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  • Liz
    Liz - 2009 Smart Fortwo - Engine - 11/24/2013
    Cylinder head, valve and guide need replacement? Cost? Insurance?
    Got used car with 55k miles on it this summer. A few months later, check engine light went on. Brought the car for service at dealership, was told cylinder head, valve and guide need replacement (result of inspection: COMPRESSION TEST CYLINDER #1 150PSI #2 140PSI #3 ...
    • HouseCallAuto
      11/23/2013 HouseCallAuto
      If you were my friend or relative I would tell you to get another opinion and get out of there. Its insane
      11/23/2013 Liz
      Yes, so I think. I went to another mechanic today and he said the costs are much too high, and to get my car out of here. I'll do that on Monday.
    • HouseCallAuto
      11/23/2013 HouseCallAuto
      Before you bring it to another shop though, can you plug in a code reader ( $18) and give me fault code numbers? If you never heard of code readers buy one here -
      The compression is normal and I'm not sure I trust the leakdown test results. My mechanic instinct says don't do anything yet until you give me code info, its easy to check codes. Takes a minute or two and the codes will tell me a lot. Also, can you tell me how the engine was running when the light was on? Was it noticeable rough with a big loss of power or about the same as when the light was off? Also, if you have an aftermarket warranty on powertrain the costs should be covered however, lets just *pretend* that you really did need a major repair on the cylinder head / valves for $4500 (this is a sick ripoff number I can't even type it :-) the insurance is not a blank check. They pay but within established guidelines for parts and labor. They will not pay for a new cylinder head from Suzuki for example for $2000 . They will pay for the cylinder head to be repaired for a reasonable fee like $350 and then allow a markup to like $450 for profit, plus labor of course but it will be labor that is posted in labor guides, not a dart board.
      11/24/2013 Liz
      Thanks for the info!

      The mechanic from the dealership hasn't given me the codes, but I wrote him today to ask. I'll post them when he'll give them to me. He billed me $400 for tests, so he'd better give me a full report.

      The car drives just fine. I haven't felt any loss in performance. No dripping, no fumes, no noises, no shaking. That's why I'm dumbstruck.

      I'm planing to get the car back on Monday and bring it elsewhere, if it's same to drive for 6 miles or so.
    • HouseCallAuto
      11/24/2013 HouseCallAuto
      $400 even for testing is excessive. That means 4 hours of testing at least with no fix at all, just maybe a meaningless compression test which probably was not even necessary. Absolutely wrong. After a correct diagnosis I would file a small claims action for your $400 back and you will win easily. Only way you will not win is if the engine really needs all that work which you will know soon. I would not rely on that silly report to make repair decisions but get the report no matter. It might help incriminate him He tried to steal from you. Its a good thing you got out of there.
      11/24/2013 Liz
      I haven't gone back yet to pick up my car, so I haven't paid yet. Should I kick up a fuss against those charges when I will pick up the car? What would be good arguments?

      The technician told me that there was 3 hours of testing. but I did not even get the fault codes, just the compression and leak test results. I'll need to pay another mechanic to look into this matter.
    • HouseCallAuto
      11/24/2013 HouseCallAuto
      Don't go to another shop yet. Tell me the codes first but I would prefer you check the codes yourself or stop at a autozone or other large auto parts chain store and ask them to read the codes. It is typical policy for the larger chain auto stores to read codes for free because it takes a minute. Tell them that $400 is excessive for a diagnosis and the charges should have been capped at $200 or less and you feel you are being billed excessively and say it assertively but don't make a scene. Also, if you did not sign an authorization knowing that they would be billing you any number of hours for diagnostics / estimate ?
  • Gene Z
    Gene Z - 2009 Smart Fortwo - Engine - 3/19/2011
    What could be wrong with erratic AC operation - fan blows but there is no cold air.
    I've had two distinct situations of no cold air. 1. Cold air stops. It is "fixed" by turning the AC off using either the fan lever or AC on/off button. Cold air returns immediately when unit is turned on again. 2. Cold air stops and stays off for a few hours. The ...
    • Tifosi
      10/18/2010 Tifosi
      Do you hear your compressor "click" whenever you turn the AC on?
      10/21/2010 Gene Z
      I wish I could. The rear engine drive makes it very difficult otherwise I would just check the compresor (running or not). I have four months left on my warranty and would like to get it fixed, Dealer's response is that they were not able to duplicate the problem. Good point. I'll turn the fan to low they next time this happens. This may help hearing what happens.
    • Victor
      3/19/2011 Victor
      Gene. I strongly suggest you join the smartcarofamerica forum for expert knowledge specifically on the smart fortwo.