Videokarma.org

Go Back   Videokarma.org TV - Video - Vintage Television & Radio Forums > Things with Motors

We appreciate your help

in keeping this site going.
Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 03-04-2017, 08:41 PM
Captainclock Captainclock is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Elkhart, Indiana
Posts: 1,190
2003 Buick Regal LS

Hello everyone, this past November I bought from a local used car lot a 2003 Buick Regal LS that pretty much has almost all of the bells and whistles that a Buick could have except for dual power seats and the power seat it does have is only a 6-way instead of an 8-way like you would normally have on power seats.
Anyways when I got the car the dealership I got it from had taken the car into Wally World (Wal-Mart) to have the oil changed and sure enough the morons at Wally World over filled the engine with oil by over a quart (the engine calls for 4 1/2 quarts of 10W30 oil and they filled it with about 5 1/2 quarts of oil) which resulted in my engine burning off the excess oil and making the mechanic I took the car to to get it checked out at think it had a leaking valve cover gasket even though it didn't.
Another issue with the car when I got it was that apparently the previous owners of the car had a minor accident with the car which resulted in them having to replace part of the front end and the driver side headlamp assembly.
Anyways when they did this body work on the car they did a very poor job at it because first of all they got the wrong headlamp assembly for the car (they got the headlamp assembly off of a base model Buick Century that was 2 years older than my car because it doesn't fit quite right plus it doesn't have the curb-light which the original headlamp assembly on the passenger side does and even the original window sticker for the car specifically says that the car came with curb-lights).
Then the other thing that wasn't done right with the body work on the car was that the mounting bracket for the grille on the car was busted and never replaced so the grille didn't even sit right on the car, and then when they put the fenders back onto the front of the car after replacing the grille they didn't put the passenger side front fender on quite right because there is a huge gap between the fender and the hood on the passenger side compared to the driver side.
All of these cosmetic issues are easy enough to fix because my dad has some experience with body work but its just the idea that you would of thought that the previous owners would of done a better job at the body work on this car, especially if they knew they were going to sell it/trade it off.
Another thing is that the previous owners of the car were apparently extremely rough with the console of the car because the cup holder in the console was completely busted and the woodgrained trim around the shifter was busted off, and also the driver side heated seat seems to have some issues as well.

Like I said all of the issues with this car are all cosmetic issues which can easily be repaired (and some of them have already been repaired like the mounting bracket for the grille), but other than that the car is a nice solid car with no rust (which is nice compared to my old car which was more or less a rust-bucket).

And now for the major issue for this car which is actually a fairly minor issue but the repair shop is making a bigger issue out of it than it needs to be, and that is the catalytic converter.
Now supposedly from what I've read online about the catalytic converter is that its supposed to last your car its entire life (which the car has 108,000) and the Service Engine Soon light came on a couple of days after I bought the car.
So I took the car to Autozone and had them run a code check on the car and their scan indicated a bad catalytic converter, but from what I read is that the same code for the catalytic converter is also thrown for a bad rear oxygen sensor (which is on the catalytic converter).
So when I took the car into the mechanic to have a bad wheel bearing replaced he also checked the code for the service engine soon light, and sure enough it threw the same code as it did for Auto Zone and they said that it was because the rear oxygen sensor was bad, and they said that they always have a hard time replacing the rear oxygen sensor because supposedly it gets seized onto the catalytic converter to the point that it can't be removed, so he said that because of that he just recommends replacing the whole catalytic converter assembly and being done with it because that way you get a new oxygen sensor in the process as well as a new catalytic converter and you don't have to worry about anything failing for a long time.
The only problem I see with that fix is that replacing the catalytic converter is $800 plus labor when a simple rear oxygen sensor is only $100 and then to replace that if one can find a mechanic brave enough to attempt the replacement is only $200 including the labor, which is way less than what my mechanic is recommending.

What do you guys think? Is my mechanic right in recommending the replacement of the whole catalytic converter or is he full of hot air, and just wanting to make a quick buck?

Also just so you know this Buick does have the famous 3800 V6 in it that GM is known for and that is known for lasting over 300,000 miles before needing any major work done to it.

Thanks for your help and for any tips or advice you may have for me.

Levi
  #2  
Old 03-04-2017, 09:13 PM
dishdude's Avatar
dishdude dishdude is offline
VideoKarma Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 425
What code is it throwing? P0420 is almost always a bad cat.
  #3  
Old 03-04-2017, 09:21 PM
Captainclock Captainclock is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Elkhart, Indiana
Posts: 1,190
Quote:
Originally Posted by dishdude View Post
What code is it throwing? P0420 is almost always a bad cat.
Well That's the thing I don't know what the code is, I never saw what the code was when they tested it at Auto Zone and they didn't tell me what the code was at the Mechanics shop either, but all I know is that from what I read online is that the Rear Oxygen sensor and the Catalytic Converter share the same code on the 3800s, at least on the Series II 3800s anyways.
  #4  
Old 03-04-2017, 09:30 PM
davet753's Avatar
davet753 davet753 is offline
David Thomas
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Knoxville, TN
Posts: 344
I had that issue with an 03 Buick LeSabre (same engine). I traded my Town Car in on it, and the light came on before I got the Buick home. I replaced both oxygen sensors myself (only took about 30 minutes). The front one came right out, and the rear one was much harder to get to turn, but I got them. I ordered them online, and the cost was about $25 each.

Reset the codes, and a day or two later the service engine soon light was back on (same code). I had the catalytic converters replaced (about $450) and drove it for a week or so before the light was back on. The mechanic found a small intake leak (very common on 3.8 engines) that he said was causing the problem. $500 later and another weeks worth of driving, and the service engine soon light was back on.

Took it to another mechanic, who drove it around for a couple days trying to find the problem. He gave up and referred me to a GM certified mechanic. He changed the spark plugs, and the light was back on in a day or so.

During the entire time, the car ran smoothly, and got great gas mileage...it was just that silly service engine soon light stayed on. I had to replace about a half dozen dash lights (the little ones that come on at night), and if I had it to do over, I'd have removed the service engine bulb. I drove it for a couple more years before trading it and going back to a Lincoln.

If you want to change the oxygen sensors, I'd recommend doing it yourself or taking it to another mechanic. There's no sense replacing the converters unless you have to.
  #5  
Old 03-04-2017, 09:32 PM
davet753's Avatar
davet753 davet753 is offline
David Thomas
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Knoxville, TN
Posts: 344
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captainclock View Post
Well That's the thing I don't know what the code is, I never saw what the code was when they tested it at Auto Zone and they didn't tell me what the code was at the Mechanics shop either, but all I know is that from what I read online is that the Rear Oxygen sensor and the Catalytic Converter share the same code on the 3800s, at least on the Series II 3800s anyways.
That reminds me, P0420 was the code mine always had.

Last edited by davet753; 03-04-2017 at 09:32 PM. Reason: sp
Audiokarma
  #6  
Old 03-04-2017, 09:50 PM
Captainclock Captainclock is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Elkhart, Indiana
Posts: 1,190
Quote:
Originally Posted by davet753 View Post
That reminds me, P0420 was the code mine always had.
Hmm, interesting, could it be that perhaps the computer on the car has some sort of issue that's causing it to throw codes randomly when there really isn't any issues? Just wondering because my car runs fine and gets fairly decent gas mileage for the type of driving I do (which is mostly city driving with a little highway driving occasionally).
  #7  
Old 03-05-2017, 07:31 PM
MadMan's Avatar
MadMan MadMan is offline
'A Disgusting Brony'
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Chicago
Posts: 364
I already advised you on this problem, if you recall.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captainclock View Post
Now supposedly from what I've read online about the catalytic converter is that its supposed to last your car its entire life
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captainclock View Post
from what I read is that the same code for the catalytic converter is also thrown for a bad rear oxygen sensor


Quote:
Originally Posted by Captainclock View Post
The only problem I see with that fix is that replacing the catalytic converter is $800 plus labor
HOLY- $800 is WAY too much money. Wait, is that $800 parts, then labor additional?
LOL tell that guy to screw himself. Go somewhere else. That's a $300-400 job at a good shop. $200 if you go to a crappy muffler shop.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captainclock View Post
Also just so you know this Buick does have the famous 3800 V6 in it that GM is known for and that is known for lasting over 300,000 miles before needing any major work done to it.
Yes, that's the 3.8. It's a good motor, but I've never seen one last that long. They develop mechanical problems later in service. If it's been babied its whole life... maybe.
  #8  
Old 03-05-2017, 07:49 PM
Captainclock Captainclock is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Elkhart, Indiana
Posts: 1,190
Quote:
Originally Posted by MadMan View Post
I already advised you on this problem, if you recall.








HOLY- $800 is WAY too much money. Wait, is that $800 parts, then labor additional?
LOL tell that guy to screw himself. Go somewhere else. That's a $300-400 job at a good shop. $200 if you go to a crappy muffler shop.



Yes, that's the 3.8. It's a good motor, but I've never seen one last that long. They develop mechanical problems later in service. If it's been babied its whole life... maybe.
Yes I know that but I was starting a seperate thread so I wasn't cluttering up someone else's thread. and As far as how many miles the 3800s can go I'm only going by what some friends of mine told me about the 3800s.
now as far as the catalytic converter replacement goes, I have the estimate paper work from the mechanic I took the car to and I can scan it into the computer for you to look at if you don't believe me about how much they said the repair would be.
I actually have some of the original paperwork from the car including the original window sticker from the car and the car originally came from Ohio and was owned by an older couple originally and as we all know older people tend to baby their vehicles which means that this car was taken care of pretty well most of its life except its previous owners (I'm only the third owner of the vehicle) had wrecked the car but only a minor wreck and repaired the car themselves and bought mismatched parts for the car and also busted some of the parts for the console inside the car. but other than that and besides the fact that some of the incompetent lube "experts" at Wal-Mart overfilling the engine with oil the car is in extremely well taken care of condition otherwise.

So Anyways if you're so upset just because I was wanting to start a seperate thread on this so that I didn't have to worry about throwing off Dave's thread then just don't comment on this thread if you feel like its that annoying to you.
  #9  
Old 03-06-2017, 01:33 AM
MadMan's Avatar
MadMan MadMan is offline
'A Disgusting Brony'
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Chicago
Posts: 364
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captainclock View Post
now as far as the catalytic converter replacement goes, I have the estimate paper work from the mechanic I took the car to and I can scan it into the computer for you to look at if you don't believe me about how much they said the repair would be.
Oh, I believe you. I also believe that mechanic is trying to take advantage of you. SHOP AROUND. Go to different shops, show them the estimate papers, and ask them to beat the price, see what prices you get.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captainclock View Post
So Anyways if you're so upset just because I was wanting to start a seperate thread on this so that I didn't have to worry about throwing off Dave's thread then just don't comment on this thread if you feel like its that annoying to you.
Hey, it's great that you started a fresh thread - awesome. I'm not upset at all dude. I'm only trying to help you, and you're fighting me. >_>

Last edited by MadMan; 03-06-2017 at 01:38 AM.
  #10  
Old 03-06-2017, 11:58 AM
Captainclock Captainclock is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Elkhart, Indiana
Posts: 1,190
Quote:
Originally Posted by MadMan View Post
Oh, I believe you. I also believe that mechanic is trying to take advantage of you. SHOP AROUND. Go to different shops, show them the estimate papers, and ask them to beat the price, see what prices you get.



Hey, it's great that you started a fresh thread - awesome. I'm not upset at all dude. I'm only trying to help you, and you're fighting me. >_>
I'm not trying to fight you, but you seemed very upset that I was trying to get other opinions about what's going on with my vehicle because when you commented on here earlier you said that you thought what I was commenting about concerning the issues with my car were wrong and that you had already covered this and that because of that you felt like I shouldn't of started this thread.
Anyways I'm all for hearing what you have to say but try not to chew me out if I sound like I don't know what I'm talking about, because in reality I don't know a whole lot about cars and how they work because my grandfather used to do all the work on our vehicles in the family before he passed on 3 years ago, and I didn't ever get a chance to observe what he did and didn't do with the cars. So yeah anyways I'm sorry if I came off sounding bristly it wasn't my intention.
Audiokarma
  #11  
Old 03-06-2017, 06:04 PM
Captainclock Captainclock is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Elkhart, Indiana
Posts: 1,190
Well I just found out today that apparently the Buick Regals and other related cars with the 3800s in them were recalled back in 2015 because of leaky valve cover gaskets that would leak oil onto the exhaust manifold and potentially cause a fire, and supposedly the issue was never repaired by the car's previous owners before I got it. So I have to get that repaired apparently as well, but thankfully I won't have to pay for the repairs, but I'm not sure how long its going to take to get the valve cover gasket replaced on the car because the mechanic that I told you about that said it would cost about $800 to replace the catalytic converter on my car said that supposedly it would take about a full working day or more to replace the valve cover gasket on my car, but he didn't say why though...
  #12  
Old 03-06-2017, 08:24 PM
Eric H's Avatar
Eric H Eric H is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: So. Calif
Posts: 11,277
Aftermarket Magnaflo converters are available for your car from O'reilly Auto Parts for either $219 or $312, they are relatively easy to install since they bolt on at both ends.

http://www.oreillyauto.com/site/c/se...gal&vi=1410376

You should also replace the O2 sensors, or at the very minimum replace the upstream one.

You'll also need a can of PB Blaster to keep the bolts from seizing up.
  #13  
Old 03-06-2017, 09:08 PM
MadMan's Avatar
MadMan MadMan is offline
'A Disgusting Brony'
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Chicago
Posts: 364
I still think that mechanic is a clown. Go somewhere else.
  #14  
Old 03-06-2017, 09:48 PM
Captainclock Captainclock is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Elkhart, Indiana
Posts: 1,190
Quote:
Originally Posted by MadMan View Post
I still think that mechanic is a clown. Go somewhere else.
I would but there aren't many reputable garages near me that aren't run by Hispanics...

So yeah, I may have to just take it to a Buick dealer or else just have my dad help me do the work.

As for the recall, I would be taking to a dealer to have the recall work done. By the way, how is it that dealers can tell whether or not your car has had any recall repair work done to your car or not? I've always wondered about that because my car I had bought it from a dealer that wasn't a Buick dealer, and the dealership that sent me the recall notice was a dealership that I've never taken the car to before and I don't think that the previous owners ever dealt with them either...
  #15  
Old 03-06-2017, 09:50 PM
Captainclock Captainclock is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Elkhart, Indiana
Posts: 1,190
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric H View Post
Aftermarket Magnaflo converters are available for your car from O'reilly Auto Parts for either $219 or $312, they are relatively easy to install since they bolt on at both ends.

http://www.oreillyauto.com/site/c/se...gal&vi=1410376

You should also replace the O2 sensors, or at the very minimum replace the upstream one.

You'll also need a can of PB Blaster to keep the bolts from seizing up.
My dad and I would do our own work but neither me or my dad have ever replaced a catalytic converter before...
Audiokarma
Closed Thread


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:20 PM.



Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
ęCopyright 2012 VideoKarma.org, All rights reserved.