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A Mechanic's Life - Tales From Under the Hood



  • andres3andres3 Southern CAPosts: 9,211
    edited May 2013
    So my friend has a '07 Altima that has recently had its CAT converter (warranty) replaced, it has about 65,000 miles with the 2.5 4 cylinder engine.

    Some background, apparently, on day 2 of ownership, the engine started smoking into the cabin as he was going down the freeway, and they replaced the engine and CVT transmission in the brand new vehicle. It has been problem free for the last 60K+ miles though, but recently it did need a new CAT converter, a $1,400 dollar repair, but fortunately for him that was recently covered under the long emissions warranty (he bought it in CA).

    More recently, he took it to a recommended independent shop because a noise that had been going on for some time around 30 MPH had been getting louder/worse. They diagnosed it clearly on the paperwork as the AC needing replacement and that the compressor was going bad.

    $1,400 later he has a great tip top working AC, but the noise is still there. The shop says "OOPS, you need to go to a transmission shop, we don't do transmissions," after the fact. No mention is made on the estimate of a bad transmission.

    I think he has the shop by the balls, and could argue that he owes them nothing since they didn't get rid of any noise being the original reason he took it to them. They misdiagnosed in my opinion because the paperwork clearly says the AC is causing the noise according to their tech.

    However, in the interest of fairness, I told him that it would be fair if they returned maybe 20% since his AC probably was starting to go bad, and he did notice it was now "tip top." I said perhaps the shop made an "honest" error. He suggested they do a free 30K maintenance on their other vehicle, and I thought that was a fair proposal. He said initially the shop felt they did nothing wrong, and that they got defensive when he used the words "misdiagnosed." I told him to tell them he relied upon their estimate to get the car fixed and get the noise taken care of. Now he might need to spend 2X more if he needs a rebuilt CVT.

    Turns out he might luck out as Nissan apparently extended the warranty on the CVT's to 10 years or 120K miles.
    Toy '16 Audi TTS quattro AWD, Commuter '16 Kia Optima LX 1.6 Turbo FWD, Wife's '17 VW Golf All-Track SE 4-Motion AWD
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 4,294
    My lawyer says you have unsafe working conditions (greasy, slippery, unteathered tools) and OSHA is coming by this afternoon. See you in court

    Oh well the money's gotta come from somewhere, its just part of the cost of doing business now. Looks like shifty's bill will be a little higher since you couldn't take care of yourself and had to make someone else responsible for you.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 4,294
    There are some pattern failures that come to mind, but testing needs to be done, you don't just throw the part at it because of what I will mention here. There have been a number of the Pick-ups, and Expeditions that have suffered fuse block corrosion from windshield leaks. The body computer attaches directly to the in dash fuse block, once I start measuring voltage drops on some specific circuits, and narrow that down to occurring in the fuse block assembly, then I would remove it and dissasemble to inspect for corrosion.

    With the fuse block just inside the drivers door, slamming the door could disturb connections and give some results as mentioned. Keep in mind thats only one possibility and thats why we test and prove what's wrong.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 4,294
    More recently, he took it to a recommended independent shop because a noise that had been going on for some time around 30 MPH had been getting louder/worse

    There is one piece of information that stands out here. The noise had been getting "louder/worse".

    None of us were there, we didn't hear the sounds coming from the car. I can easily see the transaxle making noise, and had been doing it for a while, and then the AC compressor started to fail and axctually making more noise than the transaxle was. What would anyone do in that instance if they were just introduced to the car and an obvious noise? You would quote out the repair and deal with it. It is entirely plausible that the transmission noise was completely un-detectable until the AC noise was dealt with y the time the car showed up at the shop. Think about it, could you imagine the shop trying to sell a transmisison with the AC repair right up front? Seems they would likely raise a few eyebrows if they wrote an estimate like that, doesn't it? (Especially if there really wasn't proof at that point)

    This really just shows how difficult the job can be. It sounds like it was an accurate diagnosis for "A" noise. Was it "THE" noise? Again none of us were there and we didn't get to hear the sound(s) for ourselves. BTW, my own hearing is now down to 40% over 3000hz. I won't be diagnosing any noises anymore unless there are really excessive.
  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyPosts: 5,441
    I heard Nissan extended warranty on 2007 Sentra Cvt. Almost bought one. Didn't know Altima was having same problem.
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    edited May 2013
    My daughters both have Nissans. The elder has an 08 Altima and the younger is preparing to trade here 09 Versa hatch. Both cars are covered under the 10/120K CVT warranty, and in fact, the Versa CVT was replaced at 49K 1 1/2 years ago. It ran fine, but it sounded like a bearing had lost some of its rollers.

    Over 60 K on the Altima, and no CVT issues.

    Nissan gave her zero static on replacement. The new CVT now has right at 40K miles and no issues.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,595
    Much of America used to speak Spanish anyway. Nothing new there.

    Besides, English will always dominate, because it is the language of science as well as commercial aviation.

    Personally, I could care less if my brilliant mechanic fixes my car while talking in spanish or vietnamese. His service manuals and his computer read-outs will be in English.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    Much of America used to speak Spanish anyway. Nothing new there.

    What many don't realize is that there are large swaths of urban areas, and some rural (Amish, for example) that English isn't even a second language, nor has it ever been. New York has large areas where English isn't spoken, and Milwaukee has a large German speaking population that has never been "assimilated" into the English speaking citizenry. There are many other examples.

    Speaking only Spanish isn't anything new. What's new about it is how widespread its become.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 19,603
    I grew up in a VERY diverse town in So. Calif.

    It was a fishing town so we had Italians, Yugoslavians, Greeks, Norwegians, Mexicans, Poles etc.

    A lot of our parents spoke with accents but they ALL spoke ENGLISH!

    That was my only point. A lot of immigrants today never bother learning to speak what is our national language and this only serves to divide us.

    So much for the "Melting Pot" I suppose.
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    A lot of immigrants today never bother learning to speak what is our national language and this only serves to divide us.

    Back in the 1960's when I was growing up, immigrants really had no choice if they wanted to survive other than learn English (or at a minimum, have a family member become bilingual). It's far more common than uncommon today to see a product with English-only packaging. If you want to make sales, you have to cater to the market, and that's what's happening.

    The real twist here is that the US has been the anomaly for so long. Practically every other culture/nation in the world is, and has always been, at a minimum bilingual. We're just starting to catch up with everyone else... Part of that "world economy" thing...
  • fintailfintail Posts: 41,920
    edited May 2013
    I think the offense here is that the newbies are sometimes refusing to adopt the language of the place that has welcomed them in. Some see it as an insult, and I can understand why. In the olden days, I think newbies were proud to learn the new language, or to have their kids do so. Today, I don't know what happened.

    In Europe anyway (and other first world locations, afaik), other than benelux and a few other places, bilingualism = native language and English - not because English is the language of business, but because it is the language of pop culture. I don't know if it counts so much as the demographic issues here. We aren't catching up.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 19,603
    edited May 2013
    "Today, I don't know what happened"


    Here is what happened. as we catered to them and started printing signs and packaging in differrent languages, we eliminated the NEED for them to learn English. I mean, why bother?

    My step-dad was a Driver's License Examiner for over 30 years. When he was in his 50's they FORCED him to learn enough Spanish to do a Driver's Test? something WRONG here? Should the stop signs say STOP and ALTO?

    And, yeah I guess I do see it as somewhat of an insult when an immigrant that has lived here for 40 years can't be bothered to learn English.

    Sorry for the rant but it's a sore spot for me. Probably time to get back on topic.

    The BMW is for sale. I've had enough. a guy is coming in an hour to see it and I can only pray it doesn't do "something" to queer the sale!
  • andres3andres3 Southern CAPosts: 9,211
    Again none of us were there and we didn't get to hear the sound(s) for ourselves.

    that's true, but if I take my friend at his word then the noise that existed before was still the same as existed after the AC repair. He never noticed nor mentioned a reduction of noise, just that the new AC blew very cold.

    Therefore, although bad AC compressor's can make noise, I'm assuming it wasn't making much noise, unless it decided to blow up between my friend dropping it off and the mechanic test driving it.

    Wouldn't the CVT noise also be detectable in "feel" and during the drive and during shifts?

    Being my friend says the noise after the fact is the same as before the repair, I have to assume it was detectable.
    Toy '16 Audi TTS quattro AWD, Commuter '16 Kia Optima LX 1.6 Turbo FWD, Wife's '17 VW Golf All-Track SE 4-Motion AWD
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,345
    edited May 2013
    I think the offense here is that the newbies are sometimes refusing to adopt the language of the place that has welcomed them in. Some see it as an insult, and I can understand why.

    Please elaborate on why you understand their position? Maybe it is something obvious right in front of me, but I have given it some thought and am still drawing a blank. :confuse:

    When an immigrant is "welcomed in", I don't think it unreasonable that there is an assumed onus on that immigrant to learn and communicate and do business using the home country's language.

    I'm of the opinion that certain things have to be nipped in the bud. We had to do that very thing here in Cda when Sikhs attempted to have us make an exception regarding helmet laws here when riding a motorcycle. Their (ridiculous) point was that not only was it against their religion to have to remove their turban so that they could don a helmet, they claimed their turban afforded them the same protection as a helmet, so was unreasonable for us to not make an exception. Among a number of flawed theories with their argument, more importantly what they failed to acknowledge was:

    a) riding a motorcycle here is an option not a right.


    b) If we caved..our collective tax dollars would have to pay to attempt to fix their smashed head..a head and a brain (if I may point out) that already had questionable intelligence before their crash.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 41,920
    Don't get me started...and guess who pays for the extra verbiage...

    So did the drama queen sell? I bet that thing could make a few boat payments for a skilled mechanic :shades:
  • fintailfintail Posts: 41,920
    I am not sure I understand your question. I was agreeing that it can be seen as offensive for a newbie to refuse to learn the language. I know a lot of bleeding hearts think otherwise.

    I think traditional headgear should be banned altogether while driving - seems to be a hallmark of the oblivious around here.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 19,603
    Yes, the Drama Queen has gone to a new home.

    She fired right up and behaved herself. No warning lights and she performed flawlessly on their short (by themselves) test drive.

    I carefully pointed out the few flaws that I am aware of and made sure they knew that it was a fussy little German car that would not behave like their Honda Civic. They seemed to understand and they didn't nitpick the car.

    In reality, it's a beautiful little car that should serve them well. It's tight and responsive and everything works. If the odometer read 60,000 miles instead of 149,000 nobody would doubt it.

    They offered a couple hundred less than what I was asking and they left happy.

    In the two years we have owned it, we have put less than 3000 miles on it.

    Just time to move on.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 19,603
    I'm trying to picture a guy with a full beard wearing a turban riding a motorcycle down the freeway and I'm not getting a visual.

    I suppose one could simply cut a large hole on the top of the helmet so the turban would stick out?

    Thje idea of a turban offering any protection is nuts!
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 19,603
    edited May 2013
    I know I'm going to miss her!

    Yes, I know I spelled Convertible wrong!
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,345
    edited May 2013
    first link is a video pic - o-wear-turbin-while-riding-motorcycle.html

    March 6, 2008 - 2:12 pm

    By: Jered Stuffco, THE CANADIAN PRESS
    BRAMPTON, Ont. - A devout, motorcycle-riding Sikh who fought Ontario's helmet law on the grounds his religion compels him to wear a turban lost his court battle Thursday in a ruling decried by fellow Sikh motorcyclists as a "devastating precedent against minorities."
    Ontario Court Justice James Blacklock ruled that while the impact on Baljinder Badesha's religious rights were more than just "trivial," that consideration was overwhelmed by the "undue hardship" helmetless motorcycle riders would put on the province due to safety concerns and health-care costs.
    "The evidence before me shows that to ride a motorcycle helmetless involves the imposition of significant extra risks related to safety," Blacklock wrote in his 35-page ruling. Given that the law is designed to keep people safe, Blacklock wrote that "the true importance of motorcycle helmets are understood by the rational person."
    Badesha, a devout Sikh, says his religion forbids him from covering his turban and he shouldn't be made to choose between his faith and his motorcycle. The 39-year-old father of four saw his fight championed by the Ontario Human Rights Commission, which challenged the constitutional validity of the province's Highway Traffic Act.
    Ontario Attorney General Chris Bentley said Thursday he had yet to fully read the ruling, but added "from the Ontario government's perspective, our concern was one of public safety." Badesha was handed a $110 ticket in September 2005 for riding without a helmet in Brampton, Ont., some 45 kilometres northwest of Toronto.
    Despite Thursday's ruling, Badesha appeared to be in good spirits - joking outside court that he might sell his motorcycle. Justice Blacklock said Badesha had 30 days to pay the fine, but defence lawyer Melvin Sokolsky said his client was mulling an appeal. >snip>

    " his client was mulling an appeal."

    Our tax dollars hard at work. Thanks bud...this is how you reward us for your full time presence on this side of the pond :sick: :mad:
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,345
    I guess I thought you were saying /defending..their point and understood why. I see now that it looks like you weren't. I was wondering how anyone could see their point but was prepared to be open minded enough to have my listening ears on.

    Anyway, sorta veered off thread here, we're lucky Shiftright gives us a bit of leeway here at times.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 41,920
    Well sold. Funny that a car of that year is now old and quirky, how time flies. I like your line of salesmanship too, reminds me of when I sold my W126 - I'm asking 5K for it, not 10K, there's a reason for that (miled up, a few small needs). Seller had it inspected by his mechanic, knocked a few hundred off (I knew it was going to a good home), and the deal was done.
  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyPosts: 5,441
    Looks to be in really nice shape. You use Kelly Blue Book or Edmunds to price it? :P
  • fintailfintail Posts: 41,920
    I was going to laugh - but there are areas of the US where a helmet is not required, so I can't. At least it isn't for asinine bleeding heart reasons in the southlands, rather, for "freedom" reasons. Wouldn't be a point of contention in any legitimate first world area - haven't heard of any headgarb wearers in Europe being so contentious. Hell, I am concerned if I am in jeans (no armor or leather) on a bike if I am going more than maybe 35mph.

    And more tax dollars at work when they crash. Damage sometimes even a mechanic who repairs people can't fix.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 19,603
    I don't use any of the books when I sell one of our cars.

    I look at the overall market and price it from there.
  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyPosts: 5,441
    What do you mean you look at the "overall market"?
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 64,743
    Looks really nice... I'm not surprised it sold fast....


    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,345
    We have our share of other type winners (ugh) here too..unfortunately..

    Take the Harley rider activist about three years or so ago, who was in a crash enroute to a no-helmet-give-me-my-freedom-rights movement. Ya, he killed himself. Cause? Massive head injury. In that case I hear there was no need to spend many tax dollars on the poor slob..I guess it was evident when they got to the crash scene that lights and sirens wouldn't be necessary on the way back to the hospital..

    But talk about the ultimate loser demonstration, eh?

    Sometimes you see "FAIL" used a little too loosely on the internet. But then there's the odd time nothing better fits..
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,595
    My trigger finger did start to itch a little with this somewhat off topic foray, but if we could steer it back to the idea of where our next talent pool is, in the auto repair field, then we can keep working on this point of view.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,595
    Here's how I usually price a car--at least a more modern one:

    I go to Autotrader, use the "advanced search", and do a nationwide search on my year, make, model, trim line, miles, etc---so I try to match as closely as I can to the car I'm selling.

    Once I get the results (often 30 to 100 ads), I look at the bottom of the page for their "price checker calculation", which shows the highest asking, lowest asking, and average asking of all the ads.

    I take that "average asking" price as my guide--it's going to be a bit higher than "reality" but I think if I got the average asking price, I'd be doing okay.

    I sometimes will adjust the "bell curve" by putting limits on the price in advanced search. In other words, to eliminate the one or two ads that are asking $22000 for a $7500 car.

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