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Urgent! Help/Advice needed- What to do my disabled Reatta?


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I've spent over 2k revamping electrical system and new parts on my white 1988 Reatta coupe over the past few months. A few nights ago I got stuck- the car and engine would start but then die out. When I took it for repair at an AAA operator in Brooklyn I was told I needed a new MAS Airflow part which cost me over $500 with labor. When I left the station the engine was making a knocking noise it wasn't making before but the manager insisted the car was running fine. The car died out the same night smoking an leaking everything and had to be towed back. No oil was being pumped.

I was then told that the engine was shot, pistons burned, etc. and that I needed a new engine that would cost $5000. The honesty and integrity of this station is obviously nil on top of which they have the nerve to complain about the car being on their premises.

I'm not sure what to do, if the car is salvageable or not and need some advice.

I'm willing to part with the car but I know that parts alone are worth a couple of thousand and a parts/junk yard will rip me off.

My choices seem to be either junking the car or getting it towed to my house here in Long Island. However, given the former I would rather see it go to some worthy Reatta owner if it is going to be chopped.

I need to resolve this ASAP so any suggestions, offers, or advice would be deeply appreciated. Thank you all.

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First thing I would do is have a VERY SERIOUS discussion with the shop owner about what they did to the car. My thinking is that they would be replacing that engine or some serious negative publicity would would be in the offing. Don't let them play the game on you. mad.gif

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As a resident of Brooklyn for 13 years now, if there is one thing I have learned (the hard way)it is: If you want something done right, don't have it done in Brooklyn. From automobile repairs to fast food, if there is a way to do it half-assed it will be done that way.

Hopefully, you paid for the repairs with a credit card, that way you can decline payment of the charges. I would also contact the Better Business Bureau and The Department of Consumer Affairs. I doubt you'll get satisfaction through this route, but at least you'll be adding to the body of evidence of incompetance against this shop.

I have a shop I use for my Reatta's repairs as well as my company's fleet. I would consider having them take a look at your Reatta as they could possibly determine the cause of death, and give you an HONEST assesment of what its going to take to get you rolling again.

Al Brownfeld

Brownfeld Auto Center

298 11th Avenue (@29th St.)

New York, NY 10001

(212) 239-7037

Good Luck!

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There is a Reatta owner in your area (don't have his email) that is a lawyer.

Hopefully he will read this and jump in....

If the car is high mileage, putting a $5000 motor in it is not recommended.

Take the 5K and put it on a lower mileage car. There are some good buys out there in the $6500-9000 range.

You can find someone to buy the car for parts as is or you could part it out...however, living in Brooklin you probably don't have that option.

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when a repair shop has a AAA recommendation, it is a highly coveted item. after all, is'nt that why you called them in the first place? any complaints to AAA about one of their recommended facilities are thoroughly investigated.

I would go back to the repair shop for some straight answers, and if they are not willing to make things right, file a complaint with AAA.

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the good part is that most of the Reatta type motors seem to run for ever and getting on cheap should be no problem. Getting it to long island and having it installed would be most of the money spent. A yard here in Md with a nice motor and of corse Jim finn here on our site. I would go for a used motor but out of a Reatta. Much easier changing same to same.......ken

three on ebay last week with no bidders

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Seeing as a Jasper remaned engine with a 3 year/75,000 mile warrenty is just under $2600 (1990 "C"), that is one heck of an installation charge.

Personal opinion is get your car out of there and let a shyster handle it. Would also call AAA and BBB. Might want to get an independant evaluation of what happened first.

Will say that to suddenly experience engine melt-down like you describe something should have been apparent to even a poor mechanic. (All fluids gone - shoulda bin a puddle somewhere).

No oil being pumped ? Have heard of shaft shearing on gear pump but never on a georotor like the Buick's. Should have had some indication on the dash (unless had one of the original oil pressure sensors that always registers pressure). MAF sensor is not anywhere near an oil line. Something does not sound right.

ps Isn't Nunzi's in Brooklyn ?

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Thanks for all the comments so far. The car only has about 71,000 miles on it and as I indicated already has many new parts. Prior to this situation it was in at least very good condition. I 've gotten another car (1999 Lexus RX300) so immediate use of this one is not a necessity.

I would like to keep this old classic alive if at all possible, but as you can probably tell I'm not technically knowledgeable enough to refurbish it myself.

By the way the car is at Empire Shell Auto Repair on Empire Boulevard in Brooklyn- for future reference be forwarned about these guys.

One other minor problem is that I can't find the Title yet and in the godforsaken tax hell of New York you can't even dispose of a car without the title. I will have to order a new one if it doesn't turn up today which means it will take about a week to get it so the car may be status quo for at least that long if anyone wants to follow up. Thanks all and happy holidays.

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