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89-W-Body-Regal

How much do you think it would cost for electrical issue and HVAC door vents issue?

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After 5 long months I decided I couldn’t fix the issue anymore. I took the regal to th shop where they gave me an option. Where would you like to start first? Electrical side or HVAC? Well of course I said electrical first because you can drive a car without heat and ac. But not electrical because it’s a safety issue.

 

The mechanic told me that labor for the electrical is how the price keeps increasing because they need check for power and eliminate power from components to see what is working. There are so many wire harness in the car. They would need to remove panels etc to check for good condition of them. And it appears for the HVAC vents stuck in defroster mode, the guy said all the vacuum lines look good. So if his vacuum gage don’t hold the right vacuum he will need to remove the dash and take out the whole unit. This could take days, and again if the parts are bad they would need to find them.

 

How much of a ball park price do you think it would cost separately? Electrical and HVAC each?

They all say the same thing, we don’t know because it’s a matter of taking things apart and checking everything out. But if you had to make a general opinion, how much in the ball park?

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You are stuck between a rock & a hard place,

 

all of the information that I passed on to you did not help you solve the vacuum side of the solenoid box?

 

Were you not able to verify that all of the actuators were good?

 

You did state that you ordered & did have a replacement solenoid, did you install that and get the same result?

 

What happened?

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I have did everything you said exactly as you said it. All the actuators holds good vacuum and both old and new solenoid box does as well. But I had to replace the solenoid box because the old one cracked. All the lines are also good and not cracked. All along I thought it was the vacuum lines worn out due to age. But the shop confirmed they were still good. Everything you told me to do didn’t fix the issue. My luck something has worn out inside where the doors function and I won’t be able to get parts for it.

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Alright,

 

at the time you were testing the individual actuators (vacuum diaphragms) did you notice the plunger arms retracting & pulling on the connected door levers?

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Alright,

 

at the time you were testing the individual actuators (vacuum diaphragms) did you notice the plunger arms retracting & pulling on the connected door levers?

No they seemed ok.. they were connected tightly and plunged vacuum with no issues when I was testing them.

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We should have a thread in FAQ on electrical testing. Most everything can be diagnosed with simple continuity tests and visual inspection

Electrical is one of the areas where I need a lot of work in. I don’t have the experience. I tried fixing the electrical issue on my Buick and almost caught on fire. When that happened I didn’t want to touch anything else causing more damage

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No they seemed ok.. they were connected tightly and plunged vacuum with no issues when I was testing them.

So from what you could observe all of the doors were moving as they should do & none of them were seized in any manner or restricted in their range of movement.

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So from what you could observe all of the doors were moving as they should do & none of them were seized in any manner or restricted in their range of movement.

I couldn’t see all the doors. Only seen the one under the glovebox and where the control actuator motor connects too. Both doors didn’t open automatically. The doors I’ve seen weren’t seized. But they were restricted. I could only open them with my hand.

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How much of a ball park price do you think it would cost separately? Electrical and HVAC each?

They all say the same thing, we don’t know because it’s a matter of taking things apart and checking everything out. But if you had to make a general opinion, how much in the ball park?

This cannot be answered any better than the shop already told you.  The "fix" is dependent on both the actual problem, and the skill, experience, and integrity of the guy performing the work.  It's a total roll-of-the-dice.

 

We called this a "Straight Time" repair, shop rate X hours needed.

 

I tried fixing the electrical issue on my Buick and almost caught on fire.

I suppose it will cost less than destroying your vehicle.

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This cannot be answered any better than the shop already told you. The "fix" is dependent on both the actual problem, and the skill, experience, and integrity of the guy performing the work. It's a total roll-of-the-dice.

 

We called this a "Straight Time" repair, shop rate X hours needed.

 

 

I suppose it will cost less than destroying your vehicle.

I agree on both of them. As long as it’s fixed right it’s all that counts. There are some things I can do and some I can’t do because don’t have the type of exeperience to do them yet. I just hope it don’t cost a forutune. I am pretty sure I fixed the electrical issue the best I could because the wire diagrams helped me out. Just hope the HVAC is not that high demanding. The reason why we been spending thousands of dollars to keep her running strong is because my grandpa bought the car in the showroom and we are the only owners so it’s very sentimental and I love the car with my life.

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THE ELECTRICAL & HVAC ISSUE IS FIXED AFTER SPENDING A LOT OF MONEY: ALL ELECTRICAL IS NOW RESTORED BACK TO WORKING ORDER: I have did a lot of damaged attempting to repair it myself. It cost me 2500 to repair the electrical issue and couple 100 bucks to look the hvac... plus they had to remove my rear bumper to check all the tail light wiring and the defective turn signal i bought NOS did a lot of damaged too. They said I pinched the wires together and stripped the hazard switch bolt. Those two issues is what made the car have a lot of crazy electrical issues. Plus someone who worked on the car before who done electrical work removed the circuit breaker for the headlights and that's why I didn't have headlights. So it's been said that the only thing I done correct was wiring the tail light pig tail in the right order.

 

ON THE HVAC STUCK IN DEFROST MODE: After the electrical was restored the vents had ac blowing out of the vents (face position) again. They said all they had to do was move and clean some grounds and replace fuses... after that the air came right out of the vents... no doors were stuck, no actuators were bad... what's so ever. But I did replace lots of old fuses myself and clean the fuse box in and out of car so I don't know what they could have done differently.  It all comes down to is, It wasn't the electrical issue that made the vents stuck in defrost made because that started happening after I replaced the coil packs. So for both issues it had to do with electrical. Something so simple for the HVAC issue and I didn't see it. It. The mechanic also said he thought it was strange that it had to do with a ground making the vents stuck in defrost mode because it's an vacuum system. But we all learn from our mistakes and I will never touch something I don't know how to fix again without experience.

Edited by 89-W-Body-Regal

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A wise man once said "If you ain't fucking something up you ain't getting nothing done" It's a double negative but I don't think he intended the reverse word play.

 

Anyway, when we make the decision to maintain /repair /modify our own cars there's always things that go wrong. We learn from those mistakes and it's how we become competent. 

 

Everyone here has had things go wrong and made things worse with a novice repair several times over in the beginning. 

 

If you keep trying then things get easier, and yes that shop sounds much too costly.

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Yeah it was, and it was a classic car resto place that could do things other can’t for any old car. But the amount it cost to fix the timing chain cover, fix electrical issue and Vents in defrost mode plus state inspection I could have got en engine rebuild for near the same price. Plus they don’t send you an itemized list and the shop said it took them over 40 hours just to repair the timing chain cover and fix the electrical issue.

Edited by 89-W-Body-Regal

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There is absolutely zero reason to take any of these cars to a classic car restoration place for mechanical work. There is nothing special about them to justify it. An 89 Regal has far more in common with a 2009 GM than a 1969 GM.

It's your money, so spend it how you want, but know that you're getting fleeced by this shop.

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9 hours ago, digitaloutsider said:

There is absolutely zero reason to take any of these cars to a classic car restoration place for mechanical work. There is nothing special about them to justify it. An 89 Regal has far more in common with a 2009 GM than a 1969 GM.

It's your money, so spend it how you want, but know that you're getting fleeced by this shop.

It depends on where he lives and what's available.
Many dealerships will tell people with older cars "go pound sand".  Especially for problems that the original poster had.  Imho, good luck finding any dealership in Mass or Conn that would work on that car.

Electrical troubleshooting can get super expensive very quickly.  And, the chance of the owner being PO'd and Very upset over bill (regardless of the final price) is 100%.
Dealerships here will tell the person to take it to an electrical troubleshooting place.  And, most of those places would have zero experience with a W-Body.

So, often, for older cars that need special/different work/repairs, it can be a big hassle or impossible.  That's very true for older cars that aren't classics or super popular (Camry, Accord, etc).
Yea, places here will replace the brakes, do the half-shafts, replace engines/trannys, etc.  But, when I thought that I'd need to have my tank dropped to replace the fuel pump, because of the rust (from the snow here in New England), the independent rear suspension, the ability/issues in get potential replacement parts for the independent rear suspension, places told me "I was much better off living with a fuel gauge - or be prepared over a thousand in repair cost, and the possibility of the car not being repairable" (but, I'd still be responsible for the accumulated repair costs).

Back many years ago, my '94 Achieva with the rare DOHC, 5-speed, and dual exhaust (ha ha) option need an exhaust.  That section also included the cat.  No OEM, or replacement part was available.  So, every place told me "You're SOL"!  Because of the smog laws, they wouldn't even custom build an a exhaust to the exact OEM spec.  Yea, I don't understand that BS either.  Argg!  But, the Dealerships, every major exhaust place, every local shop I went to, and even the "custom" shops I went to told me the same exact thing.

So, getting different things fixed can vary a lot, depending on where people live.
Fwiw, I made an appointment with a local shop in Northern NH (no smog laws in that section of NH) that a friend knew, I took a long trip up there, had a "custom-made" replacement exhaust system put in, and drove back.  The car never had problems with emissions testing.

So, having an older car, that was not popular, can make it a massive PITA to get even simple things done.

Edited by Cutlass350

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I will agree that there are a great deal of incredibly lazy shops out there, and in my experience, dealerships are absolutely some of the worst. 

Which car were you told they had to mess with the suspension to remove the gas tank? There is no W-body where touching the rear suspension is required for tank removal. As for your Achieva, I can't speak for NH's smog laws, but there is nothing complex or unusual about the exhaust on a N-body, Quad 4 or not. 

My point was really that you can't get any more dead-nuts simple than a 2.8/3.1 1G W Car, and I would take a shop telling me "yeah, it's too old and we're too inept to open up AllData, so we're just going to tell you to get lost" as a dodging a bullet. I'm sure those same shops would be more than willing to diagnose issues on a 2003 Grand Prix SE, which is virtually the same car with nearly the same powertrain.

If a shop can't properly work on a pushrod 1G W car, they shouldn't be working on anything.

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On 8/19/2018 at 9:26 AM, 89-W-Body-Regal said:

Yeah it was, and it was a classic car resto place that could do things other can’t for any old car. But the amount it cost to fix the timing chain cover, fix electrical issue and Vents in defrost mode plus state inspection I could have got en engine rebuild for near the same price. Plus they don’t send you an itemized list and the shop said it took them over 40 hours just to repair the timing chain cover and fix the electrical issue.

 

They're either incompetent, overcharging you, or some combination of both. No way it takes 40hrs to do anything you've mentioned. Any shop with competent techs can work on your car despite the fact that it's "old." If they literally can't, they're probably not a shop you want to deal with in the first place. I suggest finding an independent repair facility in the area that does general repair instead of going back to that classic car place. Talk to friends, family, neighbors, and look on facebook or other social media in your area to see who people use and if they're satisfied with them.

 

On 8/20/2018 at 2:19 AM, Imp558 said:

Electrical diagnostics are fundamentally the same regardless of vehicle.

I'd rather diagnose an older car than a newer one with 30 freaking control modules and 4 electrical centers. 

I don't really have a preference when it comes to old or new. Sometimes the new stuff is very convenient to diagnose because everything communicates.

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On Monday, August 20, 2018 at 11:37 PM, cutlassdude96 said:

the was no rare 94 Achieva with a DHOC engine. there was a W41 option in 92-93 that was rare

It seems like you're confusing "rare" with "desirable/special". :)

The DOHC Achievas are rare in themselves.  Very few were sold.
Mine is a '94 Achieva DOHC with a 5-speedVery few 5-speed Achieva were ever sold.

People can disagree that it's a nice/great/desirable/good car.  But, since it has a 5-speed and DOHC, it is a rare car.
Since very few DOHC Achievas were sold, the aftermarket either never made, and/or made many, of the special dual exhaust pipes.
Yes, dual exhaust for the inline 4-clyinder DOHC Quad4 engine. :)

Btw, with a different intake(the old tubular), the old late 80's DOHC cams (more HP,  less mpg), and a bigger downpipe, those DOHC Quad4s put out ~200+ HP.  In a light car like the Achieva, especially with a 5-speed, it makes for a fun "pocket rocket" car.  However, being a New England car, and also an all-year car, both my rusty '94 Achieva (and my rusty '92 Achieva) are likely seeing their last months.  Plus, neither gets used much anymore.

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4 hours ago, Cutlass350 said:

It seems like you're confusing "rare" with "desirable/special". :)

The DOHC Achievas are rare in themselves.  Very few were sold.
Mine is a '94 Achieva DOHC with a 5-speedVery few 5-speed Achieva were ever sold.

People can disagree that it's a nice/great/desirable/good car.  But, since it has a 5-speed and DOHC, it is a rare car.
Since very few DOHC Achievas were sold, the aftermarket either never made, and/or made many, of the special dual exhaust pipes.
Yes, dual exhaust for the inline 4-clyinder DOHC Quad4 engine. :)

Btw, with a different intake(the old tubular), the old late 80's DOHC cams (more HP,  less mpg), and a bigger downpipe, those DOHC Quad4s put out ~200+ HP.  In a light car like the Achieva, especially with a 5-speed, it makes for a fun "pocket rocket" car.  However, being a New England car, and also an all-year car, both my rusty '94 Achieva (and my rusty '92 Achieva) are likely seeing their last months.  Plus, neither gets used much anymore.

I know. There were 3 versions of the Quad4 in them a 160hp, 180, 190 also a SOHC was offered 

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Thanks guys. I did get taken advantage of and you are right. The thing that made it worse was he never gived me an itemized list of the reason he spent that much time on the labor. I’ve could have gotten an engine rebuild for what it’s cost me to repair 3 issues and they had the car for 2 months almost and probably sat for a period of time

Edited by 89-W-Body-Regal

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I did contact the better business bureau because they did a shitty job and still didn’t fix things I asked them to do because they forgot. The mechanic was incompetent and I want everyone to know that place was a joke. The thing is lots of independent repair places in my area can’t fix a car like mine because if I need a part that don’t know where to locate it or make one. This is the reason I have to go to classic car places because the car is a classic now and parts aren’t easy to find sometimes. Most shops don’t want to help you find parts. So I always have to find the place who will make the part or keep searching online for the part number.

Edited by 89-W-Body-Regal

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