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Virtual Technician
Virtual Technician, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 96
Experience:  25 years Experience. All makes and models, Shop Owner, Access to 4 repair databases. - I take the Opt Out Questions :)
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Mazda 6i: Hello - I just had a new mechanic replace the thermostat

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Hello - I just had a new mechanic replace the thermostat on my 2006 Mazda 6i and now the engine is making a weird moaning noise especially when in reverse and first starting, and the timing seems off on gear changes (it's a 5-speed automatic). Did they forget to do something or did they create more problems? They're taking a look at it tomorrow and I'd like to go in knowing a little more to see if I can trust this guy as my permanent guy.

Hi, my name is Rich & I'll try my best to help you today.


This is a hard question to answer in this type of forum since I cannot hear or see the vehicle.


There are a lot of things that could have happened when they changed the thermostat.

There have been times when my big hands and/or elbows (when digging down in an engine compartment) have knocked vacuum hoses off or accidentally unplugged a sensor.

It's not that we do it on purpose, it's just that the manufacturer crams everything into a tiny space never taking into account someone is going to have to work in there.


As for making this new mechanic your permanent guy, there's a couple of things to look at:

1. Is he charging you to take a look at it again?

2. Was he courteous when you called in about the complaint?

3. Did he immediately deny that it has anything to do with his work? (see accident comment above) I never do - I might have knocked something loose.

4. What is the resolution? By this I mean: Wait & see what he says tomorrow and see if it makes sense. If it does not, then by all means, contact me back with what he says and we can go from there.


I hope everything goes well for you and that there is an easy solution for both of you to build the rapport for a lasting relationship.

Virtual Technician and 6 other Car Specialists are ready to help you

Hi Kim,


Thank you for the positive feedback :)

Part of the reason I decided to participate in this forum was not only to help people on here but also to further my knowledge for my own shop here in WI.

I'm glad we got it figured out.


Let me know if you ever need help again - It was a pleasure working with you!!

I would be interested in knowing what you found out as to what the issue ended up being.

Thank you in advance for taking the time to tell me so that I may also help others.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Rich - I guess the short answer is yes and no. He didn't hear the gurgling noise which sounds either like boiling water or someone sucking the last of a drink up a straw (it ends when the engine is turned off but doesn't go away while the motor is running). He said it's probably just air in the heater manifold? The wookie moaning noise may turn out to be because of a leak at the seal of the power steering pump, which I know they removed to get to the thermostat to replace it, along with the belt tensioner. He cleaned it all up again on Friday and refilled the fluid, but the noise came back over the weekend and has to go back in tomorrow again. Hopefully he can replace just the seal, and not the whole pump.

Did you go for a ride with him?

Sometimes since we do not drive it everyday we do not notice the sounds that the owner does.

As for the seal - it was necessary to replace the thermostat but in my business, if the seal leaks and it is replaceable by itself - it's under warranty and no cost to the guest.


If the whole pump has to be changed due to no seal available - since it was required for the repair (and there is only one way to remove and install the pulley) then I would charge the guest for the pump (seal must have been 'weak" if all it took was unseating and seating the pulley) but the labor cost would be just for what I needed to pay my technician. At that point, the shop makes no money and the guest is not charged "Full Price". Nobody wins but you have a properly functioning vehicle and 'I' (he) has hopefully gained your trust that he is performing quality repairs and willing to work with you when something unexpected comes up.