Help me! Car Repair Advice
My car has been running a little rough at idle when cold. It would sometimes cut out for a moment and almost stall. The “Check Engine” light came on. It was due for a Test-Only smog check so I took it in for a smog test. The smog guy said the car passed except for the Check Engine light. He handed me a paper describing a $500 repair credit for smog-related repairs from the State.
I took my car to the mechanic at 400 Guerrero. He said, “I looked for a few hours. Maybe it’s the throttle sensor, maybe the computer. I don’t have the equipment to check the computer. Take it somewhere else. I won’t charge you.”
I took my car to a dealer in Walnut Creek, Michael Stead (because all the local Chrysler dealers are closed because of effing General Motors going into the shitter). They replaced the throttle sensor for $500. Before I got home, the problem manifested itself again.
I took the car to the dealer again and now they say it’s an intermittent open connection in the electrical system. They want to charge me $1,800 to replace the entire wiring harness. Is this reasonable?
The dealer will reimburse me the $500 for the mistaken throttle sensor problem. And I should get $500 free money from the state.
If I get a second opinion, might a mechanic be able to find and replace the one bad wire in the electrical system for less than $1,800? Do I dare try cutting and soldering wires myself? I mean, if it’s broken copper in a wire, it’s $1 of wire that’s gone bad.
Hi, if your check engine lite comes on your mechanic has to retrieve the code to review the circuit of that component and only then change the part is broken.
check the iac valve and the vacuum hoses, air filter , intake manifold hoses.
send me a mail if it doesnt work, by the way whath car is it?
Ruddy, thanks for the comment.
The smog test computer code report said the problem was with the throttle sensor. The dealer replaced the throttle sensor and that didn’t fix it.
The car is a 1998 Chrysler Sebring JX, 6 cylinder 2.5 liter.
I’ll ask the mechanic if he checked the bits you mention: iac valve and the vacuum hoses, air filter, intake manifold hoses.
Ruddy, if it’s a bad wire in the harness, might a mechanic be able to find and replace the one bad wire in the electrical system for less than $1,800? That seems like an awful lot of money for a bundle of wires.
I put this question to the SomethingAwful crowd at Marnia’s suggestion. I got some good comments. Read them on SomethingAwful.com.
Worse comes to worse, I might buy a used main engine harness from http://www.car-part.com/. Looks like I can get one there for $200 instead of $700 new. Hmmm.
Here’s how this issue concluded:
I brought the car to the dealer a second time. They said it would cost $1,800 to fix. I turned down the offer. When I got the car back, it was miraculously fixed! I took it for smog inspection and it passed.
At the recommendation of a friend, I brought my issue to Automotive Insanity on The Awful Forums. They gave a couple good suggestions. Ultimately I didn’t go by their advice but here are some snippets from the conversation.
from me 1-29-10
from me 1-31-10
from me 3-4-10