For over a year I was driving this Civic with a slipping transmission.
Finally, a couple of weeks ago it gave up and wouldn't run at all. I went
back to where I had left it parked and was able to drive it slowly a mile
home. I knew I could drive it over to the nearest Lee Miles Transmission
shop, which I did a day after limping home with it. I was told it might run
about 1400 to fix the tranny. After I took it in and they had it apart it
turns out the price would be about 1700 to fix it. I waited almost two
weeks while I was told they had to send away for parts they couldn't get
locally. When I talked to the manager on the phone he told me the
transaxles were bad and he would replace them for 75 bucks each, which I
thought would relieve me of having to do it as I knew the boots were ripped.
I like this car, old as it is, so much that I was willing to spend money on
the tranny. It only has 90k miles on it.
Today I finally got the car back and paid the bill of $1,999.15 and drove it
home. They told me a couple of things I already knew, such as the exhaust
system leaked and the battery was oversize for the car. I had planned to
put in a new exhaust pipe after the tranny was fixed. They also told me the
brake booster didn't work. That became obvious as I drove it home with a
hard brake pedal. I popped the hood and looked to see if the vacuum hose
had merely come loose. I found a bolt stuck in the engine side vacuum hose
which I pulled out and connected the hose back to the booster. I drove away
and the booster still did not do its job but also I stalled and the engine
wouldn't run properly. I had to restart it several times to get around the
My question is: what does my booster (which worked fine when I took the car
in) have to do with my transmission and what could they have done to damage
the booster while they had it in the shop? Why won't the engine run
properly without the booster vacuum hose being plugged?
If someone can tell me what might have been done to the engine I would
appreciate some input. Thanking you in advance for your help.
I think it was coincidence. As jim beam says, the booster is "consuming
vacuum" and bleeding air into the intake manifold, which is causing the idle
trouble. It's a common enough failure and sometimes results from a leaking
primary seal in the master cylinder - the fluid accumulates in the booster
and attacks the diaphragm. Got a couple tee shirts for that one.
Replacing the booster is a simple enough DIY job, mostly involving master
cylinder replacement labor plus adjusting the push rod afterward. A wrecking
yard booster should be under $100 US, probably about a fifth the price of a
new one. Obviously, if there is fluid in the booster from the master
cylinder, the MC needs to be rebuilt or replaced.
Michael, my problem is that the brake booster was not a problem when I took
the car into the shop but it became a problem while they worked on the car.
If it worked fine before I took it in and it doesn't work now, shouldn't
they be accountable for fixing it? It is too much of a coincidence for me
to believe that they didn't mess it up while working on the car. Why should
I be stuck with having to fix it myself? I don't understand what working
on the transmission could have to do with the brake booster.
Derek in Florida
I don't understand what working on the transmission would have to do with
the booster failure either - that's why I think it's coincidence. There
isn't any obvious way to cause that sort of damage to the booster, so I
doubt they had anything to do with it.
The shop tore your car half apart to do this job...in the process they
probably messed up your brake booster.
They SHOULD fix it, considering all the $ they made off you, but they
may deny you just because they can, and you probably can't prove the
booster was ok before the work. I had a Honda dealer damage my vehicle
in similar circumstances and only make partial reparations.
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