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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am not the most mechanical inclined person so I brought my 72 chevelle to a garage to get bushing swaybar and balljoints fixed They took it for a drive to make sure it worked and blow out a frost plug. they fixed it and charge me. It was alright I thuoght it was bad timing. that was 4 months ago and today I blow the same on out I brought there and they said they would fix I thought for free. No thety are charging me $225.00 to fix becuase this time they wanted to put a metal one in which I thought they did last time. Plus the first bill was 80.00 so I am paying 305.00 to replace a frost plug they blow out. A have not pick it up nor payed them
WHAT DO I DO?
thanks
 

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What do the say the reason is for the extra money? There is no extra work required to install a steel one versus a brass one (I am assuming this is what they originally installed).
You are sorta required to pay them, although I would not pay anymore than what you paid the first time, but I would make it known to them that you will tell everyone you know the type of work they perform.

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If I were you, I wouldn't take it back. I needed front-end work done when I first bought my 72 and I didn't have a clue where to go. All I did was go to the local car shows and cruise-ins and ask people where the best place to have work done was. They know who screws you and who doesn't. I'm happy with the results
!! Good luck!

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Jeremy J. Bennett
72 Chevelle
Team Chevelle #298
 

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In my opinion, they should have never given you a rubber one in the first place. It should have been brass or steel. To charge you 225 dollars to put a metal one in is ridiculous if they only charged you 80 for the rubber one. A steel or brass freeze plug is only a dollar or 2 if that. For them to put it in, isnt any harder than a rubber one, cept that it has to be tapped in using a socket or something of the sort. Anyway, this is just my opinion

Tim

here is my experience with freeze plugs:

I had a 71 that had a freeze plug blow out. Fixed it, then a week later another one blew out that was impossible to get to without lifting the engine beacause the motor mount was in the way. A week later my third one blew out. When that happened, I pulled the whole engine and replaced all the freeze plugs to be sure it would not happen again.
I would have to say then in my experience, if one of them blows out or rusts through, the others are probably not that far from going out as well.

Tim

[This message has been edited by TimG (edited 09-25-99).]
 

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Van,
This is just my opinion, not trying to defend the shop in any way.....I do not see any way that they could have done anything working on the front end, driving the car etc, to cause the freeze plug to come out. They are pressed in and usually only fail after many miles of driving and a bit of cooling system neglect that causes them to rot to the point that they will not stay in.
Now, depending on which plug it is, and how hard it is to get to, $225 might not be a bad price. There are several freeze plugs that depending on the car they are in, require the motor to be half removed to properly replace them. That is probably why they used the rubber , expandable type one to begin with. Did they offer you a choice the first time ? If so, did you choose the less expensive repair ? Like I said, I am not trying to defend them, just showing a different point of view.
I really cannot think of anything that someone could do, including yourself, that would cause a freeze plug to come out of the block, it was just it's time. The only mistake the shop might have made was to install the rubber type plug without letting you know of the possibility of a future failure, and offering you the choice at the time to do the job right. I don't really know the entire story and never will as I was not there to hear the conversations. Now one thing I will say is that they should have gotten your consent to do the repair the second time for the $225. If they just did it without asking you, then they were wrong. If it was my shop, assuming that I got talked into doing the cheap repair the first time, I would have probably deducted the $80 from the second bill, just for good will. But, I never would have done it the cheap way to begin with !

Tim,
There are certain "freeze" plugs in a small block that you just cannot get to in the car to drive in a new one. That is probably why they used the rubber one as they can be installed with virtually no clearance at all.

In the end, it sounds like there was some lousy communications, maybe both ways. Our industry does not need this type of press, but then again, if the plug takes 4 hours to replace due to its location, the customer has to know it is going to be expensive to do the job. If van lets me know which plug came out, I have a 71 I can look at and give you a pretty good estimate as to how much time it takes to replace it correctly.
I know this probably did not help matters, but hopefully shed some light on the subject from another point of view.

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Bill Koustenis
Advanced Automotive Machine
Waldorf Md

1971 Heavy Chevy - original owner
Team Chevelle #100
 

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I agree with what Bill is saying.

$225 may not be an unrealistic price to pay to have a freeze plug replaced depending on the location.

I would question the logic in using a rubber one! (it had to be due to it being in a location that would be difficult to drive in a steel or brass one!) If they just did it, and didn't ask your approval, then I feel the initial installation wasn't done correctly and the amount should be deducted from the amount due on the second go around.


If you didn't give prior approval for the rubber plug, here is what I'd recommend;

TRY to keep communications with the shop friendly! (it may not be easy) Ask to have the amount from the initial bill deducted from the second bill.

If they will not, just pay the $225 and ask the shop owner for the telephone number of "consumer affairs". (I believe that they have to have it posted in clear view, by law) Then file a report with the department. Nothing will come of it, but at least it's on file.

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Wes. Vann
Technical Reference & Wagons sections
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it's too late to help, but if i have an engine out i always replace all the freeze plugs with brass if that is not what is already there. i wipe a little bit of red loc-tite around the side of the plug before i drive it in. have never had a leak or failure
 
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