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Is this statement true?



 
 
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  #1  
Old November 20th 05, 08:07 PM posted to rec.autos.tech
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Default Is this statement true?

A professional mechanic once posted in another forum that if your car is
well maintained by a competent mechanic who maintains his education, it
should NEVER break down without warning, leaving you stranded.

Is this statement true?

I think back to the last eight times I have completely broken down:

1) Brake line burst (cause: my failure to replace very rusty line for years)

2) Alternator died (I had warnings, but thought it was just the battery.
PepBoys mechanic failed to check alternator when I replaced battery a few
days earlier)

3) Belt tensioner gave way (due to my failure to realize this was a
minatainable component over the years)

4) Blower motor and radiator fan stopped working for unknown reason (still
trying to diagnose this).

5) Total loss of engine oil, due to mechanic claiming my Fram filter I
provided him for an oil change was faulty. I actually think he didn't put it
on right. I now do my own oil changes and have never had a problem with a
leak or Fram filter.

6) Starter died (I had thought it was my loose battery terminals all this
time)

7) Starter #2 died. I had warnings. Hammering on it got it to start.

8) Starter bolt cracked, thereby cracking and dislodging starter. Cheap
chain discount auto part/service store said it was my fault (VIP Discount
Auto in New England). Strange, both of their lifetime warranty piece of crap
starters broke off the bolts since they shook so violently when starting the
car. One time they had to pull the engine in order to have a machine shop
drill out the bolt! Cost them over $500, and they tried to make me pay. But
since going to an AC Delco starter, never a problem, and it always starts
quietly!

So, as you can see, all of the above breakdowns, with the exception of the
radiator fan and blower motor above (#4) have had have been due to my own
failures, at least in part. So that statement the mechanic made above does
make sense, for th emost part.

Julie


Ads
  #2  
Old November 20th 05, 08:37 PM posted to rec.autos.tech
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Default Is this statement true?

Julie P. wrote:
>
> A professional mechanic once posted in another forum that if your car is
> well maintained by a competent mechanic who maintains his education, it
> should NEVER break down without warning, leaving you stranded.
>
> Is this statement true?


IMO, perfection is unattainable.
You could get close though. Look at commercial passenger jets.
They rarely go bad.
Just change everything every few months.
Engine, trans, body, driver, etc.
  #3  
Old November 20th 05, 09:38 PM posted to rec.autos.tech
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Default Is this statement true?

Julie P. wrote:
>
> A professional mechanic once posted in another forum that if your car is
> well maintained by a competent mechanic who maintains his education, it
> should NEVER break down without warning, leaving you stranded.
>
> Is this statement true?


Depends on your definition of well-maintained. Airplane engines periodically
get rebuilt at a certain interval, whether they need it or not, because the
consequences of failure are severe. This is, however, extremely expensive.

I remember riding the bus in the Phillipines.... each round trip from Manila
to Baguio, they'd drop the engine, take it apart, and check it. Labour was
very cheap and parts were very expensive.

It also depends on your definition of "without warning." I can list five...
no, six things on my daily driver that are giving some symptoms of possible
impending failure, and I should probably do something about them. But none
are really high on the list.

It's all a cost vs. risk breakdown. What are you willing to pay for each
given increment in reliability?
--scott
>
>IMO, perfection is unattainable.
>You could get close though. Look at commercial passenger jets.
>They rarely go bad.
>Just change everything every few months.
>Engine, trans, body, driver, etc.



--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
  #4  
Old November 20th 05, 09:58 PM posted to rec.autos.tech
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Posts: n/a
Default Is this statement true?


Julie P. wrote:
> A professional mechanic once posted in another forum that if your car is
> well maintained by a competent mechanic who maintains his education, it
> should NEVER break down without warning, leaving you stranded.
>
> Is this statement true?


Never? Almost never is more accurate, and it depends on the car. A
pit crew couldn't keep some models running reliably.

> 2) Alternator died (I had warnings, but thought it was just the battery.
> PepBoys mechanic failed to check alternator when I replaced battery a few
> days earlier)


Keyword he Pep Boys
Almost anyone who has ever owned a 90's GM could describe the charging
warning light that comes on a day before the battery goes dead.
Everyone in the business knows that series of alternator is a piece of
crap. How could anyone have missed this if the alternator was actually
bad at the time you brought it to the "shop"? Are you sure you didn't
just ask for a battery and their parts counter guy installed it for
free as a courtesy?

> 3) Belt tensioner gave way (due to my failure to realize this was a
> minatainable component over the years)


Not really, replace it if it binds or throws the belt off. Otherwise,
keep it until it begins to fail. Otherwise you are replacing a good
part on a maintenance schedule; if you did that with every part on the
car........

> 4) Blower motor and radiator fan stopped working for unknown reason (still
> trying to diagnose this).


Perhaps a competent mechanic could help here...

> 5) Total loss of engine oil, due to mechanic claiming my Fram filter I
> provided him for an oil change was faulty. I actually think he didn't put it
> on right. I now do my own oil changes and have never had a problem with a
> leak or Fram filter.


Providing parts for a mechanic/shop is a good sign that the
mechanic/shop is too desperate (incompetent) to refuse.

> 6) Starter died (I had thought it was my loose battery terminals all this
> time)
>
> 7) Starter #2 died. I had warnings. Hammering on it got it to start.


Were starter one or starter two shimmed properly (as in actually
properly, not "I think so")

> 8) Starter bolt cracked, thereby cracking and dislodging starter. Cheap
> chain discount auto part/service store said it was my fault (VIP Discount
> Auto in New England). Strange, both of their lifetime warranty piece of crap
> starters broke off the bolts since they shook so violently when starting the
> car. One time they had to pull the engine in order to have a machine shop
> drill out the bolt! Cost them over $500, and they tried to make me pay. But
> since going to an AC Delco starter, never a problem, and it always starts
> quietly!


Sounds like an improperly shimmed starter to me, or wrong bolt torque.
If they were new aftermarket starters, I could see the hollowed out
nose housing cracking from inferior material build. If they were
remans, their nose housings were probably reused Delco pieces that
could withstand anything short of improper installation.

If you want to learn how to maintain all aspects of your car, then
that's great. Accept the growing pains that come with... when
backyard mechanics run into a problem, very frequently it's not the
part that is at fault. Also know who is a competent mechanic and who
isn't. Pep Boys doesn't pay enough to employ competent mechanics, so
you won't see too many there (unless they're just in the store to buy
oil for their own car).

Toyota MDT in MO

P.S. All starter comments based on the educated guess that the 2.2 and
3.1 use the old early 90's SD shimmed starter. I'm positive they do...

  #5  
Old November 20th 05, 10:40 PM posted to rec.autos.tech
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Is this statement true?

"Scott Dorsey" > wrote in message
...
> Julie P. wrote:
>>
>> A professional mechanic once posted in another forum that if your car is
>> well maintained by a competent mechanic who maintains his education, it
>> should NEVER break down without warning, leaving you stranded.
>>
>> Is this statement true?

>
> Depends on your definition of well-maintained. Airplane engines
> periodically
> get rebuilt at a certain interval, whether they need it or not, because
> the
> consequences of failure are severe. This is, however, extremely
> expensive.
>
> I remember riding the bus in the Phillipines.... each round trip from
> Manila
> to Baguio, they'd drop the engine, take it apart, and check it. Labour
> was
> very cheap and parts were very expensive.
>


I assume you mean "air bus" and not a regular bus?

> It also depends on your definition of "without warning." I can list
> five...
> no, six things on my daily driver that are giving some symptoms of
> possible
> impending failure, and I should probably do something about them. But
> none
> are really high on the list.
>
> It's all a cost vs. risk breakdown. What are you willing to pay for each
> given increment in reliability?


Thanks, I agree. It's just with me, I do my own maintenance, and sometimes
this can take a while, as there is a learning curve. So I am trying to be
more cautious, especially as my car ages. I have not seen a mechanic in
almost 6 years now, except to balance my tires and have them mounted. I even
pull my own wheels before I hand them to them.


  #6  
Old November 20th 05, 10:50 PM posted to rec.autos.tech
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Is this statement true?


"Comboverfish" > wrote in message
oups.com...
>
> Julie P. wrote:
>> A professional mechanic once posted in another forum that if your car is
>> well maintained by a competent mechanic who maintains his education, it
>> should NEVER break down without warning, leaving you stranded.
>>
>> Is this statement true?

>
> Never? Almost never is more accurate, and it depends on the car. A
> pit crew couldn't keep some models running reliably.
>
>> 2) Alternator died (I had warnings, but thought it was just the battery.
>> PepBoys mechanic failed to check alternator when I replaced battery a few
>> days earlier)

>
> Keyword he Pep Boys
> Almost anyone who has ever owned a 90's GM could describe the charging
> warning light that comes on a day before the battery goes dead.


Never happened with me. One day, the battery was just near dead.

> Everyone in the business knows that series of alternator is a piece of
> crap. How could anyone have missed this if the alternator was actually
> bad at the time you brought it to the "shop"? Are you sure you didn't
> just ask for a battery and their parts counter guy installed it for
> free as a courtesy?
>


No, I had to pay them for the install, and they installed the wrong battery.
So I took it back the next day, and went to Wal-Mart instead. This was in
the 90's, before I did my own maintenance.

>> 3) Belt tensioner gave way (due to my failure to realize this was a
>> minatainable component over the years)

>
> Not really, replace it if it binds or throws the belt off. Otherwise,
> keep it until it begins to fail. Otherwise you are replacing a good
> part on a maintenance schedule; if you did that with every part on the
> car........


Yes, I failed as my belt deflection was too much, yet I assumed that tension
was supposed to be automatic and could not be maintained. Little did I know
this was a sign of a failing tensioner. Now my belt is nice and tight.

>
>> 4) Blower motor and radiator fan stopped working for unknown reason
>> (still
>> trying to diagnose this).

>
> Perhaps a competent mechanic could help here...
>


I do all of my own maintenace, and want to learn to diagnose this myself. I
am almost there. I just have to find the short now.

>> 5) Total loss of engine oil, due to mechanic claiming my Fram filter I
>> provided him for an oil change was faulty. I actually think he didn't put
>> it
>> on right. I now do my own oil changes and have never had a problem with a
>> leak or Fram filter.

>
> Providing parts for a mechanic/shop is a good sign that the
> mechanic/shop is too desperate (incompetent) to refuse.
>


This was a Chevy dealer. At the time, I only used Fram oil filters, as I
thought they were the best, even better than a GM one.

>> 6) Starter died (I had thought it was my loose battery terminals all this
>> time)
>>
>> 7) Starter #2 died. I had warnings. Hammering on it got it to start.

>
> Were starter one or starter two shimmed properly (as in actually
> properly, not "I think so")
>


I don't know. I know I did have to pay for new shims.

>> 8) Starter bolt cracked, thereby cracking and dislodging starter. Cheap
>> chain discount auto part/service store said it was my fault (VIP Discount
>> Auto in New England). Strange, both of their lifetime warranty piece of
>> crap
>> starters broke off the bolts since they shook so violently when starting
>> the
>> car. One time they had to pull the engine in order to have a machine shop
>> drill out the bolt! Cost them over $500, and they tried to make me pay.
>> But
>> since going to an AC Delco starter, never a problem, and it always starts
>> quietly!

>
> Sounds like an improperly shimmed starter to me, or wrong bolt torque.
> If they were new aftermarket starters, I could see the hollowed out
> nose housing cracking from inferior material build. If they were
> remans, their nose housings were probably reused Delco pieces that
> could withstand anything short of improper installation.
>


They were remans with lifetime warranty. thanks for telling me about this. I
will have to be careful with this should my starter ever fail. Plus the two
that broke were no-name pieces of junk.

> If you want to learn how to maintain all aspects of your car, then
> that's great. Accept the growing pains that come with... when
> backyard mechanics run into a problem, very frequently it's not the
> part that is at fault.


True. I have done a lot of different jobs over the years, so I am proud of
that. It just takes me more time. I am thinking of taking courses in
Automotive Technology at a local community college after I save some more
money.

Also know who is a competent mechanic and who
> isn't. Pep Boys doesn't pay enough to employ competent mechanics, so
> you won't see too many there (unless they're just in the store to buy
> oil for their own car).
>


Yes, I learned the hard way.

> Toyota MDT in MO
>
> P.S. All starter comments based on the educated guess that the 2.2 and
> 3.1 use the old early 90's SD shimmed starter. I'm positive they do...
>


Right, they use shims.

Julie


  #7  
Old November 20th 05, 10:58 PM posted to rec.autos.tech
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Is this statement true?


Julie P. wrote:
> A professional mechanic once posted in another forum that if your car is
> well maintained by a competent mechanic who maintains his education, it
> should NEVER break down without warning, leaving you stranded.
>
> Is this statement true?
>
> I think back to the last eight times I have completely broken down:
>
> 1) Brake line burst (cause: my failure to replace very rusty line for years)
>
> 2) Alternator died (I had warnings, but thought it was just the battery.
> PepBoys mechanic failed to check alternator when I replaced battery a few
> days earlier)
>
> 3) Belt tensioner gave way (due to my failure to realize this was a
> minatainable component over the years)
>
> 4) Blower motor and radiator fan stopped working for unknown reason (still
> trying to diagnose this).
>
> 5) Total loss of engine oil, due to mechanic claiming my Fram filter I
> provided him for an oil change was faulty. I actually think he didn't put it
> on right. I now do my own oil changes and have never had a problem with a
> leak or Fram filter.


oh geez. NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER USE FRAM. FRAM = UNMITIGATED ****.
You could seriously wad up your feces, put it in an orange can, and
install it on your engine, and it would be as good as a Fram filter.

>
> 6) Starter died (I had thought it was my loose battery terminals all this
> time)
>
> 7) Starter #2 died. I had warnings. Hammering on it got it to start.
>
> 8) Starter bolt cracked, thereby cracking and dislodging starter. Cheap
> chain discount auto part/service store said it was my fault (VIP Discount
> Auto in New England). Strange, both of their lifetime warranty piece of crap
> starters broke off the bolts since they shook so violently when starting the
> car. One time they had to pull the engine in order to have a machine shop
> drill out the bolt! Cost them over $500, and they tried to make me pay. But
> since going to an AC Delco starter, never a problem, and it always starts
> quietly!
>
> So, as you can see, all of the above breakdowns, with the exception of the
> radiator fan and blower motor above (#4) have had have been due to my own
> failures, at least in part. So that statement the mechanic made above does
> make sense, for th emost part.
>
> Julie


Sounds like you're learning to a) become better at seeing potential
problems and b) having a few lessons in what are quality parts and what
are not. Pretty soon you probably will reach that Zen-like state where
you can all but predict what's going to break next, and when...

nate

(whose car hasn't left him stranded, but is vibrating like mad, and I
can't figure it out.)

  #8  
Old November 20th 05, 11:19 PM posted to rec.autos.tech
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Is this statement true?


"N8N" > wrote in message
oups.com...

> oh geez. NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER USE FRAM. FRAM = UNMITIGATED ****.
> You could seriously wad up your feces, put it in an orange can, and
> install it on your engine, and it would be as good as a Fram filter.
>



Maybe NAPA Gold or one from the dealer then? Advance Auto Part sales has
some type of "gold" line of their own filters.

It's unfortunate I already bought about 10-15 of the Fram (and Purolator)
ones a few years ago for my car, while on sale. Oh well.


> Sounds like you're learning to a) become better at seeing potential
> problems and b) having a few lessons in what are quality parts and what
> are not. Pretty soon you probably will reach that Zen-like state where
> you can all but predict what's going to break next, and when...
>
> nate


Yeah, we'll see. Right now I'm trying to do all kinds of last minute
maintenance before winter.

>
> (whose car hasn't left him stranded, but is vibrating like mad, and I
> can't figure it out.)


Hmmmm. Don't know. Exhaust maybe?

Julie


  #9  
Old November 20th 05, 11:30 PM posted to rec.autos.tech
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Is this statement true?


Julie P. wrote:
> "N8N" > wrote in message
> oups.com...
>
> > oh geez. NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER USE FRAM. FRAM = UNMITIGATED ****.
> > You could seriously wad up your feces, put it in an orange can, and
> > install it on your engine, and it would be as good as a Fram filter.
> >

>
>
> Maybe NAPA Gold or one from the dealer then? Advance Auto Part sales has
> some type of "gold" line of their own filters.
>


NAPA Gold is a rebranded Wix filter, which is an excellent filter.

> It's unfortunate I already bought about 10-15 of the Fram (and Purolator)
> ones a few years ago for my car, while on sale. Oh well.


Purolator is pretty good. I prefer Wix, but there's a Purolator on the
Porsche right now. I just refuse to use Fram under any circumstances -
too many horror stories of the cans blowing apart when cold, on too
many different types of engines. Plus their internal construction just
looks cheezy.

>
>
> > Sounds like you're learning to a) become better at seeing potential
> > problems and b) having a few lessons in what are quality parts and what
> > are not. Pretty soon you probably will reach that Zen-like state where
> > you can all but predict what's going to break next, and when...
> >
> > nate

>
> Yeah, we'll see. Right now I'm trying to do all kinds of last minute
> maintenance before winter.
>


Yup, spent today doing the same. Next weekend: install heater in
Studebaker. That seems like a fairly important winter accessory

> >
> > (whose car hasn't left him stranded, but is vibrating like mad, and I
> > can't figure it out.)

>
> Hmmmm. Don't know. Exhaust maybe?
>


Nope, I suspect either a transaxle getting ready to self destruct,
and/or collateral damage from the hit it took to the driver's side
quarter panel. The driver's side outer CV bolts were all loose and the
boot on that joint was all cracked, which is odd as it's less than a
year old, and I replaced both axles at the same time and the other
three CV's were all tight. The fact that it was the same corner of the
car that took a hit makes me think that there is a problem there that
may or may not be related to getting hit, but I can't prove it, nor can
I find what the problem actually is - I replaced that axle again today
(the company I bought it from - Raxles, inc, highly recommended - sent
me a warranty replacement as the boot was near split through) but the
problem still remains; although I'm considering the loose bolts a clue
that the vibration is originating in the area of that hub.

But, as I said, I'm scratching my head. I think it will probably go
back in the shop this week; I don't feel like messing it, and if it's
related to getting hit my insurance company ought to pay. (fortunately
I did not cancel my comp and collision; unfortunately whoever plowed
into it didn't bother to leave a note...)

nate

  #10  
Old November 20th 05, 11:40 PM posted to rec.autos.tech
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Is this statement true?


"N8N" > wrote in message
oups.com...
>
> Julie P. wrote:
>> "N8N" > wrote in message
>> oups.com...
>>
>> > oh geez. NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER USE FRAM. FRAM = UNMITIGATED ****.
>> > You could seriously wad up your feces, put it in an orange can, and
>> > install it on your engine, and it would be as good as a Fram filter.
>> >

>>
>>
>> Maybe NAPA Gold or one from the dealer then? Advance Auto Part sales has
>> some type of "gold" line of their own filters.
>>

>
> NAPA Gold is a rebranded Wix filter, which is an excellent filter.
>


Ok, Wix is what the employee at Advance Auto recommended, although they
didn't sell them there.

>> It's unfortunate I already bought about 10-15 of the Fram (and Purolator)
>> ones a few years ago for my car, while on sale. Oh well.

>
> Purolator is pretty good. I prefer Wix, but there's a Purolator on the
> Porsche right now. I just refuse to use Fram under any circumstances -
> too many horror stories of the cans blowing apart when cold, on too
> many different types of engines. Plus their internal construction just
> looks cheezy.
>


But Purolator is just as inexpensive as Fram, and the filter material looks
thinner, at least for their air filters. I suppose the brand of air filter
isn't as critical as the oil filter though.

>
> Yup, spent today doing the same. Next weekend: install heater in
> Studebaker. That seems like a fairly important winter accessory
>


Very nice cars.

>> >
>> > (whose car hasn't left him stranded, but is vibrating like mad, and I
>> > can't figure it out.)

>>
>> Hmmmm. Don't know. Exhaust maybe?
>>

>
> Nope, I suspect either a transaxle getting ready to self destruct,
> and/or collateral damage from the hit it took to the driver's side
> quarter panel. The driver's side outer CV bolts were all loose and the
> boot on that joint was all cracked, which is odd as it's less than a
> year old, and I replaced both axles at the same time and the other
> three CV's were all tight. The fact that it was the same corner of the
> car that took a hit makes me think that there is a problem there that
> may or may not be related to getting hit, but I can't prove it, nor can
> I find what the problem actually is - I replaced that axle again today
> (the company I bought it from - Raxles, inc, highly recommended - sent
> me a warranty replacement as the boot was near split through) but the
> problem still remains; although I'm considering the loose bolts a clue
> that the vibration is originating in the area of that hub.
>
> But, as I said, I'm scratching my head. I think it will probably go
> back in the shop this week; I don't feel like messing it, and if it's
> related to getting hit my insurance company ought to pay. (fortunately
> I did not cancel my comp and collision; unfortunately whoever plowed
> into it didn't bother to leave a note...)



That happened to me twice. One they left a note and their insurance paid me,
without even an inspection. the other two times it was a hit and run, once
while the cars were in motion. The other driver sped off.

Julie


 




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