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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 11/27/2001 12:05:52 PM EDT
I recently had the rear main seal replaced at a transmission shop on my 93 Nissan pathfinder. Two months later, that seal is leaking oil again. The shop owner refuses to stand behind his work, stating that my crankshaft is probably bent and that's why the seal he put in failed. Am I supposed to divine that the shaft is bent, and TELL HIM how to fix my car, or is he "giving me the shaft?" Need help quick. This may get ugly.
Link Posted: 11/27/2001 12:09:13 PM EDT
Link Posted: 11/27/2001 12:10:12 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/27/2001 12:03:32 PM EDT by Muad_Dib]
Well most of my experience is with American automobiles but... [;)] I'd see if you can get him to open it up and check. Tell him that if your crankshaft is in fact bent, you'll pay him to fix it. If the shaft isn't bent, you think that he should replace the seal for free. If he's an honest business man he should take that offer. Either way, he's not really losing anything (save what he did wrong) and he'll gain good word of mouth. This only works if he can fix the crankshaft which (if bent) needs fixed anyway. I doubt that your shaft is bent. If it was, you'd be seeing other problems far worse than a leaking seal on the transmission.
Link Posted: 11/27/2001 12:16:09 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/27/2001 12:09:22 PM EDT by LtMac313]
Originally Posted By Muad_Dib: Well most of my experience is with American automobiles but... [;)] I'd see if you can get him to open it up and check. Tell him that if your crankshaft is in fact bent, you'll pay him to fix it. If the shaft isn't bent, you think that he should replace the seal for free. If he's an honest business man he should take that offer. Either way, he's not really losing anything (save what he did wrong) and he'll gain good word of mouth. This only works if he can fix the crankshaft which (if bent) needs fixed anyway. I doubt that your shaft is bent. If it was, you'd be seeing other problems far worse than a leaking seal on the transmission.
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To have a questionable mechanic do what you are asking is not a good idea. To remove the crankshaft, one must disassemble the entire motor. Nobody just removes the crankshaft to check for alignment. This is a very serious and expensive problem you may have brewing. Go to a reputable shop, tell them the problem ,and see what they say. I would imagine if your crank is bent so much as to ruin your rear main seal, your engine will be toast by the time the new rear main seal gives [;D] BTW: bending your crank is no easy feat to accomplish. Good Luck here, you arent in a easy spot to be in.
Link Posted: 11/27/2001 12:18:48 PM EDT
UPDATE..... I should have said WORN crankshaft (right where the main seal rides) not a BENT crankshaft. And IF the shaft is WORN right where he's supposed to put the seal, ain't he supposed to tell me that?????
Link Posted: 11/27/2001 12:27:07 PM EDT
He's trying to shaft you. More than likely, the seal was not installed correctly (seal lip damaged, lip not lubed, foreign matter on the lip or it was'nt seated in correctly) or quite possibly a cheap aftermarket seal !! I would ask if he used a nissan part. Over my 15 years in import service(toyota master tech) I have replaced many seals that were aftermarket and just did not work. That is not to say that they are all junk, but if it were my truck, I would spend the couple of dollars more and use a factory part. Also, I have taken apart vehicles many times thinking it was the rear main seal leaking, only to find it coming from somewhere else. On your particular vehicle, valve cover gaskets can leak down the back of the block and seep out looking like a rear main. The possibility that your crank is bent is very remote, and would cause other problems such as bad idle vibration, engine misses etc.. The advice given above about have him remove the trans and show you where the crank is bent is a good idea. I would then ask him why he installed a seal on a bent crank and did not mention it to you before ?? Your best bet is stand tough and make him honor his work. Good luck G-Man
Link Posted: 11/27/2001 12:29:13 PM EDT
As much as I piss people off here, and ya'll STILL come to my aid. [:D] {sniff, sniff} I'm truly touched. Good stuff. Keep it coming.
Link Posted: 11/27/2001 12:30:51 PM EDT
UPDATE !!! lol I posted before your update =) YES he should have notified you that it was worn, but again, I seriously doubt that there is anything wrong with your crank. I don't know your mileage, but it would take many, many miles of HARD use and lack of maintenance to get a PLASTIC and RUBBER seal to eat into a STEEL crank. [:D]
Link Posted: 11/27/2001 12:56:29 PM EDT
Send aforementioned mechanic a certified missive detailing your complaint and that you feel it is the result of his workmanship; enclose an estimate of repair from at least two other mechanics, ask him to make repairs (you must do this). Give him 14 days to reply. If no reply or he refuses to help, file a warrant in debt (or your local/state equivalent) and take him to small claims court and argue before the magistrate. You will have an initial hearing where the judge asks him if he owes you damages; if he says yes, it's over (except getting that judgement out of him - another story entirely); if he says no, you will have another hearing scheduled. At this hearing both will present a bill of particulars, and you need to go for his jugular, even to the point of issuing subpoenas for witnesses (not that hard here in VA). After those arguments, the case will be decided. I am assuming that the damages involved, while not inconsequential, preclude hiring a lawyer. That's fine, but if you have one, just run this scenario by him/her to see how your regional system compares. Good luck, hopefully the cert. letter will get his attention. BTW, save [i]everything[/i] having to do with the case and his work. shooter PS - taking my kids to Harry Potter this weekend [:D]
Link Posted: 11/27/2001 1:00:49 PM EDT
Originally Posted By shooterX308: PS - taking my kids to Harry Potter this weekend [:D]
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Have fun!!!!!! But don't come whinin' to me when they slay you as a human sacrifice. [:D] [;)]
Link Posted: 11/27/2001 1:03:38 PM EDT
Originally Posted By garandman: UPDATE..... I should have said WORN crankshaft (right where the main seal rides) not a BENT crankshaft. And IF the shaft is WORN right where he's supposed to put the seal, ain't he supposed to tell me that?????
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Well, thats a pony of a different color then. You are getting shafted. He should have known that, upon inspection, the Crankshaft was worn, and to call you immediately to tell you the good news (that being he is about to make alot of $$$).
Link Posted: 11/27/2001 1:37:38 PM EDT
Originally Posted By garandman:
Originally Posted By shooterX308: PS - taking my kids to Harry Potter this weekend [:D]
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Have fun!!!!!! But don't come whinin' to me when they slay you as a human sacrifice. [:D] [;)]
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Man, I am STILL wiping tears from my eyes over that one! Another option to explore (although shooterX308 seems to have the answer) is to type out a nice, well thought out, reasoned description of the problem, no slander, lible or flame, address it to the local editor(s) of the local newpaper(s) and a CC to the better business bureau, etc. Show said to letter to the mechanic, and then polititely ask for a refund of the original labor charges. THEN go somewhere else. You DO NOT want a disgruntled mechanic servicing your vehicle. As a funny aside... My father in law once took a vehicle with bad brakes back to a mechanic who had claimed to 'fix' the brakes. My father in law had paid by check earlier that morning. He demanded the mechanic fix the problem and threatened to call the bank to stop payment... The mechanic politely said, "Ok, lemme put it back on the lift." At which point, my father in law assumed all was going to be fixed. Oh, not hardly... the mechanic, after lifting the car off the ground about 5 feet, slaps a Master Lock on the lift and said, "Now go bring me cash!" Rather than leave the car up on a rack with a mad mechanic having both motive and means to drop sand into a crankcase, loose bolts into a transmission etc, he left promptly and retreived the cash. You gotta know when to pick your battles... TheRedGoat/Baphomet
Link Posted: 11/27/2001 1:44:19 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Baphomet:
Originally Posted By garandman:
Originally Posted By shooterX308: PS - taking my kids to Harry Potter this weekend [:D]
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Have fun!!!!!! But don't come whinin' to me when they slay you as a human sacrifice. [:D] [;)]
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Man, I am STILL wiping tears from my eyes over that one! Another option to explore (although shooterX308 seems to have the answer) is to type out a nice, well thought out, reasoned description of the problem, no slander, lible or flame, address it to the local editor(s) of the local newpaper(s) and a CC to the better business bureau, etc. Show said to letter to the mechanic, and then polititely ask for a refund of the original labor charges. THEN go somewhere else. You DO NOT want a disgruntled mechanic servicing your vehicle. As a funny aside... My father in law once took a vehicle with bad brakes back to a mechanic who had claimed to 'fix' the brakes. My father in law had paid by check earlier that morning. He demanded the mechanic fix the problem and threatened to call the bank to stop payment... The mechanic politely said, "Ok, lemme put it back on the lift." At which point, my father in law assumed all was going to be fixed. Oh, not hardly... the mechanic, after lifting the car off the ground about 5 feet, slaps a Master Lock on the lift and said, "Now go bring me cash!" Rather than leave the car up on a rack with a mad mechanic having both motive and means to drop sand into a crankcase, loose bolts into a transmission etc, he left promptly and retreived the cash. You gotta know when to pick your battles... TheRedGoat/Baphomet
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He who retreats gets to fight another day. Upon closing, I would have comitted several illegal acts. Then upon reopening some several weeks later, I would get a crate of lemons, and open up a lemonade stand in front of his shop. Bad publicity is hard to fix once it is in the public's eye!
Link Posted: 11/27/2001 1:54:02 PM EDT
Originally Posted By garandman: UPDATE..... I should have said WORN crankshaft (right where the main seal rides) not a BENT crankshaft. And IF the shaft is WORN right where he's supposed to put the seal, ain't he supposed to tell me that?????
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G-Man.....send me a e-mail....I`ll have more time to help you......klosskt@yahoo.com
Link Posted: 11/27/2001 2:09:45 PM EDT
He should have noticed that the crank was worn when changing the seal. Upon seeing the wear he should have installed a "Seal Saver" on he end of the crank. It is a thin metal ring that creates a new smooth surface on the crank surface for the seal to mate to. It's a $15 part that could have saved him the trouble of doing the job again. He owes you a fix.
Link Posted: 11/27/2001 2:24:00 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/27/2001 2:18:36 PM EDT by Waldo]
Link Posted: 11/27/2001 2:45:49 PM EDT
Ask him if he checked the crank's end play when he had everything apart. You could be out of spec on your thrust bearing clearance, allowing the crank to move back and forth and ruining the seal. Excessive main bearing clearance will do the same thing, since the main bearing journals would describe an eccentric path around the centerline of the main bearing bore (in the block and main caps.)
Link Posted: 11/27/2001 2:49:36 PM EDT
Originally Posted By NH2112: Ask him if he checked the crank's end play when he had everything apart. You could be out of spec on your thrust bearing clearance, allowing the crank to move back and forth and ruining the seal. Excessive main bearing clearance will do the same thing, since the main bearing journals would describe an eccentric path around the centerline of the main bearing bore (in the block and main caps.)
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But shouldn't he have been able to determine this BEFORE he replaced the seal?? WOuldn't his professional standards demand he tell me this and NOT just go blindly replacing the seal?? This is good info. i suspect this ones going to small claims. And baby, I'm just itching fer a good ole' rounder!!!!
Link Posted: 11/27/2001 3:24:26 PM EDT
The thrust bearing wear/endplay theory holds more water if the truck has a manual tranny. If it's an automatic, then there is less likelyhood of the thrust bearing wearing. If it IS a manual, once you get it fixxed (with Factory parts), stop sitting there all the time with your clutch pedal depressed! If you're going to sit a while, put it in neutral and save not only throwout bearing wear, but crank thrust bearing wear. If it's just a groove in the seal journal, you can have it repaired with the aforementioned Speedy Sleeve. Being a `93, I suspect it has lots-o-miles??? Yes, when dirt and grunge get in there, a rubber or cloth rope seal (like the old days) can definately wear a groove in the crank. In any case, this sounds expensive!
Link Posted: 11/27/2001 3:38:28 PM EDT
Gus - 93 Pathfinder with 150K. 5 speed. Seldom off road. I usually do sit in neutral when at idle , clutch not depressed. Now, as far as the things you mention - Wouldn't it be standard policy ANY TIME you replace a main seal to check those things??? Wouldn't it only take an extra five minutes to find any such wear / play in the crankshaft???? Shouldn't a "good" mechanic check those, and inform their customer, asking them how to proceed, BEFORE replacing a main seal???
Link Posted: 11/27/2001 3:43:10 PM EDT
Originally Posted By garandman: But shouldn't he have been able to determine this BEFORE he replaced the seal?? WOuldn't his professional standards demand he tell me this and NOT just go blindly replacing the seal?? This is good info. i suspect this ones going to small claims. And baby, I'm just itching fer a good ole' rounder!!!!
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Never assume anything about "professional standards." Just today at the forklift shop I work in, another tech was putting the engine back into a forklift when he noticed the torque converter had a LOT of axial play. He asked another tech what his thoughts were, and that one said "bolt up the engine, the crank will align everything and keep it from flopping around." What he SHOULD have done was talk to the service manager (the foreman's out on vacation) and have him notify the customer of the problem, saying that it would only increase the cost of the repairs by a small amount if the problem is repaired while the engine's still out. Now, if the pump seal or bushing blows out a little later on, the customer will end up paying for the engine R&R again, when he could have had the probem fixed on the cheap today. Don't talk to the mechanic again - tak to his service manager, or if it's a chain shop (Mr. Transmission, AAMCO, etc) talk to the regional manager. [b]Someone[/b] will kiss your ass to make you happy!
Link Posted: 11/27/2001 3:53:26 PM EDT
The mechanic is incompetent! Anybody worth the title would chck the crank and rear main at time of seal replacement! Rear seals replaced with engine in the car are VERY easy to damage resulting in another leak. Other sources of oil leak are also a good place to look. In any event, you been hosed. You DO NOT want same jerk working on it again. Was payment via credit card? If so, dispute it. Otherwise, head for small claims court. If the guy has refused to correct his error, then have it fixed elsewhere and send him the bill.
Link Posted: 11/27/2001 4:07:11 PM EDT
I'm only a "backyard" mechanic, but i have done the rear main on a few different mustangs. Depending on the way the car is setup it could be complicated to see the surface of the crank that the rear main seals. If your crank was "bent" you would know, if not when the seal started leaking, soon after. Try unplugging one sparkplug. That's about what your motor will feel like if the crank is not perfectly balanced and true. IMO, find a mechanic in your area that knows what he is doing, and have him (or her?) track down the leak. If it's the rear main, have it fixed again. Let your new mechanic know exacly what happened so he will double check that surface of the crank the rear seal rides on is not marred, dinged, or otherwise worn. If the new mechanic repaces the seal and fixes the problem then you should take the new bill over to the shop that f&Cked it up the first time and ask them to pay it. If they wont, then take them to court. OH... and this would be a good time to replace your clutch and surface the flywheel if they have not been done recently.
Link Posted: 11/27/2001 4:10:32 PM EDT
I am an engineer in the Product Engineering Investigations Department at Nissan. I will ask our transmission guy at work tomorrow and also see if I can find a TSB. Next step is to take it to the dealer. Genuine Nissan parts have a warranty.
Link Posted: 11/27/2001 4:22:06 PM EDT
Link Posted: 11/28/2001 12:04:03 AM EDT
I think most mechanics would agree that just replacing a rear main bearing seal that is leaking badly is not usually a good idea and is just a bandaid until you can get the real problem fixed. Unfortunately, some owners for one reason or another will insist on or beg for a cheap fix. Or the mechanic will feel sympathetic and take a gamble to help the guy out. Then the excess clearance makes the seal fail fairly soon. Basic high school auto shop stuff. However the mechanic should have at least mentioned this possibility to you. If the real problem is not the crank journal bearing, but a groove or other damage where the seal touches the crank, the kits others have mentioned may be worth a try. I don't see how they could help if there is excess bearing clearance, though.
Link Posted: 11/28/2001 2:42:06 AM EDT
Originally Posted By garandman: Gus - 93 Pathfinder with 150K. 5 speed. Seldom off road. I usually do sit in neutral when at idle , clutch not depressed.
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That's actually not a huge amount of mileage. I mentioned the clutch habits from experience, though for me it was with muscle cars with very heavy clutch springs. In your case, you would have to spend a huge amount of time holding the clutch to cause a problem. I fealt it was worth mentioning just in case though, especially if it does turn out to be excessive endplay.
Now, as far as the things you mention - Wouldn't it be standard policy ANY TIME you replace a main seal to check those things??? Wouldn't it only take an extra five minutes to find any such wear / play in the crankshaft???? Shouldn't a "good" mechanic check those, and inform their customer, asking them how to proceed, BEFORE replacing a main seal???
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You are right on all counts. I'm beginning to suspect the shop used an aftermarket seal, or installed it incorrectly. Keep us informed...
Link Posted: 11/28/2001 4:18:00 AM EDT
It's good to have a car mechanic you can trust. I got a volvo/saab dealer who is straight up with me. I do most of the work my self now though (30/60K, typical maintenance & repair). If you go to a new mechanic, check over his work, hell ask if you can watch him do his stuff from a distance ( don't hastle him ofcourse ). Before I knew about basic car mechanics I used to pay the typical $15 or so to get my oil changed. When I first got my car I noticed there was this white thing near the engine that was kinda dented. I later found out that this was the damn oil filter and it was supposed to be changed with the oil change. This was after I had supposedly 2 or 3 'professional' oil changes by different companies (meineke, quaker state wal-mart place). If you can't trust someone with that... you better watch out. The fuc*ers probably thought they might get burnt on the exhaust manifold and said 'screw it.'
Link Posted: 11/28/2001 6:52:49 AM EDT
Originally Posted By garandman:
Originally Posted By shooterX308: PS - taking my kids to Harry Potter this weekend [:D]
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Have fun!!!!!! But don't come whinin' to me when they slay you as a human sacrifice. [:D] [;)] I'm takin a baseball bat to fight my way past all the picketers...
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