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Discussion Starter #1
Hello. Hope you can help answer a question from a complete novice!

A friend with a 2000 Toyota Corolla, 93,000 miles, had engine trouble while far out of state. A mechanic towed the vehicle, said it needed a new engine, and quoted $2,500, which she paid. Four months later, with the engine knocking, her local mechanic replaced the power steering pump and said the engine was never replaced (VIN numbers matched.)

The out-of-state mechanic now claims he ordered a salvage engine, determined it was in poor condition when it arrived, and so instead "fixed" the bearings to get her on her way. Said it was a miscommunication and has offered to return $1,000.

Separate from whether this guy should be strung up, my question is this: Is there a way for either a layman or a mechanic to determine -- without taking the engine apart -- whether the bearings were in fact replaced?

Thanks!
 

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4 Wheels of Fury
2005 Toyota Tacoma
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49 Posts
Well... a vehicle has a variety of bearings so the first thing to do is determine which ones he is refering to.

Camshaft bearings: Hold the camshaft in place and allow it to rotate smoothly. The lobes of the camshaft are what cause your valves to open/close and engages your injectors.

Connecting Rod bearings: These are what connect your pistons to your crankshaft. They allow the rod to rotate freely as the crankshaft turns and either pulls or pushes your pistons up and down.

Main bearings: These are what allow the crankshaft to rotate smoothly and are connected to the actual engine block.

And then there are also bearings in your transmission which I'm not that knowledgeable on :sorry: but someone else should be able to explain.

All of these bearings need constant oil supplied to them otherwise the rotation (friction) will build up heat and really cause some damage. Without good knowledge of an engine and proper tools this would be difficult but for a mechanic they should be able to check the main and connecting rod bearings by removing the oil pan. The camshaft (not sure if it's overhead or internal) should be viewable once you have the valve cover removed.

Sounds like a lot but a mechanic should be able to verify these things given a day's worth of work. I feel for your friend though. She totally got hosed :(
 

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89Terc3dr/92pu4x4
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357 Posts
Far as I know, you gotta tear it down to be sure. How ever you can see if its been accessed. The pan would have to be pulled at least. Every thing on the front of the motor had to come off too. Balancer/pulley, belts, and such. I think the tranny, at least a manual, would have to be accessed, if not separated as well. At 93,000 mi, its possible those items have never been removed.
Look on the receipt for the word “new” & sue. $2500 is cheap for new and install.

Funny, a bearing (rod end/crank, or even wrist pin) generally wouldn’t require a tow. 'lessen it tossed a rod, crank or piston. It usually just causes some one to shut the motor down cause it makes a gawd awful noise. If the motor did quit, the damage is generally far more extensive than just a simple bearing install.
 

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Premium Member
'91 MR2 Turbo
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19,831 Posts
There is no way to tell if the engine bearings were replaced without taking the engine apart. Even if you did take it apart, it would be almost impossible to tell if the bearings are new since the car has been driven and there is some wear on them.
I hate crooked mechanics!
 

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The Return of the Red Coupe
2010 RAV4 V6
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19,665 Posts
Did he replace the muffler bearings? wow! :disappoin

I would take him to court and ask for more than $1000 back, if the motor was already in bad shape he should've returned it and found another one... $2500 could've got that motor rebuilt, $1000 could've got him a used 1ZZFE motor alone... so he charged $1500 to put it on? :yikes:
 

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mixed bag 'o vehicles
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2,864 Posts
something is fishy here. the mechanic certainly took advantage of the situation. what was her initial engine problem where the car needed to be towed?
 
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