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How did retirement lead to fixing cars??!!

Discussion in 'Fred's House of Pancakes' started by jerrymildred, Mar 4, 2022.

  1. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    No, we don't do preemptive HG replacement; only if it's blown. That's an all-day job for a trained mechanic. But any Gen 3 with over a certain number on the odometer (I don't remember the exact miles), whether it's from auction or a trade-in, does get a EGR system cleaning that includes the cooler, valve, pipe, and intake manifold.

    And yes, we do take trade-ins. Obviously, the value will depend on how much work it will take to make it ready for sale. We don't do full restorations, but we make them as good as is reasonable. Often it involves a new HG and sometimes even a replacement engine. (But we hope not! :eek:) Todd's the owner, so he decides whether we want a car or not, of course. I have seen him send one Ford back to the auction house because it wasn't worth fixing.

    Prepping a used car for sale is generally a pretty extensive process that takes one of us all day under normal conditions. Add another day if it needs a HG. More if it needs paint, upholstery, etc. Fleas and roaches take another day or two to de-infest. And then most of a day for the on-site detailers. It's a job to turn some of these into something nice enough that someone will want it. And once in a while a creampuff shows up like the Chrysler Pacifica PHEV we just got. Ya never know what the day will bring. That's part of the fun.
     
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  2. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    Got to run through some tall grass yesterday. One of the other guys and I replaced the hybrid battery in a Lexus NX300h. First time for all of us. Sheesh! They worked hard at making that thing a lot of work. Buried under a cage. And several cables pass through the bottom center of the battery case.
    IMG_5323 Large.jpeg
     
  3. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web BMW i3 and Model 3

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    Then you might appreciate the Munro teardown:


    Bob Wilson
     
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  4. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    Yeah I sure hope so. And it's a largely untapped "business model"; next to nobody is addressing these 3rd gen issues. Least of all Toyota.

    Maybe a month back you mentioned something about (3rd gen) preemptive EGR cleaning, AND head gasket replacement. For any car with over 150K? I did think at the time doing the head gasket was a bit heroic. Probably just awkward wording, misread.

    Yeah it makes more sense to cross bridges when you come to them. Sad thing is though, if you guys acquire a 3rd gen with over 150K miles and EGR cleaning never done, head gasket failure has a fair chance of manifesting.
     
    #84 Mendel Leisk, Jul 21, 2022
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2022
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  5. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    It's less than 150k. Seems like either 100 or 130. Not sure, but I was prepping an inventory car this week (2010) with 130k miles and replaced the EGR system with one I'd cleaned last week. Also new spark plugs, PCV valve, and engine oil. But that's what we do with Gen 3 inventory cars and trade ins that we plan to sell. Customer cars get what the customer asks for, of course.

    Sometimes they come with blown head gaskets. Our guys do a lot of HG repairs.
     
  6. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    Since I don't see a forum especially for "weird things you find while fixing cars," I'll just drop this one in here.

    In prepping a used car for sale yesterday, I needed to replace the catalytic converter and piping between the exhaust manifold and the muffler because it was all wonky looking and one section was sticking way down. Whoever welded it up wasn't very particular -- to say the least. One front bolt was the wrong one and the other wouldn't come out. Upon closer inspection, I found yet another bolt. Sheesh!! Time to break out the reciprocating saw. ... And replace the exhaust manifold.

    IMG_5452 Large.jpeg IMG_5453 Large.jpeg IMG_5455 Large.jpeg

    This morning, before it gets too hot, I need to go out back and remove a manifold from one of our parts cars since we don't have a spare manifold on hand.
     
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  7. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    I must say, this is the first time ever that I read a comment on a used car dealer actually fixing things before sales. I usually read comments by the unsuspecting buyers who purchased a used car and later found out things the seller hid from them unfixed before the sale. I wonder how common practice it is for a used car dealer to actually "fix" things that are not cosmetic before the sale?
     
    #87 Salamander_King, Aug 23, 2022
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2022
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  8. farmecologist

    farmecologist Senior Member

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    Yep...Tampa Hybrids has a great reputation. I was about to fly down there from MN and pick one up after my daughter's 2010 got totaled a while back. A Prius C in great condition magically appeared locally for a good price literally a couple days before I was supposed to go pick it up.
     
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  9. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    We have a monster check list.

    It was a 2005 with 171k miles. I replaced the exhaust from the engine to just in front of the muffler, installed a cat shield, changed the spark plugs, PCV valve, engine and cabin air filters, replaced the torn rear wiper blade, cleaned the hybrid battery fan, replaced the rusted spare tire hold-down bolt (after cutting and ripping off the plastic handle), cleaned the throttle body & MAF sensor, polished the headlights, reattached a loose plastic piece behind the right front wheel, pumped up all four tires, checked the rubber parts, checked for leaks and replaced a dead fob battery. Oh! And someone had ripped open the hood insulation to apparently replace the windshield washer hose, misrouting the hose in the process. I removed the insulation, re-fed the hose, and put on an insulation panel from one of our parts cars. Before I started on the car, a coworker had checked all the lights and controls. When I was done I took it on about a 15 mile test drive. Tomorrow the detailers start on it. Oops! I just remembered that I forgot to replace one of the vanity mirror bulbs that's burned out. I can do that tomorrow when the detailers get done.

    Like I said, we don't restore them, but we make them as nice as we can and still make money on them.

    Edit to add: on a car that old, there's no limit to the work that COULD be done, but there is a limit to what's practical if you want to price it to sell.
     
    #89 jerrymildred, Aug 23, 2022
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2022
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  10. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    Yeah, having that much service and repair would have to cut into a profit. I am sure a car dealer buys car at lower price point for that reason. When I tried to replace our 10+year-old Sienna, the trade-in was offered at a dealer for just $650. It did have a major rust problem but was still in running condition. I did not take the offer but instead, try to sell it as is on my own. But in the end, I could not find any taker, and I ran out of my patience and sold it to an online auctioneer (kind like an online junkyard) for a little over $2K. I have no idea how much it was sold at the auction, and if someone who bought it fixed it and sold it or not. The used car market has way too many variables and unknowns.
     
    #90 Salamander_King, Aug 23, 2022
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2022
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  11. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    With used car prices what they are, it might not cut into profit all that much. Here's the car I prepped Thursday. The detailers did another great job. I did more to it than is described and it took most of the day, but it came out nice. It better, for that price, but I'm sure it'll sell pretty quickly. Looks nearly new.
    Tampa FL - 2008 Toyota Prius Hybrid #2 Touring Leather Camera BRAND NEW HYBRID BATTERY 108K Miles - Car for Sale - Tampa Hybrids Inc.

    Screen Shot 2022-08-27 at 2.58.22 PM Large.jpeg
     
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  12. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    When I saw this one, I laughed out loud. It was an inventory car from auction that I was prepping to sale.

    IMG_5473 Large.jpeg

    Then I wondered if I'd be able to get it off. The filter wrench was really on there and wasn't moving. The hex part was too buggered up to get the right socket on it. Thankfully, it wasn't over-tight like happens so often. Came right off with and adjustable wrench and a piece of pipe. After two quick attempts to get it apart, I 86ed it and put on a new cap.
     
  13. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) The OTHER One Percenter.....

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    Don't think we get to blame a dealer for that one..... :ROFLMAO:
     
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  14. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    Aluminum? Better than tofu anyway.
     
  15. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    Is the oil pan supposed to be attached with different fasteners around?
     
  16. farmecologist

    farmecologist Senior Member

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    Geez...I sure wouldn't want to be behind that one on the freeway when the cap calls off...yikes! o_O
     
  17. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    Mostly bolts but a couple of studs with nuts, for alignment?

    Addendum: checked, and yeah that's the case. See attached.
     

    Attached Files:

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  18. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    Yup.

    Apparently so. I never paid attenntion before, but another picture shows a stud and nut on the near corner as well. And thanks, @Mendel Leisk for looking that up.

    No kidding!! However, I don't think it was ever going to fall off. That puppy was STUCK. A coworker jokingly suggested I leave it there. He was just kidding, but I think a lot of people would. Well at least one person would since they did. I can only imagine what a buyer would think of us if they saw that when they changed their oil for the first time. :eek: Thankfully, we had one new cap in stock. Time to order some more.
     
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  19. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    Well, actual retirement is about to begin. I have been having a ton of fun working with the guys at https://www.tampahybrids.com. But it will be been one year on Feb. 28 and Todd has a super good crew working for him now. So, to complete the regular work week, I'll work March 1 and that will be my last day there.

    I've made some great friends, learned a ton of stuff, and hopefully been able to be a positive influence on some terrific young guys.
     
  20. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    Congratulations on real retirement Jerry!
    Although, I suspect it won’t last :cautious: