Bad car repair


#1

I recently moved to Texas for a travel nurse contract, drove 340 miles from Arkansas. On the way, the car started vibrating in 1st and 2 nd gear. I got lost in the town i was in, and found myself outside a repair shop so i asked for advise. I left the car with them, and they told me there was an oil leak, and it had leaked over the clutch plate which was causing the vibrating. I paid 1600 dollars to have the clutch plate replaced and a new oil pan.

Couple of days later, the engine was vibrating and the manager seemed disinterested in the problem, but a lad that worked at the repair shop agreed to come on a test drive and agreed something was not right. The shop put it back up on the lift and found that a bolt had fallen out, which they fixed without charge. Couple of days fine, until today when i drove home from work oh boy! when i let off the accelerator there is a clunk, and it feels like the engine is going to fall out of the compartment. It is vibrating again in 1st and 2 gear.

I will take it back tomorrow, but my question is do i have legal recourse if they don’t want to deal with it. A mechanic at Goodyear told me that this repair shop has a poor reputation, but this is “heresay”. Any advise plase.


#2

Oh Small car, never ever go to a dealership or Goodyear or Firestone to have your car repaired. Dealership mechanics are too dishonest and claim they want to fix the car right the first time when all they are really doing is selling you an uneeded repair. Goodyear and Firestone mechanics are drop outs of society and from the dealerships. These shops employ inexperienced mechanics, who may even be ASE certified mechanics, but who are very poor mechanics: too drugged out to work.
Anyway, your problem. The bolt that fell out may be a just one of the 4-8 bolts (Depending on what kind of car it is) that weren’t tightened to specifications. So, you may have the same problem all over again. Don’t even bother going back to that first shop. It will take some time but you will have to find an honest shop in your area. I believe there is a link on this webpage that will help you with that. Once you have found that shop. Have them make the repair and take the reciept to the first shop and give them proof (With help from the shop who did the repairs right) that they screwed up. If they don’t accept it, tell them you are going to contact the authorities starting with the BBB and then the District Attorney. With help from the DA’s consumer fraud division you can either find an attorney or mediate/litigate with this first shop.
To make things worse you may not have had a bad oil pan seal to begin with, but rather a bad rear main seal that is actually slightly above the oil pan and in front of the clutch assembly. If that seal goes bad, which happens mostly during a long trip. then the clutch plate will become saturated with oil and not work properly. It is like having oil on your brakes. I have a feeling that the first shop missed the correct source of the oil leak, and replaced the clutch assembly without properly tourqing the bolts. There is also a big possibility that there are other bolts that aren’t tightened properly like engine or transmision mount assemblies. Thats why I advise that you not go back to the first shop for repair.
Wish I could help further by giving you my email address, but you know how society is.


#3

Vast generalizations that may or may not be true. Could be the same for an independent mechanic.

A good reason if you are on the road and far from anywhere to repair at a chain or dealership is repair is covered at another facility of same name.


#4

“contact the authorities starting with the BBB”

Ummmm…no.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is NOT “the authorities”, but is actually a private organization that companies can choose to join for an annual membership fee.

While The BBB does police their own members (but only upon request), they are frequently ineffective in providing any help to the complaining comsumer, hence their nickname–The Better FOR Business Bureau. If you have a complaint about a business that is a non-member, the BBB has no influence on the offending company and no interest in contacting that company. If you want more details, a few months ago, Smart Money magazine published an investigative report exposing the ineffectiveness of The BBB.

If the OP wants to contact an actual governmental organization that has regulatory and punitive authority, then she should contact the Department of Consumer Affairs, which is run by either the county or the state, depending on her location. In addition to being more likely to actually be able to intervene on the OP’s behalf, the Consumer Affairs people can (and do) file court complaints against offending businesses through the aegis of the county’s or the state’s legal department.


#5

I think you have it right “Abnormal” is “Beefy Norm” their rants are identical.


#6

So far, the only thing missing are his rants about (pick one): Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Ted Kennedy, Barack Obama. Of course, those people had nothing to do with the questions that were posed, but somehow those names frequently popped up in his responses to automotive questions.


#7

Then That Explains The “Norm” in “Ab norm al”, Doesn’t It ?


#8

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is NOT “the authorities”, but is actually a private organization that companies can choose to join for an annual membership fee.

CORRECT…They are NOT associated with any legal authority. One dealership I knew the owner was the President of the local BBB. And for some strange reason there were NO complaints ever for this dealership. It was one of the shadiest dealers I ever had the displeasure to deal with.

The DA is NOT going to get involved in a case like this unless it’s a very very slow week. So far no crime has been committed. And if the mechanic refuses to fix it…it’s a civil matter…NOT criminal. You can file a complaint with the States Attorney General. They have a division for this…But they won’t act unless there are many many complaints and even then they’ll be reluctant to any action.


#9

Thank you for your reply.
Don’t i have a responsibility to, at least, give the repair shop the opertunity to put it right which looks much better in a small claims court. Also if i go somewhere else and pay again the manager will just dismiss the whole thing and not pay anything.
Once again thank you for taking the time to reply.


#10

Clarify something. When you refer to vibration in 1/2 gears do you mean a shudder that is present when taking off from a dead stop, releasing the clutch pedal, etc. or a vibration that is present all of the time?


#11

My advice in this case is to find a reputable shop in the local area (ask friends, coworkers, and everyone you meet who the frequent) and take it there. Give them the entire story and let them look at it.

At this point I suspect the shop that did this work is either incapable or unwilling to properly repair the vehicle. And the new shop may give you the evidence you need to pursue recourse with the 1st shop in small claims court via a good detailed shop order (ask for one).