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Old May 31st, 2007, 08:11 PM   #1
simplex
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Am I getting ripped off?

Hey guys, this is my first post, and unfortunately it's not the one I'd like to make,. I'm afraid I'm getting ripped off by a mechanic. I'm not going to post his info in case I'm just over-reacting, but it's in the bay area.

First some background: 9 months ago I bought my first car, a 2003 Boxster S. I had it checked out by Modderman in Mountain View. They gave it a clean bill of health, said specifically there were no leaks, brakes were okay, and the only thing I needed to watch out for was replacing the tires soon. I only drive her on the weekends, so I don't put many miles on the car.

Last week I tried to start the car and the battery was dead. I jumped her and she started right up, but the next day the battery was dead again, so I made an appointment with a local repair shop to replace the battery. I dropped her off and told him to do the annual maintenance while she was in there.

I get a call the next day saying the front brakes discs were bad and needed to be replaced. He also told me the engine mount was damaged and that also needed to be replaced. He said they were both pretty serious so I told him to go ahead and fix them. He quoted me $1750 for everything.

Later he then told me he couldn't find my wheel lock socket so I explained where it was. He also said the engine mount was really mangled badly.

This leaves me with a few questions: Could he evaluate the front brakes without first removing the wheels? If the engine mount was that badly damaged is it likely that Modderman would have missed it when they checked it out 9 months ago?

Today he calls me and says there's a bad oil leak that is affecting the clutch. He said my clutch pedal is way stiffer than normal. He says it will cost alot more since he needs to remove the transmission in order to get to the leak.

Is this guy ripping me off, or is this just standard Porsche maintenance? What should I do?

Thanks for any help!
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Old May 31st, 2007, 09:10 PM   #2
Gerry
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simplex..not really that much familiar with the car but if the mechanic keep finding one problem after another right after you agree on the first one...is kinda fishy for me..IMHO!

Try this and ask for Matt

http://www.eurotechtuningca.com
205 Kennedy Ave, Campbell, CA 95008
(408) 370-1887
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Old May 31st, 2007, 09:44 PM   #3
blinkwatt
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Last week I tried to start the car and the battery was dead. I jumped her and she started right up, but the next day the battery was dead again, so I made an appointment with a local repair shop to replace the battery.


We could guide you on how to do that,no need for you to pay someone(unless it's me ) to do it.

He also told me the engine mount was damaged and that also needed to be replaced.

Common problem with Boxsters.

He quoted me $1750 for everything.

Looks like he wanted $600-$1k for himself, the motor mount is only $250-300 and 2-4 hours to install,the brakes can be swapped,both sides in less then 2 hours by an amateur and rotors can be anywhere from $100-160/each for OEM . I don't know what kind of battery he is putting in but it better be some lifetime warrantied,super-doper battery for the price he is charging.

This leaves me with a few questions: Could he evaluate the front brakes without first removing the wheels?

There is no way that he could have properly measured found out what was worn out on the brakes if he didn't remove the wheels. He can't just say the rotors are bad,has he measured the pads? I changed out my pads only and it made a HUGE difference. The pads can't be measure until you remove the wheels.

If the engine mount was that badly damaged is it likely that Modderman would have missed it when they checked it out 9 months ago?

It's possible.

Today he calls me and says there's a bad oil leak that is affecting the clutch. He said my clutch pedal is way stiffer than normal.

What in the world?! He says the clutch pedal is way stiffer than normal due to an oil leak? That could be caused clutch that is going out,not some oil leak. If it was caused by a tranny oil leak then that's a first that I've heard of on a Boxster or any other automobile that I know of. If it is some type of tranny oil leak,please post back to us to keep us updated.

He says it will cost alot more since he needs to remove the transmission in order to get to the leak.

No it won't cause your taking it to a different mechanic.

Is this guy ripping me off, or is this just standard Porsche maintenance? What should I do?

See above.

Good Luck!
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Old May 31st, 2007, 09:47 PM   #4
Tom M
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I'm guessing that the engine mount *may* have been bad as it's a fairly common thing - though it's not too hard to replace as I recall. If your brake warning light wasn't on then you didn't need pads and I doubt the rotors were bad if the PPI didn't flag anything. The other common thing that may or may not be serious enough to worry about is a leaking Rear Main Seal (commonly referred to as RMS). The RMS does require R&R of the transmission and the clutch may or may not be bad. If it doesn't slip under load then I would have someone else take a look at things.

If they haven't done any of the work yet I'd tell them that you're going to get a 2nd opinion and never go back as they sound like they're just trying to milk the situation for all they can. If you find that to be the case after having somebody else take a look at things then I'd definitely post their info so other can avoid them as well.

Since the car is a 2003 does it still have any warranty left? Even if it doesn't you *might* be able to get Porsche to fix the RMS under what's called "goodwill." Some have had luck with this approach while others haven't been so lucky. Never hurts to ask though. If you don't have a favorite dealer I'd suggest checking out Porsche of Fremont as they're good and Babblers friendly. Disclaimer - they also support the forum by hosting events.
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Old May 31st, 2007, 10:49 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom M
If your brake warning light wasn't on then you didn't need pads and I doubt the rotors were bad if the PPI didn't flag anything.
True that they not need to be replaced but several folks and I have changed our pads out prior to the Brake Light coming on and we reported significant differences.
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Old May 31st, 2007, 11:04 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blinkwatt
True that they not need to be replaced but several folks and I have changed our pads out prior to the Brake Light coming on and we reported significant differences.
Yeah, I wasn't saying that they wouldn't benefit from a change but the less technical among us may not notice much, if any, difference. Plus, the way the mechanic put it they made it sound like the car might not stop or something else terrible was just about to happen.

All in all it sounds to me like it's the case of a mechanic trying to make a quick buck off of a novice Porsche owner and was using scare tactics to accomplish the goal. I wouldn't be surprised if all the mechanic did was change the pads and say that they had changed the rotors w/o actually doing so.
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Old June 1st, 2007, 11:38 AM   #7
simplex
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Ok here's an update:

I thought my car was no longer under warranty, but the mechanic called me today and said it was! He said he wants to take it to a dealership and they will replace the RMS. He also told me before that he's sure the pressure plate needs to be replaced and that the parts for a "clutch kit" will cost $650 and is not covered under the warranty. Does this make any sense?

To answer some previous questions:
The car has 27k miles on it. The repair shop came highly recommended and it specializes in German makes.
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Old June 1st, 2007, 11:54 AM   #8
Tom M
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Well at least that's some partially good news!

If the car is under warranty and the dealer pulls the tranny to replace the RMS then by all means get the clutch work done if you need it as the cost will only be for the parts and labor for doing the clutch work and not the R&R of the transmission as that will be charged against the RMS. However, unless the former owner or a valet really abused the clutch I would be a bit surprised if you need a new one at this point. The dealer (which one?) should be able to tell.

The sad news is the motor mount would have been covered under warranty as well.
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Old June 1st, 2007, 09:52 PM   #9
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You did not mention in your first post if there were any indication that your brakes may need service. Typically when rotors are worn, they may cause a vibration or shimmy in the steering wheel as you apply the brakes more noticeable at higher speeds. This is due to warpped rotors. Another way he may noticed your rotors without removing the wheels is if he can see grooves on the discs through the wheels. Especially is you have the Carrera lightweight rims where the rotors are easily visible and touchable. Hopefully, many of the repairs have not been done, since your car has to go to the dealer have them give you a second opinion. Its still under warranty so you may as well get it all done.
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Old June 3rd, 2007, 01:36 PM   #10
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All that and only 27,000 miles.
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