Bought a 2009 Mazda 2, Took to Servicing; Mechanic Told Terrible Things. Need Suggestions

Hi,

We bought a used car (2009 Mazda 2) about a month ago. I took it for servicing today. The mechanic told a lot of scary things.

  1. The car has been underserviced, so the the oil was thick and lumpy. He told the engine might fail and suggest engine flush. But he was not sure because after flush it might fail immediately. He said it might be ok over time.

  2. Suggested lots of repairs related to brakes and other things and talk about "auto trans sump leak". Suggested repairs of 1000+ dollars. I guess some of those are because of car age.

We are international student and just invested like $4500 on car + $1000 on insurance. This news is a disaster to us.

What are our options? Should we contact the guy who sold us? Should we invest on those repairs? Because if engine is going to fail, there is no point.

The report from guys who serviced today

UPDATE:
took to second mechanic, recommends engine flush and brake pad changes in 5K. Quoted less than half for brakes pads. Other repairs not required.
Thanks for all suggestions.

Comments

  • +71 votes

    Nothing you can do, you should have done sufficient checks before purchasing… unfortunately

    •  

      Ya mechanic told this too. This is our first car and we didn't knew about this all.

      • +10 votes

        Well you do now. :)
        Not to worry bro, I learned the same hard lesson with my first car too….

        • +1 vote

          While that's true, it's not too late for OP. OP can replace and flush oil themselves. There is a lot of crap that's not needed on that quote.

      •  

        I think you overpaid for a 10 year old Mazda 2. Doesn't help you now, but always pay an inspector to look at the car before paying for it. Also check their log books. If it was under serviced, you would know. If there's no log book, stay away.

      • -1 vote

        Sorry but it's not just about this being your first car. This is about you handing over $5000 from your pocket to a stranger and walking away with "no returns" policy. The $5000 are even more valuable when you are an international student, the money possibly came from your parents life savings for which they worked 3x hard considering exchange rates or it came from a bank as a student loan. That's a lot of money to play games with. I suggest you seriously examine how you treat money, not just how you buy cars. The sooner you realise your mistakes the better it will be for whoever is sponsoring your education. If it's money that you earned on your own not someone else's, then I guess gamble away.

  •  

    Assuming the guy you bought it from was a private sale, and not through a licensed dealer - you really have no options, caveator emptor.

    What I would do, get the mechanic to flush out the old engine oil, then repeat, then add fresh oil to try and flush as much old oil as possible.

    If the brakes and auto sump are non-immediate/critical items then I'd seek a second opinion.

    • +1 vote

      yes private dealer. He is a school teacher and looked genuine.

      The mechanic told break is recommended in next 5000 KM.

  • +21 votes

    You bought a 10 year old car without even the most basic Google search of "How to buy a car?"

    Get a quote from another mechanic then either sell it or service it. There's no other solution.

    •  

      First car for us. I don't know how to drive; this was for my wife.
      I'll get another quote. I'm just worried about engine being failed because of lumps.

      • +1 vote

        you should have done a Mechanic check before hand over the money or ask someone who know a bit more car than you to go with you at least.

        i would say this is a lesson learn

  • +40 votes

    Most actually seems like minor stuff, especially for a 10yo car.

    Given they want to sell you wiper blades all round (3 of them), I'd take their advice with a grain of salt.

    Definitely get a second quote, and don't mention anything about the first quote to them

  • +17 votes
    1. Take it to another mechanic for a second opinion. Not saying your mechanic is doing this, but if you're so obviously naive as you seem (no offence), the mechanic might be using that to try to sell you expensive work too (edit: Though looking at the uploaded bill, none of it jumps out as being unreasonable).

    2. For a $4,500 car, I wouldn't sink more than $1,000 or so (MAX) into repairs. If it runs, I'd let it continue to run until it doesn't, with just regular servicing. But the brake pads you can't really negotiate on or avoid (again, maybe second opinion on if it's needed and try to find a cheaper place).

    • +1 vote
      1. Sure, I'll take it to another mechanic in about 3 weeks. I don't know how to drive and my wife is away for next 3 weeks.
      2. Mechanic told only brake repairs are necessary, other are optional.
        I've found a cheaper place to repair through friends.
      • +2 votes

        Mobile mechanic. If you find one whos just started be honest about your situation he will likely cut you a deal.

  • +15 votes

    We bought a used car

    We did?

  • +4 votes

    What are our options?
    Should we contact the guy who sold us?

    Nope, you bought it as is.

    Should we invest on those repairs? Because if engine is going to fail, there is nopoint.

    Here's the thing about mechanics, they ain't exactly well known for outstanding honesty, just like any other salesman really.
    They're trying to sell their services so it's in their best interest to suggest that you must fix everything that is anything less than sparkling new.
    If you are really concerned, take it to another mechanics or a mechanically-minded friend and see what they say.
    Normally I'd say run the car into the ground to get your money's worth but safety issues like brakes etc. are worth checking out.

    P/s: Why are you paying so much for insurance (almost 25% total value)?

    •  

      I'll take to another mechanic.
      That was the cheapest insurance offered (<25Y F, international license)

      • +10 votes

        If your wife has lived in Australia for more than 3 months don't forget to change over to an Australian licence otherwise she will be classified as an unlicensed driver and the insurance won't pay out if she has a crash.

        • +7 votes

          I think this applies only after you get the permanent residency. Not when you're in a student visa.
          But I would definitely check once with the insurance guys, just to be on safe side.

          •  

            @ozhi: My husband was able to convert his Italian open licence to an Australian open licence when he was still on a tourist visa (was waiting for his fiance visa to be approved at the time). This was at a QLD Dept of Transport but they didn't care about his visa or visa status!

          •  

            @ozhi: nah the 3 month rule applies to all!

  • +1 vote

    I'd complete the repairs as you're currently in a tough situation.

    You may no longer be within the cool down period for your insurance so you're already out $1,000. If you are going to sell the car, you would lose your stamp duty paid and you're unlikely to get $4,500 as most people would do their checks. It may be months before you get someone willing to give you anything close to the price you paid.

    If you were to sell the car and setting aside money for new insurance, you're going to have to find a car in the $3,500 category. There's still no guarantee you're getting a car in good condition.

    Your better bet here is to repair the car.

    •  

      Thanks for the suggestions, learnt a lesson. I'll probably keep it and repair brakes and hope engine wouldn't fail.

      •  

        If you don't repair the engine and it fails, have you considered your financial position then?

        •  

          I don't know what to do. The way mechanic told us is something like this:
          You car has been underserviced. We could do engine flush, but after flush it might fail immediately. If you don't do, it might just heal over time. We wanted to do it today, but wasn't sure. Last time we did it for a car, it failed after one week.

          • +2 votes

            @umb: Hmm. Good luck, bud.

            (Btw, mechanical things don't heal.)

          •  

            @umb: "it might heal over time"

            wtf? your mechanic is having you on mate, cars don't work like this.

            I'd take it to a second mechanic for another opinion and watch it magically not need all this work.

            •  

              @dchurch1: I took to another mechanic, and he quoted like 150 for brakes, says other repairs are not necessary, and could do engine flush during next service. I'll take to another mechanic as well for engine flush alternative (as suggested here to get oil changes few times).

      • +6 votes

        Engine should be fine. Do an oil change now and in 2000 km. Should be no worries.

        Definitely get brakes done. The rest is not so urgent, probably get belt done too because that will be cheap.

        Oh and $132 for air filter labour?? Am I reading that right? That is daylight robbery, I would find it hard to trust this mechanic after that quote

        •  

          i think 132/hr and they charged for 0.2 hr.
          I'l take to second mechanic, will change oil frequently.
          Will do the brakes in next 1-2 months.

          • +1 vote

            @umb: Oh right. Sorry.

            I saw your post on Aus finance. At 105k km, you should be fine, especially with that Mazda engine - very reliable.

            A one off early follow up oil change is all you need (if at all, but peace if mind) then normal intervals.

            Stress less, as others have said go to another mechanic, original guy probably saw you coming a mile away.

        •  

          $132 is the hourly rate. They were charged 0.2 hours, so 12 minutes.

      • -1 vote

        It's not that you repair the brakes, you maintain the brakes.
        Ask the mechanic if it's ok for you to bring the Disks and Pads for him to put in. Might save you a bit.
        Since you dont have a license, you probably did not take it for a test drive.

        Sounds like my wife buying me a 10$ PC game in the used basket at EBGames.

        •  

          Sounds like my wife buying me a 10$ PC game in the used basket at EBGames.

          Never ever buy PC games from the bargain bin or anywhere inside EBgames.

          The product key is usually printed inside the case, and available for anyone to steal and claim. The actual disc that they tuck away in the draw is of no value when it comes to PC games. The game itself and 100% of its value is in the product key, which they do not remove from the case.

          The product key used to be printed on the manual, but games don't include manuals anymore, so now they're either printed on a card, or on the inside of the case. For some stupid reason, if it's printed on a card, they leave the card in the case, making it easy to steal.

          I would avoid EB games as a whole unless you're buying hardware. All of their games are in "used" condition. If the case has been opened and the contents removed, that is no longer brand new condition.

    • +2 votes

      Some insurance companies will pay you out any remaining time. Worth checking.

  •  

    $400 is a small price for the ability to stop your car

    The other stuff you can fix yourself or risk but i would get the brakes fixed asap - maybe through someone else

  • +3 votes

    Nah. Just drive it. Mechanic is probably just tricky. Cars are very reliable. Lumpy oil is much better than no oil. Just as long as you don’t runout of water it’s all good. You did get a road worthy so a okay

    •  

      This sound very encouraging :)

      •  

        Where did you mention you got a rwc?

        Also, I'd do some research for a trustworthy mechanic. They're a godsend if you can find a good one

    • +7 votes

      Roadworthy certificates have very little to do with the mechanical condition of the car. It could have no oil or coolant and still pass.

      •  

        I would disagree. They check for its road worthiness which also includes braking capacity, emissions and major structural damage. It’s whole purpose is to keep more dodgy cars off the roads.

        The seller obtaining a RWC would also be slapped with a mechanics ‘upselling’ for questionable service items.

        However, most of this can be void if the seller is in positive connection with the RWC provider ( which I don’t believe is in OPs situation)

        •  

          They check for its road worthiness which also includes braking capacity, emissions and major structural damage. It’s whole purpose is to keep more dodgy cars off the roads.

          Presence's comment still stands, they don't check for fluid levels, just checks for signs of leaks. if there's little to no oil left in the car, it's not going to leak oil and pass. A car can sit on idle(such as while being in the pits) without any coolant and the temp gauge would still show normal range.

          It depends on the person issuing the RWC, but you're assuming they are a good and through mechanic.

        •  

          They check for its road worthiness which also includes braking capacity

          Some do, but I've taken my car for a "while you wait" rego check at multiple locations and received a brake test print out while my car hasn't moved a millimetre.

  • +11 votes

    just invested like $4500

    Not sure invested is the word you're looking for there…

  • +1 vote

    What they said about the engine is just don't want to get into trouble when your engine fail, engine flush might block your engine oil pick up. Trans sump leak is normal for an old car, don't worry about it as long as your trans fluid level is right.

  • +1 vote

    Investigate joining the local automotive association. They usually offer vehicle inspection services. As they are not trying to sell you servicing, they can be a valuable independent source of advice. The added benefit is the roadside assistance that comes with the membership.

    • +2 votes

      This was our first car, and I accept my ignorance. I never knew about pre-purchase inspection. I should have posted here before purchasing.

  • +13 votes

    first thing I would do is remove the $1000 insurance and purchase third party property only. You will need this if your brakes fail and you hit a Porsche.

    2nd thing I would do is flush out old oil and change to new oil yourself.
    It will cost you no more than $150 first time,
    you need to buy 2 car stands <$100
    1x 5L oil $30
    1x oil filter $15
    1x oil tray $5

    tools: 1x 17mm spanner & 1x rubber mallet and 1x car jack that is in your boot.

    if you get stuck with this, post up another thread here :)

    •  

      I don't think I'll be able to do it. I don't even know how to drive, and it's my wife's car (her first car).

      • +11 votes

        You don't need to drive to change the oil

        •  

          Moreover, changing the oil is much, much easier than driving. If you can undo a bolt and tighten it back up, then you can change the oil.

      •  

        ask Youtube how to change the oil or call a mobile mechanic guy to do it for you, may also need an engine flush bottle in addition to the list.

    • +3 votes

      He will also need a magic lamp.

    • +2 votes

      I've worked on that particular model and the filter and sump plug are both easily accessible without a ramp

    • -1 vote

      I've always changed car oil without car stands. I find there's enough space to reach under while the car is still on its wheels, including with small cars. Or if the driveway slopes down slightly from the garage (which almost all driveways do) then you can just park the front wheels on the very edge.

      A few times I did drive the front wheels onto some spare pavers to give an extra inch.

    • +2 votes

      How can he post if he is stuck under the car?

    •  

      You don't need car stands, just park with side of the car up on footpath and there is plenty of space to get under

  • +6 votes

    Follow the advice from your Reddit post. Get a second opinion.

  • +7 votes

    For the love of god don't use a Bridgestone service centre, find a non-chain-brand mechanic. $132/hr for labour is a joke.

    •  

      Yeah I noticed that too, go to a real mechanic, preferably non-chain.
      Bridgestone specialise in tyres don't they…

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