QUOTE(mfk @ Sep 21 2007, 09:49 AM)
So I've got this 2001 Honda Accord 5 speed. A couple weeks ago, a check engine light came on and it started acting funny. When I'd get up to about 3000 RPMs in either first or 2nd gear, the car would start 'hiccupping" until i shifted to 3rd. I brought it to my mechanic and a week and $500 labor, i get it back and it's doing the same thing. So i bring it back and they do a a shitload of work on it, changing belts, replacing the head gasket and a bunch of other stuff. I get it back yesterday after shelling out $1200 and later that evening, it started doing the EXACT FUCKING THING I BROUGHT IT IN FOR IN THE FIRST PLACE.
So i guess it's pretty obvious that those guys don't know what the hell is wrong with it because they seem to be fixing everything else but the problem, but now i'm invested w/ those guys for some serious coin. I can take it somewhere else, but frankly i can't afford any more work on it and i feel those guys owe me. I've already spent a 3rd of what i paid for the car in the first place.
So i guess my questions are:
1) what the hell is wrong w/ my car
2) what kind of recourse do i have w/ the mechanics in this situation. Am i at the point where i can pretty much demand that they fix it for free?
Four cylinder Honda engnies almost never blow head gaskets, (I mean like, never unless someone has abused the fuck out of it) and belt changing is (or should be) a standard maint. service that wouldn't cause the symptoms of which you speak. You had the mistfortune of taking your car to an asshole who doesn't have clue #1 about car diagnostics, and will subsequently throw parts at a problem like this (but really, even given this, a head gasket makes ZERO fucking sense) until they luck out and fix it, or you go away and bring your car somewhere else.
Assuming it's an 01 with the 2.2 engine (and possibly Cali emissions tuning) it's almost for sure an oxygen sensor. If it does has Cali emissions, then it's got a heated 02 up on bank 1, and it will be a lot more money than it would for a car with Fed emissions.
You got hosed, and you should absolutely take this asshole to smail claims court. Out of curiousity, which garage did you take you car to ? I could probably tell you right off the bat whether it's someone who does this shit all the time (I'm sure it is anyway).
And Redneck is absolutely right in advising NON do-it-yourselfers with strangeish car symptoms to take their car to a dealer. They have all the most up to date diagnostic equipment, and you probably would have been looking at around $500 total to actually fix this problem, vs. $1700 just get ass fucked. A jerk off mechanic like this probably does just fine changing oil, a simple tune up, or maybe doing brakes (maybe) but when it comes to shit like this, caveat emptor to the fucking nth degree.
Sorry to hear about this.