Thursday, February 26, 2015

New Driver, Used Car and $500 in Do it Yourself Repairs Later ---Lesson Learned



Hello everyone, today I am bringing you a true story about my 24 yr old daughter that took her used car to Ken Towery to get a check up on her car.  The picture above pretty much depicts the sight of me when she brought me her list of things they said was wrong with it.

Now she went in for a simple Oil change and coolant flush.  Oil change was for good measure and the coolant flush was because her heater isn't working in her car only 2 weeks after getting it.  So lets start with the basics first and work from there was my thought.  So while Ken Towery had the car I told her to have them do a once over on it and see what else was going on.  (yes bad idea I know).  So after the oil change they came back with a list that was over $1200.  They listed the following needed to be replaced:

Rotors on the back (even I know those are on the front of a car)
Heater Coil  (cheap part but like 6 hrs to do because you have to take out the dash)
Back Brakes
Drums
Wheel Cylinder
Coolant Reservoir  

With a grand total of like I said almost $1200 with the most expensive being the Heater Coil.  Now mind you all of these parts are not that expensive but it is the labor.  However, I like to have fell over when they told me that the Coolant Reservoir was going to be $150 plus labor to replace it.  Without even thinking I blurted out "your out of your damn mind, I know they are under $60 at every auto store around".

Needless to say I told her to pay for the Coolant flush and oil change and go straight to AutoZone and tell them that she needed all the parts on the list.  Then call her dad and ask him if he has a garage and if we can come over and have him change the brakes.  The heater coil can be done later but we got it anyway.

So long story short, she got all of these items for under $250 and we went on our merry little way.  Then comes Saturday.  We head to her dads house to do the brakes and he proceeds to show her how to do them after he got them started.  My husband and I didn't see any reason for us to stick around so we went back home.  Everything seemed fine when she got home that night.  WRONG!!!!!!!

Sunday rolls around and she is so sick with food poisoning and the stomach bug that she is hospitalized for 2 days.  She gets out on Monday and calls and tells me on her way home that it feels like she has no brakes and the car isn't wanting to stop.  I immediately told her to take her foot off the brake, throw on her blinkers and just coast.  So she did but kept coming home anyway, she was about 3 blocks, it was late, dark and hardly any traffic at all.

When she got home I went out and checked her brakes because she said that this light was on.  I drove it after checking the fluid level which was dangerously low.  I came back and told her I had good news and bad news.  Good news is the light went out because I added fluid, bad news, the brakes are screwed.  So next morning we drove up to Ken Towery again and dropped off the car and had them check it.  I told her that I was going to be driving in front of her with my cart so that way if she hit anyone it was going to be me instead of someone else.  I was hoping they only needed to be bleed but NO!!!!!!!!  Damn my luck.

The guy called and said that my ex-husband put the brakes on wrong and that he blew both Master Cylinders that we just bought, he could clean the brakes and drums but had to replace the cylinders.  So I gave him permission to change them at the tune of $298.98.

So the lesson here, DON'T LET SOMEONE UNTRAINED TO DO AUTO REPAIR!!!!!!  I was scared to death that she was going to get hurt but I am glad that she wasn't.  Now her brakes are fixed and good as new.

So now we have brakes that work, safe daughter, safe grand baby and a mamma that is feeling alot better.  Now to get the Heater Coil put in and it will be all good.  Oh yeah and the Coolant Reservoir which is only 3 screws and a hose.  Even she can do that one.



So just remember that if you are trying to save money the best thing to do is to shop around to different places and get estimates because doing it yourself isn't always the cheapest.  I learned that the hard way.  However, I didn't realize that you could actually put brakes on backwards, especially when you have the Manual showing you how to do it.  But I guess you can because he did.  Lesson learned.



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