Intel's Ronler Acres Plant

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Thursday, October 4, 2018

The $2500 Oil Change

Hyundai V-6 with Timing and Valve Covers removed
Took the Hyundai in for an oil change and to have someone look at the brakes. Picked it up this afternoon. The bill came to $2500. Seems there were a couple of silent problems hiding under the hood.

We'll start with the usual suspects. The brakes were making funny noises a couple of days ago. They were making the screechy sound you get when the disk brake pads have reached the end of their life, but it was kind of random, it wasn't happening just when I stepped on the brakes. It would start and then I would turn the steering wheel a fraction and it would stop. Then I would turn it the other way and it would start up again, and then it just quit. That would have been the end of it, but it pulled exactly the same stunt a month ago, and now it's due for an oil change, so let's take a look.

Turns out the brake pads had reached the end of their life so they get replaced, and since there's a factory in Asia churning out new rotors for a buck and half a piece, the rotors get replaced as well. Used to be standard practice to turn them on a brake lathe, but that was then and this is now and I don't know if anyone turns brake rotors anymore.

Then there was the leaking valve cover. This leak is probably what killed the alternator a couple of years ago, and that cost 7 or 8 hundred dollars to fix. We don't want to have to do that again, so let's get this leak fixed. While they are in there poking around they discover that the timing cover gasket is also leaking. Fixing it requires disassembling half of the  car. That was what jacked up the price. Since we are inside the timing cover, they also replaced the water pump because that is where water pumps live now. The car has 100,000 miles on it and while the water pump might last the life of the car, it might not, and it's the cheapest part of this deal, so they replace it as well.

So, lots of new stuff:
  • oil & filter
  • brake pads and rotors all around
  • water pump
  • spark plugs
  • engine air filter
  • cabin air filter
  • valve cover gasket
  • timing cover gasket
There were probably some other new bits in there as well. The car has 110K miles on it, which is pretty low for being 10 years old. I got a new set of tires for it earlier this year, so it ought to good for another five years or maybe even ten. I hope.


AndrewP said...

So $400 (Amazon price) parts and the rest labor...less $50 hazardous fluid disposal fee.
I had similar revelation from Toyota repair cathedral, they quoted $3500, I ignored most, spent 4 days under the truck.

The Institute said...

Seems like a prefect example of the transition from manufacturing to service economy:

-Goods are expensive because they're costly to manufacture;
-Technology improves manufacturing efficiency and lowers cost of goods;
-Lower item costs create opportunity to add margin elsewhere;
-"Hey let's put the water pump inside the oil pan;"
-"Your water pump was $30, labor to replace it was $600;"
-"If technology is making everything cheaper why are car repair bills so much higher?"

uniberp said...