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  • Were we SCAMMED? (1995 CHEVY CAMARO)

    Our 1995 Chevy Camaro (120,000 miles) failed its smog test last week. This was a running, working automobile, so the smog test failure came as a complete surprise. At the recommendation of the smog check station, we drove the car to a smog repair station for them to fix the problem and get the car to pass the smog test. At the end of the day, the shop owner told us that he was unable to figure out what was going on with the car and that it would cost us a 'lot of money' to diagnose the problem IN DETAIL. Since we do not have a 'lot of money' to spend just on diagnostics, we told him that we would pick up the vehicle later that day and retire it using the State's Vehicle Retirement Program. The owner didn't seem too happy with this decision and asked me TWO TIMES if this decision was final. When I replied in the affirmative, he seemed angry.

    When we went to pick up our car that evening, the owner told us that the car wouldn't even start! The car was running just fine when we dropped it off - we had driven it to the repair station! He even admitted that he had driven it around the block earlier that day. He told us to leave it there for another day so that he could 'check it out' and get it running again. The next day, he called to tell us that the car's fuel pump needed to be replaced at a total cost of $800!!

    We scammed. This was a perfectly running car and now we have to pay $800 to just get it to start? One of the mechanics at his shop told me that the reason the car was failing the smog test was because of the fan settings and that he would bet money on it! I am not sure, why therefore, that the owner would tell us that they hadn't been able to diagnose the problem? I didn't trust these guys anymore, so had it towed back to our home where it is now sitting idle. I cannot even retire the car anymore because the State only buys vehicles in RUNNING conditions, so we have to pay to get the car running BEFORE we can do anything else.

    Can anyone tell me if the shop owner's claim that fuel pumps can and do miraculously get damaged at random is even remotely true? I believe that the owner damaged the transmission on purpose, to force us to buy expensive diagnostics and repairs but would like to verify his claims about random fuel pump failures from the knowledgeable people here.

    Please help. Thank you

  • #2
    Re: Were we SCAMMED? (1995 CHEVY CAMARO)

    Since you towed it home, I assume that you didn't pay the guy. What the transmission has to do with all this, I don't get (?). If the car, other than the smog issue, is in good condition, I'd be working on getting it to run and enjoy again. Once running there are a few options that come to mind. I believe that you can buy an gasoline additive at you local parts store to help pass the test. What about the gas cap itself? The best thing is to check around (friends etc.)and see if you can find a small, trustworthy garage business close by that will work with you. Don't give up on your Camaro just yet


    • #3
      Re: Were we SCAMMED? (1995 CHEVY CAMARO)

      When you try to start the car, is it turning over at all?
      And you mentioned the transmission............what is the problem with that?
      2002 SLP CAMARO SS



      • #4
        Re: Were we SCAMMED? (1995 CHEVY CAMARO)

        I've been a mechanic for about 15yrs and unfortunatly I've seen fuel pumps just quit. Usually you get some kind of indication though (loud whining noise, maybe stalling and restarting after a bit etc). I just bought a 95 Z28 myself and had a problem with it passing emissions itself. I found multiple things wrong with it. The O2 sensors, EGR valve was bad, the MAP sensor as well, and finally the honycomb had been punched on the Cat. It passed easily after replacing these. As for the fuel pump check the fuse and the relay and make sure they are ok and in place.


        • #5
          Re: Were we SCAMMED? (1995 CHEVY CAMARO)

          Why would the guy even have to be road testing the car anyway? Seems strange.

          Current ride is:
          2002 Brickyard 400 35th Anniversary LE convertible #22,SLP build# 0036,35th Anniversary Build #47
          Best 1/4 mile ET 13.2 @104.63 with a 2.0 60' time


          • #6
            Re: Were we SCAMMED? (1995 CHEVY CAMARO)

            Any followup to this interesting story?