July, 28, 2006 AT 6:11 PM

I have a Honda CRV 1997 108,000 miles on it. Ran like a jewel, but figured it was ready for a tune-up and timing belt. $1400 later (water pump, timing belt, shocks, a replaced motor mount, transmission flush, other odds and ends) I picked up my car to find that it sputtered at idle and vibrated. Mechanic adjusted the idle but car still died six times trying to back out of my drive. Took it back. Now they say it is a bad idle sensor and I am using the car with the sensor unplugged which seems to fix the problem. Mechanic says it is just coincidence that the sensor went bad when the car was at his shop - that their work and the bad sensor are unrelated. He said that if he can find a new sensor (his supplier only wants to sell him the whole throttle unit), he will replace the sensor for free. Am I being led down the garden path?


4 Answers



July, 28, 2006 AT 6:26 PM

I hate to admit, but when you distrub systems, that tends to be when they break. I know you have run up a very high bill, and you will always second guess whether everything was needed.
If the car runs bad with the sensor connected, and ok with it not connected, I would say the sensor is probably bad. Not sure how or why the mechanic would have made the sensor go bad, but that is not really going to fix your problem. I would say have the sensor replaced, and if you dont trust the mechanic, you dont have to ever go back to them. If you feel they did something wrong to you, then let your friends know. But try and move on with the knowledge that you have done a lot of good work to your car, and it will probably pay you back in the long run by being reliable and a dependable vehicle for years.
If the mechanic told you he would replace the sensor for free, then you should have the option to go buy it from the Honda dealer and give it to him to replace. If you feel like you wont get a fair deal on the sensor. If you just want to call the dealer and see if the sensor itself can be replaced, do it. If all you need is a sensor, and it can be obtained thru a dealer, but he is trying to sell you an entire throttle body, then someone is trying to take advantage of you. Make the call to your Honda dealer parts department and ask for a price on just the sensor. If they will sell you the sensor, call your mechanic and tell him that since his supplier could only get a throttle body, you got your own sensor and will bring it to him for the free replacement. However if you do not trust this person, it may give you the best piece of mind to take your car to another mechanic and have them replace the sensor.



July, 28, 2006 AT 8:06 PM

Thanks. I just came home very frustrated because, although the car works better unplugged, it took me four tries to back out of a parking space a half hour ago (I turned off the air and had better luck). I will follow your advice and try to stay calm. Thank you very much for your assistance.



August, 3, 2006 AT 10:34 AM

I am a mechanic and I know stuff like that happens but usually its not the mechanic problem. But with you not having a problem with it until you took it to the shop it was then there problem. They must have gotten it wet or something. Get a lawyer involved at I guarantee that they will fix it for free on the spot. To a mechanic its not worth going to court for something that costs 30 bucks and take 5 min to replace.



August, 3, 2006 AT 8:18 PM

Thank you for your comments. I settled down; decided to wait for the service shop to find a new sensor. In the meantime, I took the car somewhere else for an alignment. One thing led to the other and turns out my sensor is fine. The timing belt had not been installed correctly. Paid the money to have it done right and the car runs like a dream. Now to recover the $350 or so that the first guy owes me for labor.

Thanks again. It helped just to write it out and hear answers from those in the business.

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