Thu 8 Nov, 2007 11:32 am
My mechanic charged me $2000 to replace the timing chain on my 98 Nissan Altima (my car has 132,000 miles). I had heard a very soft noise coming from under the hood, and when he listened to it for a while he said it was the timing chain that was causing the noise.
When I got the car back, I noticed there was a DIFFERENT noise coming from the right side of the car, and that my car seemed to have difficulty keeping to a straight line. I drove him around for 10 minutes in my car, and he never heard the noise. But I still hear it, especially when I am at slow speed. So then I suddenly remembered that at a quik-lube place, back in April 07, the service technician had told me that my CV boot was torn.
I'm wondering why my mechanic didn't fix this? I called him and he said he only replaced the timing chain. But wouldn't he have SEEN the torn CV boot when he replaced the timing chain? Why didn't he bring it up?
I'm really confused. I've used this mechanic for seven years and always trusted him before.
Also, another mechanic told me my transmission fluid was leaking. My regular mechanic also never mentioned this. Instead, he mentioned needing to replace the car's original radiator hose, for $500.
A timing chain almost never has to be replaced. Timing belts, yes, chains, no. Still, it should only be a $50 part and a 2.5 hour job unless Nissan really horked up their design.
I don't know about the mechanical problems, but those prices? You've got to be kidding.
You need to investigate another mechanic.
The CV boot would be under the car. He wouldn't have to get under it to replace a timing chain unless it requires that he remove the exhaust manifold to get to the chain.
A timing chain kit for that year Nissan is almost $400 online so he would have charged you more than that for just those parts. It also looks like there are 2 chains that need to be replaced, an upper and lower. Check your bill, it should be broken out as labor and parts. Replacing a timing chain means gaskets, radiator fill, and replacing any sprockets or tensioners that are worn. I doubt it is a 2-1/2 hour job because most modern cars require removal of air intakes and even the radiator to get to the cover on the engine.
The mechanic should have seen the boot. On a front wheel drive car, the whole right side of the car is in play, because the motor sits sideways. The engine mount on that side usually gets unhooked for mobility of the engine up and down for access. He would have to work with blinders not to see it. He would be up and down many many times, looking right beside the axle shaft.
This guy is not taking as good of care as many would.