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Mechanic locked up my truck and won't fix it!

I have a 2004 Ford F-350 4 door 4x4 long wheel base with the 6.0 diesel… The oil cooler blew out and started to mix the water with the oil… I called a person I grew up with that owns a diesel shop not far from me… He came and towed it from 2 counties away with no payment…The truck sat for about a month and a half at his shop before I could come up with the $1500 to pay the tow bill and repairs… So it takes him 2 months after I pay him in full to even start working on my truck…I’m ok with that he’s a growing business and the truck did sit for a brief period before he was paid… So skip to 4 months later he’s completely stopped working on my truck and has parked it in the brush behind his shop… I send him message after message call him over and over no avail no answer… so finally I call one afternoon and he actually answers, tells me he’s on a tow call for the sheriff’s department and he will call me back when he gets freed up… 8:30 that night he calls and tells me this " Well there’s an issue with your truck… " and he continues" I replaced the parts and everything and drove the truck around that whole day with no issue…" I say ok " Well I got back to the shop as parked it came back and started it from a cold start great pulled it up to my bay door and it just shut off and won’t rotate in either direction…" Now this is months farther down the road and he hasn’t touched my truck and I am I’m dire need for it… I earn a living with that truck

It may be necessary to hire a wrecker to accompany you to that shop along with a constable-deputy-whatever your county offers and take possession of the truck. Then deliver the truck to a hopefully honest and qualified shop where it can be inspected. I can’t imagine there will ever be any satisfaction in dealing with the man who now has the truck.


I totally agree with @Rod_Knox

if too much water got into the oil in the first place, all kinds of things can bend and lose lubrication. This mechanic obviously isn’t interested in repairing this engine- time to find one that will actually talk to you about it.
not to add insult to injury, but the 6.0L Powerstroke is a horrible engine.

On the surface, I see an engine that has given 13 years of good service in a work truck…hardly a horrible engine.

Thank you for this example of why you should never mix business and friendship. It muddies the waters and takes away any leverage you might have if you were only a customer.

Last year, the lady who runs our charitable foundation at work decided to setup an “in-kind” agreement with a bartending company rather than hire them and pay them their normal fee. In exchange for their bartending services, we were supposed to do some cross-promotion or sponsorship deal. The day of the event, they showed up with half-empty bottles, which was a no-no according to the service agreement both parties signed. When our people told them they couldn’t serve drinks from already-opened bottles, they got upset, and suddenly, the bartenders were taking a long time to make even the simplest drinks.

The problem was that, by entering an in-kind agreement, we lost the leverage a customer has to fire someone or hold them to the terms of the contract. That appears to be similar to what you’re going through. Either your friend doesn’t value your friendship, he left your truck on the back burner because he was cutting you a break on his fees, or he took you less seriously than his other customers for some other reason. Either way, you’d have been better off if your only relationship with him was between a customer and a shop owner, because the customer-owner relationship has rules.


OP got lucky. :grin:


FWIW I’ll agree that all kind of bad things result from coolant getting in the oil even for a few minutes of running time. I would never expect that the engine could be flushed out and put back into service. A good(?) used engine would be worth looking for if a qualified mechanic finds the engine locked up.

13 years out of a diesel is embarrassingly pathetic.


Sounds like the diesel problem has become a legal problem.
You need a lawyer.


Not for light truck diesels:

Longevity: Diesel engines last longer. That’s certainly true for over-the-road semi tractors that typically travel 80,000 to 100,000 miles per year. These vehicles are typically expected to operate for half a million miles or more before trade-in or sale. In the past 15 years, at least nine light- and medium-duty diesel iterations have been introduced to the marketplace by Ford, GM, and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA). Engine families have been rendered obsolete either due to emission control regulations or, in some cases, their own inherent mechanical shortcomings. Few engines in the light/medium class have been around long enough and in great enough numbers to support the longevity claim.


Yeah, I rest my case on diesels. Having driven one 480,000 miles, I was not impressed with the cost per mile compared to what I would have had with a gas. Saved some money on fuel sure, but spent it all on repairs, maintenance, and engine replacement. And that was before the blue. Yet folks flock to diesels when they see a little better mpg. Silly people.

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Pay him for the work he’s done to now, and tow it back to your home or another shop. Either that or sell it to him and use the proceeds as a down payment to buy another truck. Oil cooler leaks like that are not that uncommon. The biggest problem is usually diagnosing that problem, rather than how to fix it. And it sounds like he diagnosed it ok. I’m guessing the delay in getting it fixed and resulting corrosion is probably what is responsible for the later problem. And the onus for that delay in part belongs to you, the OP. Not diss’ing OP at all, totally understand the necessity for the delay. Best way forward, accept the consequence and move on.

Yeah your options are truly limited at this point. Been there but at least the thing is put back together, not all in pieces like mine was. I guess you really should have another opinion on whether the engine is shot or not, depending on how much you trust this guy now. So tow it for another opinion, drop an engine in, or just dump it and get a replacement gas powered truck. I dunno, no good options.

I had 960,000 miles on my Mack R model 300 hp that I pulled long doubles with in NY and MA. I shut it down on the road to save the engine when it sounded funny and the oil pressure was dropping. A bolt had come out of the fuel pump and engine oil was blowing all over the place. The shop that it was towed to could not find the leak, filled it with oil and sent it with an extra driver and a load to a company shop. It blew up on the way. Before I got tp my terminal with the tractor they had given me, I was being accused for shutting it down for no reason. Before I woke up that afternoon. I was being accused of ruining an engine. It did burn a fair amount of oil at 960,000 miles, I used to ward the toll collectors to shut the door before I took off, the company ˆdrove for was to cheap to put an exhaust stack on , the exhaus tended between the frame rail behind the cab.

Are you ignoring the fact that the shop owner apparently has bad communication skills?

I understand his business is growing, but not returning the customer’s calls and not keeping him in the loop is not quite professional, in my opinion

Many great mechanics are unable to deal with running their own business. Some of the best mechanics I’ve known struggle to make ends meet working in small shops at their homes.

No disagreement there, the shop owner isn’t properly communicating with the customer. But complaining about that doesn’t get the truck away from out in back of the shop & returned to the owner.

There are plenty of light truck diesels from the 70’s still roaming around the back country. Hell, pretty much anything from 2004 should still be running unless it was wrecked.