I believe Progressive Service Center has screwed me...Help!


#1

Here goes…I took my car into Progessive auto insurance’s body shop when an elderly woman backed into my rear drivers side quarter panel. They took about a week to repair and paint my car.



I went to pick it up and the battery was dead. They explained that they often unplug the battery when working with a door open for an extended period of time.



However, when I got my car started my check engine light was on, something that has never happened with this car. They explained that the gas cap was just unscrewed and I was on my way. For the next two days upon starting my car it was very slow to turn over.

Finally last night my battery died again, when I jumped it my check engine light had come back on.



As a side note this is a 2006 Mitsubishi Lancer… with about 26,00 miles on it and the battery is at least 15 months old.



What did they do to my car??


#2

No clue what they did to your car, but you should get in touch with Progressive ASAP. They surely have some sort of process for this type of event. I am curious to know why the gas cap was “unscrewed”??? There is no reason on this earth why the gas cap needed to be unscrewed for what they were doing. Unless they stole some gasoline out of your tank. Considering the prices, it would not surprise me at all.


#3

Right…Well the dent they were repairing was just above my gas tank. I’m an absolute car novice so I have no idea if that would be related.


#4

As for the battery issue, I would suspect you’ve just got a weak battery that may have been exacerbated by sitting for a long time and/or getting discharged at the shop. You likely would have needed a new one soon anyways.

The check engine light issue is more troublesome, especially since the work was done near the tank filler. On a modern car, there’s a myriad of vent hoses and miscellaneous parts associated with the evaporative emissions control system that are located near there. If one of those hoses or devices was subtley damaged, the body shop may not have caught it. What you might do before you bring it back to them is go to an Autozone or other auto parts store that will read the codes off your car’s computer, which might be helpful to them since they might not have a code reader themselves.


#5

On a 2006, the battery is almost certainly the original battery.

It sounds like someone probably FORGOT to disconnect the battery while leaving the door open for several days and they ran the battery completely down.

Maintenance-free batteries do not like to be deep cycled. The older they get, the more likely a deep cycle event will be what it takes to push them over the edge. Your slow crank and check engine light symptoms would be consistent with a battery that is failing.

I would check the battery terminal connections and make sure that they are clean and tight. The shop may not have tightened the connection when they reconnected the battery. If the connections are good, I would have a shop that sells batteries test it (which they should do for free). You will likely be buying a battery. You can try to get Progressive to pay for at least part of the cost of the new battery, but since you cannot prove that they contributed to its demise, you probably won’t get far.


#6

Take it to the dealer and find out. This car is very likely under a bumper to bumper warranty with 26000 miles and <3 years old.


#7

Why should accident/repair shop concerns be a warranty issue.You are going to tell the dealer the complete true story arent you?


#8

I doubt they’ve done anything to your car. It’s possible that you could have some mechanical problems related to the wreck and the body shop will not be involved with this. Maybe the impact on the rear quarter damaged the gas tank venting system in some way and the battery problem could possibly be related to a trunk light not going off now due to the wreck (much like the one in a refrigerator).

If the battery problem is caused by a faulty or damaged trunk switch, etc leading to the trunk light remaining on then this should be the body shop’s responsibility.

Drop by a local AutoZone, Checkers, etc. and have them pull the codes. It only takes a few minutes and it’s free.
Post any results back here for discussion. Don’t be surprised if you get a code related to the evaporative emission system and this does involve more than the gas cap.
The filler neck is on that quarter so maybe the neck was fractured or damaged in some way.


#9

Excellent call on the trunk light switch - I would not have thought of that.


#10

The latest news is that I borrowed a friend’s new battery and the car is running just fine and the check engine light is off, as expected. Now the service center is fighting the idea of paying for a new battery. Their excuse is that I just had a “bad” battery, and that it couldnt possibly be anything they did. Will going to an autozone and running the codes reveal whether or not the battery just had bad cells? I’ll also add that the manager of Progressive Service center in Tempe, AZ was one of the rudest and unprofessional people I’ve ever dealt with!


#11

Trying to “prove” their negligence is near impossible. You have a 2 to 2.5 yr old battery that could have failed, and there isn’t much you can do to prove otherwise. For the cost of a battery, I would move on and be more selective next time about whom I use to repair accident damage.

You always have to right to get a car repaired at the site of your choice. Consequently, I have a continuing relationship with my favorite auto body repair shop that I trust, and they get all of my business. I don’t care what the other insurance company prefers; accident damage always goes there.


#12

Being suspicious that my 3 1/2-year-old battery was “underachieving”, I took it for a free load test at my local AutoZone. My suspicions were confirmed, and I left 15 minutes later with a new battery (they were “kind” enough to lend me the necessary wrenches to do it myself in the 95* heat). OE batteries are usually not the best, and a complete discharge can do in one that is marginal.