No Ian I do not just do what I please. I have to be very anal
retentive. I have to clean, check, correct, recheck, make sure something
is right 3 times before I put it together. There are a lot of other people
in this area that do the same type of work. Get a bad reputation, your
big money customers go away. Everything I do on a car has my name attached
to it. I don't even have a sign, nor am I easy to find with out directions.
So no surprises, and making sure it's perfect are the name of the game.
By all means go visit a salvage yard some time, a large one, with
high mileage cars.
Canadians maintain there cars better and do better repairs? Did
someone put Acid in your drink? I don't live in Mexico.
Using stop leak as a P-M is just a band-aide. The solution is to find
the problem, and correct it. Even if it means redesigning gaskets, and
changing matting surface designs.
As for using it in your own cars, kind stupid not to fix the problem.
Hell I even did P-M work on my yard cars when I worked in salvage yards.
For Gaskets I use either Mr.Gasket or Fel-Pro. When it comes to Caddy's
I won't touch them. My Customers know this, and know better then to even
bring one in for a brake job. A buddy wanted me to put a starter on his 72
Coupe-Deville a few years back, with a 472. Told him where he could have
it towed and done. I don't touch them, won't drive them, hate even looking
My business partner used to be a dealer puke too. He's always
tossing that up in my face like it matters. I know a few other ones too.
That doesn't make you special, neither does doing it for 25 years. Yea
the cars were less complex in 1979, and you have had to learn a lot of
new tricks. Most of what you work on has less then 100,000 miles, and
every so often someone will bring in something 10 years old? Try
stepping in to my world. I work on it all. Old as in a 1918 Ford, new as
in the 2001 GP that's out of warrantee that the customer wants me to
build an engine for. If GM would pay me to do warrantee work, I could
have twice the business I do know.
It sure seems like Canadians maintain their cars better from
what I read on these newsgroups. The majority of posters
are from the States, and from what I read on here, both the
customers and the technicians down there leave a lot to
be desired. Maybe it's because anyone down there can
be a "mechanic" as long they have a Snap-On credit
card. Not saying this is you, but you guys have no industry
standards or licensing requirements down there for techs.
Ahhhh, so you are in the business of "redesigning" gaskets, eh?
What have you come up with for the 3100/3400 series of
GM engines? Maybe if it's good enough, we can present
your new gasket to GM, god knows they can't fix their
Not at all, when the vehicle is only worth a couple of hundred
dollars, stop leak does a great job of keeping an old radiator
from leaking. Doesn't block up the rad, or the heater, (I should
know, I need a good heater during the Canadian winters here).
Why wont you touch them? It's all the same shit, just a
different pile, right?
> to learn a lot of new tricks. Most of what you work on has less
Actually, we work on many vehicles that much older then 10 years.
But frankly, who needs it? I'm not in this so that I can work on
old pieces of shit all day long. Most of those owners want you to
rubberband everything together, and we don't do that. It's all new
parts, or take your pile of crap down the road to some guy that
likes dealing with that stuff. The only cars that we work on that
are fairly old are usually some customer who has newer vehicles
that he brings in, and he wants us to also look after some older
vehicle that he has. It's really done as a favor, as working on
older vehicles is nothing but a hassle when it comes to getting
parts, and doing repairs.
Down here we have ASE & SAE. Both certifications are worthless. I know
"Master Techs" that I wouldn't let change a light bulb, a 194 even. Just
because someone is certified doesn't mean they are anything but a good test
taker. I never bothered. Even when I closed down my first shop, and got
out of it, my customers were showing up at my front door, pleading. So
that tells me it doesn't matter to them. The one it did matter to, got
screwed over by three "Master Techs", then came back begging.
There is a difference between parts changers and Mechanics. The world is
full of parts changers. Hell I have a friend that lives in Canada. She can
not find a competent mechanic. Often I end up diagnosing her car for
her, online. Then when she can finally convince the idiots working on it
to do what I said, 99% often time it fixes it. So I know not every
"Mechanic" in Canada is worth a shit.
No I'm not an engineer. Can I make gaskets? Yes. Have I before? Yes.
Give me a Unix terminal with Auto-Cad on the Main, and I could design a
Why not just change the radiator? Or take it out, and have it record,
or new side tanks put on it? It doesn't cost much to do. Hell my "beaters"
usually sell for over $1000 US.
I hate Caddy's with a passion. They are junk, from the first ones to
the current ones. Them and Chrysler FWD's, BMW's, Ford FWD's, VW's, Mazda
Cars, Nissan Cars, & any thing Honda. I don't touch them, no customer has
I started off doing Old Cars, they are my passion. Classic Tin gives
me a hard on. I grew up around Big Block Muscle Cars, and cool classics. I
work on newer stuff because that is most of what people bring me. I still
deal in parts for 1955 to 2002 cars. Because I like it.
As for using used parts, 70% of the used parts I sell are better then
the new parts the after market makes.
You say there is something left to be desired by U.S. auto repair
industry, then you turn about and say fixing older cars is doing
someone a favor in Canada. Hmm.
On Sat, 24 Jul 2004 15:47:33 GMT, "shiden_Kai"
It's probably one of those "walk a mile in my shoes" scenario's. We
literally don't have time to work on older cars. We have more then
enough work to do on the late model cars, both warranty and regular
customer pay work. We will also tell people right up front that we
are far too expensive, labour rate and parts, to be fixing up many
of their older cars. We even suggest that they take the vehicle to
an independent shop in many cases. It would be very easy to take
some peoples money, but I'm fortunate that I work in a dealership
that takes some pride in not "ripping" people off. Yes, we are
expensive in a lot of area's, but we never feed people a line about
how unroadworthy their vehicle is, and that they are endangering
the life of their family if they don't get something done. I'm sure
everyone has heard that type of line from some shop somewhere.
We just tell them what it will cost to repair the vehicle, try to
break the repairs down into what needs to be done "now" and
what can wait for a few months, or whatever will suit their
budget. I know I'm on a budget, and would have a hard time
justifying some of the huge bills I see rolling out of our shop.
Lan, I gotta tell ya that the dealership I go to sounds a lot like the
one you work at but I like to hang onto my old cars. I have a '90
Suburban that runs great and is in excellent mechanical condition. I
want to get some body work done on it and the dealer (who has an
excellent body shop) has quoted me $3,000 US and says it isn't worth
fixing. If I look at the cost of a new truck plus depreciation, I think
that it's cheaper to fix the old truck. I know that it doesn't always
work well for others but this method has served me well for many years.
BTW, I do about 95% of all the work on the truck so upkeep is very
There are two classes of pedestrians in these days of reckless motor
traffic - the quick and the dead.
~ Lord Dewar 1933 ~
Climbing into a hot car is like buckling on a pistol. It is the great
equalizer. ~ Henry G. Felsen 1964 ~
We still do the occasional early 90's vehicle repair. For whatever
reason, some people will bring their high mileage 15 year old vehicles
in and spend a lot of money fixing them up. It's hard to blame them
when it comes to the Chevy trucks, as the early 90's trucks are
probably some the best they ever made. Quite reliable, and relatively
cheap to fix. You get a 4X4 though, and the repair bills can add
up real quick.
Just reading through this thread. Your dead on with regards to parts
being made N/A more often. BUT you should be thankful you don't do
motorcycle repair. Other than one make that states they keep parts out
to 10 years from model release (Honda) most drop special parts after
about 5 years. Harley is in a class of their own in that most of the
older bikes can use newer model parts, Mainly because HD moves like a
glacier when it comes to model advancement. Makes parts bikes a real
At least GM did try to keep up with parts for new release vehicles.
Chrysler didn't have a simple air filter for the new 2001 Caravan I had
for almost 8 months. When I was covering almost 10,000 miles a month.
Brought it in and kept hearing the same thing... Filter is not available
"shiden_Kai" < firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote in message
On Sun, 25 Jul 2004 15:14:21 -0400, email@example.com (Rich B)
If quick and a bit dirty doesn't bother you, you might try Maaco. The
'86 Econoline I just replaced was painted and had a bit of body work
done about six or seven years ago. Nothing I would have on my car but
pretty good for $800 US. It rusted out more later but mostly in
For email remove "_no_spam_"
Thanks for the info, I do have a body man at thistime who will do the
work cheaper than the dealer. This guy came over from Kosovo in the
1990's and besides being very reasonable, he does excellent work (but I
think his real specialty is patching bullet holes lol). One of my
neighbors took an old van to him and the work he did was nothing short
of a miracle. The insurance company was going to total the van but the
guy's price was low enough that they were able to save the van
(incidently, it was a handicap-equipped van, with a chair lift so it was
There are two classes of pedestrians in these days of reckless motor
traffic - the quick and the dead.
~ Lord Dewar 1933 ~
Climbing into a hot car is like buckling on a pistol. It is the great
equalizer. ~ Henry G. Felsen 1964 ~
ONLY a MORON would go to MACCO for body work. Do youlike Taiwanese
Body Parts, an no brand "bondo" all thru out your ride? If Yes, then go to
MACCO, who only sands with 80 GRIT Taiwanese paper, and TAIWANESE
wanna-be red/burgundy Scotch-Brite (which is a trade name of 3M). Then
you will get your vehicle painted whit shit Sherman-Williams auto paint
(worse then Speicer-Heins, (SP?)). So you will end up with the shittist
of body work, the shittest paint, and the most retarded people in the
AUTO-body game doing it. Ohh yea good advice if you drive a YUGO and
think it's a 86 Camaro.
I see where you're coming from Ian. Yet once they pay your price it
is they who are doing you a favor really. If you put it that you are
doing the customers with older less valuable cars a favor by
recommending they seek a more affordable repair shop, then it all
makes sense now.
On Sun, 25 Jul 2004 16:58:02 GMT, "shiden_Kai"
Now, this to me is plainly unfair. Sure theres a lot of old pieces of
shit out there. But there's new pieces of shit too. Cars end up pieces
of shit because people don't maintain them. They don't end up that
way just because they are old.
You should come out to the Pacific Northwest sometime. We don't
salt the roads and there's 20 year old cars out here that have spent
their entire lives out here and were never rustproofed from the factory
or owner, and you crawl under them and it's still just surface rust.
At 10 years, most cars and trucks out here are just coming into
I am constantly amazed to read in these forums about people talking
about scrapping their 93-94-95 vehicles, then I have to remind myself
"East Coast" All I have to say about this is that I cannot believe that
in this day and age that someone cannot invent a deicer that
is as cheap and effective as salt. I often wonder considering that the
major centers of auto manufacturing all began around the Great Lakes
region, that there isn't some conspircy even today between the automakers
and the local governments to promote the continued use of salt on the
roads, just so that cars get rapidly disintegrated so that the automakers
can keep selling new ones. And what about all those stories of people
seeing the salt trucks salting down dry pavement!!
I have no problem with this attitude if your willing to use new parts
that are competitive to the GM ones. That is, if I'm a customer and I
bring in a vehicle and I get quoted $400 for the cost of a new GM
rear manifold and I get quoted $70 for the same one from the
aftermarket. But if your telling them "ONLY new GM parts that you pay
a 400% markup on over the aftermarket" then you are being unfair
in claiming that "these owners" just want to get junky old worthless
The only cars that we work on that
That's really crazy. Were you repairing cars 10 years ago? Well
if you were, why did a car that you fixed 8 years ago that was a
dream to work on, is now nothing but a hassle to work on today?
Do you have some brain defect that makes you forget anything you
have learned how to do that is more than 7 years ago?
And as for hassles getting parts for old cars, that's a red herring
too. On my 84 Chevy, the GM dealer has never listed an engine
part I've requested as being obsolete or unavailable. I cannot find a
simple thing like a 90 degree rubber emissions hose in the aftermarket,
only a 90 degree heater hose that isn't an exact fit and costs $6, but
the GM dealer has the exact hose needed, in stock, for $5.
(of course, it's a hose that touches crankcase vapors and is not neophrene,
but neither is the heater hose and this is a different argument anyway)
I would give some credence if you were talking 25 year old parts
here, but the GM parts departments I've dealt with have no problem
finding 10 year old parts. Maybe you ought to just fire your parts
guy and hire another one that's more competent at finding parts and
less competent at making up baloney excuses.
There is a much higher likely hood that they will be in really
poor shape as the years go on. I know very few people that
actually look after their cars properly once a few years have
gone by. It's just the disposable age we live in.
> You should come out to the Pacific Northwest sometime. We don't
We don't salt the roads here in Calgary either. So we have
many old cars running around that look quite good. What they
look like has little to do with working on them or parts
I would agree with you. I've run into a number of mechanics from
down east over the years, and I would hate to work on the vehicles
that they had to deal with. Everything was done with a torch.
Only in certain circumstances do we use aftermarket parts. It's usually
because the original parts are unavailable, or they are so expensive as
to be impossible to sell to the customer. GM rotors come to mind.
Nobody wants to pay 400 dollars a rotor....and I can't blame them.
But.....we've had problems with different aftermarket brands of
rotors, and we always have to stand behind our work. We also use
some clutch parts that are aftermarket, but from what I've seen, it's
the identical stuff to the OEM parts at a much lower price. I'm ok
with that. We don't seem to have quality troubles with these types
of clutches. Certain vehicles, like the Corvette, get the original stuff.
Most people that bring that kind of vehicle into the dealership expect
you to use GM parts anyway.
> That's really crazy. Were you repairing cars 10 years ago? Well
I would say that it has a lot to do with the frequency that you
do the work. One example, when the Pontiac Fiero's came out,
I worked on them non-stop for about 7-8 years. Then as they
stopped coming in the shops, we obviously saw less and less of
them. Now we get maybe one or two a year. A couple months
ago, I was up front and overheard a fellow wanting to bring in
his Fiero, but the foreman was basically trying to run him out, telling
him, we just don't work on those things anymore. I happen to have
a soft spot for those cars, as I worked on them a lot, and made a
lot of money working on them. So I said I'd work on it. It had some
clutch problems. It ended up being a nightmare, no parts available,
had to get some stuff from the wrecking yards, and wait a couple weeks
for some other parts. You cannot make any money on the flat rate
system when this scenario happens. You could simply charge the
customer enough to cover all your fooling around, but we don't. So
rather then hit the customer hard, we usually just decline the work.
Some customers know the problems, and are willing to pay the
price. Then we work on the car. Case in point: I just worked on
an 81 Deville with the 4,6,8 engine. The customer loves the car,
and he just pays whatever we charge him to work on it. I actually
never touched Cadillac's back in those days (81), but as I said,
it's just a car......same shit, different pile.
I'll disagree with you here. It really depends on the vehicle and
year. You may have never run into an unavailable part on "your
one car", but I, who happens to work on sometimes 10 cars a
day, have run into this problem repeatedly. And you would be
amazed at how new some of the vehicles are.
I get to look at the parts computer screens too, so I can verify that some
parts go N/A very quickly. And I've dealt with the parts manager when
they phone GM and see if the part changed up..or whatever. It happens
Ted....and there isn't anyone more disgusted then we are when it happens.
Sometimes the parts are available, but only from source, which means a
10 day wait for the part. This can happen with a 15 year old car, and it
can happen with 4 month old car. Either way, it's a waste of our time.
We have little choice with the new car, but some choice with the older
vehicle as to whether we take the job or not.
This is an extreme simplification. There are really 2 issues here
and your smooshing them together.
The first issue is whether the product actually does what it
claims - stops leaks.
The second issue is whether the product is harmful to the engine.
I won't attempt to debate you as to whether the product is
harmful to the engine. Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. But as for
whether the product stops leaks - that is a different story.
GM and the owner of the car have two very different definitions of
GM wants the leaking seal to stop leaking for as long as the car is
still under warranty.
The owner of the car wants the leaking seal repaired to the point
that it's longevity is the same as all other seals in the engine - in
short, they want it brought to the level of sealing ability that it
is intended to have by the engine designers.
GM uses the stop leak precisely because they have found that
statistically, there's a slightly lower percentage of returns on
these engines during the warranty period when they use it.
Since the stuff costs the factory a few cents a pellet, it saves
GM money. Therefore, the product meets GM's definition of
But, GM doesen't care what happens to the engine after it goes
past the warranty period. And an endorsement of this stuff
by GM says nothing as to whether this works for the long term
or not. They have no interest in whether or not it works for the
In essense stop leak seals a gap in a sealing surface by going into
it and forming a plug. So, a slightly warped mating surface, or
two gasketed mating surfaces that wern't put together with
proper compression, or a too thin or flawed gasket, start leaking,
the stop leak replaces
what is supposed to be there - gasket material, gasket sealer, or
the metal of the parts itself. But to whitewash what is going on
and convey the impression that this is just as good as an actual
gasket, gasket sealer, or metal of the part, is just plain wrong.
The flaw that created the leak to start with is still there, the seal
is weaker than what is supposed to be there, and it's going to
fail faster than what was supposed to be there. So the engine
may make it to 90,000 miles instead of 20,000 - that is great for
GM because it allows them to defer the real repair that needs to
be made - correction of the flaw - until such time as GM is no
longer responsible for paying for it. But it sucks for the owner
of the car. And it certainly does not meet the owners definition
of "stops leaks" unless your like our friend here who just wants
it stopped long enough for a quick sale.
You had this right, you should have stopped there. It's a
poor idea, period.
Engines with sealing surfaces in them that were correctly machined,
gasketed, sealed and assembled do not need this in their cooling
systems. If there's a flawed seal, or improperly assembled
seal, then you are going to get seepage. If the seal isn't
repaired, then it's going to get worse and go into the "later stages"
A proper repair means the seal then becomes in spec with the
design, (or better) in which case it's as good as a seal that never failed.
If that is done the longevity of the repaired seal then becomes
the same as all other seals in the engine. A hack repair merely
extends the longevity of the repaired seal for somewhat, it
does not address the root cause of the failure.
Well, you "can't" debate whether the GM product is harmful
to the engine or not, because it isn't. It's been in use for
No doubt, I think your conclusion is probably correct.
GM is quite interested in keeping their warranty costs
down. Having said that, the product will not harm your
engine, and it can stop minor leaks/seeps. Whether you
use it or not is entirely up to you. Here's a link to a
minor discussion on the sealant by a Caddy engineer.
He's mainly talking about it's use in the all aluminums
Northstar, and /or the older aluminums block/ cast
iron head 4.X series of Caddy engines.
You had said GM recalled the 200 and up 3800 engines - specifically
to put this stuff in? Or they fix the engine then put this in as part of
the fix? Or something? In that case it's not up to you whether it's
used on not, methinks.
I don't object if the owner has a choice, but it seems that there is
something wrong if GM's warranty statistics are actually being
affected by use of this product. (which I maintain they are, otherwise
why use it) If the engine is properly designed, manufactured and assembled
then there should be no difference in warranty rates between cars that
use this and those that don't. Why treat the symptom instead of fixing
We've had a few customers that were aware of what was
involved in the recall, and requested that we not put the
sealer in. We have no problem with that.
> I don't object if the owner has a choice, but it seems that there is
Probably because many GM vehicles are not properly designed,
manufactured and assembled. Which is why I'm always employed.
Lot's of poor quality trucks and cars to repair these days.
You believe whatever you want Charles about American
built trucks. Many of the parts aren't built in the States
anyway. But you probably don't know that. Who really
cares if you know the engineers that design them? Next
time you see them, tell them to keep up the shitty work, it
keeps me busy!
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