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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I finally got my car into a repair shop to troubleshoot why it's been overheating. Thankfully it wasn't a blown head gasket as I expected and there was no damage to the engine. However, my mechanic found a considerable crack in the radiator.

Do you think this crack was there when I purchased the car, therefore should be the dealers responsibility? I've had the car for a little over 90 days and have only put 1,600 miles on it (total mileage at 44k). Something like this concerns me because I wonder if it was a pre-existing problem that was just made worse, or just happened to break at the wrong time.

Regardless, I'm looking at about a $2,500 repair bill (includes new radiator from Maserati, new thermostat and new air and oil filters). Does this cost sound about right? The shop thats doing it is the only guy that will work on these cars remotely around me so I'm not sure if he's inflating the price a bit or if this is standard for what this should cost? I hate to dump $2,500 into a car I just purchased, do you think I have a (legal) right to make the dealer pay for this repair?
 

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Check out the radiator prices on Eurospares...

That seems a bit high to me... You should ask them how many hours of labor they are going to take and what the price of the radiator is, etc... Sounds like to me he is doing more like a scheduled maintenance and the radiator.

http://www.eurospares.co.uk/index.asp

http://www.eurospares.co.uk/partsListing.asp?M=3&Mo=380&A=1&B=20136&S=&ID4=877795

184 Pounds which is about $360.00 USD.

If it's just the radiator then why are they worried about the oil and the air filter? I wouldn't put the cardboard stock air filter into the car, it's junk, I would get with Jeff @ Formula Dynamics and get the BMC filter. You can also get the Oil change kit from Jeff at a good price as well, or just pick it up locally.
 

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Regardless, I'm looking at about a $2,500 repair bill (includes new radiator from Maserati, new thermostat and new air and oil filters). Does this cost sound about right? The shop thats doing it is the only guy that will work on these cars remotely around me so I'm not sure if he's inflating the price a bit or if this is standard for what this should cost? I hate to dump $2,500 into a car I just purchased, do you think I have a (legal) right to make the dealer pay for this repair?
In most, if not all, US states, Caveat Emptor prevails. Unless the dealer expressed or implied a used car warranty, your probably have no legal recourse. If the issue was found in the first couple of days of ownership, most dealers would repair the car (in their own shop) for free. 60 or 90 days into ownership, you are probably on your own.

As for the cost of the repair, you can usually help keep your parts costs down by purchasing parts yourself from places like EuroSpares and just paying the shop to do the install. I did this with a replacement grill on my car and saved over $1,800 on the one part alone!

Sorry to hear about the problem. There is nothing worse than running into repair bill after only a couple of months of ownership.



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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the help guys. You've all basically reiterated my thoughts.

In regards to the radiator- my mechanic said he "believes" it cost about $600- I told him about the one on Eurospares and he said that with shipping over to the US it would be comprable, although I doubt shipping it would be much more than $1000.

My thoughts exactly about the air and oil filter. If I need a new air filter I mind as well get the performance one from Jeff. And oil filters should be pretty standard. He's claiming they need to be replaced becasue they are both really worn and were damaged when the radiator cracked and leaked coolant everywhere.

I called him this morning prior to reading your responses to see about switching out the stock air filter with the performance air filter instead. He told me that he ordered all the parts directly from Maserati already. The repair shop says "they will not install anything on the car unless it is authorized and comes direct from Maserati", ouch. Also, he says that the parts have already been ordered and pre-paid and that when purchasing from Maserati they have a no-refund, you buy-you own policy.

If I'm guessing right I could have the parts and labor for this job wrapped up for about $1,000-$1,200. I might just tell this guy to go screw himself or drop down the price to that range. I can order all the parts myself- get the performance air filter and have it done for far cheaper from another mechanic (installing a radiator can't be that hard). Then again I told him "whatever it takes to fix it", although he never called me prior to ordering anything to so I could authorize it and verify the cost. What do you guys think?
 

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Thanks for the help guys. You've all basically reiterated my thoughts.

In regards to the radiator- my mechanic said he "believes" it cost about $600- I told him about the one on Eurospares and he said that with shipping over to the US it would be comprable, although I doubt shipping it would be much more than $1000.

My thoughts exactly about the air and oil filter. If I need a new air filter I mind as well get the performance one from Jeff. And oil filters should be pretty standard. He's claiming they need to be replaced becasue they are both really worn and were damaged when the radiator cracked and leaked coolant everywhere.

I called him this morning prior to reading your responses to see about switching out the stock air filter with the performance air filter instead. He told me that he ordered all the parts directly from Maserati already. The repair shop says "they will not install anything on the car unless it is authorized and comes direct from Maserati", ouch. Also, he says that the parts have already been ordered and pre-paid and that when purchasing from Maserati they have a no-refund, you buy-you own policy.

If I'm guessing right I could have the parts and labor for this job wrapped up for about $1,000-$1,200. I might just tell this guy to go screw himself or drop down the price to that range. I can order all the parts myself- get the performance air filter and have it done for far cheaper from another mechanic (installing a radiator can't be that hard). Then again I told him "whatever it takes to fix it", although he never called me prior to ordering anything to so I could authorize it and verify the cost. What do you guys think?
When you purchase parts from your mechanic he will usually warranty parts and labor. My experience is that parts and labor warranties range from 6-12 months.
If you bring your own parts in and they fail in 3 months, you eat the labor to pull it out and put the replacement part back in. Why would the mechanic cover the labor of removing a faulty part that he didn't provide you?
You must take that scenario into consideration.
 

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if you are in the US...

use Riciambi, they are in North Carolina . I ordered a thermostat from them which was $90, the dealer wanted $145.
 

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The repair shop says "they will not install anything on the car unless it is authorized and comes direct from Maserati", ouch. Also, he says that the parts have already been ordered and pre-paid and that when purchasing from Maserati they have a no-refund, you buy-you own policy.

Then again I told him "whatever it takes to fix it", although he never called me prior to ordering anything to so I could authorize it and verify the cost. What do you guys think?
Some shops will not install parts they did not order. As mentioned, it may have to do with the parts warranty.

Honestly, if you told them to do “whatever it takes” or any variant of such an order, you are probably stuck. You authorized them to make the repair without any stipulation on price. If you had told them to “do whatever it takes unless the total bill goes over $xxxx”, it would be a different story.



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I don't like their attitude...

If you wanted that "we're doing you a favor attitude" you could have taken it to the dealer. I say keep hunting for a reputable shop. I found one here in Naples, and they will install anything I tell them too, enthusiastically. All warranty issues aside, that's as it should be. Shops that modify cars for street and racing are usually enthusiasts themselves, and enjoy you enjoying your car by modifying it.
 

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First Off

The shipping on the radiator will be no where near that amount, call Eurospares or email them and ask them the total price in USD, they will respond back to you in less than a few hours normally. Also call Ricambi, they are just as good. They both also provide a year warranty on their parts. Jeff's BMC filter is lifetime guaranteed, something the Maserati part is not and your mechanic is not an authorized dealer, otherwise he could cancel the order.

BTW, for a radiator replacement, even though it's a Maserati, you could go to the local radiator shop with the new radiator and have it done cheaper... As for the oil change and the air filter, chances are you could do that yourself with the DYI stuff here on the blog. Otherwise there is probably someone here who lives close by that could help you....

Ferrari of Denver replaced the water outlet on the drivers side head on my car, put in new Thermostat, flushed the entire system twice, checked the clutch, everything on the car for a total of $568.00 and that included the tow for 38 miles...

BTW, as a former Marine Master Mechanic I can tell you this, if you didn't sign the work order, you have no contract at all between the two of you.
 

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Is the car in Hawaii or NY ? Installing the radiator is a little of a pain to get to but not complicated and the same as replacing any other radiator. It does take 2 guys some time to drop and install it.
 

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Oca, I have a couple of thoughts here. One, WHY is the radiator cracked???
Did you bottom out and hit it?? If you did there will be some evidence of contact. Do you recall hitting a pothole or something on the road?? Did you park and hit a parking curb?? Is the ride height of the car low?? Is there evidence of prior bottoming out-i.e. dents in the cat converters,mangled heat shield etc.?? Worn shocks and or springs will also let the car nosedive under hard braking, maybe it occured then??If you Did NOT hit anything, then the crack could be a result of an overpressure/overheating issue, from a stuck closed thermostat or inoperable cooling fan(s) etc. You need to figure why you have this problem so as to not end up here again!!!! It is VERY,VERY,VERY RARE for a radiator on these cars, or any other 3-6 year old car, to give up the ghost for NO APPARENT reason. Get this sorted out!!! I will look up the labor tommorow and post it. Travis is absolutely correct, if you DID NOT sign the repair order, they DO NOT have authorization for ANYTHING!! Verbal consent is only binding in a wedding vow.Once the new radiator and what ever cooling system parts are installed, make sure they bleed the cooling system by opening the two 17mm gold anodized bleeder bolts on the front of each cylinder head as they are filling the system cold with coolant. Lots of luck!!
 

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Oca, I have a couple of thoughts here. One, WHY is the radiator cracked???
Did you bottom out and hit it?? If you did there will be some evidence of contact. Do you recall hitting a pothole or something on the road?? Did you park and hit a parking curb?? Is the ride height of the car low?? Is there evidence of prior bottoming out-i.e. dents in the cat converters,mangled heat shield etc.?? Worn shocks and or springs will also let the car nosedive under hard braking, maybe it occured then??If you Did NOT hit anything, then the crack could be a result of an overpressure/overheating issue, from a stuck closed thermostat or inoperable cooling fan(s) etc. You need to figure why you have this problem so as to not end up here again!!!! It is VERY,VERY,VERY RARE for a radiator on these cars, or any other 3-6 year old car, to give up the ghost for NO APPARENT reason. Get this sorted out!!! I will look up the labor tommorow and post it. Travis is absolutely correct, if you DID NOT sign the repair order, they DO NOT have authorization for ANYTHING!! Verbal consent is only binding in a wedding vow.Once the new radiator and what ever cooling system parts are installed, make sure they bleed the cooling system by opening the two 17mm gold anodized bleeder bolts on the front of each cylinder head as they are filling the system cold with coolant. Lots of luck!!
I bet the car was shunted at some point and they didn't catch the damaged radiator.
 

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Remember, the warranty through EuroSpares and Ricambi only applies to the hard parts. If a part goes bad, they will give you a replacement but the costs of removal and reinstall will be your responsibility.
exactly. Could end end being more out of your pocket a few months down the road.

As far as the damage. I've heard of guys stripping/cracking the plastic drain nut on the radiator. If you screw anything up in that area, you pretty much have to replace the entire assembly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Ramp- The car is currently in (upstate) NY but I plan to ship it back to Hawaii with me when all the repairs are done.

...In regards to how it got cracked- The night I first realized something was a matter when the car overheated (see my earlier post about the car overheating) I drove the car up over a cement parking barrier. I was trying to pull through a parking space to get out of a spot but didn't see the small concrete barrier infront of me. Stupid move- I know. I didn't floor it by any means and from what I could feel/hear it seemed like only the front lip got caught on it and scraped the bottom of the front lip. I'm not sure exactly where the radiator is located in this car and doubt this was a result of the problem. I had driven the car for about 10 miles after bottoming out on the cement barrier before it started to overheart. I doubt something like this is the cause of the cracked radiator because I'm assuming this used car that was driven in NYC has hit far bigger potholes than this. This is my only answer as to how I could have cracked the radiator myself. I don't drive the car too hard at all.

...I'm stuck between a rock and a hardplace now because I'm not sure what to tell this mechanic. From what everyone on here is telling me I can get this job done for about $1000 and not $2,500 like the mechanic wants. Not to mention I can have a performance air filter vs. a stock crappy one. I never signed any work order so legally I can just tell him forget it and have the car towed back to me. He claims he's an authorized Maserati mechanic, but not an authorized Maserati dealer- so I wonder if this changes anything.

I'm pretty sure I can have one of my mechanics replace the radiator for me- although I'm a little skeptical about having someone that never worked on a Maserati before do a job like this. I own a powersports shop that occasionally works on cars and my mechanics are very good at what they do. Seems like a job as replacing a radiator is pretty straight forward to them and wouldnt differ too much from replacing it on any ordinary car, or even a German car.

What do you guys think? Buy the replacement radiator from Eurospares, get the performance air filter and buy all the oil filter and other hoses from either Eurospares or Maserati and have someone else do it for me at cheaper labor? To me this sounds like a bigger risk, but I could also save potentially thousands of dollars also. With the car being shipped to Hawaii right after repairing it a parts warranty doesn't really mean anything to me because the car will be halfway around the world anyways.
 

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We have several threads here for DIY guys...

We even have picts so that people here can change the oil, and do the simple things... If you send me your email address in a PM I can even send you the service manual, which will tell your guys how to get the radiator out and back in with pictures.... It's up to you, but I think you could save money and since this guy is not an authorized dealer, I would either find one, or do it myself. About 70% of us here change our own air filters and oil. I would get the BMC from Jeff, the oil change kit from him, I will supply you the oil change procedure thread from here, then have your guys follow the manual on the radiator and thermostat...
 

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Oca, Bro I hate to say it but it is your fault. Unfortunetly, especially for you, the bottom of the radiator sticks down about an inch from the bottom of the front bumper cover, and there is only the black plastic bellypan in betwwen the radiator and the rock so to speak. Ironically you overheated shortly after you drove over the concrete curb. The bellypan will concur with evidence of contact.
It is not the easiest radiator to remove, but absolutely not even near the hardest. The radiator, A/C condenser, power steering cooler and shroud all come out together through the bottom like a "cassette". Two people are needed to remove and replace into car.
So you will need a proper Air conditioning recycle and recharging machine,
2 pints of fresh power steering fluid and 2 gallons of fresh coolant concentrate (for aluminum/alloy engines) . Be very delicate removing and installing the cassette. Labor should fairly be in the 8-9 hour range.
I also STRONGLY suggest, ALMOST INSIST, that you change the thermostat and gasket as well. T-Stats do not respond well to overheating, even once!!
It is a self explanatory walk in the park w/ the radiator out of the car and cost mere pittance compared to the new radiator.
Do not run the car for ANY length of time w/ no coolant!!
Best of luck to you, please let us know how you make out.
 

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From what everyone on here is telling me I can get this job done for about $1000 and not $2,500 like the mechanic wants.
People are not tell you that you can get the job done for $1,000. They are telling you they could get the job done for that amount. Lots of us just don't have the time to do the work ourselves and don't trust the $12/hr kids at just any old radiator shop.

Yes, you can order parts yourself and save money. Do the work yourself and you wil save a bundle. If you are anything like me, your time is more valuable than the hourly rate at a good shop.

I never signed any work order so legally I can just tell him forget it and have the car towed back to me.
An important rule of law is to never trust free legal advice. The only thing worse than free legal advice is free legal advice given out by people that are not licensed to practice law. With all that said, you may or may not be stuck. Judging by your past posts, it looks like you gave the mechanic a verbal order to fix the car (which includes ordering parts). In many states, no signed authorization is needed. In any event, I would suggest keeping your word if you told them to fix the car. Of course, if you did not give them verbal authorization to fix the car, just pay them for the time they spent diagnosing the problem and tow the car to the next shop.



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