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Ethical Repair Shop?
02-13-2012, 07:30 PM
Post: #1
Ethical Repair Shop?
3 years ago, I took my 1995 Honda Civic to the repair shop which had been servicing it for years because I had to constantly refill the radiator. The shop said that there was a leak in an obscure location in a coolant hose. A couple of months later, the head gasket failed. The repair shop replaced it, at a cost of ca. $1,000.

In late January of this year, the gasket again failed. I had the car towed to the same repair shop. They milled the head, adjusted the valves, and put the engine back together with a new gasket.

Then I was told that the car was pumping oil into all 4 combustion chambers. The shop could pull the pistons and replace the rings. However, to do so would cost $2,000 and there was no guarantee that this would stop the oil pumping.

How ethical is it for this shop to then charge $800 for work done on the head & gasket and returning an undriveable car to me?
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02-13-2012, 09:38 PM (This post was last modified: 02-13-2012 09:42 PM by Garner.)
Post: #2
RE: Ethical Repair Shop?
I think that I need some more information while pondering this.
How many miles is on that engine?
Was it using oil BEFORE this last "repair?" If "yes," how much?
Did the shop offer any other options before doing the Head Gasket job?
And, does this shop do all of your repair work & maintenence on this vehicle?

Please get back to us.

Thanks for using the forum,
Garner

Interested in Mining? Look here: Coal Mining, PA
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02-13-2012, 09:54 PM
Post: #3
RE: Ethical Repair Shop?
A few more questions if I may...

What makes the car not drivable at this point, just some smoke?
Was the head gasket failure confirmed as a coolant issue this last time or was it just smoking? (already using oil?)
What would prompt you to do major repairs like this on a 17 year old car? (is it in perfect condition?)
Knowing the age of the car, would you have spent the extra money to install a reman engine if it was offered?
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02-13-2012, 11:20 PM
Post: #4
RE: Ethical Repair Shop?
I would suggest to you that if you are considering paying that 2000 dollars for those repairs to be done dont get it done because for another 500-1000 dollars or so more you can get a brand new remanufactured motor installed
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02-14-2012, 11:55 AM
Post: #5
RE: Ethical Repair Shop?
(02-13-2012 09:38 PM)Garner Wrote:  I think that I need some more information while pondering this.
How many miles is on that engine?
Was it using oil BEFORE this last "repair?" If "yes," how much?
Did the shop offer any other options before doing the Head Gasket job?
And, does this shop do all of your repair work & maintenence on this vehicle?

Please get back to us.

The car has ca. 157,000 miles on the clock. 3 years ago, roughly 142,000. The shop did all the work for my prior VW & for the Civic.

After the 1st head gasket, it began using 1 qt per 1,000 miles. No other repair options offered. I have a limited income & didn't/couldn't buy a newer car. The shop nixed a new engine because it would cost $4,000. Shop told me that the smoke is such that the parking lot is filled with it.
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02-14-2012, 12:41 PM (This post was last modified: 02-14-2012 12:43 PM by Rupe.)
Post: #6
RE: Ethical Repair Shop?
You don't drive all that much so the problem is either wear from all of the short trips or things are gummed up internally from the short trips. Either will show up as oil consumption, which will be made worse by the repairs mentioned. This is also VERY common given your situation.

It's a long shot but if it's gummed up there's a prossibility that a chemical treatment that may help clean out the rings so they can seal better and reduce the oil smoke. If they can find something called B&G Motor Oil Suplement then I would try it. Should be around $12 for a can these days. You pour it in the oil, warm up the engine, and go for a ride. Drive the pants off it somewhere that people wont bother you for smoking them out for a few minutes. With any luck it should greatly reduce the problem by the end of the test drive.

Let us know if this helps.
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02-14-2012, 01:44 PM
Post: #7
RE: Ethical Repair Shop?
I wonder how long the shop ran it in the parking lot? If oil, anti-freeze, or other contaminants got into the exhaust during the repair work ( & this is VERY likely) it could take a vigorous drive; as Rupe suggested, just to burn the junk out of the exhaust.

If you can’t find the treatment that Rupe suggested, I have had very good luck with “Engine Restore.” It’s in a silver can and the product inside is a great color of blue. ( Looks like a good paint color to me.)

And one last suggestion would be to change the PCV valve. I have seen that fix many “smokers.” I have had many people say, “I shook it & it rattles so it’s OK.” Then we put a new one in & the smoke quits. They’re cheap, try it.

As for your original question: If the shop didn’t try any of the suggestions that we have provided; or at least suggest them to you, I would wonder about their ability to provide quality repairs & maintenance. I would think that they should have at least tried to help you out?

Please let us know how you make out.

Thanks for using the forum,
Garner

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