I have a question about car problems and the best course of action. On Tuesday my car made a thump/shuttering noise while driving and now Firestone says I need around $600 worth of repairs. 2004 Hyundai Elantra with around 56,000 miles.
While driving yesterday, my car made a weird noise and I felt it shake while driving at a normal speed on a city street. My check engine light came on and the gauges on the dashboard started bouncing around erratically and I felt like the gas pedal wasn't being as responsiveness as it normally is. I was right down the street from my usual Firestone so I left it there for them to run the $99 computer diagnostic.
They called back this morning and said there was a problem with my battery and alternator and that they needed to be replaced, which is around $600 dollars with parts and labor. They also said there might be a problem with the speed sensor, although they wouldn't know for sure until they took care of the battery and alternator.
1. My car insurance will reimburse me if I want to get my car towed to another station to get a second opinion. I'm guessing this will cost another hundred dollars or so to get the computer check on my car done again, so I'm inclined not to do that unless people think it's necessary. I've been going to that Firestone for two years and haven't had any bad experiences with them, although their reviews on Yelp
aren't great. Does getting a second opinion for a hundred dollars seem worth doing? [I'm leaning no, as there was pretty clearly something wrong with my car when I was driving it yesterday.]
2. After a previous car question
, people suggested that I should be more hands on with my car. Two weeks ago when my headlight burned out I replaced it myself. This involved taking the battery out and then putting it back in. Would there have been a way to have messed up the battery or not attached it correctly that wouldn't shown up for two weeks? The battery is about 2.5 years old, so I thought that maybe it should last longer. I haven't noticed any problems with the battery or starting the car since I put it back in 2 weeks ago.
3. Although I'm feeling better about dealing with minor things like a flat tire or new engine air filter or replacing a headlight, dealing with a battery and alternator or electrical problem still seems a little daunting to me. If anyone has any additional thoughts or comments I would love to hear them. Thanks!