Tag: Repair

By on January 24, 2017

car breakdown (dagnyg/Flickr)

Brian writes:

Hi there — I’ve been doing a lot of research (Googling) as of late to truly understand car reliability. I’ve been reading through sites like Carcomplaints.com, Truedelta.com, Consumer Reports, JD Power, specific car model forums, etc. What I really want to is, how accurate is this information? For example, you can look on Car Complaints and see that some models have awful reliability, but then you dig into it and realize it’s only five reported incidences of the same problem. And then you look at other websites that barely mention this particular problem.

So what gives? Even if it is a major problem, what are the chances you would end it up with it if you bought that particular model and year? (Read More…)

By on September 13, 2016

hail-damage-1272030_960_720

Luis writes:

Hi Sajeev,

I live in Texas where we’ve had terrible rain and hail storms. My daily driver is a 2004 Acura RSX Type-S with 111,000 miles on the clock. I purchased it second hand last year after driving my last car for ten years. A ’99 Civic coupe (178k miles, which I still own but leave parked). Anyway, the Acura incurred at least $7,000 in hail damage, mostly on the roof, hood and trunk, and minor damage on the sides. My question is: should I keep it? It runs great and has never been modded or in an accident. The insurance will pay off the balance of my loan (about $6,200) and make it even-Steven, or they will pay around $6,000 (which is the value minus the assumed auction price of $1,100) to the bank and I will have to pay the $1,100 balance and be able to keep it. Either way, it will make it a “total loss”. The adjuster said it will not be branded on the title as salvage but will be deemed a total loss that will show up on a Carfax. Making full coverage is not an option. (Read More…)

By on September 9, 2016

2015-09-22_15-53-44

TTAC Commentator Kurt_B writes:

Hi TTAC. I’m a long time reader and member. My four-year-old Mustang hood is peeling. Ford does not cover this issue outside of the three-year comprehensive warranty, and even when repaints are authorized they don’t last. This is a very common issue that has to do with poor paint adhesion to aluminum. I’m pretty sure we’re going to see peeling 2015+ F150s in a few years with their aluminum panels.

For Sajeev: A lot of owners buy aftermarket fiberglass hoods (Cervini, etc). Others have their factory hoods repainted, which may or may not last. One shop I went to suggested vinyl-wrapping the hood — something I really don’t want to do to a four-year-old car. (Read More…)

By on July 20, 2016

flat tire (Michael Kappel/Flickr)

More Americans enjoyed a vacation on the side of the road last year than ever before, according to the American Automobile Association.

Vehicle breakdowns reached a new high in 2015, with 32 million calls logged to AAA from drivers in distress. Of the most common problems, vehicles less than five years old make up a large part of the tally. So, what’s the deal? Are vehicles going backwards in quality? (Read More…)

By on July 19, 2016

Deer Crossing Dixboro Road, Superior Township, Michigan, Image: By Dwight Burdette (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Michael writes:

Hi Sajeev,

Back in December, I purchased a new 2016 Ford Mustang 2.3-liter Ecoboost. Awesome car, my first Ecoboost and my first “sports” car. Anyway, the vehicle only has 2,200 miles and I’m still very much breaking it in.

Much to my dismay, last week while driving home through a wooded stretch, I struck a deer in the middle of the road. The deer was already dead, laying across multiple lanes with no way for me to avoid.

(Read More…)

By on July 12, 2016

2010 Subaru Outback Rear 3/4, Image: Subaru

Nigel writes:

I own a 2011 Subaru Outback that just reached 107,000 miles. The past four bills I’ve received for it have cost anywhere from $300-580 a pop (two were for maintenance, plus the timing belt and new brakes up front).

Should I get used to high bills for it, or am I just getting ripped off by the dealership?

(Read More…)

By on June 4, 2016

press03-model-x-front-three-quarter-with-doors-open

Tesla Model X owners might want to double check their insurance coverage before hitting those rural highways in search of ecologically sensitive adventure.

Now that the electric SUV is rolling out of Fremont in bigger numbers, owners are starting to experience the normal headaches that come with vehicle ownership. One nagging issue owners are discovering is the cost of replacing the acres and acres of glass that make up the vehicle’s panoramic windshield. (Which happens to be the biggest in the industry.) (Read More…)

By on May 16, 2016

Welded-together Land Rover transmission

The saga of a welded transmission seems to have come to a somewhat happy ending.

The Reddit whistleblower at the center of this story, who is an employee of the dealership in question, provided TTAC the details on how the repair came to be. A representative from Jaguar Land Rover was also able to confirm that the incident was resolved, resulting in a satisfied Land Rover owner.

(Read More…)

By on May 11, 2016

Welded-together Land Rover transmission

The “Just Rolled Into The Shop” subreddit usually shows an array of some of the worst maintained vehicles that customers bring into shops — but a post today showed negligence isn’t solely limited to those bringing in vehicles for service or repair.

User Valkyrier posted a picture of a welded transmission and explained the circumstances: that a dealership technician dropped and damaged it during an engine replacement and was planning to reinstall it … after welding it back together … without telling the vehicle’s owner.

(Read More…)

By on April 26, 2016

James "Ski" Smith drives on two wheels around Laguna Seca, Image Source: Autoedit/YouTube

David writes:

Over the last few years, I’ve had work done on my ’99 Ford F-150 at various places near my work. It seems that when a wear item goes (like ball joints), the mechanic wants to replace absolutely everything in the system — tie rods, pitman arm, trailing arm, etc. Or when the left side brake caliper goes bad, they want to replace the right one, too. Or give me all new hoses when I replace my radiator.

The reason the mechanic gives is always, “Well they are the same age, and if the left one is bad, the right one is not far behind.”

This gets really expensive really quick. Is this worth it? Why do mechanics always want to replace everything in the system, if only one part is bad? Is this strategy only to boost profit? Or is there some truth in their reasoning? (Read More…)

By on April 1, 2016

Preston Perry, tractor owner

If this catches on, local governments will have to choose between anarchy and saving on infrastructure repair.

An 84-year-old man in rural Nova Scotia, Canada just did what many of us have always fantasized about — he rolled out his own heavy equipment to fix the road in front of his house, according to Global News.

Preston Perry of Upper Nine Mile River was sick to death of the suspension-bending potholes in his gravel roadway, and — like Charles Bronson in any movie starring Charles Bronson — stormed out the door to take matters into his own hands.

(Read More…)

By on March 31, 2016

Auto Repair

Your vehicle’s hidden flaws and most shocking (mechanical) secrets will soon be just a click away.

The Department of Transportation is ending the clandestine relationship between your car’s dealer and the manufacturer by posting all Technical Service Bulletins (TSB) online, according to Consumer Reports.

TSBs, which outline the recommended procedure for repairing vehicles, will be posted in PDF form on the safercar.gov website.

(Read More…)

By on March 15, 2016

2013 BMW X1

Anonymous writes:

Hi Sajeev,

As a long-time reader of Piston Slap and TTAC, I never thought I’d be writing for advice. You see, I usually buy new or manufacturer-certified cars with warranties and loaners and all the benefits that the extra money affords. Surely, any problems would be handled lovingly and without hassle by the dealer and maker. Mostly that’s been the case, but not this time …

(Read More…)

By on November 5, 2015

TDI Clean Diesel

According to the same source who revealed to TTAC that Volkswagen will announce next week its “TDI Goodwill Program”, the automaker will also begin to roll out fixes for affected diesel emissions cars in the U.S. in February.

The fix, which was mentioned to dealers and communicated to dealer staff, will comprise of an ECU flash. The details of the ECU flash itself and the specific vehicles to which it will apply were not provided.

It was reported previously that different generations of the affected EA189 diesel engine could receive varying levels of correction, from ECU flashes to the installation of full urea-fed SCR systems. This ECU flash could be just one of two or three fixes for Volkswagen’s dirty diesels.

Volkswagen has supposedly earmarked $4 billion to fix their diesel cars and public reputation in the U.S., which includes money the automaker will use to fund the “TDI Goodwill Program”, said the source.

(Read More…)

By on October 13, 2015

Stefan writes:

Dear Sajeev,

I am the last person who would want to be even peripherally involved in you losing your job or impeding that great Lincoln rebuild. I am a loyal reader of TTAC and “slavishly” read your column.

My Subie is just touching 120,000 miles. It has been a really great, reliable ride and I fortunately have a good dealer and private mechanic for the routine issues that pop up.

I want to keep the car as long as possible. I do oil changes and the roughly 60,000 mile recommended scheduled service on time. The engine sounds good, has good (for a Subie) pick-up, averages 20 to 23 miles per gallon, and still has a tight body. I anticipate the need for new shocks at some point soon and a muffler/cat replacement. (Read More…)

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