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  1. #1
    phantomperfume is offline Junior Member
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    Faulty Auto Repair

    What is the name of your state? West Virginia

    A couple of months ago, I had to have my engine replaced. The mechanic I took it to had the vehicle for 5 weeks, but I finally got it back and it seemed to be running okay (not great, but okay). After about 2 weeks, I noticed a really strange sound and thought it could possibly be a suspension issue, so I took it to a nearby garage to have it looked at. The mechanic that looked at it told me I had a severe oil leak (which should not be happening in a brand new engine) and that I needed to get it checked out. Because I had previous problems with the service from the original mechanic, (He forgot to hook some things back up and also busted my oil cap, glued it back together, and put it back. It broke in half upon the first oil change after the engine replacement.), I was advised to take it somewhere else to pinpoint the leak in case it was the original guy's fault. I called the mechanic that did the engine replacement and let him know that if the leak was due to faulty workmanship, I would be sending him a bill for the repairs. When I took it to the third mechanic, he found missing bolts (exhaust hanger, bell housing, transmission cooling line hanger), cross-threaded bolts (torque converter - he had to retap those), and told me that everything that had been mounted back on the engine had been done improperly (I had leaks all over the place). Basically, he had to take the entire engine back out and redo EVERYTHING. He took pictures during the repairs and told me that, in his professional opinion, every problem he fixed was because of faulty workmanship, not bad parts. Oh, and it also only took him 2 days for the job as opposed to 5 weeks for the other guy.

    Here is my question:

    Can I hold the original mechanic liable for the repairs, and how should I go about enforcing it? Or should I ask for a refund and only pay the second guy that did the job properly? The second mechanic also feels that I was considerably overcharged for the original job.

    I know that usually you have to take a vehicle back to the original mechanic (he did guarantee his work) when something has been done wrong, however, given the severity of the screw-up, I did not feel comfortable AT ALL letting him touch my vehicle again. The problems he caused could have made me lose control of the vehicle at any time, and I (AND my children) could have been in a major accident because of it. So how should I handle this?

    Thanks for any input.
  2. #2
    phantomperfume is offline Junior Member
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    Okay, any advice at all here would be helpful. I don't even know exactly what I should ask for as compensation (if I even have the legal right to ask for anything), nor what organization, if any, I should approach for help. Do I go to the mechanic directly, contact the BBB, go through the Consumer Protection Division of the Attorney General's Office, or see a lawyer?

    Again, ANY input would be appreciated.
  3. #3
    djohnson is offline Senior Member
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    Ok, I'm giving my opinion. You may call the original guy and be real nice and see if he will help or volunteer reimbursement of any kind. I personally don't think he would have to though. You made the choice to see, not just one, but two different mechanics after him. You chose not to use the warranty he gave you. You chose to let him do the job in the first place. You should have gotten estimates to see if the price was reasonable before leaving it with the original mechanic. You would have a very hard time proving it was the original mechanic after letting someone else also do work prior to the third mechanic. I personally think you are at his mercy and what he wants.
  4. #4
    bdupree is offline Junior Member
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    That is very similar to what happened to my husband but instead it took the guy 4 months to damage his car. He was sued for writing a bad check (he placed a stop payment) and won the case but he is being sued again. It's a real messed up situation.
  5. #5
    phantomperfume is offline Junior Member
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    Just to clarify, the second mechanic didn't touch the vehicle except to put it on a lift. I called the original mechanic before I let the third one touch the vehicle and he got nasty with me and made no offer to make good on his warranty. Only two, the first and third, did any repair on the vehicle.
  6. #6
    djohnson is offline Senior Member
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    But that's your word, you admit taking it to a second mechanic. Don't you think a good defense for mech number 1 would be, the 2nd guy did it thinking he could fix it back and make money. It was fine when left shop 1? You don't have much of case.
  7. #7
    phantomperfume is offline Junior Member
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    That's easily disputed considering the second mechanic does not do engine work at all and doesn't have the equipment to do it. He also stated he would testify on my behalf that he didn't touch the engine (and considering what a big job that would be anyway, it would be kind of a stretch to claim he did it when I was only there for 20 minutes and I can prove it. Also, there would be a ton of paperwork showing that he attempted the job, etc.) and also that he advised me to see the third mechanic. As I stated before, the original mechanic was notified BEFORE anyone touched the vehicle.

    Anyways, work under the assumption that I have all of the proper proof and documentation as to exactly who damaged the vehicle (because I do, but I know I can't prove that here) and advise me on the other questions I asked: What is reasonable to ask for (refund or repair bill) and how should I ask for it (BBB, Attorney General, lawyer, certified letter)?
    Last edited by phantomperfume; 08-17-2005 at 06:14 PM.
  8. #8
    djohnson is offline Senior Member
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    Honestly I don't think you have a very good chance, but what is reasonable would be his fee returned and you would need to file in small claims court.

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