Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Pathfinder dead key

I have a 94 Pathfinder. 155K Runs great., good car. Electrical gobelins everywhere, though. Unpredictable but nothing vital.

Yesterday I moved the car for street cleaning and after that could not budge it. Ignition switch – dead. Battery

good. AAA tried to no avail. Towed to mechanic. He said - I’ll call you. He called w/in the hour and said there

is a short between the ignition switch and the starter or something like that. This @ 9:00AM He said it cwould be done by 3::00 PM. How could he have known ?? At 3:15

PM he called : Your car is ready. The price ??? $450.00 I know about trouble shooting a little bit but 6 hours??

Smell test? I feel fleeced and want to contest the chasrge. Please advise. Much appreciated.


I’m almost certain that your mechanic didn’t spend 6 hours on the car. He had diagnosed the problem when he telephoned you at 9:15. He had other cars he repaired in this time period. He knew from experience how long it would take to make the repair to your car and blocked out the time. On your repair order, the charge should be broken down into parts and labor. The labor charge is usually computed from a flat rate manual.

When I take my car to my independent shop, they will call to tell me what they have found to be the problem, when the car will be ready and the charge. I appreciate this service.

I doubt that you have been fleeced.

Thank you for taking the time to reply. This shop does not specialize in electrical repairs and at the end of the day I was faced with a fait accomplis. Should I be content to pay for a layman groping with a bewildering wiring diagram and a continuity tester while he was also working on other vehicles? I believe their nominal rate is $80.00/H How many hours does it take to trace 6 or even 8 wires ?? Just wondering.

regards E

Why are you complaining? The mechanic, to which you had the vehicle towed, fixed it. What’s the problem? I don’t see it.

If this were my vehicle I’d be absolutely delighted, but, since you said “Electrical goblins everywhere,” I’d sell it as quickly as I could, now that it runs.

Quit complaining, and quit fooling around with an unreliable vehicle. Dump the Pathfinder and move on to something more reliable.

You’re complaining about someone who fixed your vehicle, which you couldn’t do by yourself.


Please explain.

It doedsn’t take six hours to trace the few wires invonved. Fair enough, I got my answer I guess - whatever he wants to charge is fair game. Thanks

How do you know how long it takes to “trace the wires?”

Are you an expert in automotive wiring? I’m not.

And how do you know that “tracing the wires” will solve the problem?

You hired a mechanic to fix your car. He, or she, fixed it. Pay the money and be happy.

What’s the problem?

While he did likely charge you a flat rate, Frankly it could take six hours to trace a few wires on a car. Some go a long way and may take a number of disassemblies and re-assembly to trace a single wire. Things on cars are often very difficult to get to.