1998 Chevrolet Venture Q&A

1998 Chevrolet Venture Question: How long should it take a garage to replace the thermostat?

I was charged for only 2 hours of labor to replace the thermostat and I still have the overheating problem. It doesn't look like they have taken out all the stuff I have had to take out so far, and I have definitely put over 2 hours into it and am not all the way to the thermostat yet. Think I have been cheated? -
Answer 1
Are you an experienced automotive technician with all the tools that one has? If so you may still not be as good as the other tech! Thats a pretty tough job for a thermostat but it can be done in less than 2 hrs. So no i dont think you got "cheated". Make sure when you get it back together that you BLEED the cooling system!!! 3.4 V6 i am sure. And yes that is a tough one right behind the crossover pipe. -
Comment 1
I am in the middle of tearing it back down now and on that particular engine, 3.4L, it is almost impossible to even get to all the bolts without rolling the engine forward. I know it can be done without rolling it forward because I'm doing it that way. The reason I was wondering about the time involved is that it has taken me almost 3 hours to just get down to the thermostat and I still have to reassemble everything once I pull it out. Also, the bolts I have taken out so far all appear to have the original rust on them with no wrench marks and no evidence that the thermostat housing has been removed. I may be wrong but as soon as I pull the old one out I will know for sure. Thank you all for your replies! -
Comment 2
I know what you mean it is a pain in the neck! But it can be done without removing exhaust crossover pipe,with a homemade wrench. Just be sure to open the bleeder to purge air in the system. One more thing, does the engine misfire for a few seconds on cold start? Has it been loosing coolant? -
Comment 3
It actually runs like a top right from the start. It wasn't losing antifreeze or even smoking before I took it there. It had overheated so I took it there for a thermostat and coolant flush. When we got it back the head gasket was blown and it was smoking like crazy from that. I understand that may have happened when they flushed it, but the thermostat wasn't opening up at all. The engine still runs great with no misses so I figured I would take the thermostat back out and put some sealant into the system. When I started tearing it down it looks as if none of the bolts have been wrenched on at all. That's why I question whether they actually changed it or simply ran a flush through. The overflow tank was also still full of the old dirty antifreeze. I only paid $500 for the van so I don't want to sink a ton of money into it. -
Comment 4
So it has a blown head gasket? If so T- stat aint going to help. But i guess you just want to know about your question in the first place without all of the BS! It can be done in that time but if is was or not only you can say. -
Answer 2
The backyard mechanics in my family had thermostats changed in under a hour. But you have to take into account that GM has a book that places all repairs in a timeframe and weather or not it takes that long it is what is charged. As I understand it, each dealership has their own book and time/charges can be different from the dealership just down the street. So i would say it should take under a hour. -
Answer 3
All auto repairs are based on a flat rate time. Not enough info to tell you if you got ripped. What engine do you have? -
Comment 1
I think,based on the question, there is doubt as to whether this job can actually be done in two hours. But on a 3.4L V6 it can. That is the only engine option for this vehicle. -
Comment 2
Right on the money! -
Answer 4
return for warranty work and complain -
Comment 1
If it turns out that they didn't actually do the work it will be more than warranty work. I'll seek criminal charges. If they did actually do the work then I owe them an apology. I will know when I finish taking it all apart. I only took it to a garage because it was rainy and snowy and I wanted it done quickly since I have to do the work out in the open. It's rainy here again today so I may not get to finish up until tomorrow. I'll let you all know what I find out when I actually pull the thermostat out. -
Comment 2