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Bubba gets a
RAW DEAL AT THE DEALER!

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I ended up playing music with Linda's latest boyfriend, Bubba. At a rehearsal he mentioned an auto repair incident that really aggrivated me.
Bubba mentioned that he was losing water out of his GMC van. I suggested that it could be a bad radiator hose or heater hose or possibly a bad water pump .

He said it couldn't be a bad hose: He had just had all that fixed at the local GM dealer with his 100,000 mile service. I looked under his hood, and all of the belts and hoses were obviously original on the van (it was only 6 years old). The serpentine belt , although not "scarey bad" had several cracks in it and needed replacement.

Bubba said, "But I told them to do a 100,000 mile service on my van! This was the dealer! They should know what they are doing! I'm sure they replaced all that stuff., I paid them $2800!!!"

I told him there was NO WAY that belt had been replaced, and that I was 99 percent sure all the hoses were original also.
Bubba said, "Well, I still have the reciept: I'll show you!"
I looked over the receipt and was once again amazed at how much the dealers charge for simple repairs. He had basically paid $2800 for a tuneup, A/C fan motor, front brake job, and an oil change..

Bubba was furious. "Do you mean they didn't replace any belts and hoses? I told them to do a 100,000 mile service!"
I told him the services in the owner's manual say to CHECK a lot of things, but don't mandate DOING them.
Although this particular dealer, (Wayne and Raul's Son's GMC Supercenter) obviously should have replaced all the hoses and the belt, that is a hard job. They replaced the things that were easy, quick money ($2800 of easy money! )
They hadn't charged him for belts or hoses: I'm sure if he questioned them they would say, "Well, we checked them and they looked good!"

Bubba was still mad, but he said,"Well at least they saved me from destroying my engine and transmission!"
"How's that?" I asked.
" Well, they said I might have a bad rear wheel ABS sensor. As you know, the computer controls the brakes, transmission, and engine on that van. They told me that the bad wheel sensor could make the computer put the transmission in reverse while I was going down the road at 70 miles per hour! I can't afford a new engine and transmission!!!"

I told him the computer that controls the ABS was completely separate from the one that contorls the engine and transmission.
Bubba said, "Well, that may have been true for old stuff, but they told me it's all one computer now. "
At this point I felt like I was being "called out". I went on the internet to an auto parts website and showed Bubba a site which sold vehicle control computers. A separate computer is sold for:
ENGINE CONTROL COMPUTER (PCM)
ABS (ANTILOCK BRAKE SYSTEM) CONTROL COMPUTER
CLIMATE CONTROL COMPUTER (HEAT AND A/C)

I furthermore told Bubba that I have rebuilt the same transmission that is in his van, and that reverse is not controlled by the computer AT ALL: It is a " hard engage " controlled only by the gear selector. The only thing the computer contols is the shift points of the forward gears and the torque converter lockup..

"So the computer couldn't have put my car in reverse at 70 MPH?" Bubba asked.
"No way that I know ." I replied. I think you got a raw deal at the dealer!
"Well, I'll have to ask them about that when I take my van in to them so they can fix my water leak!" Bubba said.


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Thank you for visiting the ECONOMECHANIX WEB SITE. Please feel free to comment. We also serve the surrounding communities of Alachua, High Springs, Hawthorne, and Newberry! Gainesville has been my home since 1974, and I've loved Gvl and the Gators since I came here in the fall of 1974 to attend the University of Florida. I loved it so much I stayed and opened my car repair business. Originally it was out of the back of a 1963 Chevrolet wagon, but in 1977 a fellow mechanic and I opened an auto repair shop with actual walls, etc. I stayed in the same location for 26 years, and recently moved my operation to property I bought 15 miles east of Gainesville. I am doing most all the repairs myself now, having reduced my overhead from $1500 per month to practically nothing. I do work by appointment only. I mostly work only on my established customers cars, but I will occasionally take on new clients. E-mail me and I will either make arrangements to look at your car, or I will recommend you to someone who will.

George G. Scott, Jr.


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Auto, Car, and Truck Article List

A
ABS: Anti-Lock Brake Systems
ADVANCE: Car ignition timing
ALTERNATORS and Car Battery
AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSIONS
B
BATTERIES: Auto, Car or Truck
BELTS AND HOSES
BEARINGS
BODY AND BUMPER REPAIRS
BRAKE REPAIRS: Car or Truck
C
CARBURETORS:Car & Truck
CHECK ENGINE LIGHT
CLEANING: Engine Cleaning
CLUTCH REPAIRS: Car & Truck
COMPRESSION: Car Engine
COMPUTER CAR CONTROLS
CV JOINT OR CV AXLES
D
DISTRIBUTORS (IGNITION)
E
ENGINES: Car & Truck
ENGINE CLEANING
EXPANSION PLUGS
F
FREEZE PLUGS
FUEL AIR MIXTURE
FUEL INJECTION: Car & Truck
FUEL PUMPS: Car & Truck
G
GAGES AND "IDIOT LIGHTS"
GASKETS AND SEALS
GLASS: WINDOWS AND WINDSHIELDS
H
HEADS & HEAD GASKET
HOSES AND BELTS
I
"IDIOT LIGHTS" AND GAGES
IGNITION TIMING: Car & Truck
J
AUTO JACKS: lifting cars safely
K
L
LEAN "Car runs lean"
LIGHTS: WARNING OR "IDIOT LIGHTS"
Limp Home Mode
M
MIL Light
MANUAL TRANSMISSIONS
N
NO START: Car Won't Start
O
OIL CHANGES
OIL: What's right for your car?
OIL LIGHT ON OR GAGE LOW
P
PCV Valve
Q
R
RADIATORS: Car and Truck
RICH: Car runs rich
S
SEALS AND GASKETS
SERVICE ENGINE SOON LIGHT
SPARK PLUGS
STARTERS: Auto, Truck
T
THERMOSTATS
TIMING: IGNITION TIMING
TIMING BELT & TIMING CHAIN
TIRE REPAIR
TRANSMISSIONS: AUTOMATIC
TRANSMISSIONS: MANUAL
U
V
VACUUM ADVANCE
WARNING LIGHTS OR "IDIOT LIGHTS"
W
WATER PUMP REPAIR
WINDOWS AND WINDSHIELDS
X
Y
Z

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