Mechanic Caused New Issue?

The starter went out on my 2008 Honda CRV, so my friend had it towed to his favorite mechanic and apparently told him to fix it without talking to me first. He replaced the starter, but when I drove away the engine light was on (code P0507). It was revving high and low.

I brought it back in, explaining it just started doing this after they replaced the starter. A guy there checked and said there was a crack in the air intake boot, so I ordered one and he replaced it.

Still the same, if not worse. Took it back in. At this point the owner is saying it’s a coincidence and nothing to do with the starter replacement. I said you went in through the manifold, right? Yes. I’m trying to keep my cool and said I thought maybe a hose got knocked or something. He finally looked around under the hood and found out his guy that replaced the boot left a hose off. He fixed that, but the engine was still revving high.

He’s still trying to say it’s nothing they did, but is having me bring it in for a few hours to look it over. He was showing me hoses and the solenoid, saying they looked bad. I asked if there were any holes or cracks, but he said no.

My question is how far I should let this mechanic go? I’m not feeling very trusting and don’t want to end up with him charging me for something they did. Any advice would be very much appreciated. I’m documenting all of this.

I think you are done with this shop. The P0507 is likely caused by a vacuum leak… air entering not through the sensing system. Cracked inlet tube, lose hoses, leaky intake gasket… That throws the idle completely off.

A good mechanic… not these… should be able to find and fix it.


Except that a new shop will charge me for the work when this mechanic is likely the one that caused the problem in the first place and should fix it for free. I still owe him for the starter.

Do you want your car fixed or not? And how long can you be without your car while the shop piddles around failing to fix it.

You can argue over who owes whom how much in small claims court while you are driving your repaired vehicle.


Welcome to the forum and sorry you are having to go through this, it gives us pros all a bad name… :face_with_symbols_over_mouth:

If I remember correctly, a lot of mechanics just remove the intake plenum to get to the starter for replacement… If I had to guess, I would say they damaged the upper plenum gasket or cracked the plenum, broke a vacuum nipple or something along those lines…
If they have not been able to fix the issue yet then they probably are not skilled enough or too lazy to make it right… I would tow it to another shop that does more engine repair/diagnostic work…

You might just have to chalk it up to a lesson learned and have a little talk with your friend about boundary’s…


Yeah, I’m pretty sure something of that sort got damaged in their process. I think I’d better take it somewhere else, especially after it took me two weeks to get them to find that pulled hose. Thanks for the support!


If you work on enough vehicles long enough things will go wrong and you may mess up sometimes, the difference is taking care of the customer or being an A hole and not taken care of the customer… And a quality mechanic would have never released the vehicle back to you running that bad without at least doing some investigation by seeing if they did something to cause the issue or if it was already like that…


You have to decide what’s more important, your money or your time.

If you continue fighting with this mechanic, it’s going to cost you time and frustration. And you may or may not have a working car.

If you take it to another mechanic, yes you’ll have to pay them to fix the first guy’s mistake(s), but you’ll have the problem solved and working car.

It’s not an easy situation or decision, I know. But you’re going to pay either way.


My guess, nothing got damaged, but something in the engine compartment isn’t connected the same as it was. No experience w/your car/engine, but I’ve replaced the starter motor several times on my Corolla. I always do this job from above, rather than below. I remove the battery, then remove the air cleaner, and the boot from the air cleaner to the throttle body. Also involves the intake air temp sensor, and a clean-air pipe from the air cleaner to the front of the engine, involved w/idle rpm control functions. I also have to remove some coolant hoses.

So my guess, something among all that stuff is not properly connected. The air boot split was likely part of the problem, and that likely occurred during this work b/c the rubber is old and deteriorating and splits when moved. Some thing else similar to the air boot probably also split or cracked, vacuum hose, etc. Another part that could be related, the idle air controller gadget. That’s usually located in the throttle body area.

Not sure who the best person to do the job, but I expect someone with experience w/your engine configuration is going to have to re-do some or all of the starter motor removal/install job to figure out what’s wrong. They could start by removing everything that’s easy to remove in the engine compartment that’s involved w/starter replacement, maybe the problem will be obvious at that point. Frustrating for sure, but I expect whatever’s wrong will turn out to be an easy fix.

1 Like

Wait…how is it that you have your car back from the first mechanic if you haven’t paid the bill? Am I missing something?

If I were the one who worked on your car I would go ahead and find and fix the idling problem, as soon as you paid for the starter replacement.

I’m making payments.

Yes. And at least they’ll know where to look, unless it does end up being some kind of crazy coincidence! Thanks for the ideas on this.

Well no wonder the guy is not being helpful. Making payments on a starter.

Just to add though, he must have disconnected the battery when putting the starter in so the computer lost its memory. It should relearn that info again. But a mechanic is not a bank and most expect to get paid when the car is picked up.

We had a saying…the bank doesn’t fix cars and we don’t loan money.

I had a customer once, back when $1000 was a pretty big repair bill, who asked me if she could pay half now and half next month. I told her no, I couldn’t do that, but we do accept just about every credit card there is. She scoffed and said “Well they charge interest!” The look on her face when I said “But you want me to loan you money for free?” was priceless.


When a certain group moved to town they had a hard time understanding the rental cost of money. In their culture they did not pay interest. Finally warmed up to the idea when no one would extend credit.

An interesting thing that most shop owners don’t discuss, is that there’s money to be made by stretching out the payment–a surprising number of people are willing to spend more of their money if you give them time to do it. Like above, I’ve had people with a $1000 repair ask if they could pay half now and half next month. I would say yes I can do that but I have to add a 10% finance charge, so your total is $1100, two payments of $550. Without fail they would jump at the chance. Now I only did that with select customers, but it allowed me to make an extra $100 on a job.

lol … reminds me of a neighbor encounter I had a couple years ago. They saw me using a tool that they wanted to borrow. I explained I have had problems in the past lending tools, either not returned or returned damaged, resulting in bad feelings, so I no longer lend tools. But the tool can be purchased from local hardware store for $25. And the same store rents the item. And another option, there are several small businesses in the area that can be hired to do the service, and they will send someone out w/ their own tools and do the entire job.

Homeowner: “That hardware store is too far away”
“Hire somebody? That costs too much!” … lol . .

I have a friend that had a neighbor ask to borrow a (shop) tool once, he told the guy no that he had to wash his hair later, the guy said what does that have to do with anything, my friend said if I don’t want to lend out my tools, then one excuse is as good as another…

1 Like

I don’t think I’ve ever asked a friend or neighbor to lend me one of their tools. Seems like a good way to get someone who I otherwise like mad at me. One time I asked a neighbor if I could use his yard-trimming garbage container b/c I had a lot of yard waste that week, and even that caused some neighbor relations problems.

If it was you (or any other professional mechanic) I would think they wouldn’t get their keys back until they paid for the starter motor repair…