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Dead Ford Van Question (wont turn over but electric is good?)

We have a low mileage 2000 Ford Econoline van which has been running well but now will not turn over. It was just running, turned it off, now it wont turn back on. We had to towed to a mechanic and they said it stated right up and could find nothing wrong, drove it home and same thing. All the electric is fine. Nothing happens when we turn the key, lights don't dim, nothing, but again, all the electric works great. A looses fuse or loose cable is what I would expect but where do we start with something like this? Thanks so much for any ideas.
posted by 1inabillionmistake on Jun 24, 2014 - 5 answers

Paid for a car repair that failed, but mechanic is gone after surgery

We started having trouble with our car almost a year ago. We paid $1500 for a repair that failed, and the mechanic tried twice more without additional charges. Now, it’s failed again, but the mechanic had heart surgery and closed down the shop, and I haven’t been able to reach him. Is there anything left to do, or do we just have to accept that we’re out the money without a fix, and start over with someone new? [more inside]
posted by daisyace on May 28, 2014 - 10 answers

Did I get ripped off by the mechanic?

Had a flat tire, ordered two new tires, picked up car and drove it 0.5 miles (2 minutes) and parked it. Hours later went to drive it and the same original flat tire is flat again. The mechanic says there was a nail in the new tire. Did I get ripped off? [more inside]
posted by kmr on May 14, 2014 - 17 answers

$175 to replace a driver's side rear-view mirror?

I've been going to a repair shop here in LA for a while that I found through the Car Talk fora, but have been increasingly unhappy with them. I took my girlfriend's 2002 Ford Focus in to get an estimate on replacing the mirror, and got back a quote of $175ish, $100 for the part and $75 for the labor (meaning, an hour and a quarter for them at $60 per hour). The thing is, there are third-party mirrors for about $30, and from doing the same thing on a car years ago, I remember it taking about 20 minutes with the right tools. Are they trying to rip me off? Is this a reasonable ballpark for what seems like pretty minor work (the whole assembly pops on and off)? I don't have the tools to do this now (I'd need a deeper socket), so should I buy the part and take it to them? Are dealer mirrors really that superior? (It's out of warranty by now, obviously.) Should I take it to someone else? [more inside]
posted by klangklangston on Apr 1, 2014 - 19 answers

Financial recourse options regarding a deceitful mechanic?

A mechanic who replaced my bus's radiator removed parts of the transmission's cooling system, said he replaced the parts, and got paid for the parts and the labor. After several months, I took the bus out for a trip, and the transmission overheated repeatedly and finally lost all but first gear. It turns out that the parts the mechanic said he installed are not there -- the pipe that should connect to them just connects back to itself. What steps can I take to get my money back? [more inside]
posted by Pwoink on Mar 23, 2014 - 3 answers

MeFi Mechanics--Older Car Issue

My wife and I have a rather old Lexus with low miles. On each of the last two times we took it out, the car shuddered a couple of times (like driving over a bump) and then lost all engine power, conking out in the middle of the road. There was no sound involved--just that little shudder, and then no power. Each time, we had to push it to the shoulder. Each time, the car would start up again with no problem--but would not stay on. Some more details inside--any ideas what's up? [more inside]
posted by Admiral Haddock on Mar 4, 2014 - 12 answers

How Do I Explain My Situation To my Mechanic?

I know I need some maintenance on my Volvo, I haven't kept it up perfectly, but I don't know how to ask for what I want without appearing as a complete mark to my mechanic. [more inside]
posted by Hennimore on Dec 13, 2013 - 20 answers

A good mechanic near New Orleans for a '94 4Runner?

This is a long shot, but does anybody know a good mechanic in the New Orleans area who'll work on my old 4Runner? I'm having a hard time finding one for some reason. [more inside]
posted by Scientist on Nov 29, 2013 - 5 answers

Coolant line rupture: who should pay?

Yesterday, my car overheated (or got close to it) on the way home. I'm 100% certain that this is due to some work that my mechanic did, either directly or indirectly. Who should pay for this repair work? [more inside]
posted by kdar on Nov 11, 2013 - 16 answers

Wait... what?

I'm struggling to parse something that just happened between my car mechanic and I. What the hell happened? Is this a red flag? Am I being lied to or not told something, here? [more inside]
posted by Sara C. on Nov 2, 2013 - 18 answers

How can I vet a 1989 Chinook long-distance?

There is a 1989 Chinook for sale in Sacramento, CA. I live a few hours away, cannot make the drive up unless I'm going to purchase, and do not have the knowledge necessary to actually understand whether the vehicle bits or the RV bits are in acceptable condition. [more inside]
posted by jsturgill on Oct 23, 2013 - 5 answers

Can I drive my car if the engine has Hydraulic Lifter Ticking?

The "tappets" or hydraulic lifters in my ten-year-old Hyundai Elantra have started making noise. tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap. [more inside]
posted by shipbreaker on Sep 9, 2013 - 12 answers

When Do You See the Car Dealer

Warning lights are showing on my car dashboard. The manual says "see the dealer". Do they mean this? [more inside]
posted by amicamentis on Sep 5, 2013 - 21 answers

Did my mechanic just rip me off?

My front hubcaps are tied on with zip ties. After a major car service, which included checking the brakes and replacing the timing belt, the zip ties are still there. You can't access the wheel nuts without taking off the hub caps. Did my mechanic rip me off? [more inside]
posted by UltraFleece on Aug 4, 2013 - 15 answers

Motorcycle filter: Will I ruin my bike if I ride it with these problems?

I just paid $650 to have the carbs cleaned out on my 4-cylinder Honda Magna (94). They also found rust in the tank so they said they fixed that. I picked it up tonight and it's running terribly. It feels like it has the wrong gas type in it. One (or more... all?) of the cylinders is kind of knocking or just being loud, it feels like it can't hold an idle, when I shift into gear it feels like I'm lugging the engine. I have to give it way too much throttle to even get it into gear. I don't know what they did to mess it up, and I intend to have a word with them when they open again on Tuesday. (I mean, did they even test it after they put it back together?) In the mean time, tomorrow is Monday and I need to get to work. Could I potentially break things or mess things up further if I try to ride in? And what is the protocol on bike repairs. My feeling is that they've messed it up--I paid them $100/hr for the work because I trusted that they'd do a really great job. They didn't, so they should take responsibility and fix whatever they broke for free. Am I wrong on that?
posted by brenton on Jun 16, 2013 - 12 answers

Mechanic inspects brakes. Inspection breaks the brakes. Who pays?

My girlfriend brought her car in to fix an overheating problem. While there, the mechanic did a safety inspection. In doing so, the brakes, which may have had trouble coming, broke. Should she pay to repair? Photo inside. [more inside]
posted by compartment on Apr 2, 2013 - 12 answers

Mechanics: how do they work?

[Chicago Filter] My car needs new brakes, like, a year ago. (Seriously.) I need to find a good (reasonably priced, will get the job done) mechanic in Chicago because the Toyota dealership wants payment in first born children. [more inside]
posted by phunniemee on Mar 12, 2013 - 14 answers

Fast track me to townie status: Massachusetts North Shore Edition

I am moving to Newburyport, MA in two weeks. Please help me land smoothly with recommendations for hairstylists, dog care, preferred ISPs, and anything else that pops to mind. [more inside]
posted by amelioration on Mar 9, 2013 - 6 answers

Recommend me a mechanic in Vancouver East?

I'm looking for a good mechanic around Mount Pleasant or East Vancouver. I have a 1999 toyota corolla and honestly, it's getting to the point where I know something important is going to go. [more inside]
posted by concreteforest on Jan 11, 2013 - 3 answers

Estimate my car repair cost (TPMS sensor-related)

I broke a part of my car's tire valve (the TPMS sensor, maybe?), dropped my car off at the tire shop and realized I have no idea how much this will set me back. Does anyone have an idea what these repairs might run me? [more inside]
posted by JannaK on Dec 19, 2012 - 11 answers

Is $600 for this car repair within the range of plausibility?

My mechanic says the leak from my car looks like it is because a wash plug between the gear box and engine block needs replacing. He says it's not a simple job because he'll have to remove the gearbox. He is quoting me "at least" $600. (Bearing in mind that in this city mechanic labour alone is around $80-100 an hour) does that sound reasonable? [more inside]
posted by lollusc on Dec 19, 2012 - 17 answers

Finding a mechanic for an old car in a new city (Toronto)

How can I find a trustworthy mechanic in a new city (Toronto) without breaking the bank? [more inside]
posted by cacofonie on Dec 19, 2012 - 9 answers

Help assuage my concerns about my little old car!

Please help me determine what happened to my car recently - was it the battery, the alternator, or something else? [more inside]
posted by schmoo on Nov 12, 2012 - 12 answers

Saab Mechanic in Seattle?

Can anyone recommend a good Saab mechanic in Seattle? I have a Saab 9-2X and I was hoping to find a place to take it close to Capitol Hill (or at least a straightforward bus ride away from the hill or downtown). None of my friends own Saabs, so that route hasn't yielded any recommendations.. The car doesn't currently have any major problems, but I'm tired of driving all over town (and taking multiple buses back!) when something does come up.
posted by Blue Jello Elf on Nov 11, 2012 - 5 answers

Help me figure out why my car is making horrible sounds?

I am worried about the sounds emanating from my car. Could it be an alignment issue? [more inside]
posted by Loto on Oct 16, 2012 - 14 answers

1994 nissan rough idle and loss of power, whats up? Details inside

Having idle/loss of power problems with a 1994 Nissan Sentra. Whats your diagnosis? [more inside]
posted by couchdive on Sep 11, 2012 - 13 answers

Legit? Or crappy mechanic?

Should I be responsible for auto mechanic snapping my wheel studs? [more inside]
posted by el_yucateco on Aug 29, 2012 - 13 answers

Great thank you gift for mechanic/shop? Around 50 bucks?

Great gift ideas that would delight a mechanics shop. Diesel repair in TN, if that matters. In the $50-75 range. [more inside]
posted by Vaike on Aug 7, 2012 - 12 answers

Hybrid mechanic in NYC?

Searching for a hybrid mechanic in NYC. I asked this a few years ago, but I never found a satisfying answer, and I'm hoping someone has some new ideas. [more inside]
posted by thejoshu on Aug 7, 2012 - 2 answers

What do I need to know to improve

If I wanted to make a paying hobby out of restoring and updating old bikes, what are some resources that would help me improve my skills, research the right bikes/components, and find the right places to buy them? [more inside]
posted by Scientist on Jun 11, 2012 - 22 answers

Should my mother's mechanic have caught a failing fuel pump earlier?

Should my mother's mechanic have caught a failing fuel pump when he repaired a closely related relay? [more inside]
posted by aaronbeekay on Mar 21, 2012 - 10 answers

Avoiding Lemons in Columbus

[OhioMechanicFilter] I'm driving to Columbus (and maybe Akron) tomorrow to try to buy a car, since I can't find my dream car in Pittsburgh. Before I buy used, I want to have a mechanic go over it, since I don't know enough to spot problems on my own. Any recommendations of who I should go to?
posted by Metasyntactic on Feb 2, 2012 - 6 answers

How to become a mechanic? With SA?

How does a person become a mechanic, ideally, and is this line of work compatible with social anxiety? [more inside]
posted by MrFish on Jan 16, 2012 - 27 answers

Trusted reviews of Doctor and Mechanics.. Not Angie's List

Do you have a go to place for getting trusted reviews for service related occupations like doctors, dentists and mechanics? Angie's list is paid, free is preferable
posted by radsqd on Jan 4, 2012 - 5 answers

A tradesman's life for me?

I'm starting to think I'd like to learn a trade, but I don't know which. I have no experience and have been a graphics guy (half corporate, half freelance) since graduating college with a BA in psychology (I'm 37 now). I really like the idea of making something, of being able to fix things, of having a skill that is useful in its own right, and of not sitting in front of a computer all day. I'm willing to go to school and/or apprentice, but I'd like to have the possibility of making decent money (>$60k) after doing it for a 2-3 years. [more inside]
posted by SampleSize on Dec 1, 2011 - 21 answers

Is it a good idea to use Groupon, Scoopon or other 'deal of the day' websites to organize car maintenance and servicing?

Is it a good idea to use Groupon, Scoopon or other 'deal of the day' websites to organize car maintenance and servicing? [more inside]
posted by UltraFleece on Nov 21, 2011 - 3 answers

From software to a trade in as little time as possible

Career change filter: Is it possible for an experienced professional in a (mostly) unrelated field to fast-track the apprenticeship portion of trades training? [more inside]
posted by blockhead on Nov 14, 2011 - 5 answers

Finding a good motorcycle or scooter mechanic in Arizona?

Finding a good motorcycle or scooter mechanic in Arizona? Web directory with customer reviews? [more inside]
posted by MeatyBean on Nov 10, 2011 - 3 answers

It's Okay, Vibey... Just Show Me Where the Bad Man Hurt You...

I just had to replace my car's entire powertrain. What could've happened? How do I prevent it from happening AGAIN? [more inside]
posted by julthumbscrew on Nov 7, 2011 - 13 answers

Best Toyota mechanic in Seattle?

Answer me these questions three: Do you live in Seattle, do you have a Toyota and do you have a mechanic that you absolutely love? Hook a brother up then! [more inside]
posted by friendlyjuan on Oct 23, 2011 - 5 answers

Anyone have any recommendations on a good Volvo mechanic in Seattle?

Anyone have any recommendations on a good Volvo mechanic in Seattle? Bonus points for West Seattle... [more inside]
posted by stenseng on Sep 8, 2011 - 4 answers

What's wrong with my car?!

'03 Toyota Matrix makes terrible noise when even slightly lugging engine. What's wrong? [more inside]
posted by cman on Sep 1, 2011 - 4 answers

It Is Apparently Possible to Drink Yourself to Death on Valvoline.

If oil was vodka, my '05 Pontiac Vibe would be F. Scott Fitzgerald. Should we have the engine rebuilt or replaced? Automotive snowflakiness inside! [more inside]
posted by julthumbscrew on Aug 22, 2011 - 8 answers

Be still, Aztek, be still!

My sister's new-to-her 2003 Aztek shudders sometimes. [more inside]
posted by galadriel on Aug 9, 2011 - 12 answers

Help me be less ignorant about cars.

I would like to not feel panicky when things go wrong with my car. Where can I learn the basics of how cars work and how to troubleshoot them? [more inside]
posted by JDHarper on Aug 7, 2011 - 13 answers

Can I go back on a verbal agreement to have work done on my car without negative consequences?

Can (should) I ask my mechanic not to do a job we agreed they would do, after they've ordered the part? [more inside]
posted by ramenopres on Jun 20, 2011 - 10 answers

Cars are a foreign language to me.

What is the likelihood that my car overheating yesterday is completely unrelated to the quick lube-type service I got the day before yesterday? [more inside]
posted by katybird on May 15, 2011 - 22 answers

Motorcycle Mechanic in Portland Oregon?

Anyone have any recommendations for a reputable (and affordable?) motorcycle mechanic in Portland Oregon?
posted by Sharakov on May 13, 2011 - 1 answer

Need to know if the auto repair guy is ripping me off! help!

Check engine light came on this morning. Auto repair guy is giving me a very large estimate and an offer to just buy the car off my hands. I know next-to-nothing about cars, so can't tell if he's robbing me or not. People who know cars, help me figure this out? [more inside]
posted by paultopia on Apr 16, 2011 - 28 answers

I'm not sure I can fit under my car, though.

How to know if the oil in a car has really been changed? [more inside]
posted by Ollie on Mar 4, 2011 - 21 answers

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