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Old 08-02-2004, 11:05 PM   #1
monkeysl2
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Default $1000 in repairs

Soooo, my car needed a new clutch, or so I thought. The clutch was slipping, so I took it down to my mechanic to put in a new clutch. The car only has 67k on it and it needs a clutch, "oh well" I though. The previous owner must have just rode the clutch.

But I got a call from my mechanic today at work. Turns out the bell housing is soaked with fluid. He took the clutch apart and the flywheel was soaked in oil too, which would explain the slippage. He called his transmission experts and they found out that the seal on top of the transmission was bad, causing oil to come into the transmission. So now in addition to a clutch, my transmission needs to be taken out of the car, taken to the tranny shop, and the seal replaced. The estimate is up to $1000 I imagine it might be more when it is all said and done.

I dont get it. My first Saturn went through 3 clutches, 2 tranny's, a crankshaft and a steering rack. Now my second needs a clutch at 67k and tranny work. My parents Saturn has also had a steering pump, steering rack and fuel pump replaced.

So, I am not trying to bash Saturn, so dont attack please. I am just saying that my family has not exactly had the greatest experince with their vehicles. I can honestly say, based on my personal experience, this is my last Saturn. And that is kinda sad for me. I LIKE the cars when they work. They look good and are fun to drive for little econo boxes. But I cant afford to buy cars that require this kind of work at such low mileage.

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Old 08-02-2004, 11:22 PM   #2
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Seal on top of the transmission? The ONLY "seal" up there (on the top) is the shift tower gasket. It is pretty dry actually and could not result in clutch contamination even as a worse case senario. Find out the SPECIFIC SEAL they are referring to...I smell fish...

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Old 08-03-2004, 01:28 AM   #3
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Are you sure your diff pin is OK?

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Old 08-03-2004, 01:40 AM   #4
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i agree with wolf....i smell fish. isnt the trans out for the clutch replacement anyway. that "seal: he is talking about is right on the top of the trans. the only other seal that might cause contamination is the input shaft seal and it is right there when you do the clutch too. i would go and see what they are talking about and if you have a digital camera take pics too....post so we can see the mysterious leak'

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Old 08-03-2004, 06:24 AM   #5
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Is that $1000 including the clutch? What was the clutch estimate going in?

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Old 08-03-2004, 07:56 AM   #6
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GM has questionable build in general.

My dad's Impala has been in the shop more times than I can count. A lot of that, though, is because the service sucks and they fix part of a problem and then something else goes wrong because they didn't fix the WHOLE problem.

And yesterday he just called and said "Guess what's wrong with my car now!? It's been stumbling badly and it turns out the cat went bad. $920 to replace it!!! "

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Old 08-03-2004, 09:57 AM   #7
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if you don't have tailpipe emissions in your state where they actually measure the NOx content and all that, you can get an aftermarket one for cheaper than $200....

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Old 08-03-2004, 08:55 PM   #8
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I was wrong. I asked my dad which seal it was exactly (he went and looked at it at the mechanics place) and it is the seal on the input shaft.

The clutch was quoted at $670 and the seal estimate is at $350 right now. And I trust my mechanic. He has ALWAYS done great, honest, and cheap work. So, I usually listen to what he says.

Oh, and he checked the differential and he said that it looked like it was in great condition.

...
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Old 08-03-2004, 09:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bent_SL2
And yesterday he just called and said "Guess what's wrong with my car now!? It's been stumbling badly and it turns out the cat went bad. $920 to replace it!!! "
$920?!??!?!?!!!!! Was the replacement plated in 24 karat gold?! When my catalytic converter went bad, I got it replaced for under $200, and that's parts and labor at Midas. You got ripped!

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Old 08-03-2004, 10:10 PM   #10
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why so muich for the input shaft seal..... when you have the trans out you are right there for the seal i would mention this "overlapping labor" it usually doesnt take but a few minutes to change the seal. i would think 40.00 (high side) for the seal and maybe 1 hour at the most for labor but who knows
i dont believe in paying for stupidity

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Old 08-03-2004, 10:35 PM   #11
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that price is steep i think you could get a rebuild trans w/ a new clutch for that price.

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Old 08-04-2004, 01:29 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by monkeysl2
And I trust my mechanic. He has ALWAYS done great, honest, and cheap work. So, I usually listen to what he says.
I couldn't tell you much about transmission repair...but has the same mechanic always been the one to find these expensive problems? Obviously something prompted you to take it in each time, but maybe the probelms have been exaggerated.

The only repair I've had to do on my 99SL was to replace the clutch actuator. (The clutch actuator is what actuates the clutch, the mechanic helpfully informed me, heh....). That was at roughly 50,000 miles. So maybe clutch problems are common. Still, the repair was only $300 including labor at a dealership.

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Old 08-04-2004, 07:23 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by Twin_Cam
$920?!??!?!?!!!!! Was the replacement plated in 24 karat gold?! When my catalytic converter went bad, I got it replaced for under $200, and that's parts and labor at Midas. You got ripped!
I didn't get ripped, my dad did. After he told me the price, I said "I bet I can find you a new one for half that..and put it in." He said "Too late, they already fixed it."

Oh well...I don't think he trusts me to work on his car.

edit: Sorry for the thread hi-jack.

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Old 08-04-2004, 06:50 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by maracle
I couldn't tell you much about transmission repair...but has the same mechanic always been the one to find these expensive problems? Obviously something prompted you to take it in each time, but maybe the probelms have been exaggerated.

The only repair I've had to do on my 99SL was to replace the clutch actuator. (The clutch actuator is what actuates the clutch, the mechanic helpfully informed me, heh....). That was at roughly 50,000 miles. So maybe clutch problems are common. Still, the repair was only $300 including labor at a dealership.
Actually this is the first expensive problem he has found. We usually take the car to him already knowing what the problem is and he fixes it.

For some reason, he doesn't do anything with a transmission other than clutches, so he takes the tranny out and gives it to his tranny guy,

But like I said, he always does good work for cheap. His prices are always lower than everyone else. I do not think he is just pulling one on me. My dad, who is knowledgeable when it comes to cars, even went and looked at it too. So, I feel that what he says is true.

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Old 08-04-2004, 07:11 PM   #15
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Honest shops are generally more than willing to explain their repair charges. I would simply ask them why the cost to R&R the seal was so much, since the tranny was already sitting on a bench.

Some idiot doing the billing could have charged it separately, as though it were not done as part of a clutch job. They only had to R & R the tranny once, not twice. You should only pay for it once.

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Old 08-04-2004, 08:47 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by 94sc295sl2
why so muich for the input shaft seal..... when you have the trans out you are right there for the seal i would mention this "overlapping labor" it usually doesnt take but a few minutes to change the seal. i would think 40.00 (high side) for the seal and maybe 1 hour at the most for labor but who knows
i dont believe in paying for stupidity
The Quill seal (input shaft seal) is what the release bearing rides on. It is also (obviously) the seal for the trans input shaft. To replace it the trans needs to be disassembled. Our shop would charge 10 hours customer pay replace the seal. If the trans was out already for the clutch then we would go 2-3 hours more to replace the seal, plus the extra parts of course. The reason that the trans needs to be disassembled is that the seal is pressed in and out--out and in ???--.

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Old 08-06-2004, 04:18 AM   #17
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What he said^ Unfortunately for the quill bearing seal the transaxle must be pretty much completely disassembled. That being the case, have the output shaft seals, shifter fork slippers and shifter fork shaft busings done as well. It will only add about $30 in parts to the price and net you a transxle that is nearly 85% new (only the syncros will still be "worn" and they are generally quite dependable) .

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Old 08-06-2004, 09:16 AM   #18
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I've had only two saturns, but about 14 cars altogether. out of all the cars I've owned, I noticed this about quality:

1. Japanese imports
2. GM cars
3. Other imports (non Japanese/non Euro)
3. Ford cars
4. German imports
5. Chrysler cars

My Saturns have been nothing but good to me, and I know my current one has had a pretty hard life. I plan to rebuild the motor next year just so I can be sure of it's integrity (I don't like surprises), but everything I've done on my car has been pure maintenance, or repair due to neglect/abuse.

It does rattle like a motherf***** cuz most of the interior clips are broken, but it's nothing I can't take care of with some ingenuity this weekend.

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