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Paying mechanic for NOT fixing car.

Hey I need your advice. I have a 2000 Volvo XC that I should have gotten rid of months ago. I found a mechanic that only works on Volvos because I wanted someone that would know how to fix my car and not complain about it because it is a Volvo. Long story short, within 9 months and thousands of dollars in body work, repairs and maintenance, yet another serious problem occurred. My ETS light came on and a short time after, my car would stall all of the time. My Mechanic said that it is a common problem in Volvos. I requested my mechanic to have it fixed. I had my car towed to his shop and almost a month went by and I finally heard back from him with grim news. He said after they replaced the throttle body and reprogrammed it, they started the car and within a moment it stalled. They then found out that the fuel system was busted and, " It is a bear of a job" , which will cost me between $2000-$3000 bucks to fix. I responded humbly that I was not able to afford that kind of repair. I had asked the mechanic if he could just take my car and use it for parts. He said that I would still have to pay him for installing the throttle and reprogramming it, a job that cost nearly 1,000

Is it possible that the fuel system AND the ETS would fail at the same time? Are the systems linked together. could this be a mechanical error?
Would an experienced mechanic miss that?

What should I do? I feel helpless. I cannot afford to pay $1,000 for a car that I cannot drive.
Am I being screwed or am I a victim of bad car karma?

Oh FYI, he has a huge lot out back of his shop filled with broken Volvos that are for car parts.
thanks for reading my rant.



  • I have close personal friends who are Volvo fanatics, and this is completely normal. I don't think you are being taken advantage of. Good Volvo mechanics should be put on retainer, since Volvo owners will likely need their services on a routine basis.

    You're in a tough bind. You authorized $1,000 worth of work, agreeing to pay the bill when the work is complete (not unlike our nation's commitment to pay its debt). Now something else is wrong with the car, and you claim you can no longer afford to pay $1,000 for a car you cannot drive. You aren't a member of the Tea Party, are you? Tea Partiers would probably just ignore the bill and abandon the car. (I am just kidding!) Unfortunately, that's a risk you take. If there are two or three things wrong with your car, and the first thing you authorized the mechanic to fix doesn't fix it, the mechanic has done nothing wrong.

    You have already committed to pay the $1,000 bill, so in my opinion, not paying it isn't an option. If you can't afford to have the rest of the work done, perhaps you should apply for a Goodyear, Firestone, or Sears credit card. (For the record, I don't recommend using Sears, but in this case, you seem desperate.) They often have 0% interest offers for big ticket items, so for a bill between $2,000 and $3,000, you might be given a year or 18 months to pay it off at 0% interest. However, if you don't pay off the bill before the deadline, they will hit you for accrued interest from the date of purchase, and that interest rate is usually pretty high, so don't do it if you can't pay off the balance by the expiration date of the 0% interest deal.
  • Whitey, your political remark was totally inappropriate and unfounded. And, trying to cover it up by saying you were just kidding does not make it right. Please go pound sand.

    You are, as usually is the case, about the mechanic issues, and his obligation to pay the $1000.
  • The poster didn't say if he authorized the repair or not, If I have my car towed to my mechanic I would expect a phone call with a diagnosis and an estimate before he does a $1000 repair. Of course I have never owned a Volvo, that might be considered a pittance and not worth a phone call in Volvoland.
  • edited August 2011
    oldtimer 11, Kerry wrote, "I requested my mechanic to have it fixed." I took that to mean Kerry authorized the repair.

    irlandes, my political remark might be inappropriate, but I noticed you didn't say it was incorrect.

    I apologize. I couldn't resist the obvious analogy.
  • Telling someone to pound sand isn't politically correct either even if you say please.
  • Has politics been made off limits for jokes?
  • Towing a car to your mechanic indicates you want your car fixed, it doesn't mean "regardless of what it costs" unless you say that.
  • edited August 2011
    Really, oldtimer 11? You want to quibble about semantics?

    Whether you say "fix it" when you drop it off, or say "fix it" when the mechanic tells you the diagnosis, saying "fix it" is an authorization to FIX IT.

    When I have my car towed to the mechanic, it is because it want the problem diagnosed. Whether I want the mechanic to fix it is another issue entirely, and I can't make that determination until I know what is wrong or the mechanic confirms my diagnosis.
  • I'll weigh in here and say that I don't think the Tea Party analogy was obvious, given that it was a question about something pretty unrelated. It's not to say it's unacceptable to joke about politics, but this didn't start out as a political discussion. However, I also think irlandes could have stopped short of telling Whitey to go pound sand. Just sayin'.
  • edited August 2011
    It wasn't supposed to be a tea party analogy. My analogy compared the OP's reluctance to pay for an authorized repair to our legislatures' reluctance to honor debt already incurred. The tea party part was a joke.

    I don't take offense to irlandes telling me to pound sand. I don't think it was intended to be hurtful or mean. It's like when I tell him to go play in traffic.
This discussion has been closed.