Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Disaster experience with repair shop

On January 2 I purchased 2005 Range Rover for an amazing price, do I knew I would have to invest some cash before I could drive it daily. On Jan. 6, I take it to a local repair shop to replace all fluids and get diagnostics. 2 days later I receive a call saying I should have the engine replaced, and if I wanted them to do it it would cost 4500 and be done in 5 days. The idea of having a nice new engine and me not wanting to cut corners to prevent more problems in the future wanted to get it done. And my eagerness to drive my car around kept me from getting quotes from other shops, I had no reason to assume the shop couldn’t take care of the task. Worst decision I could have made.3 weeks go by and the mechanics are dogging my calls and texts. I then receive a message saying the new engine was installed, but they couldn’t get the car to turn on. That there was something was wrong with cars electric system, and that they had to send it to a Range Rover shop after trying so much to fix it. Another 2 weeks go by, and by this time I have spent easily over $1000 on Uber’s by this time(I have receipts). I am then informed that the shop was having trouble figuring out what was wrong with the vehicle. A week later they say the car was on, BUT it turns out that the engine they installed into my car was “out of time” and they needed to get a new engine shipped in. I was so frustrated from wasting so much money on Uber’s and not having my car for 1.5 months. I voice my frustration and the shop agrees to loan me a car to get around town. The car they gave me was standard 2004 Kia Optima. Car car smelled a little like mildew and did not have a functioning parking brake(I was told to put the car in 1st gear and let it stall out when I wanted turn the car off) I felt really unsafe driving the car, but out of desperation I accepted it. One week goes by and the mechanics are digging my calls and avoiding my texts. I then receive a message saying that a piece of the engine broke while it was being transferred to the shop, and that it would be another week to get another one in. This was devastating news because I had a trip to Florida that I needed my vehicle to go to, I ended up having to rent a car to go because the Kia Optima would have never made it. I allowed my roommate to use the car to run to the corner store if he needed to. He was dealing with car trouble and his car was in the same shop my car was in. While on vacation I get a call from my roommate saying that was pulled over after the Cops ran the Georgia listens plate and leaning the car was not registered since 2015. The was was then towed with a few of my belongings still inside. He then contacted the shop and informed them of the situation that had just taken place. I get back from my trip expecting to have my car ready to go for me, yet I’m only left waiting again. It is now March 11, and I have been informed that my vehicle is ready.

I’m left unsure how to handle the situation, at this point I have spent thousands on transportation and other expenses that come along with not having my vehicle. I do not feel like I should pay 4500 for this nightmare of an experience. I do believe that fair is fair, and i do believe I’m entitled to pay some money for parts and services. I just don’t know if I should take legal action, or how much would be fair to pay.

Thank you for your time, JB

You don’t have a car problem, you have a legal problem. Get an aggressive lawyer to go after these people, and once your case settles, get rid of that car.


15 years old Range Rover “for an amazing price” ?
That sounds like a bomb with fuse burned all the way in, right before it goes off.
It is a very good reason it was not expensive, as keeping it on the road will be an expensive never-ending struggle.
Also, “new engine” for udner $5K sounds quite fishy, most likely it is remanufactured engine (the best case) or just salvage yard engine (most likely).


Do I pay them the money and the file the lawsuit? I’m still currently left without a vehicle

Go to a lawyer and ask them what is your next move. This probably wouldn’t go to suit anyway. A strong letter from the lawyer will probably pry some money from them. Have no further contact with the shop. You should be in a lawyer’s office tomorrow.


Thank you, I really appreciate you taking the time to give me advice!

It was an impulse buy, by the time I realized it was a bad decision it was too late. I made the mistake so it’s only right that I try my best to handle it. I can call it a learning experience, an experience horrible learning experience lol

Your first mistake.

And without a pre-purchase inspection?

These are not cheap vehicles to maintain or repair.

I’d feel for you, but I just can’t reach.


To successfully install a junk yard engine in an old Range rover in 5 days is awfully optimistic, you should have bought a primary vehicle to drive while you fix up the Rover. I don’t think the repair shop is going to pay for taxi or limousine rides.

Money is the last issue I’m having, I can afford to fix anything that could happen and maintain the vehicle. My issue is the level of unprofessionalism the shop is ran with, and and inconveniences this has caused. It’s the principle.

I’ll repeat.


1 Like

In most states you have to pay them or you won’t get your car back. If they let you take the car they can file a mechanics lien against it. Got a feeling this will not be the end of it.

1 Like

I am struggling to understand how you presumably went from driving the Range Rover to a shop for fluid changes and routine maintenance to being told it needs a new engine, and accepting such a drastic diagnosis without question. There must be a lot more to this story, which you have not told us.


Thanks for the “advice” :clown_face:

:clown_face: yeah I’m keeping part of the story to myself so I could get bad advice and not help my situation. Lol seriously???

Then see what they will settle for , have this thing hauled to a reputable shop and repaired properly . And after it is road worthy get rid of it.

There are few vehicles more costly than a cheaply purchased uncommon luxury vehicle. This will likely end up being a costly learning experience, unfortunately. I agree with the advice to consult an attorney.

Why would you need to do that to shut off the car and what does that have to do with the parking brake? :confused:

As mentioned above, next time you purchase a used car suggest to get a pre-purchase inspection assessment done by your own mechanic. Two identical looking used vehicles sitting side by side, one can be in great condition, many miles without any major trouble, the other total junk, unusuable. Only way to tell is the inspection service.

$4500 parts & labor for a presumably used engine is quite reasonable. RR’s are not a super-common vehicle so you’d need someone with a good deal of RR engine replacement experience for that job. Does your s hop have the needed level of RR experience? If not, your best bet is either to give up and sell it, or to move the vehicle to a shop that has the required RR experience, and let them sort it out.

Even though the shop shouldn’t have given you a non-licensed loaner, when you allowed your friend to drive it , you’ve probably lost the bulk of that argument for a complain against the shop on that issue. I expect it will be your responsibility to return the loaner to the shop in the same condition your received it, and for you to pay all costs associated, including the traffic-citation fee.

As the shop claims everything is properly repaired now, once you’ve been given an invoice of what you owe, you can always post back if there are remaining disputes. If they allow you to drive it home, the first place to take it is a RR specialist shop and have the prior shop’s work evaluated. Sort of a post-purchase inspection. I expect the inspection may turn up some more issues.

1 Like

You’re not going to get your car back until you pay or hopefully win the lawsuit, if you lose the lawsuit, you’ll still have to pay the lawyer and the shop to get your car back.

If you’re looking for advice, I think this information is critical to determining any next actions. How much did you pay for it?

You may find this interesting. A coworker had their Land Rover die and coast to the side of the road, They noticed smoke and squealing just prior to the event. A/C was running. Dealership it was towed to immediately said the engine was toast but they could install one for the low, low price of around $10k. Then they started showing the owner new Rovers. I told her the A/C compressor likely locked up and she did not need a new engine. They were riding her pretty hard to trade it for something else. On my advice, she had it towed to an independent shop and he properly diagnosed the A/C and repaired it for around $1500. It’s still running three years later.

I am always suspicious of these kind of, out of the blue, dire prognosis. Always get a second opinion.

In my opinion, what to do next depends greatly on the financial landscape…