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The Bill

Diagnosis: cracked radiator and dead thermostat. $800+ to replace both. Further testing revealed no engine damage "at this time". Hmmm.

Also spotted: broken engine mount, burned out brake light bulb, leaking oil pan gasket. I debated briefly about postponing the gasket replacement, but went ahead. At least the bulb replacement was cheap.

Grand total: $1350. Let's not count the AAA upgrade for extra towing, the rental car, and the extra parking at the airport.

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( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
mmegaera
Jul. 24th, 2007 03:08 am (UTC)
Ow. My sympathies.
sunlizzard
Jul. 24th, 2007 06:11 pm (UTC)
Ow. Mine, too.

I would guess that the further testing was a compression check? Because the major damage severe overheating can do is warp the heads, which would compromise the seal between the water and the oil circulating in the engine. That's a bad'un. So even if it passed the test ("at this time," yeah), keep a close eye on your temperature gauge. And when you check the oil, be alert to a greyish color or (umm, worse) a "foamy" appearance--that's water in the oil. DO NOT WANT.

Gotta love those older cars, especially the paid off older cars! I still have, and still love, and still occasionally drive the Miracle Mazda. Twenty four years old, come November....
mmegaera
Jul. 25th, 2007 05:39 am (UTC)
So how come my Mazda was a PITA from day one, and died after less than five years???
sunlizzard
Jul. 25th, 2007 03:49 pm (UTC)
Ummm. Dang. Musta been a later model? Just didn't have good Car Karma? I dunno, but I'm sorry you had such a rotten experience with it.

I've had four Mazdas (that I personally owned, not just shared) and they were all excellent. I still have the 1984 626, previously mentioned, and a 1976 Cosmo, which is in the back yard, slowly sinking back to nature. How I wish I could've had the $$$ to restore that rare beauty, but I never did. *sobs*
mmegaera
Jul. 25th, 2007 10:39 pm (UTC)
I'm back to American-made cars again (current critter is an 05 Ford Focus), and I have to say I'm happier with this car than I ever was with the Mazda. I'm becoming ever more firmly convinced that it's not the make of the car, it's what day of the week it went through the assembly line and how the assembly line folks were holding their mouths on the day it was built that matters.
nlbarber
Jul. 25th, 2007 03:51 pm (UTC)
What the invoice says is "Performed cylinder leak down test and found no problems with the head gasket at this time. Heated vehicle up and found no further problems with the cooling system at this time." Is that first one a compression check, in mechanic/invoice software speak?

Anyway, thanks for the advice on watching the temp gage and checking the oil. I'll try to do both.
filkferengi
Jul. 26th, 2007 07:31 pm (UTC)
Is it time to think of another vehicle?
nlbarber
Jul. 27th, 2007 12:08 am (UTC)
Sure starts the thought process...but then, it'd be nice to feel like the $1300 bought me something. Probably in a couple of years, or if I see another big expense coming in time to purchase a new one first.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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