car problems, and even worse repair shop problems

Discussion in 'Vintage Topic Archive (Sept - 2009)' started by shelbyzman, Feb 28, 2008.

  1. shelbyzman

    shelbyzman Member

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    Here is my 2002 dodge neon situation......
    First of all, my car went into limp mode....the problem ended up being a bad solenoid pack. The transmission shop replaced the solenoid pack and on the 20 minute drive home, it drove fine until I heard some weird noises. I got to work and parked the car. When I went back to drive that car, it wouldn't go into reverse or drive. If I gave it alot of gas it would move only an inch. I looked under the hood and there is fluid around the solenoid pack. Any ideas on what is wrong, and what damage could have been done from the solenoid pack leaking?
    I have since has my car towed back to the repair shop and they are putting off my car until monday. I asked him if the solenoid pack leak was the cause of the problem and of course he said no. I starting to think that I am being screwed.
     
  2. How bad was the leak around the pack? Was there still fluid showing on the tranny dip stick?


    Also if the shop put any fluid in the tranny, did they us ATF+3 or did they tell you that Mercon would work? That is not a good idea in itself for a Dodge tranny
     

  3. shelbyzman

    shelbyzman Member

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    It looked like it leaked quite a bit. There WAS still fluid on the trans. dip stick.
    I don't think that they put any fluid in it, but I am not sure. I would think they should know not to put anything other than ATF+3 or ATF+4.

    I think that the solenoid pack leaking was the cause....I took it in, they replaced the pack, it was fine until I drove it for a while (leaking fluid out of the pack) car sat at work for a few hours, probably leaking out the rest of the fluid?
     
  4. You would be surprised the places that try to put other fluids in besides the correct ones.

    It would have to leak quite a bit for it to be low enough to not want to move, but it is possible.

    Ask them how many qts it took to bring it back up to full after they get done with their latest work. If it took over 2 - 3 qts or so I would be concerned.

    I have owned 3 Dodge minivans with the front wheel drive tranny and they either work great or give you nothing but trouble it seems.
     
  5. shelbyzman

    shelbyzman Member

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    thanks for the info....

    this car has been a lemon since the horrible day that we bought it. The motor had to be replaced, had a knock. The radiator when out. The brakes broke of inside drum and had to be replaced. The car has a new leak and now stinks because of the rain that has leaked in (all of the weather stripping looks good) And now this.... :twisted:
     
  6. 69burbon

    69burbon Well-Known Member

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    Shelbyzman,
    The coil pack doesn't contain any liquid I am aware of. I am a mechanic, although not too familiar with newer Dodges (I'm in GM land here in Michigan) but I have never seen one that has any type of Gel or liquid in it.

    What color is the liquid? If it is a green or orange color, they may have broke through a water jacket in the engine.

    I had a neighbor that had a 94 or 95 Neon and it would just not start for no reason. There was some kind of harness issue (chaffing/rub through).
     
  7. neothespian

    neothespian Member

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    There also might be a "trailing leak" coming from elsewhere on the drivetrain. It's hard to tell without being there, considering that I only have a fleeting knowledge of Neons (only been under the hood of two of them).
     
  8. Hey I'm a Dodge guy all the way, I will only buy dodge trucks, but when it comes to the neon and their smaller end cars, they've got serious problems, the Neon is the worst of all, the heads tend to fermetically seal the block just out of no where if I were you, i would get that sucker fixed and try and get rid of it and buy something foreign seems as how they are kind of ruling the compact car market nowadays

    I had a 89 blazer that did the same thing and it had some crap stuck in the fluid pathways and it caused the same "lock up" that it sounds like your having, hopefully its just something like that and not too expensive, best of luck man, car trouble, no matter how small- sucks big time
     
  9. Uraijit

    Uraijit Guest

    He's talking about a tranny solenoid, which most certainly does have fluid behind it. Whether or not it was caused by the leaking fluid, don't pay another penny for their work. If they opened up the tranny, and now the tranny doesn't work, obviously they messed something up, and they need to make it right.
     
  10. shelbyzman

    shelbyzman Member

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    Yeah, it's the transmission solenoid pack.
    They still haven't looked at the car yet, but he said that the solenoid pack leaking couldn't be the reason it won't go into gear now.

    All I know is that is in worse shape now than it was than when I first took it to them.

    What do I do if they won't admit it was their fault? Small claims court????
     
  11. squeak_D

    squeak_D Guest

    If they're decent people at this garage..., then they'll take care of you. You have to always be cautious with garages though. It's not to say they're all crooks, because there are some very good and honest mechanics out there. However, there is a good number of them that will stick you every chance they get.

    If they give you the run-a-round I suggest removing your car ASAP. Take it to another mechanic and have them look at it. If that garage wants the job, and the mistake was caused by the current one, you'll have the support of that garage owner backing you up (he wants the business too). You'd be surprised the number of repairs garages do daily which are to fix the shotty work of another garage.

    Getting them to admit the mistake is the trick. Always give the garage the chance to make it right too, but don't let them screw you. It's sad, but today you have to be cautious about EVERYTHING because someone is always trying to pull one over on you. I just went through a whole ordeal with a heating and cooling company. They wouldn't admit fault, I got the attorn gen. office involved and nailed them.

    It's your car, your money, don't let them run the show on you.
     
  12. shelbyzman

    shelbyzman Member

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    thanks for the advice squeak_D
     
  13. squeak_D

    squeak_D Guest

    You're more than welcome man. I've gone through my share of rip off mechanics over the years. It's funny as we always hear they take advantage of women, but they'll take advantage of a man just as fast.

    Luckily I know enough about cars to not get taken. However, when I've walked into garages (wearing say a shirt and tie), I was treated differently than a person who walks in with jeans, steel-toes, and a Carhartt jacket. They see a "classic suit" coming and they see $$$$$ :)

    I'm fortunate to have found a good mechanic now and he's the only guy I'll let within 10 feet of my Lincoln Town Car when it comes to repairs. If the mechanic throws some terms at you that don't make sense. Always write down what they say. This way you can take their statement to another mechanic (hopefully an honest one), and see if it's legit.

    I just saved a guy a ton of money the other day (no I didnt' get him to switch his auto insurance). Poor guy knows nothing about cars. He had an issue with his Mercury. His car has the same engine as my Lincoln. 4.6L V8 with dual exaust (my mother of a car can haul a$$) Anywho his check engine light came on. He took it into a mechanic, and holy crap. Suddenly the car has tranny problems, and a list of other things--yet the vehicle showed no signs of malfunction other than the engine light.

    I took the guy to a buddy of mine who had a very good handheld code reader. Turned out to be a simple EGR sensor. Cost of part about $60.., cost to have me put it in for him.., six pack of beer :) The garage gave him an estimate of $855.00 (not including the $50 it cost to run the diagnostic test), which I'm quite sure they knew was simply the EGR sensor.

    Squeak
     
  14. shelbyzman

    shelbyzman Member

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    squeak_D

    Sounds like your friend is lucky to have you help him with his car!

    I really didn't have many options of places to take my car. There aren't many shops around here. I usually have my cousin do repairs on my vehicles but he doesn't work on transmissions.
    I did buy a warranty when I got my used car. Problem is that they don't cover electrical problems (solenoid pack). I can see the guys at the shop saying that the "new" problem is mechanical....therefor the warranty will cover it.
    I guess thats ok as long as it gets fixed and I'm not out anymore money :roll:
     
  15. Make them tell you what they feel is wrong with the tranny. There is always the chance that there was something more serious than the solenoid pack wrong in the first place, and they screwed you by throwing parts at it hoping to fix it.

    Still, I would want to know where the fluid leaked from, and how low the level got. That would be a place to start.

    May not be the main problem. but if an automatic tranny gets too low on fluid, they will have trouble moving the vehicle.

    Did they try to fill it back up and see if it pulls ok now?

    Its hard to diagnose something like this over the net, I wish you the best of luck

    BTW here is a great forum for researching problems and such, covers a lot of different brands of autos

    http://www.automotiveforums.com/
     
  16. shelbyzman

    shelbyzman Member

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    waltham41:

    They said that they won't be able to look at my car until monday, go figure. They aren't too concerned with me not have a car. I'm fortunate that my brother is letting my wife and I borrow one of his cars.

    The reason I think the original problem was only the solenoid pack is because the first time the car messed up it would go in first and reverse (limp mode)....once they changed the pack, it shifted fine.

    I'm not sure about the fluid level since they haven't looked at it yet.
    But before I had it towed, I checked the fluid (car wasn't running) it showed up close to full on the dipstick.

    Thanks for the link.
     
  17. You are welcome for the link shelby, it has helped me out more than once.

    If your tranny was at least close to full when it failed again, there goes my ideas out the window.

    I hope its something easy (cheap) to fix. You never know with these darn front wheel drive trannys, especially the Dodge ones.

    please let us know what it turns out to be, I know I am not the only curious one to see what it is
     
  18. shelbyzman

    shelbyzman Member

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    I will report back when I find out what is going on and what the problem is.
     
  19. 69burbon

    69burbon Well-Known Member

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    Sorry for the confusion shelbyzman. I misunderstood what you had wrote. The tranny solenoid pack makes sense. Thats what I get for surfing the forum when I'm half asleep. :lol:
     
  20. Krippp

    Krippp Well-Known Member

    ok, the trans solenoid pack sits on the front side(actual left) of the tranny, there is a thin gasket that is sandwiched between the pack and the tranny, alot of times if they were not careful then the gasket will be misaligned and the thing will leak severly. don't let them tell you that you have other issues such as vehicle speed sensor, shift solenoid or torque convertor problems because it will be common for those codes to be set when all that is wrong is a leaking gasket. have them flush your tranny, install the correct fluid type and repair any leak that they may find.