Thursday, July 24, 2008

Sur Motors update #2

So we went to pick up the car from Sur Motors on Tuesday, July 22nd. They said that it would be ready by 4pm. We got there and they were still working on it. But Jose gave me the bill and said that I could pay that while I waited. It was surprising! The $1000 estimate turned out to be very cautious. The final bill was only $130. Apparently only a few plastic parts in the transmission had to be replaced (imported too). The largest cost was the removal and reinstallation of the transmission. We happily paid this sum and headed back over to the garage.

They had been revving the engine a bit before we went to pay and when we returned they were still doing it to test something. This had me a bit worried that something wasn't quite working right. After a bit of a wait, they called us back into the garage to take a look. Jose explained that the problem was that the car did not idle well and would sputter out. He showed me the spark plug cables and they rubber coating on most of them had been melted (little bubbles and holes). They tested with another pair of spark plug cables (from some other car I believe) and the engine idled with no problems. So we needed to replace the 4 spark plug cables.

That sounds really simply right? Well, we're in Peru. Nothing is simple here. It turns out that not only do they not keep these in stock in Arequipa, but Lima is also sold out of them. So we had to goto the parts office and wait for the guy to get a quote and estimate. It turns out that they will cost around $55 for the full set of 4 and it will take about 25 working days to import them!

So as of tomorrow the car will have been in the shop unable to drive for a month now and is expected to be out of commission sitting in the garage for over a month more. Ugh! I am certainly getting an education on cars lately. I thought that I had replaced most of the important parts already. But I've learned that you need to check/replace the transmission oil after (or before) buying a used car and replace the spark plug cables after 50-100k miles).

It would have been nice if they had noticed this spark plug cable problem before I was set to drive the car out of the shop, but I guess that's just how it goes in Peru.

No comments: