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  1. #1
    amcambassador21 is offline Junior Member
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    Sep 2009
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    Washington State
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    Car Mechanic Does Bad Work and Causes further damage.

    Washington State

    How should I legally solve this problem? I have a 1968 AMC ambassador (rare car) and I had the engine rebuilt by what I thought was a competent mechanic. He promised me that after the engine was rebuilt he would have it running perfectly. I also helped this person do the work on the engine rebuilding it. The first step was to have the engine machined by the machine shop which was the bulk of the cost $2800. The mechanic was charging us $350 for the work reassembling and installing. After the machining was done and the engine was reassebled and installed, the engine had a huge coolant leak which he thought was caused by the intake manifold gasket. So with guidance from my mechanic we went with a different style gasket which I made myself and installed with the help of the mechanic. It turns out that the gasket did not cause the coolant leak and it was caused by our mechanic installing a part incorrectly which cracked the water pump. I was able to weld this part back together but to replace it would have cost $500. After that issue the engine still could not run due to a mechanical issue with the distributor. The distributor kept grinding the gears off into the engine. After this mechanic burned up five distributors I found information on what the cause was. He did the repair and he did pay for all the distributors that he ruined. The car did run after that but it did not have the power it should have. According to our mechanic the engine would not have power because the engine needed to be broken in(driven approx. 500 miles) which is true. He also suggested that the timing could be a little off and that I should just "play with it" until it ran best. And he suggested that I get a new carburator and spark plugs. After the first five hundred miles the engine still did not run very good and still lacked the power. The mechanic kept suggesting that the timing was off and to just "keep playing with it". The car was driving another approx. 350 miles. I replaced the spark plugs and the carburator and the engine still did not have to power. I brought it to the mechanic once again and he again said to "play with the timing". I kept the timing around 5 degrees advanced which was where it ran the best. A few days after changing the carburator we had a catastrophic engine failure due to loss of oil. I took the engine to the respectable machine shop where it was before and they believe the cause was the intake manifold gasket which was incorrect for the engine. And the cost to reaccomplist the machine work which would be required to fix the engine is approx. $2000. Who would be consider at fault? And I should add I found out now that the mechanic was not certified although he has an official looking business card.What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)?
  2. #2
    Stevef is offline Senior Member
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    May 2006
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    I dunno. What time is it?
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    Quote Originally Posted by amcambassador21 View Post
    Washington State

    How should I legally solve this problem? I have a 1968 AMC ambassador (rare car) and I had the engine rebuilt by what I thought was a competent mechanic. He promised me that after the engine was rebuilt he would have it running perfectly. I also helped this person do the work on the engine rebuilding it. The first step was to have the engine machined by the machine shop which was the bulk of the cost $2800. The mechanic was charging us $350 for the work reassembling and installing. After the machining was done and the engine was reassebled and installed, the engine had a huge coolant leak which he thought was caused by the intake manifold gasket. So with guidance from my mechanic we went with a different style gasket which I made myself and installed with the help of the mechanic. It turns out that the gasket did not cause the coolant leak and it was caused by our mechanic installing a part incorrectly which cracked the water pump. I was able to weld this part back together but to replace it would have cost $500. After that issue the engine still could not run due to a mechanical issue with the distributor. The distributor kept grinding the gears off into the engine. After this mechanic burned up five distributors I found information on what the cause was. He did the repair and he did pay for all the distributors that he ruined. The car did run after that but it did not have the power it should have. According to our mechanic the engine would not have power because the engine needed to be broken in(driven approx. 500 miles) which is true. He also suggested that the timing could be a little off and that I should just "play with it" until it ran best. And he suggested that I get a new carburator and spark plugs. After the first five hundred miles the engine still did not run very good and still lacked the power. The mechanic kept suggesting that the timing was off and to just "keep playing with it". The car was driving another approx. 350 miles. I replaced the spark plugs and the carburator and the engine still did not have to power. I brought it to the mechanic once again and he again said to "play with the timing". I kept the timing around 5 degrees advanced which was where it ran the best. A few days after changing the carburator we had a catastrophic engine failure due to loss of oil. I took the engine to the respectable machine shop where it was before and they believe the cause was the intake manifold gasket which was incorrect for the engine. And the cost to reaccomplist the machine work which would be required to fix the engine is approx. $2000. Who would be consider at fault? And I should add I found out now that the mechanic was not certified although he has an official looking business card.What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)?
    In order to collect from the uncertified mechanic, you will need something more than the other shop stating they believe the intake manifold gasket was incorrect.

    The mechanic can also truthfully state that you made the gasket, and not him.

    It doesn't look like a very strong case.

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