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Old 09-23-2009, 05:37 PM   #11 (permalink)
My Goal: 35 MPG All Day
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Well dang it... I brought my car in because it randomly makes a really loud screech noise (not like a belt noise) but it sound more like metal on metal scratch. It was making that sound randomly for a spit second about 2 times everyday, now its more like 5 times a day, still just for a spit second, I have no idea what it is but they say its the front breaks? anyone think its something different? All they said was they would resurface/replace the brake rotors and pads. btw, the sound does not only happen when I use the breaks, its completely random from what I can tell, even if im coasting in neutral down hill or something.

The bill is for left side inner and outer tie rod ends (cuz they said my steering wheel had play-which I don't really feel?), wheel alignment, 2 front disk brake service, replace break pad, resurface rotors and test drive, 2 front brake rotors <---don't understand if they are going to resurface mine??, brake fluid exchange service, disposal fee, clean & adjust rear brakes, transmission fluid exchange service remove & replace fluid via exchange machine (includes filter & gasket), & recyclable fluids disposal fee

I know, WOW... All that for 1 weird sound... If I could fix the problem for <300 I would be fine with that, would love <200 *since I just made $200 selling a friends Audi A4 for him yesterday cuz I'm awesome

ANY advice would make me really happy...keep em coming!

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Old 09-23-2009, 06:10 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Here are my suggestions:

Do the brakes yourself. It's easy, the rotors probably cost like $25 each, and the pads should cost around $25 for both front wheels. If you've never done them before, then it's good practice anyway, and to see how the system works.

Brake fluid exchange service? If your brake fluid is low, top it off... you can bleed all 4 brakes as well, which is probably all they would do anyway. That should cost less than $10, the price of a couple bottles of brake fluid.

Rear brakes - cleaning won't do anything, you can get new brake shoes, they're probably like $25 as well. The drums are probably fine, but make sure they're not scored too bad or anything.

The transmission stuff was covered above, but I would drain and refill as mentioned.

The tie rod ends are probably the expensive part...but if you don't think you need it, don't get it.
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Old 09-23-2009, 06:39 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Ok, I'm here - calm down. :P

Brakes - do them yourself. When I started doing car repairs, I learned brakes first. The backs will probably take you a bit, but the fronts shouldn't take more than 1/2 hour for both sides. Fluid exchange is a farce, if you can use your brakes, the fluid is fine. If you notice contamination, you can replace the fluid, but you do so with a vacuum pump, and it certainly doesn't cost more than $20 or so. You can also evacuate the fluid by draining the master cylinder, then adding new fluid and bleeding the brakes individually. The new fluid will evacuate the old fluid through the bleeder valves on each wheel cylinder/caliper.

NEVER flush your transmission unless you intend to rebuild it. Ask a Chrysler technician about it - it's been widely known that most flush places don't replace the filter, and the influx of new detergents in the fluid can wipe away the little bit of clutch wear surface you have left in your transmission if it's an older transmission. (Autos have clutches too)

If you do a drain and refill, You'll need something like 15 quarts of ATF+4 transmission fluid (Don't use anything that says "Multi-vehicle" on it.) ATF+4 is a full-synthetic fluid, and is the only recommended fluid for all Chrysler vehicles. You can get it from Wally World, buy the SuperTech brand. Regardless of what anyone else tells you, it's the same thing. If it has ATF+4 on the bottle, it's not an inferior product. There is a strict licensing agreement in place for all brands of ATF+4, which requires that they use the same formula of oils.

Tie-Rods - Jack up your car by the forward jack point on one side only, and set the emergency brake. Firmly grasp the front wheel with the steering wheel in the locked position, and give it a shake back and forth. (Left to right). If you feel excess movement laterally, you need to replace your tie-rods. This is called a "shake down". You can also shake up and down, or in any direction. If you note any movement under your own force, check to see what's moving, and replace whatever is worn. Alignment techs do the same thing, they're not magicians.

If you have to replace your tie rods or tie rod ends, do it yourself. They're not the cheapest parts, but the labor is a farce as well. I believe JOBS quotes 1 hour for a tie-rod end replacement, and the job actually takes about 20 mins, if that. The hardest part for the DIY'er is to remember how many threads the tie rod ends were screwed on, and screw the new ones on the same number. It's a quick and dirty way to ensure that you won't have screwed up your alignment, and leaves your vehicle operable until you can get to an alignment shop to have the alignment done.

Lastly - request specs on all the items they're asking to replace/repair, before they do the work. They'll still have it all on file for awhile, so ask to see the alignment check's report, the fluid condition report, and any other research they've done into the operating conditions of your vehicle. If they can't provide a written, detailed report of a fault, they have no place doing the work.
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Old 09-23-2009, 08:08 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Wow, $1400 for that?!? That's maybe $200 in parts and a day's work.

Brakes: Cheap rotors, reasonably-priced pads. The pads do all the work, and the rotors will warp anyhow since OEM's love under-sizing front rotors on non-performance cars.

Transmission: Wally-world ATF+4, and hit up RockAuto for a filter kit. Drain the pan, then remove it, replace the filter, fill with fluid. Repeat the drain and fill in a week.

Tie rod ends: Rent the tool for the inners, get some PB Blaster or Deep Creep if they're really crusty, and have fun. Outer ends go bad more than inners, so do the outers first. Good time to do the brakes since they're in the way otherwise.

Adjusting rear brakes: If you can get off the drums, do so, and put some anti-seize onto the point the shoes contact the backing plate. Otherwise just put your car in reverse (in a clear, empty parking lot), and do few hard stops. This will activate the self-adjusters in the drum brakes, if your Neon has these.

2012 Chevrolet Cruze Eco 6MT
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