How long to hold shop accountable for repair?


I have a 99 Audi A4 2.8 that had the timing done about 30k miles ago (at 90ish k). Recently I put replaced a section of breather hose.

Subsequently the front crankshaft seal gave way to a deluge of oil, almost 3 quarts. I topped it off and limped it in to a shop a mile away.

If this seal was a part of the timing job should the shop that did the timing take some responsibility here?

Thanks in advance

How long did the shop warranty it? If I understand your car has 120,000 miles on it (90-ish +30K).

My opinion, and I may be wrong, things happen, and I can’t see asking the shop to warranty something with that many miles, that long after the work was done.

Nor am I sure the timing belt work would guarantee the front crankshaft seal, that will wait on an opinion from the experienced mechanics.

What’s a timing job?

My opinion is that any work done 30,000 miles ago is ancient history in customer service terms and you shouldn’t expect the shop to take blame for something that happens now.

Sorry, my “timing job” refers to a timing belt service. On my car this generally includes
-timing belt
-tensioner rollers
-cam tensioner seals
-front crank seal
-accessory belt

I agree that 30k is ancient history for most jobs. The only reason I’m even considering balking at this is that the service interval for this job is 90k.

30K miles?? This repair is on you…

A front crank seal is not necessarily done with a timing belt and for one to fail at 120K wouldn’t be odd. So are you saying that you think it should have been done then? Or are you saying that it was actually done then? I don’t think it matters either way. The typical “warranty” I get is basically 90 days parts/labor. Occasionally, depending on the part I might get a 12mo/12K miles warranty. Even then the labor end is still often only 90 days.

However, I use a local, independently owned shop and they know me. If I bring something back to them that has failed prematurely, they will work with me based on what is reasonable (rather than what is in the letter of the contract/law). Sometimes it means they explain exactly why its not on them. Sometimes it means that they just fix it and send me on my way with no charge. Sometimes it lands in the middle. You can’t beat doing business with people who are still able to do things based on reason rather than writing. So have you asked the shop about it?

How many years ago was that repair done?

Ok gang, please understand that I’m not trying to “gotcha” the shop that did the timing job. It’s an independent shop that I go to often and I trust.

In fact, not too long ago a control arm they replaced had a bushing prematurely go bad and the swapped it out no charge.

I’m just trying to figure out what expectations should be.

The job was done a little over 3 years ago.

With that many miles and that much time involved the shop is not responsible for this problem.

The point could be made that seal replacement could have been recommended back when the belt was changed but that gets into the area of the shop being accused of piling on, expense wise. I’m not saying that you would pile on but that does get brought up on this forum quite a bit.

My opinion is that a higher miles engine (100k or so) should get new seals whether they’re leaking or not. It would be the same thing as installing a used engine ino a vehicle and that engine has no oil leaks at the rear main seal. The rear main should always be changed to head off Murphy’s Law because a used seal can develop a leak at any time.

Dealers only give 1yr/12,000 miles on part/labor and decent independent do also.

Unfortunately your issue.

The shop has no responsibility mainly because the job was done over 30K ago. You can’t sue McDonalds for a stomach ache because you ate there last week.

The consensus seems to be that 1 year/12k is the expectation even if the OEM service interval is almost 100k.

I’ll leave this one as irlandes said, “things happen”.

Thanks to all that replied.