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Monday, January 12, 2009

Either Better or Worse

(UPDATED 1:57 PM Monday - SCROLL DOWN *******)

This morning I had two emails from friends. Both of them involved the possibility of a cracked engine block. And I've thought of that myself.

That's worse than a leaky head gasket.

So one friend suggested that I do take it to the dealer (which I'd wanted to avoid as I am out of warrant by a bit over 7,000 miles). I have nothing against the dealer per se...they do good work, their service is wonderful, etc. However, they make their money on parts, so they won't put in used or aftermarket where possible. And I understand that. They also tend to have higher labor rates, especially for mechanical.

However, my friend brought in her car with a cracked block, and as it turned out, it was a common problem for that model year so they replaced it under an unnanounced "warranty" as a courtesy, given the problems they were having.

Well, I called the dealer and asked about that; was it worth it to bring it in? (I was fishing for info, as in, a statement indicating maybe other 2003 Saturns have had similar problems). Of course he suggested I bring it in, but I will have to pay $60.00 for the diagnostic. But it could be worth it if it turns out to be like my friend's scenario.

Or, worst case, I'll be taking my car to another shop to replace the engine to the tune of around $4,000 or so.

Doesn't that sound like fun?

Don't you just LOVE the smell of stale burned oil in the morning?


UPDATE 2:00 pm :

I went to the Saturn dealership, and waited for over my expected hour, although I saw through a couple windows that they had the hood open and were working on it. The service manager came in to speak with me, said that they were having a hard time finding the source of the leak. They THINK they know where it's coming from, but can't tell for certain, so they were cleaning up the engine. He asked if I had a little more time so they could put some dye in the oil and see if that helped them identify it.

I said I could wait, and asked where they thought the leak was coming from. I'm about to butcher this, but it's not a part or problem I ever had to write on an estimate as a claims adjuster, so on this, I have no idea what I'm talking about. They think it's from the cam shaft gasket? (I might as well say I need a new knifter pin...)

He did tell me, and being that I couldn't quite envision what he was talking about, I of course forgot what he said. However, he said it's not as bad as a head gasket, and it doesn't seem like a cracked block. Deo Gratias!

Then he came back about a half hour or so later and said that now it's not leaking at all, so asked me to put about 100 miles on it, and bring it back on Wednesday morning. No problem.

I asked about the oil level as of today, he said it's fine, and he looked mystified as well. It should be registering at least a little low...but it's not. So I'll keep an eye on the leaking between now and then, and will have it in Wednesday.

They didn't charge me the diagnostic fee today; they'll wait until Wednesday.

So...keep praying. I'm sure the problem is still expensive but NOW I have a little hope that it'll at least be manageable!


Anonymous said...

I know this is probably the least possible, but once my 1996 Honda Odyssey was leaking oil, slowly at first, and then more quickly. So I took it to our mechanic (afraid of the cost) and it turned out being a loose screw! It cost me less than $100. I'll pray for a miracle that yours is the same situation as mine.

Anonymous said...

Prayer of St. Charles de Foucold ... PEACE, adoro!

Adoro said...

Wayne & SMK ~ Thanks for your prayers and I'm hoping for the same thing...athough I doubt it'll be as easy as a screw right now. Given where they THINK it's coming from, well, in reading the service manager's expression, it'll be costly, albeit not as bad as we first thought.

I'll take it!

When I was in college I had an overheating engine, and it turned out to be a gasket. At the time it happened I thought it would be hundreds of dollars. My uncle fixed it for $1.75 and my insurance company reimbursed my tow fee.

Well, I'm driving my car, watching the oil, and hoping for the best right now! It's nice to have a little hope!