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New start bad out of the box?

On Saturday we had our mechanic put a new starter in our 97 dodge neon. The old starter was shot. On monday morning dad went to start car and nothing. Towed it back to mechanic who tested the starter installed and said it was bad. He replaced no charge. How comon is this?

It happens.

Especially on aftermarket starters. Did the mechanic spring for the tow as well?

Here at the shop we have a definition of new. Never Ever Worked.

We have AAA, no cost to have towed.

Not impossible, but I think the inital concern was mis-diagnoised and made right at comeback time.

The starter was not ‘bad out of the box’ because the mechanic obvious started the engine once to get it out of the service bay and your dad started it once to get the Neon home.

Notwithstanding the above, any rebuilt is subject to early failure because the quality testing (if any) is a spin up with current draw monitoring. A further quality check would be to do a locked rotor current draw test with torque measurement but that requires a more qualified technician. So basically, the car owner becomes the defacto quality tester. Luckily most rebuilders give a warranty on their units.

Hope this answers your concerns.

Mechanic fixed the connection problem and said it was bad starter as he didnt want to admit his mistake

Count my vote also as a possible missed diagnosis and CYA scenario.

It can happen but it’s more likely a “cover story” for the mechanic.