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what to look for in a repair shop

Discussion in 'Under the Hood' started by DarkFox1, September 24, 2002.

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    1. DarkFox1

      DarkFox1 Well-Known Member

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      well, I'm gonna start calling repair shops and asking them a few questions to determine which would be the best to go to... but I wanted to know what yall thought should be a few things to look out for.

      mannerisms, what they know about the car etc. I guess?

      I've always dealt with ford and only ford with my vehicles repairs.. and you see what thats gotten me... so I'm trying to move on :p

      thanks in advance

      btw I'm going to therealyellowpages.com and searching for "auto repair" in my area and going down the list :p
       
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    3. jimbo74

      jimbo74 Elite Exploder Elite Explorer

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      when calling, ask to actually talk to the mechanics...... i work in an automotive repair facility...and the guys that answer the phones are sales guys.... they dont touch the cars..... the grease monkeys like me do... im not saying the sales guys arent smart, but they perspective is sales... they get commission and bonuses for sales.... the labors like me get straight hourly pay and are usually more knowledgeable about what is actually involved with a project
       
    4. aldive

      aldive Elite In Memoriam

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      I would ask friends and associates who they use and if they are happy with them. Visit the facility,,, is it clean and neat and more important BUSY, Cjecl with the local Better Business Council.

      Good luck....
       
    5. DarkFox1

      DarkFox1 Well-Known Member

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      i just called 2 places.. one was called "anything" automotive, the ghuy seemed freindly, but whne I asked if they were familiar with the 4r70w, he said no. That turned me off to them. .they said $30 to check my plugs and wires..

      he aslo said he suspects that ford has NEVER changed a spark plug, wire, or fuel filter (hes wrong) he did not think 0-60 in 12-14 was unusual, but that 8-10mpg was.

      I need a place thats familiar with the tranny.. it could very well be the problem.

      another place I called specializes in transmissions, after about 6 rings a guy picked up as if he had ran to the phone, when asked about the 4r70w he kinda chuckled and said "oh yea" he said to bring it down and they'd drive it "for free" and then "put me in the right direction"

      I've seen this place's commercials, its a very large prof. looking place, looks clean and organized. I may have them take a look later on.. whattyall think? I dont want to be spending a dime until I either have more than sufficient funds, or can find EXACTLY what is wrong and work towards a repair.
       
    6. aldive

      aldive Elite In Memoriam

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      Wait till you can aford to have the work ( if needed ) done.
       
    7. Jason_25

      Jason_25 Elite Explorer<br>ECX Member

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      What you should do is get a diagnosis first. It should cost less than 100 bucks.
       
    8. DarkFox1

      DarkFox1 Well-Known Member

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      update

      well, I took my truck down to a transmission shop today, and they gave me a free diagnosis in the form of a test drive.

      based on the symptoms I gave him, and the way he said it drove (he said it was extremley sluggish,and would be no contest even for the 6 he had on the lot) he said it was not directly a problem with the transmission.

      however.. he was almost sure that my cats were very close to clogged up. and recommened that I have it looked at by an exhaust shop.

      I will probablly call one later today. yall know where I can look at prices for cats and stuff?
       
    9. Jason_25

      Jason_25 Elite Explorer<br>ECX Member

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      Cats are a pretty reasonable price. But unfortunately you have 4 :D

      try www.truckperformance.com . I know they have them.

      It's good to know you're coming along in your quest for acceptable performance though.
       
    10. Robert

      Robert Well-Known Member

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      DarkFox1 - If you have less than 80K miles on it, your catalytic converters are still under warranty. Get the diagnosis at an exhaust shop (as long as its free or fairly inexpensive). If they determine your cats are bad, go back to Ford and have them replace them under warranty. Getting an independant analysis by the exhaust shop will help you in case Ford tries saying your cats are fine. It probably wouldn't hurt to try going back to either the dealer you bought it from if possible or another dealer you haven't been to.
       
    11. DarkFox1

      DarkFox1 Well-Known Member

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      1 step ahead of ya.. sorta. .I called an exhaust shop and talked to them about having them looked at, they said it was unlikley.. and "all we can do is a backpressure test" they said it'd cost $30

      I also talked to ford, they said it is an 8/80 warranty on the cats BUT if ford determines that my cats are not clogged enough to warrent replacement it will cost $67 for the inspection and the cost of replacing them if I still want it done.. in ohter words.. the warranty is only if ford thinks they are clogged.. wich is probablly 100%.. or "not clogged"
       
    12. Robert

      Robert Well-Known Member

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      No, if your cats are clogged enough to cause a drop in performance or create a measureable pressure drop across it then it should be found to be out of specs and replaced under warranty. If the exhaust shop finds a pressure drop across it, get the measurements in writing and take copies to Ford. Without proof, Ford will probably try and explain your problems as either nothing out of the ordinary or caused by something non-warranty related. You might need the proof to get Ford to give serious consideration to the cats.
       
    13. DarkFox1

      DarkFox1 Well-Known Member

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      good idea, I know the guys at the exhaust shop, although the work they did on my exhaust about 2 years ago had a slight leak recently, I still think they do decent work. heh, they're just not much on writing things down.

      I do beleive ford would be alittle difficult on this... since I have a cat-back system.. they've blamed my problems on this before.
       
    14. Crankcase

      Crankcase Moderator Emeritus Moderator Emeritus

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      One thing that is usually good is a small shop, with two or three people doing the work on cars. Try to find a mechanic that specializes in trannies. If you use an all around mechanic that doesn't specialize in trannies, he will likely screw it up worse.

      Just my .02
       
    15. DarkFox1

      DarkFox1 Well-Known Member

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      update #2

      i did that, I found a small shop that everyone I talk to has told me has reliabile service, I know the names of most of the guys there. the shop did my exhaust back 2 years ago.

      they did a backpressure test.. came out "wide open" he said..

      they also did a computer diagnostic, no codes, no code history

      he says it drives fine to him.. I dont get it.. maybe I'm crazy.
       
    16. aldive

      aldive Elite In Memoriam

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      Could it be that you are expecting too much?
       
    17. DarkFox1

      DarkFox1 Well-Known Member

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      asking too much to get more than 10mpg AND keep up with stock expeditions up hills?

      he gave me some documentation about MAF errors.. I'm about to read through
       
    18. DarkFox1

      DarkFox1 Well-Known Member

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      thats not the problem.. the symptoms outlined in this says that the truck would be lean at high throttle.. my problem knows no throttle.. its omnipresent.. and it feels like its rich.. not lean, oterhwise it wouldn't smell
       
    19. aldive

      aldive Elite In Memoriam

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      Have you hooked up an OBD II scanner to your trucj and had a passenger monitor it while driving at various speeds? If not, you might want to do that.

      Furtherm have you accurately done a 0 to 60 time? A 1/4 mile run? You need some baseline data to see where you actually are in performance.

      Have you ever driven another truck just like yours? How did it compare?
       
    20. DarkFox1

      DarkFox1 Well-Known Member

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      never seen anothre truck like mine where I could drive it.

      the 0-60 was done with a watch with a stop watch feature on it.. I stopped dead on an empty 55mph road, my friend in the passenger seat hit the swtich when I nailed the gas.. I yelled "STOP" when I hit 60, we did this twice.. 1 run was 14 sec, 1 run was 12.

      I do not have an ODB scanner, nor could I afford one.

      the nearest track is more than 100 miles away, so I have not had a chance to test for a 1/4 mile.
       
    21. Alec

      Alec Elite Moderator Moderator Emeritus

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      We've determined that something IS wrong with Darkfox's truck. 10mpg and 10+ sec 0-60 is not right.

      I'm glad you got the tests done, it starts to narrow stuff down. We'll talk more about it in the chatroom in the next few days.

      AS FOR SHOPS, there was one that I used for 2 years for many jobs, including help with my s/c install. I really trusted them. Then all of a sudden they wouldn't honor the warranty on my rebuilt tranny and I was out $1600+. Taking care of it though, just saying sometimes nice people can still screw ya.
       
    22. DarkFox1

      DarkFox1 Well-Known Member

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      I dont doubt it.... even the best shops can screw you over. all my bolt on crap I got from a local shop here, I wont list their name cos I dont want to give them a bad name.

      They were VERY helpful when I 1st came to them., and gave me good service for about 3 years then.. one of the mechanics got up in the office.. and started making cracks about me being spoiled and how "I was thinking about just calling you and tellin you to mail us some more money" and telling me that my items weren't under warranty because of "neglect" (I wash my car at least once every 2 weeks, every time I use chrome polish and tire shine and wax and back to black and glass cleaner and meguiars leather whipes and odoban and 409 on the floor mats.. you get the picutre.. hes full of it) at any rate, this guy didn't stay up front very long until the manger saw it fit that he did not deal with the customers any more.

      I still deal with th eplace, but I no longer let them install.. the last time they installed they didn't tighten the bolts all the way and broke my front neon tubes.. the manager was more than helpful and went way beyond his call to make sure I was happy with the job.. but.. no thanks, I'll do thatwork myself thankyou lol
       
    23. james t

      james t moderation Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      it's about d@mn time!
      J/K. really, im just glad to see that youre starting to find solutions to some of your problems. just to clarify, when did you do the exhaust backpressure test? im also thinking with your gas mileage and a "fume smell" that your proly runnin' rich... also, you cant allways trust others' opinions on your trucks performance. chances are the shop guy doesnt have much seat-time behind the wheel of a 5.0X, and doesnt really have something in his memory to compare it to. also, you may still have a sensor operating out of or near the limits of parameters without ever throwing a code. always remember- dont put all your faith in the check engine light.

      BTW... i still think your tranny is screwed up... might as well check it out too...
       
    24. aldive

      aldive Elite In Memoriam

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      Thats a plan, my friend, Too many simply have some shop do their work. Getting your own hands dirty is a great way to learn. Enjoy.....
       
      Last edited: September 27, 2002
    25. DarkFox1

      DarkFox1 Well-Known Member

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      actually.. I have the sheet for the computer diagnostic right here.. I'll scan it tonight.

      he told me he thought it may be a bad or going bad MAF.. and gave me some documentation on this.. I read over it, it does have my symptoms, but suggests that the MAF voltage would be above 1.1 at idle.. mines at 1.08, it also suggests that the truckwould run LEAN at higher rpms.. but.. I think mines rich.. it smells, it gets bad mileage.. that doesn't sound lean to me heh

      I was talking doing things myself like maintaining my neon, and guards and such, I dont feel like I know what I'm doing to risk working on this stuff myself.. HOWEVER.. if it is a MAF.. I could replcae this easily myself.

      scratch what I asid about scanning it tonight.. here it is

      www.redplanetsolutions.net/picdump/computer.jpg
       
    26. aldive

      aldive Elite In Memoriam

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      You can indeed any of the stuff yourself. It just takes a dose of self confidence.

      You mention that you can't aford things, we.., labor is what is expensive, Get those hands dirty and DIY.

      I can afford having anyone do my work, but no, I rather do it myself, That way I know it was done right and I truly enjoy doing it.

      Good luck.....
       

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