Backyard Mechanic

A recommended backyard mechanic ruined my car and now wants to be paid in full before releasing it to me. Is this legal?

I would show up with a tow truck and my title then let him make the next move/mistake.

How is this mechanic dealing with zoning issues? Is he not concerned that your report will make it to county authorites?

I will reserve any comment on the “ruined my car” side of the story because you have not presented any facts.

You need to provide more information. Much more.

Backyard mechanic? Is this a business or not?

Ruined my car? How?

Did you sign anything granting him access to your car for repairs, or was this a verbal contract? Also, even in a verbal contract it should be assumed that you will get your car back in at least the condition it was left in, not worse.

Thanks for three responses. I guess the mechanic realized the problems I could make for his illegal business, as I spoke to him and he told me I could come and get the car. He insists it is driveable, though he claims the head gasket is blown. I had arranged for him to fix an oil leak, but the day I was to drop it off I encountered stalling problems after driving 8-10 miles, no overheating indications. He was fully aware of this and said that fixing the oil leak would correct it. Did no other diagnostics and then called me 6 days later saying the head gasket was blown due to leak in radiator. Insists I agreed to oil leak repair and tune-up, not to having a car I could drive. I will be towing it to my son’s shortly to see if it can be salvaged. Thanks again.

As with most things in life, you get what you pay for.

Live and learn.


He told you over the phone and without seeing the car that fixing an oil leak would solve the stalling problem??? And you took it there???

Now it’s being towed to your son? Is he a mechanic?

I hope you have another car to drive. You’re going to need one. No disrespect meant, but until this gets looked at by someone who knows what he’s doing things are likely to keep getting worse.

Did he intentionally deceive you or was it an honest mistake/incompetence on his part?

At least you lived…