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Advice re: Father-In-Law

05-06-2005, 09:57 PM
Please know that I don't have all the specifics, but I'm not trying to get too deep into them right now. Here's what I know:

Father-In-Law (FIL) drives a 94 Eldorado
FIL didn't want to pull over on the express way and tried to "make it"
FIL no longer drives a 94 Eldorado
mechanic says he needs a new engine and trans
FIL is a dentist - not the most mechanical, but not embarrassing
FIL wants to "help us out" by giving us the car

I'm not exactly sure what went wrong with the car before it quit. I'm not even sure that the engine and trans both need to be replaced. The mechanic says they both have to go and that we should get a used set and avoid rebuilt. Again, I don't know why he would say this.

Now, here's my question:
Would it be worth it for us to take the car and get the work done?
How much would be reasonable?


05-07-2005, 11:40 PM
The answer here is accurate diagnosis. Most likely the transmission or the engine is fine. It is very rare for both to fail at the same time, and there is no reason to repair or replace both if only one is bad.
If you are planning to keep the car for more than a year or two, go for a rebuild. Including installation either engine or trans rebuild will cost $1500 - 2500. A used item will cost about 2/3 this price, however, you do not know how much life is left in a used one.

05-07-2005, 11:48 PM

To enter diagnostic mode:
1. Turn ignition "ON."
2. Depress the "OFF" and "WARMER" buttons on the Climate Control Center (CCC) simultaneously and hold until the segment check appears on the Instrument Panel Cluster (IPC).

To get out of the diagnostic mode anytime during the test, depress the "AUTO" or "DEFOG" button, or turn the ignition switch "OFF."

The link below will bring you to the code descriptions:

05-26-2005, 11:24 PM
Thank you for sharing the knowledge.
We are now actively pursuing the repair. My wife really likes the car.
I did chat with my FIL and he explained the before it died, the car wouldn't go more than 45 mph or so. In Michigan, this is an offense punishable by death (or so some drivers would have you think). He said he was "giving it all she's got" but it just wouldn't go. The tach red-lined (my words, not his) and he coasted to a stop. That's the best way I can tell the story that he told me. So, you're now getting the information 2nd-hand (or 3rd, maybe).
Anyway, one of the family's friends is eligible for a discount with GM. He is now looking for an engine and trans for us. I'm still not sure why the tech would say not rebuilt.
Does this sound like I need both done? I'm thinking I'll do one or the other. At $1500+ each, I'm not inclined to get both. This one - for me - absolutely does come down to money. Am I being too cheap? :confused:

05-27-2005, 05:40 PM
I'm confused by your response. Did you find out what exactly is wrong with the car via the on-board diagnostics? What are the trouble codes? What do you mean by "the repair"? In other words, I assume you know for a fact that both the engine and transaxle need to be replace, and why. If you don't, then why would you want to replace either one? I gave you the on-board diagnostics information because it's a sophisticated tool that will provide invaluable information that will help you to determine whether the engine and/or transmission need to be replaced. Just because the car can only go 45mph doesn't prove anything. All it means is the car wonít go over 45mph. Unless you know exactly why the car wonít go over 45mph, it would be foolish to assume that the engine and/or transaxle need to be replaced. If you want to jump to conclusions or listen to people who probably donít know what theyíre talking about, then thatís your prerogative; but it may end up being a $1,500 mistake. The point is, before you go out and spend $1,500 plus on a new engine and transaxle you should make sure itís necessary.

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