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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I live in the New Orleans area and am hoping for some suggestions. I tried to save money by letting a mechanic work on my car at his home. He does this full time so I didn't think there would be an issue. Finally had enough money to do the suspension, ECU change, etc. A gasket fell off of the idle air control and got water in the engine. Engine locked up and I need a new one but lost at who would be able to do it without costing a fortune. Any suggestions? I love my car and just put in so much money and work into it this is my only option.
 

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Sorry to hear about this, so awful to put all that in and have nothing but problems. Do you have a list of repairs that he did, and the reason he gave for each repair? Just trying to figure out some history.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Sorry to hear about this, so awful to put all that in and have nothing but problems. Do you have a list of repairs that he did, and the reason he gave for each repair? Just trying to figure out some history.
Struts
Idle Air control replacement (fluctuating)
New AC compressor
New Radiator
Brakes
ECU taillights would not work and no other causes
Throttle body
Most of this I needed to be done so I could keep it running
The engine hydro locked and can't manually move the gears.
My dad taught me but I just can't do this by myself that is why I bought the parts and had him install it. The gasket came off and coolant got into the engine.
 

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2009 LX, Auto, AWD, Omni Pearl Blue
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If truly hydrolocked, the damage may already be too great to resolve without replacing the engine.

Gaskets don't just "fall off" and cause engines to hydrolock.

If coolant got into the cylinders during a repair process, your mechanic had a responsibility to address that issue before they destroyed the engine by restarting it.

Did your mechanic really replace the ECU because the tail lights were not working?

You need to have another mechanic look at this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
If truly hydrolocked, the damage may already be too great to resolve without replacing the engine.

Gaskets don't just "fall off" and cause engines to hydrolock.

If coolant got into the cylinders during a repair process, your mechanic had a responsibility to address that issue before they destroyed the engine by restarting it.

Did your mechanic really replace the ECU because the tail lights were not working?

You need to have another mechanic look at this.
Yes that was the reason for the ECU to be replaced. I also didn't have the instrument panel lights but I pretty sure that is the need to replace the bulbs. I even put a new socket on the taillights to resolve this. I found the gasket in the plastic cover for the bumper because I wanted to find out the cause in front of him. I just need a mechanic that can put a new engine in because financially that is my only choice.
 

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2004 Fiji LX Ecamper “Ellie,” 2008 Atomic EX “Otherment,” 2003 Eternal EX Chop Top “Chop_E”
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None of those repairs should have any chance of hydro locking the engine. I second the motion to get it to someone else.
 

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I’m wondering if semantics is causing some confusion here; if someone says a gasket fell off and hydro locked the engine, my first thought would be that the mechanic failed to install the TB or intake manifold gasket properly and it filled a cylinder+ with coolant.
 

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2004 Fiji LX Ecamper “Ellie,” 2008 Atomic EX “Otherment,” 2003 Eternal EX Chop Top “Chop_E”
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I’m wondering if semantics is causing some confusion here; if someone says a gasket fell off and hydro locked the engine, my first thought would be that the mechanic failed to install the TB or intake manifold gasket properly and it filled a cylinder+ with coolant.
I don’t believe either of those gaskets seal coolant passages.
 

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2004 Fiji LX Ecamper “Ellie,” 2008 Atomic EX “Otherment,” 2003 Eternal EX Chop Top “Chop_E”
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Actually, I know they don’t because you can pull both the throttle body and the intake away without losing coolant. You can’t remove them completely without taking the cooling lines off but you can move them out of the way.
 

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2004 Fiji LX Ecamper “Ellie,” 2008 Atomic EX “Otherment,” 2003 Eternal EX Chop Top “Chop_E”
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Yeah I was trying to think of there were any coolant passages, when I did my swap. It’s possible he got a coolant and vacuum line mixed up lol.
That would be a pretty colossal failure… haha!
 

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Take this so called "mechanic" to small claims court, He owes you the price of the new engine.
 

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ECU because tail light didn't work? During my supercharger build I had to replace ECU and it was no small feat I had to have a specialist re-write my vin onto car so immobilizer would work, extra. There are so many things wrong with the OP. I am so glad I have changed my ways and do most of mechanical work on the Element myself now.
 

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2004 Fiji LX Ecamper “Ellie,” 2008 Atomic EX “Otherment,” 2003 Eternal EX Chop Top “Chop_E”
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The ECM isn’t even part of the taillight circuit. Power comes from the underhood fuse box to the multiplex(underdash fuse/relay box) and then branches off to the combo switch and lights before heading to their respective grounds.

Definitely find a new mechanic
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
ECU because tail light didn't work? During my supercharger build I had to replace ECU and it was no small feat I had to have a specialist re-write my vin onto car so immobilizer would work, extra. There are so many things wrong with the OP. I am so glad I have changed my ways and do most of mechanical work on the Element myself now.
He did both keys I have after. At first I thought it was a starter problem because he kept counting the times the was turning the key to program it. I never heard of anyone doing that
 

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2004 Fiji LX Ecamper “Ellie,” 2008 Atomic EX “Otherment,” 2003 Eternal EX Chop Top “Chop_E”
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If he was turning the key, he was programming the fob, not the key itself. At least not when he was turning the key.
The key programming process also involves cycling the key multiple times so it’s possible that with a higher end scan tool that may have been what is being referred to.
 
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