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I just got an email from a female friend of mine. Actually she emailed me last week to cancel lunch because her 1991 Mercury 4cylinder was overheating and she was stranded at the office- it is over 100 degrees here in TX.

Based on what she told me, I guessed it was the thermostat. I was right. But she had it towed to a local garage (cringe!)

Well, I received word from her today (meaning she still does not have the car back!) that the mechanic told her she needed a new timing chain and that her CV joints were cracked - CHA-ching!

What a conscientious mechanic to discover all this while changing a thermostat. (altho he didn't discover that she has a timing belt and not a chain) ::

Problem is, last year while she was on vaca her timing belt broke and she had it replaced, so I'm'a guessin' she doesn't need another new one.

Because this guy is trying to screw her on the timing belt (obviously he did not ask her when the last time it was changed was), I don't trust him on the CV's.

I'd go over with her, but being a female I suspec ti would get the same respect.

My advice to her was to ask this yahoo to put the car on a lift and show her the cracks, but even if they are there take the car somewhere else. If she were to let this guy fix the CV's (if they need it) you know he will find another $1000 worth of work once the car is apart. ::

This chick doesn't know anything about cars. Does anyone know a good honest mechanic in South Austin, TX?
 

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Let's also remember he would have to pull the boot covers on the CV joints to see if they were cracked or not. Now, why would he be pulling the boot covers off the CV joints to change the Thermostat??

They're ripping her off!

Dave
::
 

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Boy, youse guys got a bunch of real winners down there :p
 

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Sorry to hear about your friends dilemma. I would say that the CV joint boots could be cracked but to have a cracked joint? No way. Do you know what it takes to replace boots? As big a job as replacing the axle in most cases. And those "split" boots as replacements....I see them thrown off on the side of the road. I hope she finds someone better to work in her Mercury. John
 

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I've had good luck with Christian Brothers Automotive up here in Round Rock. I know they have another location over in Cedar Park; so perhaps there's a 3rd one further south. It's worth checking.
 

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Tell her to have him fix the thermostat only. Timing belts are good for 60k. CV joints don't need to be replaced until you hear clunking going around a corner. The boots can be cracked for years, but if she's not driving in sand, dirt and water, they should be fine for years. Like was stated earlier, the replacement covers don't stay on. If she really wants them repaired, get the whole half shaft assembly from JC Whitney, one for each side and replace them that way. The assembly includes inner and outer CV joints, dust boots and axle. Also, check and or repair the transfer case seals if she goes for the half shafts. Should be good for another 100k or so. Nothing you and your boyfriend couldn't do for her for a nice dinner for payment!
 

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just tell him to stop ALL work on the car since the thermostat is fixed and take it to at LEAST 3 other mechanics for their opinions. an honest mechanic will tell you that the CV BOOTS are what is cracked and that the CV JOINTS do not need replaced just greased and new boots installed(easy as they have a NEET little thing called a QWIK-BOOT that you DO NOT have to take the shaft out to install) once you find a good, honest mechanic,(you'll know him because he'll be busy ALL the time) keep him! and I personally check over every car before it leaves my shop for anything that could be dangerous because it is the mechanics responsibility. but I'm honest so....... ::
 

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Being a guy I get the same treatment. I brought my Windstar in because the check engine light was on, turns out it was a vacuum leak. But suddenly, I needed new rear brakes, fuel injectors clean, throttle body cleaned, yadda, yadda, yadda.

Now having had my own business (electrical contractor) and presently working as an electrician in a large corporate headquarters, I wish I had a dollar for every time I had to go on a service call because someone's office lights are burned out, only to find that the wall switch that is 6 feet away in plain eye sight is in the off posistion. How are these people going to keep a watchful eye on their vehicles maintenance...or for that matter, anything else! Some one has to protect them from themselves!

Sorry, I don't mean to sound like I'm comming down on you or your friend, but you can't assume everyone knows what they are doing. Do you ask your clients questions that may seem simple to you that your client never thought of?
 

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This is the biggest reason my car will NEVER go to another garage but my own! The other reason is I picked up my 5.0 from a garage one time and I could almost roll the rubber off the rear rocker. Can you say burn-out? Garage refused to pay saying it was there when I brought it in. I'm not about to burn off $600 of rear tires for no reason. Nedless to say, vigilante justice works for all.

For you freind, tell the mechanic to fix what it was brought in there for, nothing more. She'll get a second opinion, and when the second opinion isn't the same as his, a letter will be sent to the Better Buisness Bureau (if you have one).
 

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It’s great to look out for your friend. Seems rip-off artists are everywhere, operating with impunity.

Ask around for a reputable competent mechanic, just like you would for a surgeon, and then cross your fingers.
 

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The shop I worked for required a full inspection of every car that came in, no matter what it was in for.. Its common to replace CV boots when they are cracked, which is prolly what was ment.. We disassembled the joint and put new boots and grease in them and reassembled them like new.. I've never seen the split boots mentioned here.. It wan't all that expensive of a job either.. like 2.5hrs labor.. The timming belt he prolly just went by milage, and never looked at the belt. It seems a loosing battle now adays to find a good resectable trustworthy mechanic.. :( I'm glad I'm no-longer in the buisness

Good luck
AJ
 

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Ok, This is who I have do work for me that I can't do myself. Bob Lawson Automotive Service 9520 HWY 290 West Austin, TX Austin phone # 288-5022
I do trust their work, know Fords better than other cars. Not cheap but I trust them. Give this to your friend. It is a couple of miles down 290 West from the Y at Oak Hill. John
 
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