How to slam a shop

I have posted a review on Yelp, and filed with the BBB. Any other ideas?

Car engine failed, was replaced about 150 miles from home. Completed in mid December, 2017. Driving car back home, car used 3 quarts of oil (dripping on ground). Car was taken to local shop, due to problems and long distance. The following problems were found and repaired:
Valve cover gaskets installed improperly, including O ring gaskets around 5 spark plugs.
Splash guard on front dragging the ground.
Car out of alignment.
Exhaust pipe hanger loose.
Drive shaft support bolts loose.
Transmission pan dented and leaking.
Thermostat supplied with new engine was open
Heat control valve was never reattached, so there was no heat in the car.
The cost of the repairs was $980

The repair shop has promised to cover this but has not gotten back to us. We have not received any money.

What else can/should I do?

How about going back to the beginning . . . :thinking:

Exactly why did you bring the car to the shop in the first place?

Have they offered to fix any of the problems?

Was the engine replaced with a new engine, a remanufactured engine, or a used engine?

I still want to know why the car was in the shop in the first place . . .

For instance, if an owner brought the car to a shop to replace wiper blades and a light bulb, the shop shouldn’t be responsible for oil leaks and a loose splash guard, since they presumably wouldn’t have messed with that other stuff

Replaced with used engine.
No issues with part (except possibly thermostat).

PS: cannot drive car in this condition back 150 miles to shop.
They offered to cover the cost, but never did.

If you’re only concerned with “slamming” the shop, then I suppose that your actions so far are sufficient. However, if you are really interested in recovering your money from that shop, then you need to file a complaint with the Department of Consumer Affairs, which is usually run by the state Attorney General’s office.

For reasons that I will never fully understand, many people seem to think that the Better Business Bureau has regulatory and punitive powers–even though that private club for businesses absolutely does not possess either of those powers. In fact, several years ago, Smart Money magazine published their investigative study of The BBB. The article was quite long, but the summary sentence at the end of the article summed it up very well:
Very few people are actually helped by The BBB

Perhaps that is why their nickname is The Better FOR Business Bureau.

When you have trouble on the road, you are at the mercy of the shop. It is unlikely that you will recover the money for the corrective repairs.
To end on a positive note, back in early March of 1963, I was driving back to my home in East central Indiana from Southern Illinois during spring break in the 1955 Pontiac I owned at the time. I added left about 7 p.m. and had gone about 125 miles when I started having problems and realized my chances of making the remaining 225 miles were slim. I was coming into My. Carmel, Illinois and spotted a motel that had a vacancy. I pulled in and inquired about s room. I was told that there was one room left, but it had a problem – the television was out of order. If I wanted the room, I could have it for $4 for the night. If I wanted to watch tv, I could come down to the lobby. I took the room and it had a very comfortable bed and wonderful thick towels. The next morning, I investigated what to do about the car. About the only thing I knew to do was to try the Pontiac dealer. They took my car in right away and worked for about an hour adjusting the valves. When I went to pay the bill, the charge was $5. The service manager came over and told me I would make it home, but the car needed new lifters. I thanked him for all the shop did, but I thought I owed them more than $5. “Nope”, the service manager replied. “I don’t like to charge for a car that doesn’t leave the shop completely right”. I did make it home, and couldn’t believe that I had my car fixed well enough to get home and a comfortable place to stay for $9.

My best heartwarming road story: In about 1974 I was driving my 1952 Chevy from Maine to Minnesota. I realized that the best route was thru Canada–mostly forest, 2 lane, a few small towns. So it began leaking oil badly (valve cover gasket). I had some oil in the trunk because it burned a bit, like they all did back then. Anyway, I stopped in the next small town at the only auto parts shop and said “Would you be able to get a valve cover gasket for a 52 Chevy?” The counter guy reached down and pulled one up and said, “Here you are.” Turned out somebody had ordered one and never came to get it.
I was on the road again in 20 minutes.

Thanks, I did the state consumer affairs thing too.

I wouldn’t guess an engine replacement would affect the wheel alignment. I expect it is going to be tough to point the blame at the engine replacer for that. The other items, yes, those are likely the responsibility of the engine replacer. But if I ran a shop doing engine replacing, one of my services would be for the customer to bring the car back in a month or two, for a check-up on that kind of stuff. Bolts coming loose, exhaust system support, coolant running too cold, etc. Replacing an engine has so many steps it would be difficult to guarantee that every single step was completed on every job, and the solution is just some follow ups to correct any problems. No charge for the follow-ups of course. Did the engine replacement shop offer this follow-up service?

If it’s a fwd vehicle, I tend to disagree with you, especially if the cradle had to be loosened or removed

1 Like

The part about “new engine” needs to be revised. You got a used engine; and a well used one at that from the sound of it and based on the valve cover leaks.

For the life of me I don’t understand replacing 5 spark plug seals. That leaves 1 or 3 remaining unless this is a 5 cylinder engine…

As for the alignment, db4690 is correct again. A lot of things have to come apart for a FWD engine swap and it’s going to change the alignment.
Of course that brings up the scenario of someone getting upset over a “shop trying to rip them off for an alignment when only the engine was changed”.

What would have been said if the shop had recommended a new thermostat on this “new engine”.

You may have a few valid points but I can see a number of things on the list that are not likely the shop’s fault.

1 Like

If I had an engine blow within 150 miles of home, I would take one of the following actions depending on the value of the car:

  1. Have the car flat bedded to a mechanic I trusted back home.

  2. Take a screwdriver, remove the plate and donate the car to the highway department.

No doubt sloppy workmanship, mechanics get in a hurry while trying to make a dollar. I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for a check to compensate for the additional repairs however, $980 for valve cover gaskets and to reseal the transmission pan would appear to be excessive.

How much did the first shop charge to replace the valve cover gaskets? The labor to replace the valve cover gaskets is about 3 hour of time, less time if the engine is out of the vehicle but the charge would likely be the same.