I hope ya’ll don’t mind me parachuting in and asking a question. I just took my car into the shop after the engine was shaking pretty hard. I thought it was the motor mounts. The mechanic said it just needs a tune up, which includes new spark plugs, spark plug wires, air and fuel pump and new distributor and rotor caps. They want about $550 for the work. Does this sound right? Thank you.
Is the Check Engine light on/flashing?
Yes it is.
On or flashing?
It was flashing.
Air and Fuel pump?
I have never heard of a standard “tune-up” involving replacement of the fuel pump, and I’m not quite sure what “air pump” might actually mean.
Did you mean to tell us that the mechanic has diagnosed the need for both a new fuel filter and a new air filter, or does he state that you need a new fuel pump?
Is the Check Engine Light illuminated?
What can you tell us about your vehicle’s maintenance history over the past 30k miles?
Your vehicle has likely not had any preventive maintenance for…a long time.
Can you post the history of its preventive maintenance, as well as answers to the questions that I posted previously?
I’m sorry. New air filter and fuel pump.
It received a new transmission at about 50k miles. That was covered under warranty. I’m the second owner. That’s really the only major fix. I get regular oil changes on time.
The check engine light was illuminated for about a week. Then it started flashing. The car has always shaken a little bit, but it got much worse after a I drove it about 150 miles in one day.
A flashing Check Engine light indicates a major engine misfire.
The reason why it flashes is, it’s trying to tell you that major damage to the engine and catalytic converter can occur if you don’t stop driving the vehicle.
Take it in and have the tuneup performed.
And hope the Check Engine light turns off.
Got it. Thanks for your time.
$550 seems a very competitive price for all that. Especially since it includes a fuel pump replacement. For that price I’m not seeing the replacement parts being oem. Most likely aftermarket. As posted above a fuel pump isn’t a routine maintenance item for a tune-up. Neither is a distributor. Replacing either of those is sometimes required, but only if a proper diagnosis shows it to be.
So I’ve got sort of a bad feeling about this. Your shop seems to be throwing everything they got in their bag of tricks at this misfire problem. Might work, but the problem is that you may end up w/after-market replacement parts you didn’t actually need, and aren’t as good quality as the parts in the car now. Suggest to ask your shop what test results they’ve done indicate a new distributor and fuel pump are needed. It’s quite unusual to need both replaced to fix a misfire. If they do replace the fuel pump, a new fuel filter should be part of the plan too.
One compromise to consider, go ahead w/their plan, but ask them to return all the parts they remove for you to keep. This may increase the price as there’s a parts discount if the old part is returned to the vendor for rebuilding . But if this were my problem I’d want to keep the old distributor and old fuel pump and just pay the extra core charges.
New distributor and rotor caps? Sounds like a new distributor cap and rotor. Not a new distributor. Did he say fuel pressure was low and that is why he recommends a new fuel pump?
I think there’s been some kind of misunderstanding between OP and the customer
I simply don’t see all that work, including the fuel pump itself, being done for $550, including parts and labor
I strongly suspect “fuel pump” is actually “fuel filter” . . . I could see all that work, including the fuel filter, NOT fuel pump, being done for $550
If the car really did need that fuel pump, the mechanic wouldn’t have said “it just needs a tune up” . . . he would have phrased it differently
I just looked on Rockauto and the fuel pump itself is actually part of the fuel module, which includes the pump, sock, feed and return pipes, and the sending unit. We know that’s not cheap. But the filter itself is relatively inexpensive
And I agree that “new distributor and rotor caps” is probably “new cap and rotor”
The first thing I would recommend doing is checking the valve lash. If a valve has tightened up and this has been going on for a not significant number of miles it could be the engine will need to have the cylinder head reworked due to valve and valve seat damage. That would make all of the other stuff a waste of money.
Pull the plugs and run a compression test. If a cylinder has dropped then the valve lash is more than likely the cause.
Adjusting the lash properly MAY get the engine running fine again but any gain may be short lived as a damaged valve and seat face will not hold up over the long run.