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ChevyMan
09-18-2007, 06:05 AM
I took my 30-yr old car with onli 51000 plus miles for a safety check required annually. I took it to my usual shop but they were out of September stickers (to be pasted on the rear bumper as required ) so I took it to a local Midas shop and they informed me that the car will not pass inspection due to, in their words, bad rear "suspension". Does anyone have any opinions on this?. I never do any towing, nor haul any heavy stuffon the back seat or in the trunk. At first they wanted $730.00 plus General Excise Tax of 4.712 % then they lowered it to $400 something, tax included to replace the two rear shocks. Can you believe that? What do you think?

DonTom
09-18-2007, 06:44 AM
"Midas shop"

IMAO, that means you're being ripped off right there.

-Don-

mrblanche
09-18-2007, 08:25 AM
Let me explain the concept of "loss leader" to you.

Many commercial establishments will sell something (in this case, an inspection) as a way of getting you into the store to buy more stuff at a higher markup. Your local grocery store probably does it with milk or bread or whatever they're selling at a loss this week. Midas isn't in the inspection business; they're in the suspension, muffler, and brake business.

You can apply this to many things, including, by the way, vacation travel. If you go to Las Vegas, don't eat in the same place you gamble at. Many casinos have dirt cheap food, but make it up in the casino.

Eric
09-18-2007, 09:19 AM
I took my 30-yr old car with onli 51000 plus miles for a safety check required annually. I took it to my usual shop but they were out of September stickers (to be pasted on the rear bumper as required ) so I took it to a local Midas shop and they informed me that the car will not pass inspection due to, in their words, bad rear "suspension". Does anyone have any opinions on this?. I never do any towing, nor haul any heavy stuffon the back seat or in the trunk. At first they wanted $730.00 plus General Excise Tax of 4.712 % then they lowered it to $400 something, tax included to replace the two rear shocks. Can you believe that? What do you think?


Can you say "rip off"?

Your Chevy has a very simple (and very sturdy) solid axle, leaf spring rear suspension. The only components that might need to be replaced are the shocks - and a good set of them should not cost you more than $100 or so.

Flee!

ChevyMan
09-18-2007, 12:04 PM
I took my 30-yr old car with onli 51000 plus miles for a safety check required annually. I took it to my usual shop but they were out of September stickers (to be pasted on the rear bumper as required ) so I took it to a local Midas shop and they informed me that the car will not pass inspection due to, in their words, bad rear "suspension". Does anyone have any opinions on this?. I never do any towing, nor haul any heavy stuffon the back seat or in the trunk. At first they wanted $730.00 plus General Excise Tax of 4.712 % then they lowered it to $400 something, tax included to replace the two rear shocks. Can you believe that? What do you think?


Can you say "rip off"?

Your Chevy has a very simple (and very sturdy) solid axle, leaf spring rear suspension. The only components that might need to be replaced are the shocks - and a good set of them should not cost you more than $100 or so.


That's what I figured. I'm shopping around.I'm not letting them make a sucker out of me

Flee!

Eric
09-18-2007, 01:16 PM
"That's what I figured. I'm shopping around.I'm not letting them make a sucker out of me"

It's actually one of the more egregious examples I've come across lately; even if the shocks need to be replaced, they are quoting you a price that's at least 3-4 times what it ought to be.

A pair of KYB gas shocks (higher quality; better than what your car came with) should be about $75; installing them is about as simple as it gets. There are two bolts per shock, one at the top, the other at the bottom. Shoot a little penetrating oil on the bolts to loosen up rust; use a floor jack to support and slightly compress the suspension on the side you're working on so that when the shock is removed, you're not suddenly releasing tension on the leaf, etc. Remove the old shock. Install the new one, being sure not to overtighten the bolts and crush the litte rubber isolators that come with the new shocks. Repeat on the other side. You're done. A shop should be able to do the job in 15 minutes or less.

ChevyMan
09-18-2007, 05:18 PM
Update on shocks.
Took the car to an independent mechanic and he also said I need new shocks...four of them but I talked him out of it for the time
being and concentrate on doing a safety check. We know each other quite a bit and he performed the safety check without the issue
on the shocks.I told him I'll have him replace all shocks before the next safety check so I'm safe for another year! ;D
His estimate for all four shocks...about $286.00 including parts, tax and labor.

chiph
09-18-2007, 05:55 PM
You might want to consider getting new shocks sometime -- the difference they can make in the ride quality is substantial.

When you come up to a stop, the car won't wallow anymore like Jack Lord's Lincoln in Hawaii Five-O did.
:)

Chip H.

DonTom
09-18-2007, 06:28 PM
"I told him I'll have him replace all shocks before the next safety check so I'm safe for another year! His estimate for all four shocks...about $286.00 including parts, tax and labor."

Have you thought about doing the job yourself? Older vehicles are usually easy to change shocks in and will cost you less than half the price.

BTW, what are these safety checks all about? Here in CA, you only have such after you total out a vehicle and wish to re-register again. They just check the lights (no cracks in the lens, etc) and brakes. I've done it once when my 1981 Capri was in an accident. It was totaled, but I untotaled it and I drove it for a few more years.

-Don-

Eric
09-18-2007, 06:31 PM
Update on shocks.
Took the car to an independent mechanic and he also said I need new shocks...four of them but I talked him out of it for the time
being and concentrate on doing a safety check. We know each other quite a bit and he performed the safety check without the issue
on the shocks.I told him I'll have him replace all shocks before the next safety check so I'm safe for another year! ;D
His estimate for all four shocks...about $286.00 including parts, tax and labor.


If that price quote is for four high-quality gas charged shocks (KYB, etc.) then it's not bad. But you could save yourself a good bit of money by doing the job yourself. It is not hard and only requires some patience, willingness to get a little dirty and some basic hand tools...

ChevyMan
09-18-2007, 06:45 PM
Update on shocks.
Took the car to an independent mechanic and he also said I need new shocks...four of them but I talked him out of it for the time
being and concentrate on doing a safety check. We know each other quite a bit and he performed the safety check without the issue
on the shocks.I told him I'll have him replace all shocks before the next safety check so I'm safe for another year! ;D
His estimate for all four shocks...about $286.00 including parts, tax and labor.


If that price quote is for four high-quality gas charged shocks (KYB, etc.) then it's not bad. But you could save yourself a good bit of money by doing the job yourself. It is not hard and only requires some patience, willingness to get a little dirty and some basic hand tools...


Yeah I COULD do it myself but I'm in my eighties, and also have a stiff neck (arthritis), and besides, I have the funds to "let the other guy do the 'dirty' jobs" :D

mrblanche
09-18-2007, 07:18 PM
Changing shocks is one of those jobs that can rapidly go from "easy" to "impossible." All it takes is one rusted bolt.

chiph
09-18-2007, 08:06 PM
Cheap prevention: Buy new bolts and have a Sawz-All or Dremel tool on-hand just in case.

Chip H.

Eric
09-19-2007, 07:55 AM
"Yeah I COULD do it myself but I'm in my eighties, and also have a stiff neck (arthritis), and besides, I have the funds to "let the other guy do the 'dirty' jobs" :D"

Roger that; I feel the same way about things like this myself sometimes!

Eric
09-19-2007, 08:00 AM
Changing shocks is one of those jobs that can rapidly go from "easy" to "impossible." All it takes is one rusted bolt.


That can make it worse, but on Chevy's Chevy, everything's very accessible and if you have to, cutting off a rusted bolt head/shaft and tapping out the offending bolt is easy. If, of course, you have the Sawzall or Dremel tool Chip mentions. But a small hacksaw works, too. And just using a pair of vise grips to hold one end FIRMLY in place usually will either allow you to turn the old bolt/nut out - or let you twist it right off !

By the way, as you probably know, the rear suspension layout on his car is virtually identical to what's under my Trans-Am.... the only real difference is he may not have a rear anti-sway bar and his axle's probably not got Limited Slip.

Both are more like truck suspensions than "car" suspensions - at least, by modern standards!

DonTom
09-19-2007, 10:06 AM
"Changing shocks is one of those jobs that can rapidly go from "easy" to "impossible." All it takes is one rusted bolt."

With shocks, I've been lucky so far. I replaced all the shocks in my 1971 Chevy Malibu, 1984 Chevy 3/4 ton van and in my 1978 Chevy one ton van RV. All 12 shocks were very easy jobs. No problem with any of the bolts.

-Don-

Eric
09-19-2007, 10:23 AM
"Changing shocks is one of those jobs that can rapidly go from "easy" to "impossible." All it takes is one rusted bolt."

With shocks, I've been lucky so far. I replaced all the shocks in my 1971 Chevy Malibu, 1984 Chevy 3/4 ton van and in my 1978 Chevy one ton van RV. All 12 shocks were very easy jobs. No problem with any of the bolts.

-Don-


I bet part of the reason for your luck is that you live in a sunny state where road salt and rusted up bolts are less of an issue!

DonTom
09-20-2007, 01:11 AM
I bet part of the reason for your luck is that you live in a sunny state where road salt and rusted up bolts are less of an issue!


No doubt you're correct about that.

-Don-

Mase
09-20-2007, 11:49 AM
"Yeah I COULD do it myself but I'm in my eighties, and also have a stiff neck (arthritis), and besides, I have the funds to "let the other guy do the 'dirty' jobs" :D"

Roger that; I feel the same way about things like this myself sometimes!



I find myself paying to have things done that I often used to do myself.

ChevyMan
09-20-2007, 03:43 PM
"I find myself paying to have things done that I often used to do myself"

I can relate to that, though I still DIY on simple tasks as changing engine oil, coolant, greasing and the like.