I took my 2001 Ford Focus Wagon with 150k miles into a new mechanic last week because it was smelling of fuel, and hesitating to start. They initially replaced the spark plugs and replaced the computer. When I picked it up initially, it was driving differently… no fuel smell anymore, but underpowered, still delayed starting, engine doing odd things at stops. I took it back immediately, and they started it a few times and basically said they had no idea, and I needed to drive it for a few days till the check engine light came on.
I drove it for four days waiting for the check engine light to come on, but it never did. In the mean time, symptoms became much clearer, and the car was taking three or four turns to start and the engine revving at stops, but otherwise driving fine. I took it back in and asked them to look at it. Based on it’s symptoms, and a few tests they ran, they told me it was the Idle Air Control Valve, and it would need to be replaced. I authorized the repair, and two days later got a call telling me basically my car has a damaged cylinder, needs a new motor (which is clearly more than the car is worth), won’t even idle anymore. They were actually quite nice about it, and aren’t charging me for the second set of repairs.
They say that the computer, all along, has been injecting too much fuel into one of the cylinders, leading to it’s ultimate death while at their shop. I’m apt to trust these guys, but am having a hard time stomaching that I drove my car in, but won’t be able to drive it out. I don’t know enough about cars to know if I should be suspicious, but some friends have indicated that I should.
I guess I’m just asking, does this chain of events make sense? Do I have reason to be suspicious that the shop did something they aren’t telling me about?