Intel's Ronler Acres Plant

Silicon Forest

Monday, August 7, 2017

Car Troubles

Ford Pickup Truck Being Repaired
Stopped by Heaton Automotive today to talk to Eric about my broken pickup truck transmission and I spied this Ford pickup truck in the shop. What kind of repair requires lifting the entire cab off the chassis, I enquired. Cylinder head replacement was the answer. How bizarre. It used to be that a job like that could be handled by man with a box of wrenches working alone in his garage. Things have changed. I suppose that with the number of complex systems tied into the engine, and the engine compartment being shrunk, it's quicker and easier to pull the cab off. It obviously makes access to the engine easier. You shouldn't have to make a repair like this very often. For most trucks it might never happen.

Last week my truck went all the way to San Francisco and back without any problems, other than the air conditioning compressor blowing up. But then I got in the other day to go pick up some lunch and the automatic transmission quit. Driving down a quiet residential street and the dang thing shifts into neutral. Try second and it engages for a few seconds and then it disengages again. Fiddled a bit and not it seems to be working okay, but then I go around a corner and it just quits completely.

Cutaway Automatic Transmission
Looking on the internet I find one story about how it might be a cracked filter that is letting air into the hydraulic pump, which would pretty much cancel all motation. On the other hand, the truck has 150,000 miles on it. I had the transmission rebuilt once before when it had around 70,000 miles, so there is a good chance that it is just worn out. However, I've never had a transmission fail so completely and so quickly. Usually I get all kinds of signs and portents for weeks before it becomes undriveable, and then I can still drive it to the shop. This time it quit so completely I had to have it towed.

Replacing the transmission with a rebuilt unit and fixing the A/C would cost $3,500. Scrap value of the truck is about $300. If I decide to keep it, it is also going to need a paint job and a couple of dents fixed, not to mention a couple of tires, all of which is going to push the bill past the five grand mark. It might not be worth it. Meanwhile I have the Hyundai. Looks like it might be the end of the road for this truck.



1 comment:

AndrewP said...

My 2005 Tundra has 167,000 never had a serious problem yet (knock on thermoplastic), though I should check the plugs and injectors.

Nicks low mileage cherokee automatic tranny stopped working, shortly after we bought it, like it was in nuetral. Towed it to a backyard shop, the guy diagnosed it as a cracked pickup tube in the tran-sump. $100 job.