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Hi! My Sky RL 2008's coolant light went on and I noticed a pink puddle underneath it. I took it to a local auto mechanic and they charged me over $2400 to fix it and then I noticed after I picked it up there was a whining noise. I brought it back and they said it was a tensioner and charged me another $800. Then I realized on my drive home that the air conditioning doesn't work. I'm so frustrated, that was one of the things I noticed which is why I brought it in in the first place. The auto mechanic said it's two different things. I'm thinking I am not the car expert, they should have fixed everything while they had it. What do you think? Thanks.
 

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The puddle was likely the water pump, and $2400 is high but in the range of what others have reported. The whine was the tensioner, but it was their error during the water pump repair that probably caused it.

What is the air conditioning not doing, and what did the mechanic say was causing it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The puddle was likely the water pump, and $2400 is high but in the range of what others have reported. The whine was the tensioner, but it was their error during the water pump repair that probably caused it.

What is the air conditioning not doing, and what did the mechanic say was causing it?
Hi - Thank you so much for your reply! The air conditioning is not cold and the mechanic did not say anything about what was causing it. I'm the one who complained to him that it wasn't working.
 

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This is heartbreaking.

The $2400 for the water pump was excessive. As John said, it’s in the realm of what’s been charged before... but that’s at the “damn, that’s way too expensive” side.

To make matters worse, it was their incompetence that caused the whine. They then charge you an additional $800 for their mistake.

If you search for water pump whine here on the forums, you’ll see previous posts discussing the issue.

I’d search for a more trustworthy mechanic if I were you.

What city are you located in? Maybe others here could offer other recommendations.
 

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Check if your radiator fan is working. Usually, when you turn on the A/C the rad fan will turn on (you can check this while parked). If it doesn't turn on, your A/C compressor will not engage. They may have disconnected or damaged the wiring when doing the other repairs.

Once you get this fixed you should challenge them to get at least the $800 back. This WAS their fault. Threaten to sue, or contact the BBB, or give crap reviews on Yelp/Facebook etc. If they don't refund you, then do all those things.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
This is heartbreaking.

The $2400 for the water pump was excessive. As John said, it’s in the realm of what’s been charged before... but that’s at the “damn, that’s way too expensive” side.

To make matters worse, it was their incompetence that caused the whine. They then charge you an additional $800 for their mistake.

If you search for water pump whine here on the forums, you’ll see previous posts discussing the issue.

I’d search for a more trustworthy mechanic if I were you.

What city are you located in? Maybe others here could offer other recommendations.
Thank you, I told them they need to fix my a/c for free at this point, or else I may put up a yelp post or something. I'm not that kind of person, but I just felt like they took advantage of me. The mechanic is in Chester, NJ. Thanks again for the support, you made me feel better.
 

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Did you bring it to a mechanic shop that are familiar with these cars or a generic auto repair shop?
I agree the price is high. But that's water under the bridge. I'm not clear how a waterpump/thermostat repair would affect AC performance. Heating yes... but AC. Perhaps something was bumped during the repair job?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Did you bring it to a mechanic shop that are familiar with these cars or a generic auto repair shop?
I agree the price is high. But that's water under the bridge. I'm not clear how a waterpump/thermostat repair would affect AC performance. Heating yes... but AC. Perhaps something was bumped during the repair job?
Hi, I brought it to a generic auto repair shop - clearly a mistake. I should have brought it to the dealer. So, my AC had stopped working around the same time as the coolant light was lighting up, so i brought it in to fix both of those problems. This morning, the shop called me and they felt bad, so they offerred to look at my AC for free. I brought it in and they said they need to replace the cap? and now it works but they said it has leaks so it will not last that long. Thanks for your response.
 

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Hi! My Sky RL 2008's coolant light went on and I noticed a pink puddle underneath it. I took it to a local auto mechanic and they charged me over $2400 to fix it and then I noticed after I picked it up there was a whining noise. I brought it back and they said it was a tensioner and charged me another $800. Then I realized on my drive home that the air conditioning doesn't work. I'm so frustrated, that was one of the things I noticed which is why I brought it in in the first place. The auto mechanic said it's two different things. I'm thinking I am not the car expert, they should have fixed everything while they had it. What do you think? Thanks.
I had the same problem with my 2009 turbo Sky 3800 miles and the GM dealer clipped me for $1650 they charged $420 for a water pump you can buy all day for $80. I have a broken interior door handle that I am fixing myself,: eBay charged me $69 for a cheap piece of plastic. There are very few parts out there, so can expect to spend a lot of money.
 

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The puddle was likely the water pump, and $2400 is high but in the range of what others have reported. The whine was the tensioner, but it was their error during the water pump repair that probably caused it.
Could be but maybe not, too. As someone who recently went through this with my '08 Redline, I was also skeptical of my mechanic who I took it to who claimed that the water pump change tool sometimes fails and results in the whining whereby you have to then go in through the crank case. Thing is, after watching the following video, his claim makes sense:


(The guy in the video explains why the tool isn't always successful, which is exactly what my mechanic friend tried to explain to me.)

As far as I'm concerned, the fact remains that this tool is / was officially sanctioned by GM. So if the OP brought his (or her?) Sky to a dealership but still got dinged for the tensioner correction, that would be something I'd be miffed about and something the customer would have a leg to stand on for a dealership recompense. The $2,400 should be the grand total, inclusive of the correction. But since they didn't appear to bring it into a dealership, the mom-and-pop shop they used proves that not all dealerships are "stealerships." (That's not directed to anyone on here... It's just that there seems to be this knee-jerk reaction that all dealerships screw customers over when that's just not true.)

The $2400 for the water pump was excessive.
Gotta disagree. We now live in a world where mechanics who happen to be trained and experienced in repairing these discontinued vehicles with an ever-sparse supply of parts is becoming more and more difficult to do without problems by the day. On top of all this, the water pump replacement job isn't something to scoff at for many reasons, the least of which is what I explained above with the over-dependence of a faulty tool prone to enabling the ratcheting of the tensioner, especially when considering the angles and muscle memory mechanics have to endure when positioning and bolting everything together when they lack easy access that could reduce likelihood of bad tool use and help avoid needing to go in through the crank case. I think people on here (and elsewhere) drastically underestimate what goes into changing these water pumps and all the pitfalls that go into it when you think about every component and part being manipulated. If some of you happen to be fortunate enough to have a brother-in-law who's willing to charge you only a grilled Porterhouse w/ a couple Coronas to do all this for you, fantastic. By all means, have at it... But the lower costs for a job like this shouldn't be viewed as the standard. It's the exception. $2,400? To me, that's right on target, everything considered. Anyone who thinks otherwise takes things for granted or isn't keeping in mind the number of dimensions involved.

But like others have said, the $800 is worth complaining about but since a non-dealership operation was used, it's unlikely to be won.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I had the same problem with my 2009 turbo Sky 3800 miles and the GM dealer clipped me for $1650 they charged $420 for a water pump you can buy all day for $80. I have a broken interior door handle that I am fixing myself,: eBay charged me $69 for a cheap piece of plastic. There are very few parts out there, so can expect to spend a lot of money.
Thanks. I have never had any problems before, but I guess I have put too many miles on it now! And I am not a mechanic myself, so dependent on the experts to diagnose properly and fix thoroughly. Have a great summer.
 

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(The guy in the video explains why the tool isn't always successful, which is exactly what my mechanic friend tried to explain to me.)
The guy in your video only explained... a theory. Here’s the sad part about this video and theory: he shows the tool connected to the sprocket... outside of the engine. He has the engine opened up and able to demonstrate how the tool might fail right at the spot... but he chose not to. He had fun with an uninstalled sprocket and dangled it around. I’m not saying his theory might not be sound- but he could’ve demonstrated it right on the engine and purposefully chose not to. It‘s more likely that a mechanic who isn’t being careful and/or isn’t familiar with the tool will mess up before the tool itself does. I only have my own experience to go by though.


Gotta disagree. We now live in a world where mechanics who happen to be trained and experienced in repairing these discontinued vehicles with an ever-sparse supply of parts is becoming more and more difficult to do without problems by the day.
You’re talking about a car that’s been off the market for 13 years... not 53. And worse, the Gen III ecotec is one of the U.S.‘s most popular 4 cylinder engines and still manufactured & sold today. To add insult to injury, this “ever-sparse supply of parts” doesn’t even come into play here... because the water pump IS a readily available part; and under a hundred bucks to boot!


I think people on here (and elsewhere) drastically underestimate what goes into changing these water pumps and all the pitfalls that go into it when you think about every component and part being manipulated. If some of you happen to be fortunate enough to have a brother-in-law who's willing to charge you only a grilled Porterhouse w/ a couple Coronas to do all this for you, fantastic. By all means, have at it...
Most of us here who post regularly are DIY‘rs. Heck, a few would rather be caught dead than have another mechanic touch their kappa. I’d go as so far as to say they’d rather give up their wives before giving up their keys! (Ok, I’m joshing with this last part). I‘ve changed the water pumps of a 2.4 and a 2.0. I’m in S. FL now, but back when I lived in Los Angeles, when I didn’t have space to do my own repairs, my water pump failed. The GM dealer wanted $1,650. A mechanic I trusted, someone who’d proved his worth time and time again charged me $795 (shout-out to J‘s Auto Clinic in Burbank!). We shouldn’t (and don’t) need to have a family member be the only solution to not getting price gouged.



But the lower costs for a job like this shouldn't be viewed as the standard. It's the exception. $2,400? To me, that's right on target, everything considered. Anyone who thinks otherwise takes things for granted or isn't keeping in mind the number of dimensions involved.
Two THOUSAND Dollars... for a water pump replacement...

You thinking $2,400 should be the average cost... is just insane to me. If I’m understanding you correctly, you had a mechanic do this job for you and it was expensive. Something must’ve happened because you said he needed to explain to you how using the tool might not always work. I understand. I’m all for you paying $2,400 if you’d like... it‘s your money.

For anyone else looking for opinions though... my suggestion- open your (yelp, google maps, etc) app, find the 5 top rated mechanics in your area, call for quotes and see what the average might be around you.
 
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