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How Essentual is a Tune Up for my Car

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by WillG, Jul 28, 2005.

  1. WillG

    WillG Producer

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    I took my car into my dealership because the Check Engine light went on. It's a 2001 Acura Integra with about 45K in mileage give or take. The look at it an tell me that I need a Distributor Angle Sensor ($389.69) and a full tune up to the tune of a lean $870.00 parts and labor.
    [​IMG]

    The tune up would include (as written)

    Cap
    Rotor
    Wire Set
    Spark Plugs

    And of course, this does not include the $100.00 I just paid for the diagnostic.

    I might need to have that sensor replaced, but I am wondering how necessary the tune up is? I've heard that this is where they try to rope you in, by saying you need a full tune up. And I'm wondering if this is the case, especially when you hear lots of car commercials say "100,000 miles before first scheduled tune up"

    Oh and for the irony of it all, as I was driving home from the dealership, the check engine light shut off.
     
  2. Andrew W

    Andrew W Supporting Actor

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    Spend about $100 of the $870 and buy the Service Manual for your car. You get it from the parts dept. Don't be cheap and get Chiltons, go buy the real thing.


    Then, change the wires and plugs yourself. Plugs need changing. Wires should last to 60K miles, but they're putting cheap ones in and they don't last that long anymore.

    There's a good chance that will clear up the check engine light.
     
  3. Christ Reynolds

    Christ Reynolds Producer

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    check the gas cap. in many newer cars, the check engine light will come on if the cap is missing or improperly seated. that may not be the case here, but it is possible someone at the dealership may have tightened the cap, and said you needed the tuneup anyway.

    CJ
     
  4. Mark Murphy

    Mark Murphy Supporting Actor

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    Take it to Autozone and get the OBDII codes read for free and then look online for what they mean and go from there. There is an Acura Forum here . When my old Taurus was throwing codes I did just what I suggested and used a Taurus Forum and got the problem solved minus the $75 dealer fee. Take advantage of the free Autozone service from now on. The stealership will get you whenever possible.
     
  5. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    An OBD-II scanner can be purchased for $100. Money well spent in my opinion - your $100 "diagnostics" fee would have paid for it the first time.

    [rant]Cap and rotor?[/rant] I haven't had a car with those parts in over a decade. Does anyone know if late model Acuras have such dinosaur parts anymore? My 2001 F-150 has coil-on-plugs instead, as does my 2004 Miata.

    (Very possibly that "distributor angle sensor" (probably a cam angle sensor) does the function previously performed by a distributor with cap and rotor.)
     
  6. Bob Graz

    Bob Graz Supporting Actor

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    My local Autozone is very helpful. My check engine light came on in my 94 Sable (kids car). They read the code and diagnosed bad EGR valve. Paid $50 for new EGR, put it on myself (with some guidance from Autozone) and light went out. Car runs great now and I passed the annual emissions test very easily.
     
  7. WillG

    WillG Producer

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    First thing I checked, but it did not go off. But like I said, the curious thing is that as I was driving home from the dealership, the light shut off. So, I'm not sure what to think now. I'm wondering if they are trying to push me into not extemely necessary work. I went to the dealership in the first place because I was hoping it was going to be something that was still under warranty. Oh well, we have a local mechanic that my family has been going to for years, so I'll try to get a second opinion. Since we have been going to him for so long, he might not be screwing us over when it comes to repairs.
     
  8. ToddS

    ToddS Stunt Coordinator

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    My wife's honda's check engine light comes on if you put too much gas in, or if the cap is not on right. It takes a while for the light to go off after fixing the issue so that may be what you are experiencing. As far as the dealership goes I am done dealing with them because the last time I took my Nissan in for the serpentine belt to be replaced the rep told me I should also get my timing belt done for $450. When I told him I would have to think about it he immediatly lowered the price to about $350. This made me so mad that now you have to haggle over the price of service, it makes me wonder how much I could have saved on the serpentine belt. I will never use a nissan dealership for anything. I suggest speaking with others and finding a good independant mechanic.
     
  9. AjayM

    AjayM Screenwriter

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    Yes the Integra still has a cap and rotor.

    So these guys want to charge you nearly $500 to install a sensor in the distributor and change the cap/rotor/plugs/wires? I am so in the wrong business.

    Ask them when they replace the distributor why it doesn't come with a new cap and rotor. I've never heard of a "distributor angle sensor" in the B18 series engines, there is a crank angle sensor in there, either way it doesn't matter because there are very few user-servicable parts in there, something goes bad you replace the whole thing. Second, ask them why they are charging $500 to do a 15 minute job, the dist on an Integra engine comes out in about 10 minutes (this is leaving enough time to get some coffee), it's literally 3 10mm bolts (could be 13mm, it's been awhile) and 2 electrical plugs (maybe an extra on there for the later model), then pull it out. So book time on it might be an hour to R&R the unit.

    Andrew
     
  10. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    The AutoZone approach sounds like a sensible one. It would at least verify what your dealer has told you. The 'check engine light' can be reset (momentarily if it's a recurrent problem like) by disconnecting the battery for a period of time. Myself, if it is the part they said it was, then you could either order the part and put it in yourself ('course you'll eat the $100 but that may be the cheap alternative) or simply just have the dealer put only that part in. The other items that the dealer suggested replacing, you could buy at AutoZone or wherever and just put them in yourself. The high price that Ajay mentions I'm guessing is because they're looking at each of the jobs as a separate job. Invariably, dealers have set labor charges associated with each task which are looked up in a book that lists them. If the labor charge is 1/2 hour, it won't matter if it takes them 5 minutes or 2 hours, the charge is 1/2 hour.
     
  11. Matt Stryker

    Matt Stryker Screenwriter

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    Autozone has the whole distributor package for your model for $224, which a maintenance shop will get a discount off. Plug wires and plugs is probably another $50-60 for nice wires. So I would definitely agree with Andrew, they are taking you for a ride, $500+ for a simple 15 minute job.
     

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