4. 358R

      358R Member

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      Why the timing cover though?
       
    5. koda2000

      koda2000 Explorer Addict

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      Having someone else do the work (and knowing what a PITA changing the W/P can be on the 5.0L) a grand sounds about right for what was done/replaced. Any time you have a job like this done, you run into the "might as well also's". I think they are doing you a favor by replacing all the old cooling system parts. What good would just replacing the W/P do if the radiator and/or hoses or T-stat leave you stranded on the side of the road in the near future. Then you'd be complaining that the extra work/parts should have been done.

      As far as the W/P bolts and timing cover, it's not at all unusual for the bolts to rust and break and sometimes destroying the timing cover and replacing it actually ends up saving you money on labor.

      If you don't like what it cost you to do have this job done the right way, do your own repairs in the future and take your chances.

      I had my friend/mechanic change the W/P on a 2000 Mountaineer 5.0L last spring, because I did not want to deal with this shitty job (I'd recently done this job on our other 2000 Mountaineer 5.0L and it was an absolute nightmare!). I supplied the W/P, antifreeze gaskets and T-stat and I knew all the other related parts were good and only a couple of years old (or newer). He only charged me $125 labor and said he didn't have any real problems doing the job. I got very lucky.

      Did your mechanic screw you? No, I don't think so.
       
    6. 358R

      358R Member

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      I get the "might as wells" and am ok with it. Just seems like one thing kept turning into another. And like I said, I usually would have done it myself and made sure it was right. Just thought a certified mechanic could have done it quicker with all the right parts and a lift at his/her disposal.

      And because I can't hear you speaking, I'll assume you weren't trying to sound condescending.
       
    7. koda2000

      koda2000 Explorer Addict

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      No I wasn't trying to be condescending (sorry I rarely, if ever, use emoji's, because I'm not a 14 year old girl ;)). From my experience with this job, 99% of it would have been done from the top, so a lift wouldn't be an advantage and no special tools are really needed. When you start working on a nearly 20 year old vehicle you just don't know what you're going to run into (broken rusted bolts, other things you see that really need to be addressed). Most mechanics/shops charge flat rate for jobs and that rate has to include other problems which can be encountered. I once had Chrysler agree to replace a transmission that was just out of the warranty period for free if I paid for the labor. According to the flat rate book this ended up costing me $500 in labor. The tech's were so used to replacing the problematic transmissions in my model that it only took them 1.5 hours, but I still had to pay $500. It's just the way shops operate. This is why I do 99% of my own repairs now that I have the time.

      My major complaint with shops, based on my experiences over 50 years, is that they screw stuff up. Almost very time I've had a shop do a job for me I've had problems afterwards. Even on things as simple as an oil change. I can list at least a dozen examples off the top of my head.
       
    8. 358R

      358R Member

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      I know what you mean. I caught Ford putting a torque gun on my drain plug before...that was set at 70 ft-lbs. And they couldn't figure out why it stripped the threads.
       
    9. 1998Exp

      1998Exp Active Member

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      Seems you got all the answers already, but here is my 2 cents:
      1) As others said, "over a grand" (which doesn't mean $1500, but perhaps $1100) is not unreasonable for this job and parts at 100% markup (like all shops do).
      2) Replacing the timing cover is a major hassle, compared to "just" replacing the water pump. If they haven't taken it off yet, ask why it's needed.
      3) If improperly done, reinstalling the timing cover can leave you with an oil leak, a coolant leak, or both. If you go for it, make sure that neither is happening.
      4) If they remove the timing cover, ask to inspect the timing gears and chain. Unless these components had been replaced before, or it's a very low mileage '99, replacing them while in there might be a wise investment of an extra $50 or so.
       
      Last edited: February 15, 2018
    10. Centaurus5.0

      Centaurus5.0 Elite 5.0L Fiddler

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      How many bolts broke? If one or two i'd just put it back on and not worry about it. Sounds like they damaged the timing cover when removing the water pump or broken bolts a now your going to pay for it. You don't need a new cover unless the old one is damaged.

      Might as well throw a cam in while your at it and make the time and money worth while. I'd call a few other places though and see how much they charge for a cam swap. Tell them you want a deal considering ifs half torn down already.

      I'd trust a privately owned shop that has been around awhile with a reputation to uphold before a big name place where they hire anybody and don't care because there is no shortage of suckers walking in the door.
       
    11. crunchie_frog

      crunchie_frog Active Member

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      Hi 358R,

      Sorry to hear your situation but as others have said, it is a fair price for this job. If it were me, I would consider this a valuable education. I started working on my own vehicles about 25 yrs ago and other mechanics/shops rarely touch my vehicles (alignment, tires, emergencies). I have easily saved tens of thousands of dollars in maintenance cost over the years by doing my own maintenance (vehicles for family of 4) AND it gets done correctly. I hate to say this, the chances of your repair not turning up as coolant and or oil leaks later (possibly very soon) is more than pretty good. You will be even more pissed if you look under there and see oil leak from the pan. If you keep your Mountaineer, and you need future repairs but want to a shop to do them, it would help you if you search this forum before taking it in so you can see what the shop may run into with the repair. For example, if you search for the 5.0 water pump replacement you would see that breaking the water pump bolts is very common and there are ways to minimize the chance of this happening and see the consequences of what happens when they do break. Anyway, good luck.
       

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