Faulty repair or not?

on june 22nd i had $1300 worth of necessary and preventative repairs and services done on my 2001 mazda protege. this included replacing both of the belts which were cracked but not completely gone. it needed two more more visits to finish finding and fixing the air conditioner leaks.

last week my belt started squealing and before i had a day to take it in, my radiator blew out suddenly and violently doing 30 mph in 70 degree overcast weather after driving it 16 miles on august 17th. the check engine light and battery light came on about a mile before the radiator blew but the temperature gauge never changed. i was just over a mile from my destination when the incident occurred so i planned to check the lights when i got off the highway.

a different repair shop looked at it and said that the belt popped off the water pump which caused the overheat and radiator failure. they said my car does not have a tensioner and the belt could not just pop off without having been installed incorrectly, and they advised me to call the original shop.

i called the original repair shop repeatedly to try to speak to the manager and after a couple of hours one of the technicians called me and told me that the belt could have come off for any number of reasons and that the radiator could have overheated for completely unrelated reasons.

i never did get to speak with the manager of that shop but the current repair shop tried for three days until he spoke with the manager who also denied any responsibility.

the shop doing the radiator and affiliated repairs said they will be documenting that their professional opinion is that the belt was improperly installed and directly led to its failure and the overheating radiator.

i don’t even know yet if the engine is ok.

i can’t get to the repair shop to take pictures of the belt but i am going to ask if they can do that for me.

has anyone experienced a faulty repair like this or know if there is any other reason a belt might come off a car that doesn’t have a tensioner?

i am pretty sure i will have to sue to try to get compensated for the damage to my car and i want to make sure that the current repair shop is giving me the correct information. i can’t seem to find answers anywhere on this subject.

thanks in advance

Get any pictures you can that will prove your case. Get statements from the guys who are replacing the radiator. Also check with the dealer for their opinion…and above all…GET A LAWYER.