Are We Being Ripped Off on Manifold Repair?

1997 Mercury Villager van is in shop for regular maintenance & annual inspection. Repair shop says there’s an exhaust leak at the manifold, which needs to be fixed b-4 car can pass inspection. First said one bolt was missing and gasket was hanging out so that there wasn’t a tight seal–thus the leak. OK, sounds plausible, so I tell him to go ahead and fix. Then he calls back and says the bolts are broken off at the heads and they have to use a special drill to get them out and replace them. This supposedly entails removing power-steering pump and lots of contortions to get to. Quotes me over 6 hours of labor for the job. Says they can’t get at the manifold from the bottom of the car, have to go through the engine compartment. Is this right? It doesn’t seem to me that this repair should end up costing over $700!!!

Price may be a little high but doesn’t sound out of the question. If you’re not comfortable get a second opinion.

Mercury villager/Nissan Quest is a transversly mounted v6/transaxle shoe horned into a mini van so, yah, it’s a big job just getting in there and then to be faced with broken bolts !

Since it’s such a big job, get some other estimates before proceding.

If we had more time, we’d take the thing to another shop that we’re going to change to anyway. But, our bad; we waited till the last minute to get what we assumed to just be a standard oil change, check up and inspection, and now don’t have time to take it to the other shop, which I am positive would be cheaper–and just as good. We’re leaving Wednesday for the holiday, and gotta have it inspected. They got us by the short ones, I’m afraid… Still, over 6 hours for this one repair sounds like an awful lot of time…

97 and early 98’s Nissan 3.3l V6’s had Intake manifold problems. My 98 didn’t have that problem (mine was later 98…almost 99).