Published Mon, May 14 2007 6:48 PM
Technorati Tags: Annoyances
I suppose it had to happen sometime. After all, the car is 6 years old (almost 7) and it's got almost 126,000 miles on it.
My 2001 PT Cruiser overheated on the way to buy propane and flowers yesterday. After checking and topping off the coolant, and checking the oil and other fluids I had to add quite a bit of coolant to replace the mess that ended up underneath the car at the gas station.
That wasn't good enough. I had to replace about half as much again this morning, and I hadn't even gotten really headed off to work. So I took the car to a local repair shop, and called in to work with car trouble.
About four hours later I got the bad news, and the estimate. My water pump is cracked and leaking. So is the radiator. Apparently the water pump is driven off of the same belt that manages timing. Whether that's actually the case or not, the car is overdue to have the timing belt replaced anyway.
So far, the total estimate comes to just over $1,352. That's without even knowing for certain whether the shop will have the correct tensioner for the timing belt. Once upon a time I would have thought that I was being ripped off when quoted a price like that.
That was before a short stint watching the way things actually work in an automotive service business. I'm fairly sure that I'm being charged a standard number of hours for the work, and a reasonable price for the actual parts.
Even so, it's a lot of money, and I'm not going to have the car back for at least another day...
What can I do though. I love the car, and it's usually a dream to drive, even if it's NOT a Corvette.
Now I hear Daimler-Chrysler is going to sell off the Chrysler Group...
Update: Well... it looks like I may be without my car for another day. Apparently they have all of the parts, but they don't have one of the tools they need to do the job. That seems a bit strange to me. How many automotive repair shops don't have a harmonic balancer puller on hand?
Update #2: Yet another day. I don't see how it is that, knowing they needed this tool they never bothered to acquire one, all day long. Now they promise me my car by tomorrow afternoon. I guess it's time to rent a car. :-(
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