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Made by Monkeys

$600 for a 50-Cent Fix

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AREV
User Rank
Gold
Cars Cars Cars
AREV   8/19/2014 12:28:18 PM
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I purchased one of the first Neons made. I ordered it as I wanted. Red, sport w/ 5 speed, and cruise. An odd combination for a "cheap" car. It was fun and good looking. Later I replaced it with a simular one. On the first car, after 6 monthes I took it in since the cruise stopped functioning. Repaired under warrentee.The second time, out of wattentee, it went out I went hunting for the offending parts. Turns out that there was a electric coil for the cruise located under the battery. It was corroded beyond use. Not a good location for parts that need to not corrode. Looking at the surrounding area there had been battery acid that resided there. When I replaced the part I put a plastic shield over the offened part to direct any drips from the battery to other places - Fixed. Our second Neon was also a 5 speed. My daughter used it in college. She was coming home, app 60 miles away, stopped for a coffee and it would not shift when she went to leave. It was in low gear, would not go to neutral or second, etc. She drove it across the interstate in low to a repair shop. After $300 and a couple of days it was good as new. The shop owner appologized for the bill and said Chryslet would not sell the repair piece that would have fixed it so he had to replace the entire cable that ran from the shifter to the transmission. Later I saw what he had meant. The shift cable eyelet sat over a post on an arm on the transmission. The clip that held it down had worked off allowing the eylet to exit the post. The repair man could have put the eyelet back on the post and it would have run for years. By the time I saw what he had done the new clip was gone as well but he eyelet had not dissengaged. I took a speed nut the correct size, pushed it on the post and it never caused any problem - Fixed. One thing I do is allow the repair man to ouse their judgement when repairing my vehicles, whish is not offen, but alway put any replaced components in a bag in the car. It allows me to perform an autospy on the parts. Makes me feel better knowing what actually happened. As an engineer I'd hate to replicate someone elses errors.

Amclaussen
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Root Cause?: still failing again.
Amclaussen   8/5/2014 3:30:50 PM
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Well, if it continues failing, the average cost will fall even more... and you could save some gas at the same time, because the vehicle will still be inside the shop most time!

And don't forget to nominate that monkeyish technician for using plastic zip ties to support the harness near high temperature components, at least he is persistent and determined, as any good Monkey should be! :)

stemobserver
User Rank
Iron
Re: Root Cause?: still failing again.
stemobserver   8/5/2014 11:04:42 AM
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The zip ties that the technician used to hold the wiring harness up away from the cat failed in the heat and dropped the wire loom onto the cat again. Same failure mechanism as before. The dealer has a 1 year guarantee on any repair so I now average $300 per repair. And to think I was looking at a new F250.....

Amclaussen
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Root Cause?: still failing again.
Amclaussen   8/5/2014 10:53:05 AM
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I see... The reprogramming is not as easy (there are some reasonably priced electronic programmers, albeit you need to study alot to use them, I concede!).

But please tell us WHAT has failed AGAIN ! Independently that the dealer has to fix the repeated failure, that is a nuisance.

stemobserver
User Rank
Iron
Re: Root Cause: too lazy!
stemobserver   8/5/2014 10:37:14 AM
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While I would agree that the $600 was too much, I could not obtain the wire loom nor reprogram the ECM. And, as an update, guess what has failed yet again. Fortunately for me this time it is free, barring the inconvenience. I will be inspecting the work on the lift before I leave the dealer. Any bloggers here had this problem?

Amclaussen
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Root Cause: too lazy!
Amclaussen   6/18/2014 2:04:53 PM
"They're at the mercy of the shop."



Only because they want to...

I have found that most dealerships are simply stealing from their customers pockets. $600 USD for replacing a heat damaged wire bundle is way too much, unless they had to make the harness from bulk wire and loose connectors!  Anyway, it is too much.

A couple of years ago, I had to replace a corroded and damaged fusible wire located behind the battery of my old car (1991).  As fusible wire links are simply not available, I resorted to using a large Autosound fuse holder and placed a 60Ampere fuse, and problem solved! It took me about fifteen minutes and a cup of coffee to finish this job neatly and easily.  The only thing that I had to ask to an experienced Auto Electrician, was about the solution to the symptoms: Car went dead and nothing had electricity apart from the battery... he quickly remembered that the bullet type connectors are prone to corrosion and that sometimes they separate in two halves with the current pulse taking them apart!  That was EXACTLY what had happened in my car. Instead of making a new fusible wire, I went to the auto-sound fuse for an easier solution.

But most owners are simply too lazy to work on their own vehicles.  Going the D.I.Y. (Do-It-Yourself route is the way to go to save huge quantities of money, avoid being ripped off and learn something in the process.  Even tools needed to perform some tasks are paid with the very first use. And some places like Autozone, have programs to let customers use their tools and avoid having to buy all of them.  Amclaussen.

Amclaussen
User Rank
Platinum
Re: DIY is best!
Amclaussen   6/6/2014 10:01:03 AM
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Congratulations! You just did it. That's the way to go.  Why depend on others when you are a true engineer that can do it by yourself?  I think in the same way. I try to do everything to my cars, it has been a wonderful experience that I enjoy most times and hardly ever regret.

Keep up the good work Turbineman!.

Amclaussen.

Larry M
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Recalls
Larry M   10/17/2013 4:32:29 PM
I vaguely remember that there was a class-action suit on this exact issue--use of the C4 transmission on heavy vehicles instead of C6(?).  Take a look for it.

Larry M
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Parts Store price or Dealer price?
Larry M   10/17/2013 4:28:05 PM
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Just last week I used hot-melt glue to attach the still-functional top-half of an OEM plastic tubing clip to an aftermarket bottom. Under casual examination it looks just like the original.

stemobserver
User Rank
Iron
Re: Automotive design a mystery
stemobserver   10/16/2013 4:32:43 PM
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Goat,

After looking at potential routing paths for the wire bundle I actually think that it would have been easier to have routed it over the top of the transmission and into the engine bay.  The actual bundle comes out of a hole on the right hand side of the transmission facing the rear of the vehicle. It commits to an Immelmann and runs forward near the top of the transmission.  Near the bell housing it turns right and crosses over the catalytic converter.  Had it continued straight it would have entered the engine compartment near the rear of the engine and easily routed over to the ECU connections.  Avoiding all the heat producing exhaust components.

But I don't know what configuration the engine is during assembly and therefore could be way off base.

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