2005 Mercury Mountaineer Repair Question
Valvoline changed transmission fluid and overtightened the plug when finished and cracked the transfer case. Is this the right fix?
My mechanic suggested he fix it with a JB aluminum weld as a temporary fix to save me money instead of putting on a new transfer case. He did and the weld has held well, but the transmission now feels like its lagging and slipping a bit and my check engine light is on and a light comes on that says Check Transmission and Overdrive clicks off and is unavailable.
Valvoline has now agreed to pay for it to be fixed right. Their chosen mechanic says the fix is to remove the cracked and welded transfer case and replace it with a Jasper rebuilt transfer case.
Is that the proper fix? Will that get rid of the lag/slipping transmission? Is that lag/slipping due to loss of transmission fluid due to Valvoline cracking the transfer case?
First of all, even Ford can't build a transfer case so cheaply that over-tightening the plug will crack the case. There had to be a stress crack there already from the casting process. That is somewhat common. Over-tightening drain plugs causes the threads to be peeled out and stripped. I can't imagine anyone being strong enough to accidentally tighten the plug enough to crack that heavy aluminum case.
Jasper rebuilt products are very high quality, but you're talking about two different things. Transfer cases do not slip; automatic transmissions do if they get low on fluid. If you stop driving it when that happens, no serious damage will result. Some people keep driving thinking the problem is magically going to go away. That slippage causes the clutch plates to overheat and wear away. At that point refilling the fluid is not going to help.
The transmission and transfer case are two totally different pieces that are bolted to each other. How does changing the fluid in the transmission equate to a crack in the transfer case? Without more details, I'm skeptical the mechanic caused the problem, and I'm really impressed that the company would go to such an expensive length to take care of a problem for you that may not even be their fault. I have a former student working at a Ford dealership, and every week he tells me of all the trucks that come in with fluid leaks, including brand new ones. You said it was "suggested" you have the transmission fluid changed. Why did they suggest that? Was it based solely on mileage or maintenance history or did they see a pre-existing problem that needed to be solved before it became worse?
The place I would start with the shifting problem is by having the stored diagnostic fault codes read. That will tell you why the Check Engine light is on. Those codes will direct the mechanic to the circuit or system that needs further diagnosis. There could be something as simple as a bad connection on the transmission temperature sensor connector, a cut wire, or nothing more than air in the system due to low fluid level. Air compresses and will prevent the fluid from applying sufficient pressure on the clutch packs. If the resulting slippage is detected with speed sensors, the computer will turn off the overdrive option to reduce the load and that slippage. Air in the hydraulic system will also stop the shift valves from working properly so there's no way to tell how the transmission will act. That still has nothing to do with the transfer case.
The normal repair for a crack is to replace the cover that has the crack, not the entire transfer case or transmission. That's like buying a new suit because you broke a shoe lace. If the threads are stripped for the drain plug in the transmission pan, it's real easy to pop a new pan on. It gets removed anyway to replace the filter. Parts and labor would be very low cost. To replace the front or rear cover on the transfer case requires the unit to be removed and placed on a workbench. That's a fairly time-consuming job but parts would cost WAY less. Once the transfer case has been removed, it doesn't take very much extra time to install the new cover before the assembly is reinstalled into the truck.
Valvoline suggested I change the transmission fluid because my 2005 Mercury Mountaineer had over 100,000 miles on it. As I understand it, the transmission fluid on a 2005 Mercury Mountaineer is factory sealed and the plug for emptying and filling is on the transfer case. After draining and then filling it, they replaced the plug and overtightened it and a crack developed in the transfer case around the plug, causing some of the transmission fluid to leak out.
I found out, because I took it to a repair shop six months later for a tie rod to be replaced and the mechanic who fixed it told me I had a transmission fluid leak. I had him look into why and he checked and got back to me and said the plug in the transfer case looked like it was overtightened causing a crack in the transfer case and said it would cost $1500 to $2000 for a new transfer case or they could put a JB weld on it for about $500. Of course I went with the cheaper option and had it welded and he refilled the transmission fluid prior to welding it.
On my next trip to valvoline instant oil change recently, I was looking through my past receipts and saw that Valvoline had replaced the transmission fluid on my last visit there from which I concluded that it had to be Valvoline who overtightened the plug causing the damage. I talked to the manager about it. He looked at the transfer case and said, "It happens and I'm sorry." He also said it looked like the weld was holding well and it wasn't leaking, but should be fixed the right way by replacing the transfer case and he set up an appointment with a transmission shop for me to take it in and have it looked at and fixed on their account. If he is right and it hasn't leaked at all since being welded, the transmission fluid is not low.
Over the last few weeks while awaiting that appointment, I've experienced issues with the transmission shifting. When I start off in drive from a stop, the engine RPMs will rise to even 3500-4000 without shifting out of first gear and it will then get in gear with a thud as if its finally slipping into gear. Since the first time that happened, I have started out from drive, accellerated to about 2500 RPMs and then let out the gas to let it fall back to 1800-2000 RPMs and it will shift into 2nd gear. I'll do the same when it gets up to 2500-3000 RPMs again back off the gas and let it fall to 2000 and it shifts into 3rd gear. The check transmission light sometimes comes on and another light will come on indicating "O/D is off" to signify overdrive is turned off. I took it to the Ford dealership service department and had a diagnostic code check run and they said there are no engine codes, but four transmission codes, but they don't do any transmission work and don't have the transmission code package so they can't tell me what's wrong.
I took it for the transmission repair shop appointment Monday and the mechanic looked it over and said it needs a new transfer case and estimated $2500 for its replacement, which Valvoline is going to pay for.
My issue is that he is going to remove the cracked and welded transfer case, put a new transfer case on, refill it with transmission fluid and install the plug and at the end of that, I won't have any further danger of a leak, but based on your response, I will still have the issue with the transmission not shifting smoothly. I know it isn't good to just keep driving it like that. What I am wondering is whether the transmission is damaged internally due to being driven with low fluid levels due to the leak resulting from the cracked transfer case. If it damaged internally from that, I would think Valvoline having cracked the transfer case by overtightening the plug is what has caused this problem and that Valvoline ought to have to fix that.
If its something like a speed sensor, I'd be happy as a clam to pay the cost of a new one, which is I think about $100, but the transmission repair guy said that speed sensor is in the transfer case anyway and by replacing it, the speed sensor would be replaced, as well. If that is the case, my best bet I think would be to have the transfer case replaced and see if I've still got the slipping problem. Does that make sense and sound right?
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You've said a lot of things that caught me by surprise, but nothing I can exactly argue with, just make observations and ask more questions. For example, it is extremely common to not have a drain plug for the transmission since that is not a regular service like an engine oil change. The fluid is removed by unbolting the pan on the bottom, which also must be done to get to the filter. That is normally supposed to be done every 36,000 miles. Shame on you for waiting too long. Shame on me for doing that only once in 231,000 miles on my '88 Grand Caravan that I regularly use to pull a tandem axle enclosed trailer that's bigger than the van. You neglected yours; I abused mine, but it shows what they are capable of withstanding. More on fluid change intervals later.
To say it a different way, not changing the transmission fluid or filter in over 100,000 miles will not automatically cause a problem, and if a problem was going to occur anyway, there's relatively little chance regularly scheduled fluid changes would prevent that from occurring, so I don't think that's an issue now.
Next, without first-hand knowledge of this myself, I am real surprised to read that the transfer case and transmission share the same fluid or even USE the same fluid. There is no way for transmission fluid to drain up high and into the transfer case where it connects to the transmission, so it can be drained out. But rather than speculate, I went through the painful and miserable process of tricking a Ford service dvd to run on a different computer so I could see for myself. There is no end to insane and stupid things engineers have designed into our vehicles, and Ford has really led the way in that regard, but this one really had my eyes rolling.
There is indeed a drain plug on the pan of the transmission. That is nice but not typical. There are two separate plugs on the transfer case, one for draining it and one for filling it and checking the fluid level. That is standard and normal. Both units are listed as using transmission fluid, but not the same transmission fluid. That proves my suspicion that they don't share the same fluid and the transmission is not drained through the transfer case. They are totally independent systems just like they've always been. Someone has given you incorrect information or it has gotten mixed up in translation.
Now, if the transmission fluid was changed by Valvoline, that would not have anything to do with the drain plug in the transfer case. It IS normal to not replace the transfer case fluid at any scheduled time. The fluid is there strictly for lubrication, not to run any hydraulic functions. If you have the all-wheel-drive model, (vs. four-wheel-drive, which is not the same thing), there is a viscous coupling inside the transfer case. That allows a little slippage between the front and rear drive shafts so the tires can turn at different speeds smoothly when going around corners. You do need fluid in that viscous coupling, but even if it was low, the rear wheels would still drive and you would likely not even notice a problem. I did find that the fluid in the transfer case is very thick to make the viscous coupling work. That is not standard automatic transmission fluid.
That brings us back to the transmission. I can't possibly think of any legitimate reason the people at Ford would make it so extremely difficult to check the transmission fluid level or to add fluid. There is no reference to a dipstick or fill tube. A small plug must be removed from the center of the larger drain plug, then if no fluid runs out, more must be added with a special tool and compressed air to push it up and in. If I were to suggest such a messed up method, I'd get laughed off the planet, but that's because I talk with other people who also subscribe to common sense. There's plenty of places on any transmission for small, slow leaks to occur, and it's common to just add a little fluid when necessary. Ford took that ability away from you.
There's no easy way to know if the transmission fluid is low or by how much, so in the absence of an obvious leak from that area, we would have to assume the transmission just decided it was time to wear out. I am fairly confident that replacing the transfer case is not going to solve the slipping transmission. Have the transmission fluid level checked, but I think it's time for a trip to a transmission specialty shop, not the same Ford dealer. Telling you they don't do transmission work at the dealer doesn't make sense. At the Chrysler dealer I worked for, we were not allowed to sell any new car model if we didn't have all the training and equipment to perform any possible needed service. I'm pretty sure most other manufacturers have similar rules. Regardless, I'm not happy with the explanations you've gotten so far although Valvoline seems to be willing to keep you as a satisfied customer by going above and beyond expectations.
A number of years ago Ford listed oil changes on their small cars as recommended at every 7,500 miles. The engines get just as dirty as other engine brands from running the same type of fuel, and the same cleaning and lubricating properties are needed as in other cars, but that is twice as long as other manufacturers have found to be necessary. The sole reason for that and other similar maintenance recommendations was to make the cost of regular maintenance appear to be less than with their competitors' cars. Their disclaimer was that only applied to "normal" driving. Their "severe driving" maintenance schedule more closely matched everyday driving most of us do like "extended highway speed driving", "excessive city driving", "driving on dirt roads", etc. They failed to point out that it was almost impossible to stick to the "normal driving" maintenance recommendations. Engine oil has detergents, anti-foaming agents, dispersants that take dirt to the filter, and seal conditioners that wear out, typically in 3,000 miles. Looks like they're pulling this again with your vehicle. Oil changes are recommended every 5,000 miles which most mechanics will say is too long. Oil lubricating properties are constantly being improved, but carbon and blowby still gunk that oil up, and the additives still wear out. At these high mileage maintenance recommendations, half of your engine's life can be spent circulating exceptionally dirty oil with worn out additives.
Of more interest is the transmission fluid change interval. You're supposed to check the fluid level every 15,000 miles, but only if you're lucky enough to have a dipstick. The fluid should be changed every 30,000 miles, which is fine, but that's only if you have a dipstick tube. You can ignore changing the fluid on those without a dipstick tube even though they use the same parts, have the same lubrication requirements, and additives wear out at the same rate. Sounds like planned obsolescence to me. My "shame on you" comment needs to be deleted, but it still applies to me.
Given everything I've read, I'm not convinced the first mechanic is really to blame for all the problems. I will never defend an incompetent or dishonest mechanic or shop, but there are just too many things that result in undeserved blame and unfair bad reputations. Added to that, there's always people in the same profession willing to lay blame on everyone else to make themselves look better. As with politicians, just because someone says something, that doesn't automatically make it true. Once you choose to believe one person, it takes a lot or proof before you're convinced they're wrong. I see that same thing happen all the time with mechanics. Just because your second mechanic says the first one overtightened the drain plug doesn't automatically make it true. It could have been leaking because it wasn't tightened enough. I look at it a different way. Had I WANTED to crack the case, I don't believe I could do it by tightening the plug even with air tools.
A different scenario will illustrate my point better. There has always been a lot of trouble with stripped lug nuts when you take the vehicle in for a tire rotation or repair. The mechanic has to tell you that new studs and nuts are needed, and possibly a new wheel. Of course you blame him. In reality, those nuts do not get damaged by loosening and removing them. They got damaged by the previous person who overtightened them and peeled the threads by not using a torque wrench. In that case, it could be the previous mechanic who is to blame, or even the one before him. Many other factors always come into play, but you get the idea.
Perhaps the first guy who reinstalled the transfer case drain plug saw a little oil around it, thought it was going to leak, so he tightened it a little more. Perhaps he did nothing wrong, but the normal reaction between an aluminum housing and a steel plug caused the plug to grow tighter. We often find drain plugs that come loose very hard when we know we didn't make them that tight the last time. It might not have been as tight as the second mechanic implied.
What if the case had cracked no where near the drain plug? That has happened before. I've seen porous transmission cases that seep fluid but they didn't do that right away when they were new. There's just too many questions in my mind. That's why I'm suggesting a trip to a reputable independent transmission shop. They tend to be unbiased toward any one brand, and any problem you can have, they've seen it before. They also have a lot of fixes and improvements that are not directly available to the dealers or other independent repair shops. You can give them the entire story and series of events, but I would try to leave out the names of any previous shops or mechanics. Knowing those details could skew their opinion or diagnosis if one of those names is a friend or a disliked competitor. They should be able to replace the cracked transfer case cover too for a lot lower cost than that of a whole rebuilt unit.
I want to thank you caradiodoc for taking so much time to respond. I certainly will take it to another but independent transmission shop to have a chat with them about it and I'm going to ask them to see where the crack is, ask whether an overtightened drain plug is the likely cause, what they think is causing the slippage, etc. The more I hear about the design, the more I want to see the transmission and transfer case and crack to see and understand the issue. I'm surprised there isn't a helpful diagram or youtube video online that depicts a 2005 Mercury Mountaineer transmission and transfer case and where the plug is and what fluid is shared if any between the transmission and transfer case.
You are right that even though the transmission shop Valvoline directed me to may be very knowledgeable, as he seems, there is an inherent issue with maybe being biased toward Valvoline and maybe not telling me the whole story to try to help Valvoline out.
Valvoline Instant Oil Change is the place that told me I should change the transmission fluid at 100,000 miles. Otherwise, I likely would never have changed it. I asked the Transmission shop mechanic where Valvoline sent me if cracked transfer case and the transmission fluid leak (assuming it was a leak of fluid from the transmission itself) could have caused damage internally in the transmission that resulted in the current troubles with slippage and he said he is pretty sure it didn't, because the crack was JB welded to patch/seal and transmission fluid refilled and the weld held and it didn't leak again, so he knows it is full of fluid now and that he would have expected the slippage issue to have arisen right when the leak happened and the fluid level was low and not to wait to arise months later and months after the leak was repaired and the transmission fluid level filled and returned to its normal level.
I had the dealer run a diagnostic code check when the check engine light came on and it showed 4 codes: P0775 (pressure control solenoid B Circuit Malfunction); P0732 (gear ratio Incorrect 2nd gear); P0733 (gear ratio incorrect 3rd gear); and P0735 (gear ratio incorrect 5th gear). The transmission shop mechanic Valvoline sent me to said they need to see it along with those codes to try to figure out what is going on, but the best case scenario is that it has a bad speed sensor and that the speed sensor is in the transfer case and replacing the transfer case would also be a replacement of the speed sensor, so that could fix the whole thing. He then said he'd have to take a look at it to know what the actual problem is.
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Well, I can share a couple more observations, but these are all related to Dodge trucks. Those that use computer-controlled transmissions, (which we know you have too because they can store diagnostic fault codes), there are two speed sensors that are always bolted to the outside and are very easy to replace. They are simple magnetic pickup sensors that give very little trouble. One common problem is metal chips or filings sticking to the magnet and reducing its signal.
The first speed sensor is an "input" speed sensor and watches the input shaft speed, which is kind of like watching engine speed. The second one, the "output" speed sensor watches drive shaft speed. Chrysler puts that in the back of the transmission so its the same with or without a transfer case, but the operation would be the same if it was in the transfer case.
The computer knows which gear it has selected, and based on input speed, it knows how fast the output speed had better be reading. If there is a discrepancy, the output speed will be too low. That can only happen when there is slippage between the clutch plates in one of the clutch packs. The system will default to "limp mode" and stay in second gear to allow you to drive slowly to a repair shop without needing a tow truck. A fault code related to "gear ratio error" will be set in memory because the wrong relationship between the two speed signals is being received. If one speed signal is weak, intermittent, or missing, that will set a different code spelling that out.
Transmission codes are generally in response to something that could have an adverse effect on emissions, in this case from excessive fuel consumption, so the Check Engine light must be turned on. Even though those codes remain in memory when the ignition switch is turned off, you can make some valuable observations by when the light turns on the next time. If it comes on right away when the engine is started, the codes are not going to be related to slippage in a clutch pack because they haven't even engaged yet. Those codes will be related to an electrical problem with a sensor or solenoid, . . . anything that is self-tested all the time by the computer. On Chrysler transmissions, all of those things are mounted on the outside and can be replaced rather easily.
If the Check Engine light turns on after the vehicle starts moving but hasn't up-shifted yet, you can expect the fault to be with a missing speed sensor signal although the sensor is okay electrically. That's a somewhat rare failure and is typically due to those metal chips or filings stuck to the magnet.
If the light turns on during or right after a shift, it is almost always due to slippage in a clutch pack. Chrysler had a lot of trouble with that at first that was caused by normal but not excessive clutch plate wear. Replacing the Transmission Computer or installing updated software that was more tolerant of the increased normal slippage as a clutch pack applied solved most of those problems. There were a lot of other problems in the early years related to "tolerance buildup" on the assembly line, but that's a topic for another day.
Those Chrysler transmissions also had a reputation for having a high failure rate. That is true but some of the problem was due to the intended design of the entire system. All automatic transmissions have stacks of clutch plates that must have fluid pressure applied to them to make them stick together to engage. The fluid passages are designed to make that occur very slowly, as in a fraction of a second. Think of gradually releasing a clutch pedal on a manual transmission car vs. sliding your foot off to the side and letting it snap up. Gradual clutch pack engagement cushions the engagement to a comfortable level. As those clutch plates wear over time, it takes more and more fluid volume applied to those plates before they fully engage. We felt that as sloppy shifts, unlike the nice crisp, solid shifts it had when it was new, and in severe cases it caused "engine runaway" where the engine speed would momentarily pick up a noticeable amount until that clutch pack engaged. This wear occurred over 100,000 or more miles and happened so gradually that we became accustomed to it and ignored it. That is until the day there was so much wear that it always slipped and probably overheated. The fix was to rebuild it, but we had months or years of warning that wear was taking place.
Those transmissions were all hydraulically-controlled strictly by load and road speed. Chrysler developed the first computer-controlled transmission for their front-wheel-drive vehicles in 1989 to do with a computer the things computers were never needed for before, but that allowed them to build into the software the ability to update those shift schedules. The computer knows how much fluid it takes to apply each of the four clutch packs. Where we could observe the effects of the clutch plate wear in the past, this system continually updates the shift characteristics to maintain the "as-new" feel all the time. For example, if there is excessive wear in the overdrive clutch pack, the computer will apply that clutch at the appropriate time, but it will wait just a little longer before it releases the third gear clutch pack. By the time it finally releases third gear, overdrive is solidly engaged and we don't feel the slippage. That masks the wear taking place that we used to be aware of, until the day comes when it can't update any further. THAT'S when noticeable slippage occurs between shifts and the system defaults to limp mode. We go from "shifting fine yesterday" to "sticking in second gear" today. No warning this was about to occur. The same normal wear has been taking place all along but we weren't aware of it.
Experienced mechanics have two things to identify that slippage is due to normal wear. One is by reading the "clutch volume index", (CVI) on a scanner, and the other is with a test drive.
The clutch volume index is a set of four numbers indicating the volume of fluid it takes to apply each clutch pack. Those numbers reset to factory programmed values when the battery is disconnected or the computer is replaced. It can take a couple of miles and up to a dozen shift cycles to relearn that information. Until then it might shift too harshly or sluggishly. Those numbers can also be used to determine the life expectancy of that transmission.
If the mechanic performs a test drive and sees the system go to limp mode when it shifts into third gear, he can reset it by turning the ignition switch off and restarting the engine, then, before it is time to shift into that gear again, he will accelerate quickly to cause that shift to be delayed, then let off the gas. That will allow the shift to occur with no load on the transmission and little likelihood of slippage. If he can continue driving normally after that, clutch plate wear is the suspected cause. If slippage is still detected after that clutch has had plenty of time to lock up, broken parts or cracked or hardened rubber seals can be expected to be found. Both of those are always addressed with a normal rebuild. Major rebuilders like Jasper and others will disassemble and rebuild a whole series of like transmissions at once. For efficiency, everyone is using the same tools, new parts, and procedures. They don't have time to figure out what caused each transmission's failure; they just build them to like new.
When your local mechanic or transmission shop rebuilds a transmission, they typically do just one at a time and unless it's a real common failure with common causes, they are going to pay very close attention to the CVI and test drive observations. In the case of slippage that I described, if they do not see evidence of excessive clutch plate wear, they know they had better find hardened and cracked rubber seals, and if they don't find those, smart mechanics will keep looking for the cause of the failure rather than just putting it back together with some new parts. If you don't KNOW the cause of the failure, you have no way of knowing you ELIMINATED the cause of the failure.
Okay, getting back to your transmission, as it was explained to me many years ago, GM and Ford thought so much of Chrysler's design, they wanted to copy it. GM wanted to buy the rights to use it in their cars, but they wanted to "wait until the bugs were worked out". As of the mid to late '90s they were still waiting so they designed their own computer-controlled transmissions. Ford did the same thing, and they both had all the same problems Chrysler had, and they had to go through the same learning process with the same failures and customer dissatisfaction. By that time Chrysler had a real bad reputation for their transmissions but they had also developed a lot of improved and redesigned parts to address most of the problems.
As for replacing your transfer case to get a new output speed sensor, there are a few different ways of looking at that. GM gives very little regard to repairing their vehicles after they leave the assembly line. I've written five-page articles, (I know that's hard to believe), on their very poor business practices and vehicle designs. It is common to find solenoids and sensors stuffed inside transmissions and transfer cases. Usually those assemblies must be removed and taken apart to replace those sensors. Repair expense is very high, but those sensors tend to have a relatively low failure rate. When a new transmission or transfer case is needed, those sensors and solenoids will already be in them.
When solenoids and sensors are on the outside, as with the Chrysler parts, you will often get new ones with a rebuilt assembly, but that is done to insure the assembly will work properly the first time. To save money, some discount rebuilders will not include them, but then the mechanic runs the risk of unknowingly installing a defective part, or installing it incorrectly. A solenoid gasket could leak. A sensor could be cross-threaded. Things like that. Most rebuilders want to do everything possible to insure they have a satisfied customer and aren't going to skimp on the cost of a few parts.
Regardless whether those sensors and solenoids are inside or outside, it is not standard practice to replace an entire transmission or transfer case just to get a new one. All of those parts are available separately. I would never agree to replace the transfer case just to get a new speed sensor and "see" if that solves other problems. We pay mechanics for their experience and training to be able to diagnose defective parts as efficiently and inexpensively as possible. The exception, in your case, is that a different problem is already going to be addressed, and since a new output speed sensor sounds like it will be included, lets wait and find out what symptoms remain after the transfer case is replaced.
I really hope a major transmission repair isn't needed, but I can offer another observation. You listed fault codes suggesting clutch pack slippage in three gears. If there was a speed sensor problem, the codes should be related to an electrical problem with that sensor or slippage-related, (gear ratio) codes should be set for first and fourth gears too. To clarify those clutch packs, there is not one for each gear. I'm familiar with the "low / reverse" clutch, "2 / 4" clutch, and the "overdrive" and "underdrive" clutches. Multiple clutch packs in various combinations are applied for the various gears. Based on your gear ratio error codes for three different gears, and the slippage you originally observed, my expectation is there is normal wear in one clutch pack that is used for all three of those gears. I'd be quite happy to learn I'm wrong and the repairs are not going to be expensive, but if you find out I'm right, and this is just normal wear, feel free to think I'm a genius.
MY GOSH DOC!!!
SAD THING IS I STARTING TO DO IT MORE AND MORE TOO! ANOTHER YEAR WE WILL BE COMPETING W/ NOVELS! LOL
AFTER READING "MOST" OF THIS---IF THE REBUILT UNIT IS OFFERED, SURELY IT WILL HAVE A WARRANTY
ACCORDING TO THE INFO UP TOP, YOUR RIG HAS TRAVELED 142,000+ MILES. THAT'S 142,OOO MILES OF WEAR ON THE "PROBLEM UNIT".
A REBUILT ONE "SHOULD" BE BUILT WITH "SERVICEABLE", SELECTED USED MAJOR COMPONENTS AND PARTS. BEARINGS, SMALL PARTS, ETC. SHOULD BE BRAND NEW.....PERSONALLY I HAVE NO PROBLEM USING RE-MANUFACTURED PARTS.
WELDING A "CAST" PART MY OR MAY NOT BE A PERMANENT FIX, ON SOMETHING THAT CONSTANTLY EXPANDS AND CONTRACTS W/ TEMPERATURE CHANGES, ESPECIALLY AT A "THREADED HOLE" OR A "FREEZE-PLUG OPENING" (WOULD BE FINE ON A NON-CRITICAL ITEM, LIKE A BUMPER, ETC)
AS FOR JB WELD---IT HAS IT'S LIMITATIONS, NOT SOMETHING I WOULD TRY FOR THIS REPAIR!
WHOSE TO SAY IT DON'T OPEN UP LARGER LATER?---WILL THEY REMEMBER YOU THEN, IN 2 YEARS?
I DON'T ASK FOR "NEW", UNLESS IT WAS ALMOST NEW WHEN IT WAS DAMAGED (MOST OF THE TIME) AN EQUIVALENT OR AN UPGRADE FOR MY TROUBLES, WOULD BE MY "BID" FOR WHAT HAS HAPPENED...MAYBE A LOANER CAR WHILE IT'S DOWN
A FEW YEARS BACK, I RODE WITH MY BOSS TO A "SOOPER-DOOPER OIL CHANGING PLACE", WE SAT IN THE PLUMBING VAN AND TALKED WHILE THEY PERFORMED THE SERVICE. SUDDENLY THE VAN VIBRATED AS SOME **^^*%$^ USED AN IMPACT WRENCH TO REMOVE AND RE-INSTALL THE OIL PLUG. NEVER EVEN PHASED MY BOSS!.....THIS WAS HOW THEY DO IT FOR ALL OF THEIR CUSTOMERS! IT'S FAST!
I HAVE SEEN THE HORROR STORIES FROM THAT SHOP AND FROM OTHERS....NORMALLY THE CUSTOMER GETS THE POOPY END OF THE STICK, EVEN IF THEY "WON".....STILL HAVE TO GO THRU A HASSLE, LEGAL OR NOT.
I AM NOT SAYING ALL ARE LIKE THAT!
I INVESTIGATE WHERE EVER I GO FOR ANYTHING. IF YOU'RE PEERING THRU THE DOOR INTO THE SHOP AREA. WHILE YOUR OIL IS DRAINING, YOU SEE "IMPACT MAN" TEXTING ON HIS PHONE---HE SMILES AT YOU WHILE DISPLAYING HIS ABILITY TO BLINDLY START YOUR DRAIN PLUG INTO IT'S HOLE, WHILE READING THE NEW MESSAGE ON HIS PHONE!---CHANCES ARE HIS ATTENTION IS IN SOME BLACKBERRY PATCH SOMEWHERE, NOT ON YOUR CAR!
BEING A PLUMBER, BUT ALSO A DIYer FOREVER----NOBODY REPAIRS MY JEEPS, AND ONLY SPECIALLY SELECTED PEOPLE DO MY AUTOMATIC TRANNY WORK, AND ALIGNMENTS..........MOST OF ALL, I CHANGE MY OWN OIL AND FLUIDS (I CAN TRUST THE MAN THAT DOES MINE!)
MY MOTTO IS FOR ANYTHING: "I CARE ABOUT MY STUFF, MORE THAN ANYBODY ELSE" (EXCEPTION: MY MAMA)
JUST ANOTHER OPINION FROM SOMEBODY WHO NEVER GETS TO PASS OFF THE POOPY STICK!
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