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Problem with a mechanic

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  • 27-04-2014 8:32pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 46


    I posted this in the Motor Forum today, but it probably belongs to the Consumer Issues Forum -

    Hi,

    I'll try make it short.

    In September my timing belt broke. I found a mechanic that could look at it straight away (I badly need my car for work), and he took my car away to get it fixed.

    4 weeks later (!), I eventually got it back, paid 1,400eur. (He didn't give me a replacement car).

    The following day, the car broke down on a motorway, rescue driver said the timing belt was very loose, so I called back the mechanic to have it fixed, again.

    After looking at it, the mechanic said that there was water in the engine, and I must have driven thru a puddle and drowned it. (Not true. Btw, it's a petrol engine). He however agreed to fix it free of charge, as a gesture of goodwill he said.

    After weeks and weeks of calling him to check when it would be ready, he finally said that the engine was bust and needed replacing.

    Months went by, he kept saying that he couldn't find a suitable engine.

    All the while, I had to hire a car, or borrow from friends just so I could keep working.

    In February, I decided to go on the lookout for an engine myself, and found one. When I called the mechanic, he said I had to pay for it, but he will do the labour for free, and pretended that that was what was agreed.

    So I did. I paid for it, another 500eur.

    It was another 5 weeks before my car was ready.

    I picked up my car yesterday (in a awful state).

    Today, the engine symbol lit up on the dashboard.


    So......

    Obviously, I am not going back to the same mechanic! But what can I do about it?

    please help.


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 335 ✭✭Mick55


    Hi mar12345,

    Sorry to hear about your problems that sounds like an absolute nightmare.

    Is this an independent mechanic or was it a garage?

    Did you get a receipt for the work, if so What was the breakdown of the job? €1,400 is a huge bill and should cover more than just the timing belt replacement. Unless you went to a main dealer that kind of money should cover nearly a full engine overhaul. If so he should provide warranty for this work.

    If the breakdown assist said the timing belt was loose that is indicative of the job being carried out incorrectly, there is only one way to do the job and if done right it shouldn't come loose.

    The yarn about driving through a puddle is nonsense, you would have to have driven through a significant flood to draw water into the engine, and the result of that would be cracked engine block or snapped con rod or other catastrophic engine damage, not a loose timing belt as pointed out by the breakdown assist.


    The time scale here seems to be outrageous, and him not being able to source an engine is ridiculous. Any mechanic worth their salt can track down an engine if needs be.

    When a timing belt fails it can cause severe engine damage, it may be the case that the very first time the belt failed there was damage done, when he repaired the car he either cut corners to maximize profit or simply didn't do a good job on the engine and shortly down the line the engine failed due to this. I think he realized he didn't do the job correctly and the engine was severely damaged and lied to you ( water in engine etc...) saying a new engine was needed ( New engine may be needed but for different reasons than he told you ).

    It sounds to me, from what you have outlined, that this guy is a pure chancer. You may have been over charged and you may have been charged for work that should be covered by warranty. I would not let this go, I would look into it and try get money back for a very very shoddy service.

    I hope the above is not too confusing it makes sense to me as a mechanic but may seem like double dutch to you!


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,594 ✭✭✭emeldc


    EDIT: ...............misread original post.............


  • Registered Users Posts: 335 ✭✭Mick55


    OP any update?


  • Registered Users Posts: 46 mar12345


    Sorry for taking so long to get back, and thank you very much for your reply - I don't know very much about cars, but your answer Mick55 was very clear and comprehensive! You confirmed everything that I suspected and then some. That guy was utterly dishonest (or useless?).

    The latest about my car is that I picked it up tonight from a reputable garage (another 500eur) - the oxygen sensor was broken, and the gear box was leaking, and other smaller problems... It's so disheartening, but at least the car is perfect-ish now, finally.

    And it really took me by surprise - the new garage took an extra few hours to get the car ready, and they actually called me to let me know and apologize! After being ignored by the other guy for 6 months, that was a very pleasant change :-)

    Everyone tells me to pursue this, and while I would like to do something about it, I just don't know if it will get me anywhere. Or how much it will cost!

    I do have a receipt for the original repair of the timing belt (1400eur), and I have phone records to show how many times I made contact with him, but I have nothing in writing from him. I don't have any paperwork to show the work he undertook the 2nd time (engine replacement, new radiator supposedly, full service, etc). I don't know what he did with my old engine so I can't prove that the job wasn't done right the first time.

    It infuriates me, but it looks like he will get away with it. Maybe I should just make my peace with it. Lesson learnt.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,446 ✭✭✭glued


    Talk to a solicitor. That guy took you for a fool.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 335 ✭✭Mick55


    Glad you are back in your car! The small claims court is a small one off payment ( Cant remember exact amount ) and from my experience in the motor trade the rulings tend to go in favor of the customer when it comes to technicalities. Could be worth a shot! Best of luck OP!


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,503 ✭✭✭ElNino


    I would definitely take him to the small claims court but bear in mind that even if you win the case against him you may have difficulty collecting the money.


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