Caveat Emptor with Boris the Landrover LR3

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August 8, 2013

Just like Lazarus, Boris lives!

After last weeks engine death – well kind of choking spluttering whimpering suicide – I waited for the AAA recovery truck and had Boris truck to a local garage that foolishly admitted to working on Landrover. All the time thanking the Gods that I signed up for AAA car recovery last year.

Anyway, the garage called me last night confidently saying “Boris is fixed! It was the alternator, which was shorting out and causing the electrical glitches. It finally died, caused a direct short which drained the battery in a minute flat and this caused the breakdown”. Now a more skeptical man than myself may not believe this explanation. I know for a fact that all these engine problems over the last two years are down to the engine being haunted, and not due to any physical problem on this plain of existence. But, as they also told me it has cost me $720 and that includes a new battery, alternator, oil change and mini-service – well who am I to complain?

But I’ve been here before haven’t I?

So, lets review the number of visits to a garage (or *shop* as you yanks say) since that cursed day in September 2011 when I took ownership of Boris the Landrover:

What happened? How Much?
ECU Reprogrammed $126
Suspension Failure – new airpump thing $1,560
new ECU and full Service $1,155
Investigation at Charleston LR Dealer $250
Replacement Fuses/Switches $133
Shifter Assembly $622
Investigation at Las Vegas LR Dealer $90
Starter and Relay $688
Evacuate & Recharge A/C System $140
Lower Control Arms with Alignment $1,457
Tires $740
Front Wheel Hubs $842
Rear Brake Pad Set $289
90K Service $799
Crank Sensor $540
Investigation at Sanfrancisco LR Dealer $120
Spare Wheel Winch $411
Alternator, battery and recovery $720
Total from September 2011 thru August 2013 $10,681

During this time Boris has broken down and been fixed by these good folks – Baker Landrover in Charleston SC, Landrover Las Vegas NV, Kensington Motor Cars NV, Landrover San Francisco CA, British Car Repair CA and now Complete Car Car TX. Whooo! It’s like a driving tour of Landrover repairs across the country.

Now – car rentals for all the breakdowns? AAA membership for being recovered? This amounts to several weeks of rentals along with many days of lost work and being stranded. Lets just drop another couple of grand onto that running total.

Less than two years of ownership and $13,000 in repair costs.

Caveat Emptor

My experiences with these garages has ranged from barely competent (lets just say bigger is NOT better) to excellent with really terrific service (thanks Bill/Trish). Notably Kensington and British Car Repair worked hard with me to exorcize the demons. But sadly “the power of Christ compels thee” never quite worked.

Well not so far anyway.

Lets see if Complete Car Care has got it solved with this battery/alternator combo



IBM i Software Developer, Digital Dad, AS400 Anarchist, RPG Modernizer, Shameless Trekkie, Belligerent Nerd, Englishman Abroad and Passionate Eater of Cheese and Biscuits. Nick Litten Dot Com is a mixture of blog posts that can be sometimes serious, frequently playful and probably down-right pointless all in the space of a day. Enjoy your stay, feel free to comment and remember: If at first you don't succeed then skydiving probably isn't a hobby you should look into.

Nick Litten

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