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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have a 1995 Civic EX that was purchased in Dec 2007 at 116K miles. It's considered salvage since the cost to repair it was more than the value of the car. The rear quarter panel was replaced according to the body shop owner I purchased it from. It was damaged while parked.

Since it was used, I decided to have the timing belt and waterpump replaced. I chose an independent shop that only works on Japanese vehicles and uses OEM parts. As a bonus, they also give me 10% discounts and provide loaner cars. On my first visit in 1/08 the following was found:

1. Car has been in major accident with left rear damage. Left rear trailing arm dented and put hole in frame. Has frame damage.

2. B-pipe bent. Recommend replace.

3. Note: Entire A/C system aftermarket.

4. Oil pan gasket leaking. Recommend replace.

5. Front crank seal leaking bad. Needs now.

6. Timing belt tensioner making noise. Recommend now.

7. Valve cover gasket rubber stiff. Needs now.

8. Has prior front end damage also. Light does not line up.

9. Left front door drops when opened due to prior body damage.

10. Both front upper ball joint boots, both front lower ball joint boots and both outer tie rod end boots severely cracked and dryrotted. Recommend replace before splitting open and ruining components.

I had them do options 5-7 and ignored the b-pipe, oil pan gasket, and suspension items. I received a second and third opinion from Firestone and my friend that works as a mechanic. Firestone advised that something else could give the illusion that the oil was leaking and they couldn't find anything upon inspection. The shop my friend works at told me the b-pipe bent and suspension was just cosmetics. I also know that my friend doesn’t keep his car in the best condition as far as routine maintenance goes. He only fixes something when it breaks since they spend a lot of time working on other people’s cars and don’t have time of their own.

Comment: The independent shop forgot to do a brake fluid flush and I also forgot to check my invoice for it, so maybe they're not as thorough as I thought. My brakes were acting funny (would go down all the way to the floor) since I had the car before the brake fluid flush was done and worked fine since the flush.

I didn't come back to that independent shop until 10/08 to get the spark plug wires, distributor cap, and a valve adjustment done. It was cheaper than Firestone where I normally get my oil changes and I wanted to use OEM parts. When I brought it in, they told me I was due for my 135k service and also oil was leaking from the oil pan gasket and/or drain plug. They didn’t know the condition of the plugs or threads and thought they might be stripped since I don’t have my oil changes done by them. I told them I would bring it back for the 135k inspection, so it wasn’t checked on the spot.

During the inspection, they found the drain plug washer was crushed, and re-used too many times. It didn’t torque right so they replaced it. I didn’t need to have the oil pan gasket replaced. However, the following was discovered on the 135k check:

1. Radiator leaking at lower seam. Upper seam has rust buildup. Recommend replace radiator with thermostat and auxiliary fan switch.

2. Right outer tie rod end boot torn. No grease in joint.

3. Lower radiator hose leaking at thermostat housing. Recommend replace with new clamps.

4. Powersteering fluid black and nasty. Should be flushed ASAP.

5. Both front strut has some wetness starting around collar.

6. Bolt missing from left rear e-brake cable.

7. Left rear e-brake cable routed wrong and rubbing into cable shroud.

8. Both rear brake lines missing retaining clips.

9. Left rear toe set point is maxed out. Recommend alignment.

They showed me the leak at the radiator and the incorrect routing of the e-brake. I had the rear trailing arm replaced by the body shop owner before I purchased the car. I found it interesting that they didn’t mention anything about the bent b-pipe or the ball joint boot but they only noticed the right tie rod end boot instead of both as it was previously found 10 months ago.

I had a 400 mi road trip scheduled so I had them replace the radiator items, rerouted ebrake cable, and perform the power steering flush. The right outer tie rod wasn’t done.

I came back in Dec 08 to have an oil change done and my rear brakes inspected since it was making noise. The following was found:

1. Rear brakes good. 4.5mm and cylinders good.

2. Recommend clean and adjust rear brakes, dirty.

3. Front brakes 4mm pads plus hardware dry, rotors glazed.

4. Left front bellow boot torn on rack, recommend replace.

I had them replace the right outer tie rod end boot since they said it would wear out the tires. It was during the replacement they discovered the bellow boot needed to be replaced. Also, an alignment needed to be done after these changes which they take to another shop. On a prior alignment with Firestone it was still off but after replacing the parts it was able to be aligned within tolerance.

Recently I went back for an oil change. The following was noted:

1. Pan gasket leaking excessive. Recommend replace.

2. Both front upper, both front lower, and both outer tie rod end boots cracked and dryrotted, all need replaced ASAP (right outer tie rod end boot under warranty)

3. Both outer C.V. boots cracked and dryrotted, recommend replace ASAP.

Items 2 and 3 weren’t noted in the 135k inspection but item 2 was discovered over a year ago. The owner told me it’s normal for a old like mine to have those parts wear out. The car is now over 145k miles. Over 29k miles was put on it since the ball joints and outer tie rod end boots “needed” to be replaced. They expanded their business into American cars now instead of just working on Japanese cars. They’re also focused on preventive maintenance. I did notice everytime they told me they “pressurized” tires they didn’t really check them. I maintain my psi at 44 which is the max sidewell instead of the 32 listed in the manual for increased MPG. I’m thinking of taking my car back to Firestone for a second opinion.

The car was purchased for $3200 and looking over past receipts for things like battery replacement, windshield replacement, headlights, and other parts, I’ve spent $3300 in 14 months. The next set of repairs would cost me about $800.

Maintenance/Repairs I've done to date in the Maintenance tab: civic maintenance - Google Docs
 

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focus on the engine parts, leave slight leaks alone til you get the other stuff done. Only thing wrong with rolling on bad suspension is faster tire wear.

you can flush the PS yourself, just unhook the return line after the car has been running a few monites, and have a friend turn the wheel a few times as you are pouring new fluid in, continue until the fluid comes out clean.

Feel free to ask any more questions
 

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Get the brakes done at a brake shop, they will do a better price usually.
 

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you didnt just get screwd man. you got fucked with no astro glide....



things like this are always going to happen to an older model car. most people wont do regular maintence on a car let alone preventative maintanance youve spent over what you paid for (which was way too much for how much body damage it had) in a little over a year. the body damage alone on the quarter panel and frame totaled out the car. the 3200$ you spent on the car was about 2600$ too much. and i hate to see people taken advantage of when it comes to a daily driver like this. it really is dissappointing to know that shops and people do this shit just to make a little extra cash..
 

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and this is why you take your car to a shop and have 'em check it out BEFORE you buy, not after. A car with frame damage is straight fucked and should've been taken to the salvage yard. I don't care how much you spent on that whip, it was too much...
Yer at it again, give him a break, cuz he obviously has too many :lmao


Honestly, Id make a tube chassis for it, straighten it out a bit, and make it a track whore, then sell it for 5-6k to someone who doesnt wanna deal with the hassle of doing that. That would possible let him make a tiny bit o profit instead of simply fixing it and driving it
 

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I dunno if hes trying for a perfect condition again, I think he jsut wants it runnign good and handle stock like, to get from point A to B. Its not fucked at all if thats all hes trying to accomplish. You think hes wasting money, ask that of people who buy american SUV's and only use it to drive around.
 

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CUZ ITS MAD COOOL YO I gotz a truck/car hybrid, makes me have a huge dick and allows me to drive like an asshole, fuck you haters :lmao
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
focus on the engine parts, leave slight leaks alone til you get the other stuff done. Only thing wrong with rolling on bad suspension is faster tire wear.

you can flush the PS yourself, just unhook the return line after the car has been running a few monites, and have a friend turn the wheel a few times as you are pouring new fluid in, continue until the fluid comes out clean.

Feel free to ask any more questions
The PS flush was already done.

I'm mainly concerned about the ball joint boots and outer tie rod end boots issue. The outer cv boots is a new issue not previously mentioned. Since the ball joint boots and tie rod end boots was first discovered almost a year ago I haven't had any problems. I've driven over 29,000 miles on parts that are supposedly torn and needed to be replaced ASAP. It seems suspicious since they didn't mention these parts during a 135k inspection while the other visits were mostly for oil changes. It was during my last oil change 2 days ago did they bring these parts up again and that's why I'm wondering if this is normal or there's something else going on. During that 135k inspection, they did tell me the right tie rod end boot needed to be replaced but didn't mention the other parts.

Get the brakes done at a brake shop, they will do a better price usually.
I'll keep that in mind. I didn't have any real brake issues except in the beginning. Once the brake fluid flush was done it was able to brake normally. Prior to that the brakes would fall flat to the floor before the car slowed down.

Regarding the squeaking brakes, they did cleaned and adjusted the brakes. Nothing was replaced. I noticed there was more resistance in pulling up my e-brake after the cleaning.

and this is why you take your car to a shop and have 'em check it out BEFORE you buy, not after. A car with frame damage is straight fucked and should've been taken to the salvage yard. I don't care how much you spent on that whip, it was too much...
Actually I did have it checked out prior to purchase. Initially I was going to have it inspected by Firestone but I dropped the ball by not making an appointment so they didn't have anything available when I walked in. Instead the body shop owner said he knew a shop that was open on Saturday to take it to. The only thing that shop found wrong were minor issues such as the tail light bulb replaced, A/C recharge, and a brake fluid flush. After I got the car I took it to a Firestone that was near my work and they advised the rear trailing arm needed to be replaced. I brought it back to the body shop owner to have him replace the rear trailing arm.

It's debatable whether I spent to much on the car. The price he gave me was below KBB's fair price which is the lowest one listed. If you check it now it's going to be more since the car depreciated further. This is my second car, the first one I had was "totaled." So, I needed a car and after checking craigslist this was the better deal (Civics in the San Francisco bay area are not cheap). There was another civic of the same year and model with more miles listed for $4,500 with the roof rusted. Other cars I looked at were out of my range in either distance or price and I already took to much time off of work. It might seem like an impulse purchase now but the car is reliable. I'm more concerned about whether I can trust my mechanic since it seems like I'm getting repairs quoted every time I go in.
 

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I advise lower balljoints and the tierods on both sides, the upper balljoints you can leave alone for now, unless they click alot. Ive gone threw a lower balljoint busting, it aint cool. It was a miracle that I didnt bend my loer A arm. It broke the shaft of the BJ(fuck your jokes lol) and luckily dragged that along instead of the A arm's end.

I mighta missed it, but this would also be a good time to check and regrease the cv shafts, or possibly replace them if they look bad. Ive ben stranded by cv shafts that were dry of grease, but made no noise, then one day, the car would "lunge" between gears, as if a lot of play was there, then a week later a tow truck needed to be called 7 miles outta town, guess how I got to town to make the call :lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Earlier I stated the ball joint boots needed to be replaced on my last oil change two days ago but it was just the tie rod end boots and cv boots. The ball joint boots were mentioned in the first visit back in Jan 2008. Labor and parts would run me $562.50 before tax and after the 10% discount applied.
 

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Just for tierods inner and outer, and lower balljoints? or what?

I was quoted 314 bucks for inner/outer tie rod ends and passenger side balljoint by the honda guys here in town. they charge 60 bucks per hour, and work mostly on hondas when they arent tweaking jaguars and bmws. they also have a guy who used to race honda single cams, but now races old school bmws for fun
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
It's for both front upper, both front lower, both outer tie rod end boots, and both outer C.V. boots.

The labor is $90/hr and the OEM parts are charged at MSRP price. I get 10% off the hourly rate and off the parts so it knocks it down to $81/hr which is reasonable considering the high cost living area I'm in.
 

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well the uppers have to be changed along with the arms, hence why i suggest skipping them for now. They are hella easy compared to the bottom ones. And they very rarely go bad, hence me telling you to see if they click at all. My tire was pointing north when my lower ball joint snaped, and the honda guys who did my driveshafts for me said they were fine, just a lil worn, but ok enough that they wont cause bad tire wear. You should be fine. Save your self some money
 
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