Mechanic damaged car, advice?

My father took his car to a mechanic to fix old bolts or something. Then 1 month later we took the car to another mechanic because of an oil leak and this mechanic found damage on the power steering rack + pinion (damage done by a torch? there’s burn marks). The 2nd mechanic said the last one must have damaged it and he’ll show up in court for us if we need him.

The mechanic who damaged the car will only fix it using used parts. Should we let him do it? Are used parts ok or is it dangerous? We’re a bit worried of putting the car into his hands again, but lawyers are expensive.

New parts would cost us ~$1100, plus the fee for getting it fixed.

Year, make, and model would give us a chance to access the situation a little better.

Though I will say that a letter from a lawyer may be all you need to prod the mechanic into using new parts. an hour of a lawyers time may be all you need.


The first mechanic may not be sure he damaged anything but is willing to make a good faith repair. The second mechanics opinion is just that- an opinion-he can’t say who did what during the previous month. A description of the damage would help. If it affects safety have it fixed.

There’s no way mechanic #2 could say for certain that whatever damage there is to the car was caused by mechanic #1. And yet he’s willing to stand up in court to say that he is? Sounds like he’s trying to impress someone.

As for mechanic #1, car repair is sometimes a messy procedure and unfortunately, things can go wrong. If he indeed did cause some damage and admits to it, the only reasonable thing is to repair the car with used parts of similar age and mileage. The car did not have a new rack and pinion on it when it came in to mechanic #1, it had a used on, with however many years and miles are on the car now. He is only obligated to return the car to the same condition it was in, not better.

You’ve provided us with absolutely zero useful information. We don’t know the age and/or mileage of the car, the make and model, what parts are involved, or what work was done by either mechanic. We have no idea what was allegedly wrong with the rack and pinion. We don’t know why the car was brought to either mechanic. No descriptions, no photos, not even guesses.

Ii mean no offense, but if you ask someone to give you a second opinion you should provide all the relevant information.

I think used parts should be ok. You’d have a difficult time arguing in court it should be new parts, the court would say at most the repair should bring the vehicle to the same as it was; i.e. used parts. Because it had used parts at the time of the repair that apparently went wrong.
So pay mechanic number two to verify the parts being installed by mechanic number one are ok. That’s about as good as you’ll going to be able to achieve in this situation.

And what exactly are the damaged parts? Are there heat warped parts involved? Or is it just that a rubber seal or two has melted or distorted?

The most important thing here in my mind is to make sure the repairs recommended by mechanic number 2 are actually needed.

I fully agree with asemaster. Mechanic No. 2 seems too eager to jump into court on this. It also would not surprise me if the OP and his dad wind up in front of a judge with Mechanic No. 2 as a no-show for whatever reason; probably a contrived one.

And he’s allegedly willing to go who knows where, wrestle parking, sit for maybe hours on end while waiting to be called for free, and then possibly get ripped a new one by Mechanic No. 1 assuming No. 2 even showed up.

Those who work in the mechanic field know there’s a certain small percentage of mechanics who like to play One-Up on every other shop in town by accusing them all of being crooks or doing shoddy work; all for the purpose of making themselves look grander than they are.