Just bought a used ‘98 Ford E350 Club Wagon (80k miles) and need to do some work on it. Got 2 different mechanic’s opinions – one very tidy, upscale, “professional” garage, one more “casual, ” but a good mechanic, just maybe not for real serious jobs.
I need help prioritizing what jobs to do first. I’m about to go on a ~6000-mile, 40-day trip with a lot of weight (about 1300 lbs, including people). Anything that is gonna cause big long-term problems or be a safety issue for now, I want to fix.
I’d really appreciate the help! Here are my questions:
1) Shocks -- The more “professional” mechanic said they’re okay, more “casual” one said they’re shot. What’s the danger of driving on rear shocks that are on the way out?
2) Brakes – more “pro” mechanic said they need to be totally done (rotors, bearings, pads), more “casual” one said they’re fine and just need a cleaning (so, opposite to #1). To my foot, they don’t feel too bad… is this something I will notice getting slowly worse over time, or are the brakes just gonna go out on me?
3) Trans fluid replacement… this thing is at 80k and I don’t think the fluid’s been changed. One mechanic said it’s a good time to totally drain and replace. The other said that if it’s never been changed, the trans may be used to running on thicker fluid, so if you replace it all, it could start slipping.
4) Serpentine belt – both guys said I need to replace it… but I have a ripoff concern… both quoted ~$200 labor to replace my serpentine belt and pulleys, but this says it should only be like $70?
5) Spark plugs and air filter – one mechanic (more “casual” guy) said they’re shot, other (more “professional” guy) said they’re fine… again, something I’ll notice?
have the same problem?
Sunday, June 16th, 2013 AT 12:15 PM