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Old 31-07-2017   #1
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MOT fail advise...

Hi all,

Took my 2004 panda to have it's MOT done today. I had a feeling I was going to get something come up on the exhaust as it has been very noisy recently but the garage I took it to quoted me 440 for all the work and I'm wondering if this is a bit over the top... they say the exhaust part is 'very pricey' but a quick search shows I can get hold of it for 30!

Anyway the damage is...

- major leak of exhaust gases (flexi pipe)
- suspension arm has excessive play in a ball joint offside front lower
- suspension arm rubber bush deteriorated resulting in excessive movement nearside front lower (rear bush)

It's got 71K on the clock and I haven't had it too long so I don't want to give it up just yet but 440 borders on not being economically worthwhile.

Does anyone think it would be possible to get this work done for less?
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Old 31-07-2017   #2
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Re: MOT fail advise...

These are easy jobs that can be done if you're handy with the spanners.
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Old 31-07-2017   #3
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Re: MOT fail advise...

Yeah I had a feeling I am looking at a hefty labour charge essentially on the quote that was given to me...

I might visit a couple of local garages tomorrow that run a more humble operation!
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Old 31-07-2017   #4
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Re: MOT fail advise...

That lot shouldn't be too expensive to put right, but I wouldn't say your quote is extortionist when you consider what dealers and some other garages charge for labour (and then add VAT)

A complete pattern exhaust costs around 75-80 on ebay.

And if you bought your suspension arms from Shop4parts with a forum discount, that would be 68 for the pair.

Then all you need is to negotiate with a VAT shy back street garage labour to fit, say 100.

Perhaps if you said where you are someone might point you in the path of someone more reasonable.
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Old 31-07-2017   #5
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Re: MOT fail advise...

Quote Originally Posted by milesb0801 View Post
Does anyone think it would be possible to get this work done for less?
Yes.

Basically you need a pair of aftermarket suspension arms and a bit of exhaust. On a 13yr old Panda, you may as well use the cheapest parts you can find, since realistically they'll still likely outlast the car. A small independent garage should be able to do this work for less than you've been quoted.

I wouldn't scrap an otherwise good car for 440; if you think it'll do another year once it's got an MOT, you've got your money's worth, and if you get another year after that, it's a bonus.
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Old 01-08-2017   #6
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Re: MOT fail advise...

1- major leak of exhaust gases (flexi pipe)
2- suspension arm has excessive play in a ball joint offside front lower
3- suspension arm rubber bush deteriorated resulting in excessive movement nearside front lower (rear bush)

1 centre section 26 inc VAT, Exhaust manifold gasket 5.99 inc (if you need to drop the CAT) and 1 for silicon sealant. If the back box is near it end of life its only an extra 26
2 ball joint 10
3 A pair of arms are 50


460 sounds a bit dear. Especially as they will get the parts trade.
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Old 01-08-2017   #7
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Re: MOT fail advise...

Quote Originally Posted by Goudrons View Post

Perhaps if you said where you are someone might point you in the path of someone more reasonable.
Thanks for the advise. I am in Cornwall...
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Old 01-08-2017   #8
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Re: MOT fail advise...

I can't help you in Cornwall, it's a shame as I know a local spanner man that does me the odd job for beer money.

All I can suggest is looking on here
https://www.goodgaragescheme.com/
And shopping around.

Explain it's both front suspension arms and an exhaust mid pipe that's needed, though it's worth pointing out, if the mid exhaust pipe is rotten and needs replacing, you'll probably have to swap the back box too, which is why I priced up a complete system.

It's almost impossible to split the two older parts apart without peeling or cutting one from the other, the back box joint fit over the mid pipe, it's that one that tends gets mullered getting it off.

I've spent hours trying to get a neat split and only managed it once (out of three)!
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Last edited by Goudrons; 01-08-2017 at 14:19.
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Old 01-08-2017   #9
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Re: MOT fail advise...

I happened upon this place not too far from me...

http://www.ubiquemotordiy.com/

A DIY garage! It's run by a guy who used to service helicopters for the Navy. Basically he gets trade parts in for you and helps you fit them in his garage! Never heard of anything like this before but i'm loving the idea! He has quoted me 158 for the parts, and I think I just give him a small fee for use of the space. Amazing.
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Old 01-08-2017   #10
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Re: MOT fail advise...

That sounds good.
Make sure you report back on the experience, it might help others.
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Old 01-08-2017   #11
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Re: MOT fail advise...

Quote Originally Posted by koalar View Post
1- major leak of exhaust gases (flexi pipe)
2- suspension arm has excessive play in a ball joint offside front lower
3- suspension arm rubber bush deteriorated resulting in excessive movement nearside front lower (rear bush)

1 centre section 26 inc VAT, Exhaust manifold gasket 5.99 inc (if you need to drop the CAT) and 1 for silicon sealant. If the back box is near it end of life its only an extra 26
2 ball joint 10
3 A pair of arms are 50


460 sounds a bit dear. Especially as they will get the parts trade.
Whoops put 26 twice instead of 19.95 Plus VAT for the centre section.

Just done this job a couple of weeks ago. Not too bad at all. A reciprocating saw would make the job easy. I don't have one so I used a jigsaw which doesn't go all the way through and finished with a handsaw. Much better than hammering which is likely to damage the CAT
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Old 13-08-2017   #12
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Re: MOT fail advise...

Quote Originally Posted by Goudrons View Post
That sounds good.
Make sure you report back on the experience, it might help others.
The DIY garage i linked above is great. Bloke there gave me pointers and assisted with the right tools and i successfully fitted new wishbones and centre section of exhaust. I got it through MOT without any too worrying advisorys.

One thing it did not (that i was aware of) was an oil leak. I think it is coming out somewhere on the right hand side of the engine, looks like mayhem and not sure where to start fixing it! Does that stuff you add to your oil that's supposed to seal up leaks work?
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Old 13-08-2017   #13
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Re: MOT fail advise...

I wouldn't put anything in it expect the correct oil.

They aren't too well known for leaking, but like any engine, it's possible.
The most common is the sump pan, it bolted to the bottom of the engine, it can rust badly and start leaking as it's in the firing line of all the water and dirt.

If you can identify where it's coming from, you should get some pointer on how to fix it (or if it's worth it, you might just need to keep it topped up if it's hard to fix and only a small dribble).
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Old 14-08-2017   #14
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Re: MOT fail advise...

Just to add. When garages quote silly money for exhausts, ask why they need to replace and why.

The manifold catalyst is expensive and might need replacement, but this is very rare are even a crack at the exhaust pipe joint can be welded.

As discussed above, the actual system is so cheap you might as well fit the whole lot and be done with it. Mine is looking ropy everywhere back from (just before) the flexi joint but it's 10 years old and probably the original.
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