Engine Performance problem
2001 Volvo S40 4 cyl Front Wheel Drive Automatic 54000 miles
My car was leaking oil in the front. The autoshop who evaluated the fluid leak indicated that they found leakage from the upper and lower oil pan gaskets and both output shaft seals. Leakage due to age/heat. They recommended that I remove and replace the following:
Oil pan & /or gasket (1)
Oil pump seal -front (2)
Output shaft seal - left (1)
Output shaft seal -right (1)
They told me the work would take the whole day and labor approximately $2000. I've done some preliminary research and it looks like the work shouldn't take the whole day. I'm wondering also why the oil pump seal needs to be replaced if there's no leakage from there. I'd appreciate your thoughts on the auto shop's recommendation/time needed.
Hi there, the days labour is about correct, the sump is about 3.2 Hrs and each drive shaft is 1.8 Hrs but I would question the oil pump seals, not to sure what they want to do there, now if they want $2,000 labour and the book says about 7 hrs, so give them 8, that would make their labour rate a whopping $250 per hr, nice if you can get it. This is what I would be questioning. As a comparison, I charge $90 per hour in a busy large rural town work shop here in Australia, that price converts to a labour rate here of $285.00 per hr. As I said, nice if you can get it.
June, 28, 2010 AT 12:11 AM
Thanks for your quick response! You're right - the $ for labor is way too high.
When I asked about the oil pump seal I was told: " Oil Pan & /or Gasket (1)" referred to the lower oil pan gasket
and the " Oil Pump Seal (2)" referred to the upper oil pan gasket
It didn't sound right to me.
June, 28, 2010 AT 12:48 AM
I will check this out on Mitchell 1, I feel that it is just the sump only, will post back a little later with what I can find out.
June, 28, 2010 AT 1:23 AM
The oil pump is driven by the timing belt (see pic of pump & seal indicated, also i think the second seal they are referring to is the front crank shaft seal, now if this is the case, this part of the job will take about 5 hrs on to of the 7 or so to do the other work so this would bring the labour down to around $140.00 PH local rates, still high i feel and i doubt that it all could be done in 1 day, what did they quote on parts and are they replacing the timing belt?
June, 28, 2010 AT 1:32 AM
They did not indicate that they would need to change the timing belt.
Here are the labor quotes from a discount auto service shop in Los Angeles, CA: $350.20 x 1 to remove and replace oil pan & or gasket
$525.30 x 2 to remove and replace oil pump seal - front
$188.00 x 1 to remove and replace output shaft seal - left
$197.40 x 1 to remove and replace output shaft seal - right
$29.61 for limited extended labor warranty.
Just FYI - For the fluid leak evaluation, they had charged me $29 for the labor.
They have to call for quotes on parts but was told it should be about $200 for parts.
June, 28, 2010 AT 2:01 AM
With that break down in labour costs, I would now ring around for a few quotes, I am unsure as to what the average labour rate is in your district, but for a discount workshop, it still feels a bit to much, and I would be questing them if they have Volvo experience as well, I just check, the timing belt is not due for another 50,000 mls so the old one will be fine.
June, 28, 2010 AT 2:44 AM
Labor is high out here in Los Angeles. Where I am at we actually charge $145 an hour. If you are near Orange County, you may want to check The Doctor out in Costa Mesa. There repairs come with a 2 year unlimited mile warranty. And you may also save few more bucks on there labor as well? I dont know what they charge but they say they will beat the dealers price so it may be worth looking into?
June, 30, 2010 AT 2:07 PM
Thanks everyone for your advice!
I've gone to 3 different places (the last place being my dealership). The 2nd place worked on the oil leak, but my car is still leaking oil. It's been frustrating because all 3 places have identified different sources for the leakage. I was also told by one of the places and a 4th one I've contacted that if the auto shop identifies and fixes let's say 3 sources of the leak, and if there is still leakage from a different site, I would have to go back to the shop and pay for another fuel leak evaluation and solution. Is it unrealistic to expect the auto shop to identify and properly fix all sources of the leak at one time? Why should I pay for an auto shop's uncertainty/non-thorough analysis of the problem?
June, 30, 2010 AT 7:57 PM
It can be difficult to diagnose some oil leaks as you may have oil leak masked by another, that is something leaking a seal high on the engine and this leak is running down over a second seal that may also be leaking, just one of the headaches in the industry, with this it is often best to quote all seals that are suspect so you have an idea what to suspect, with your car I would be thinking that the cam seal, oil pump and crank seal as a group repair at the front of the engine should cover any problem there, the sump is chemically sealed (no gasket) and may be a rocker cover gasket as well, but this is fairly easily identified on it's own, with out seeing it first hand its a bit hard, but a good mechanic should be able to give you the information you need regarding what he believes should be done with out wanting to test ands re test again.
June, 30, 2010 AT 9:19 PM
What repairs were actually done? If it is still from the front of the engine and that is where the repairs were done then you should not have to pay to have them recheck there work. Many of the times when the front cam seals look like they are leaking it usually is the cvvt hub leaking oil. The hub is just under $300 at the dealership. If that is where it is leaking and most likely it will be if it is coming from the front, at the least you should just pay for the part and have them install the part since you already paid the labor to remove it once to replace the cam seals. Also have them check all the cam cover bolts, (like a hundred of those suckers! Maybe exagerating a little but it is a lot), if one of those cam bolts is loose it will leak oil all over the place. You can even recheck the cam cover bolts yourself. Remove the plastic covers and get a 10mm socket, extension, and a ratchet. Make sure they are secured and do not over do it or you will damage the threads. Keep me posted and let me know what they find. Who was the second place you went to anyways if you do not mind me asking?