Am I getting hosed?

Tiny
SINGLEMOMINCALI
  • MEMBER
  • HONDA CIVIC
I own a 1998 Honda Civic LX. It has about 206,000 miles on it. I don't know the engine size, whatever came with the car.

A few months ago I took it to a mechanic because the thermostat indicated the car was running hot. On my way to drop it off, it started smoking and the check engine light came on. He replaced the heater hose and changed my oil. The car wasn't running hot anymore, but the check engine light was still on. He said I didn't ask him to check why the light was coming on so he didn't, and before I got a chance to take it in again, the light went out.

About 5 months and 2000 miles later, the car starts running hot again. I took it to the same guy who fussed at me because the oil was really low and there was no water in the car. I didn't know I was supposed to check these between oil changes. He checked the head gasket, which wasn't blown and put some oil and water in the car. He said bring it back if it started running hot over the next week, but if there was engine damage, he couldn't fix it because he doesn't do major repairs. Four hours later I was rear-ended on the interstate and there appeared to be only minor damage.

The car seemed to be running fine after that, I thought I had dodged a bullet, but three and a half days later the gauge jumped to hot again and started sounding funny, sort of a rattling sound. I finished my errands and headed back home, about 12 miles that may have taken me half an hour. As I exited the interstate the car shut down. It would not restart.

I had it towed to a new mechanic who later told me that the there was a 3 inch gash in the radiator hose and that the engine was so overheated the walls were warped. He told me he would replace the engine with a used one from Japan for $1800. I agreed. Today he called and told me it was ready, but when I went to pick it up, he said he had trouble changing gears during the road test. He said the transmission must have been overheated as well, and he did all he could, but it also needs to be replaced. This would cost me $1100 for a used transmission from Japan. He said the car was not drivable, and I was so devastated, I didn't think to test the car myself.

Had I known so much work was needed, I never would have authorized any repair on the vehicle. Now I'm stuck to pay an $1800 bill for a car that still does not work. Does this sound legitimate? I can't afford a car note, so I'm at a loss for what to do. Could any of these problems have been a result of the car accident? Please help. :Cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry:
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Thursday, November 1st, 2007 AT 3:57 AM

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Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • MEMBER
He said the transmission must have been overheated as well, and he did all he could, but it also needs to be replaced. This is a bunch of fairy tales. Stop the transmission replacement.

Started sounding funny, sort of a rattling sound. What you're hearing here is detonation/pinging/spark knock because the engine is overheating.

How many days did this guy had your car before he called you to pick it up?

Before it shutdown on you at the interstate were you looking at the temperature gauge and also did you see a lot of steam/white smoke coming from under the hood. Did you physically see the 3 inch gash of the hose?

I got this funny feeling the old engine wasn't replaced.
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Thursday, November 1st, 2007 AT 4:29 AM
Tiny
SINGLEMOMINCALI
  • MEMBER
My father has the same funny feeling.

I haven't asked him to start the transmission work. I had the car towed last to his shop last Wednesday but I didn't tell him to start on it until Friday. He called me to pick it up yesterday.

I don't recall seeing any smoke or steam, there may have been a little bit, but not much. I saw the gash in the hose when I went to pick up the car, he showed it to me. He pointed to an engine on the floor and said it was mine, it looked horrible.

My father has instructed me to go and ask to listen to the engine. Put the car and gear and see if it moves. He also told me to check the oil, to make sure it has clean oil, and to check the dipstick for the transmission fluid, to see if it's dark or smells like smoke.

Would I be wrong to just let him keep the car, and notpay for any repairs?
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Thursday, November 1st, 2007 AT 4:40 PM
Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • MEMBER
Would I be wrong to just let him keep the car, and notpay for any repairs. Have you mentioned anything like this to him.

Get somebody that's pretty sharp in automotive repair or hire one for a small fee to check it out completely.

You've made a serious mistake and you're paying for it-I feel bad for you. If you want your car back fight for it question everything that you're in doubt with and let them prove it.
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Thursday, November 1st, 2007 AT 5:23 PM

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