Civic experts needed

Messages
445
Location
California
Thanks for reading this, but its kindof long. The GF has an 02 civic, completly stock, with 110K on it. Nothing major has ever been done to the car, just basic oil changes etc. Anyway, she wanted to get it serviced, and the dealer wanted about $3000 for the t-belt, and the 110K mile service... which seems sort of unreasonable. Anyway, she then noticed it got a bit warm while sitting in a drive thru, nothing major, just a couple of lines above where it normally sits. She found a local shop to do the timing belt, wp, and drive belts fairly cheap and she told them to install a t-stat as well. She got the car back and everything seemed ok for a few days, but after a long drive, while sitting in traffic, the temp went up again. The temps go back down when the car gets moving. I looked under the hood, and the t-stat had not been changed, and there was nothing on the reciept. When she called the shop back, they kindof gave her an attitude. I told her to just take it to the dealer and have the t-stat, fan switch in the t-stat housing cover, and get a drain and fill with genuine honda coolant (as we don't know what the shop used) She made an appointment and the car was great for a week until she took it in... They called her in a sad and slow voice... "Uh.. you have a bad head gasket or a cracked head, we recommend you not drive the car. We'll need it for a week and it will cost $1700." I went with her to pick up the car, I asked to speak with the tech, but he was "busy" and couldn't take 2 minutes as he was on a job he had to finish. They said that the pressure tested it and then ran a carbon monoxide test in the coolant, and it came back positive and there was a ton of carbon monixide in there. I really started questioning the service advisor that the coolant wasn't low, the car ran fine, and I wanted to know how much psi the tech shot the cooling system with. He coudln't answer any of my questions. He went back, talked with the tech andcame back to tell me that it looked like the shop that did the t-belt did a sloppy job, and it looked like collants were mixed. Any thoughts?? I cant see the HG being bad, unless the shop didn't bleed out the air after the WP. The car wouldn't run hot if the AC was running, but only stuck in traffic at times. Both fans kick on when the AC is on, and the normal fan does seem to cycle. She is going to keep a eye on the overflow tank, but it is very bad location. I have not checked to see if there are any bubbles comming out of the radiator. Thanks in advance for any replies.
 
Messages
16,005
Location
NE,Ohio
sounds like you need to talk to the shop manager at the place that did the tbelt. The dealer might just be trying to reach into your wallet.. or not. Is it the same dealer who wanted 3k for a timing belt? I wouldnt take my work to anywhere I couldnt talk to the guy working on my car.. if even for 2min. Those "service advisors" are sometimes horrid and tell you anything you want to hear.
 
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Messages
1,777
Location
Pennsylvania
$3,000 for a timing belt? I only paid $655 for mine (2003) with a new water pump, cam & crank seal. Sounds to me like the fan switch is bad. I had a '99 Cavalier that did the same thing..would heat up in traffic but as soon as I turned on the AC it cooled down. I highly doubt it's the head gasket.
 

1kickbuttranger

Thread starter
Messages
445
Location
California
Originally Posted By: Rand
sounds like you need to talk to the shop manager at the place that did the tbelt. The dealer might just be trying to reach into your wallet.. or not. Is it the same dealer who wanted 3k for a timing belt? I wouldnt take my work to anywhere I couldnt talk to the guy working on my car.. if even for 2min. Those "service advisors" are sometimes horrid and tell you anything you want to hear.
The small shop is a 2 man outfit, and she was dealing with the manager... ANd yes, the same dealer that wanted 3 g's.
 

1kickbuttranger

Thread starter
Messages
445
Location
California
Originally Posted By: Slick17601
$3,000 for a timing belt? I only paid $655 for mine (2003) with a new water pump, cam & crank seal. Sounds to me like the fan switch is bad. I had a '99 Cavalier that did the same thing..would heat up in traffic but as soon as I turned on the AC it cooled down. I highly doubt it's the head gasket.
It broke down to about 800 for the belt, and 2100 for the rest of the 110 mile service.. trans fluid, ps fluid, valve adj. etc. Now the funny thing is that they did a thourogh courtesy inspection and there is like 4 grand worth of work that it needs, like shocks, battery, a buld, wipers, etc.
 
The timing belt is a 2.7 hr job. I was quoted $300 for the labor + I supplied the parts. Parts were less then $80 for the belt & h20 pump, antifreeze etc. I opted to do the work myself. 8 hours later I should have paid the $300. Your getting taken for a ride.
 
Messages
11,656
Location
NorthEast
$2100 for 110K service? That is cheap :-) Where do I sign up?? Seriously, both shops are taking advantage of the woman owner. Are you sure you want to get involved? - Vikas
 
Messages
7,430
Location
beaver land EH?
LOL! a 98 Acura 1.6 EL (Cdn version of high end civic 1.6L) T-belt service from factory costs 580CAD+tax and shop charges; my friend (he owns a shop) charges 700CAD cash for T-belt, Honda OEM idler tensioner pulley (for Tbelt); cam and crank seals, crank bolt; factory HOnda water pump, all 3 belts, VC gasket. I did my dad's 7th gen civic 2 summers ago for 4hrs + 285CAD parts (all genuine Honda OE, from belts to Genuine Honda water pump, etc.) (*Remember: I have jobbers account in my area*) 3k is definitely questionable. Q.
 
Messages
503
Location
McLean, Va.
That $3000,00 sounds way out of line and by the way,Valve adjustments are list as part of a timing belt job on Hondas when you look up labor cost. Really doubt the thermostat or Engine temp sensor are both bad. 1-does the fan come on?? most Hondas the temp gauge bairly moves from normal temp to fans cycling. the gauge usually stays just below half way up. are we sure the gauge or sender is not off?? does the temp on a scan tool show it's running hot also, these are basic things a shop could tell you. If the head gasket is bad which is not a strech does it use coolant because Hondas I've worked on they start by using coolant over time and a slight miss fire when starting cold. do a CO Test using a fluid tester and check when hot. Most of the time these fluid fluid changes are way out of line price wise compared to what they really put in time spent. Alot of the time these fluid flushes and stuff are really specified by honda for drain and fills and they put out TSB's saying not to do flushes on their cars. The honda coolant is either blue new style extra long life or older green which you just need to change on a normal basis, This will not cause the problem as long as they put in new anti freeze when they did the belt job and filled it completly. I doubt they did much wrong if the belt is proper tightness and the new water pump is not leaking. I can promish you the dealer would not have known if the head gasket was leaking if you would have taken the first 3000.00 hit they would have blasted through the work and shot it out the door probably not even waiting for the fan to cycle when filling the coolant up or test driving the vehicle. If they same problem came up they just would have had a story about it 's your fault and they need more money but becuse some body else touched it's any e-z out to bad mouth the other guy's If they did so good on the first 3000.00 check over they gave you why did the second one have alot of other stuff added to the list to add 4000.00 to it. I would be hard pressed to take a dealers word on everything as it is standard dealer practice to tell every customer if it wasn't done at their dealer ship it was done wrong and they didn't use good parts. Every car on the same dealers lot in the used car section will have the cheapest junkyest parts they can get by with as they are preaching about to you about cheap parts. did they charge you for a T-stat at the T belt shop and not do it or does it not look like it was done. The t stat on the car is only a two bolt housing with a rubber gasket and realy only the bolt heads would show if a wrench was out on them as you can't see anything else sounds like you need find a good shop you can talk to and get to the bottom of the problems first before you spend any more big money. There are honest good shops everywhere and I think you need one. I know this was long winded but I think the dealer sounds like they don't mind charging I sure hope they will stand behind all this work if they charge this much for awhile.
 

1kickbuttranger

Thread starter
Messages
445
Location
California
Originally Posted By: Vikas
$2100 for 110K service? That is cheap :-) Where do I sign up?? Seriously, both shops are taking advantage of the woman owner. Are you sure you want to get involved? - Vikas
I am sure they are. I would have attempted to do it for her, but she jumped the gun and took it to the shop.. also it doesn't help that we live over 2 hours away, so i can't really start a project on her car.
 
Messages
1,648
Location
Ontario
If shes never done any maintenance to the car, and they quoted her brakes, ball joints, bushings, etc. I'm sure it can reach $3000.
 

1kickbuttranger

Thread starter
Messages
445
Location
California
Originally Posted By: vssjim
1-does the fan come on?? most Hondas the temp gauge bairly moves from normal temp to fans cycling. the gauge usually stays just below half way up. are we sure the gauge or sender is not off?? does the temp on a scan tool show it's running hot also, these are basic things a shop could tell you. If the head gasket is bad which is not a strech does it use coolant because Hondas I've worked on they start by using coolant over time and a slight miss fire when starting cold. do a CO Test using a fluid tester and check when hot. I doubt they did much wrong if the belt is proper tightness and the new water pump is not leaking. did they charge you for a T-stat at the T belt shop and not do it or does it not look like it was done. The t stat on the car is only a two bolt housing with a rubber gasket and realy only the bolt heads would show if a wrench was out on them as you can't see anything else
Both fans kick on when the AC runs, I have heard the regular fan cycle, but I haven't been in the car the handfull of times when the temp started to rise. Car runs fine, no sputtering, and no coolant loss that we know of yet. SHes going to keep on eye on the level. I don't think the other shop had anything to do with it because the first time it ran hotter was a few days before it got taken in. The work order didn't have a t-stat on it, the work order was a bit generic. But the 2 bolts in the housing had even and undisturbed dirt around them, and no hand prints or clean spots on the housing.
 
Messages
11,432
Location
Phoenix
If you're leaking compression gases into the cooling system, it can cause the temp to rise randomly and quickly, and then shoot back down as fast as it went up. The car can run fine with no other indication. It can do this for days, weeks or years until it finally fails.
 
Messages
11,656
Location
NorthEast
The leak detector kit to find if you have bad head gasket (i.e. to find gases in your coolant) is reasonably cheap (i.e about $30). Get one and do your own check. Once it comes negative (it most likely will), go after the dealer and expose them. I would make their life living [censored]. If you are in CA, your consumer protection people will be interested in hearing this story. You also should check the actual coolant temperature to rule out bad gauge. It is very easy if you get a scanner with live data capability from Amazon (cheapest is $70) and just monitor the coolant temperature. - Vikas
 
Messages
1,731
Location
stl
Get the leak detector kit, and check it for yourself. Or at least check for bubbles in the coolant with the rad filled to the absolute top. It could very well be a bad head gasket or cracked head. It happened on my '01 Civic.
 
Messages
527
Location
Seattle, WA
@kickbuttranger: Good luck, I believe she's been had by the STealership. It would have been better if she just kept working with the independent shop, but better yet there are so many good Honda forums all you need to do is google those forum sites and post a few questions about reputable shops in your area. Something she should keep in mind for the future.
 
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