I traveled to Austin recently to participate in a week-long technical conference. I drove in from Houston, about 200 miles or so, on Sunday afternoon to attend a meeting that evening. My Jeep was overheating for much of the way, boiling coolant out through the overflow tank, and spraying it all over the inside of the engine compartment. I made it into Austin OK, and called my brother in law in Round Rock, north of Austin about 30 miles, and asked if he could pick-up a thermostat, a thermostat housing gasket, and a radiator cap. I left the meeting about 10:30 PM, and went to get the Jeep and go to Round Rock. I didn't make it onto the freeway before something failed in the engine emissions control system, causing the engine check light to come on and remain illuminated. My Jeep was running, but was now missing and surging in an alarming manner. I drove about 4 miles north and gave it up as a bad choice. I manged to limp back to the downtown hotel I was staying at, and parked in the hotel garage. I searched the internet for Jeep repair shops in Austin, and Jeep Masters came up first. Several other shops were listed as well, but Jeep Masters had a couple of strong points in their favor for me. Of all the other shops listed, they had the highest number of positive customer reviews, and they were located only 2 1/2 miles south of the hotel location. I called them Monday AM and spoke to Cecil, who suggested they could tow my Jeep in if it wasn't operable, but in any event to bring it on and they would take a look at it that day. I was able to get some help, and dropped the Jeep off around 10:00 AM. I called Jeep Masters at 2:00 PM, and they had already completed a very comprehensive diagnosis to determine the engine condition, specifically looking for a blown head gasket or cracked head. They described several tests I was aware of, and a couple I had not heard of before. Hearing the descriptions, I was convinced they had done what they were telling me. They did determine the overheating was caused by the radiator cap not holding pressure, as I had suspected. They found a bad throttle position sensor that was setting the check engine light; the hot coolant had gotten into the wiring and shorted out the sensor. They also found a couple of other, non-related items that I optioned to go ahead and take care of, since they had access at the time (bad ignition cables and rotor, and throttle body contamination buildup). So, they replaced the radiator cap, the thermostat and thermostat housing gasket, flushed the coolant system and replaced the coolant, changed the oil, replaced the ignition wiring, and cleaned the throttle body. After I picked up the Jeep and drove back to the hotel, it ran better than it did back home in Houston before the trip, and no sign of overheating. But here's the really amazing part: I asked them what the charge would be, expecting a really high number. After all, I was from out of town, there for only a week, and essentially stranded without my vehicle, and these fellows did rather a lot of work. The estimate was only $650! Moreover, when I paid the totaled bill, the amount only came to $604, not the $650 original estimate, AND the Jeep was ready that afternoon before 6:00 PM! They only had it in the shop from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM; with an hour for lunch, that means they worked the diagnosis, affected repair, cleaned up, and performed a test drive, all in 7 hours! I am back home in Houston now, and my Jeep ran very well all the way back. I would highly recommend this shop to any Jeep owner who finds they have engine issues. They are fast, honest, accurate in their work, and very fair in their pricing. For all this, I'd rate these guys 6 stars if I could, but most definitely 5 stars!
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