Should i get a refund from my mechanic?

honda
accord
mechanics

#1

I have a 93 Honda accord EX and most times when i drive it, the car will become unresponsove to the gas and slow down and then speed back up. I went to a shop can Budget transmissions and they told me that the problem was it need a new fuel pump and when i asked thm if that was for sure the problem they said yes. I paid 450$ for it and he told me to get fuel additive to clean out the engine cause it may still be a little laggy. I drove the car to autozone and then home and it drove perfectly. A few hours later it did the unresposive thing again and when i told the mechanic he said i had to put about 70 miles on it. I HAVE DRIVEN OVER 100 MILES NOW and it still lags like i havent even gotten the fuel pump replaced. I havent called the mechanic yet and i wanted to know if i should ask for a refund or what to do. Any suggestions? My brother also said it may be the oxygen sensor haven gone bad so should i ask the mechnic to replace it for free? (I also welcome anyones diagnosise on what may be wrong with the car.) Thanks

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#2

@kingsolo

I suspect that “mechanic” who sold you the fuel pump did not do any diagnosis

Perhaps that shop should stick to transmissions

I would advise you to speak to the manager and/or owner of the shop and request a refund

In my opinion, you should not ask the shop to give it another go. They may very well dig themselves into an even deeper hole.

If they will not refund you the $450, perhaps you can haggle with them. Perhaps they will refund the parts or the labor. In ugly situations like this, you have to salvage what you can.


#3

Hard to say what’s exactly wrong via internet, but it seems the fuel pump didn’t fix the problem. Frustrating. I understand that. But these kinds of problems are to be expected with cars of this vintage. My car is an early 90 Corolla, and I just had a weird drivability problem that was causing me some grief, just resolved it a couple weeks ago. (Edit: My problem was caused by a throttle body issue, the IAC specifically.) Anyway, back to your car. It’s interesting the fuel pump replacement seemed to help at first. Do you remain convinced there was a clear improvement at first? If so, that would be a clue the problem remains in the fuel system.

So what to do next? Well, the O2 sensor can be ruled out by testing it. Mechanics have ways to test the output signal, see if it looks reasonable. I doubt it is the O2 sensor though. Usually a bad O2 sensor would turn on the CEL. What’s needed is probably to run the ECM diagnostics, see if the car’s computer notes anything being wrong. If nothing found that way, checking the ignition and fuel pressure would probably be next up.

I don’t think the shop can be blamed b/c the fix didn’t work. After all, you do have a new fuel pump now. But there must be at least one more problem remaining. Best to just get after it, get it fixed. If you are uneasy about the shop, ask friends, relatives, co-workers for a shop recommendation, and ask them for a second opinion.


#4

While the fuel pump was 20 years old . . .

It certainly appears that it wasn’t the problem

I strongly suspect the problem was misdiagnosed . . . or not diagnosed at all


#5

In these situations you could ask them to either refund or apply forward the labor charges. Whether you needed it or not you have a brand new fuel pump. So you’re in a better position than you were. Applying forward will be easier for the shop to absorb than a refund but only you can decide if you want to stick with them. You can ask for anything but be prepared for all contingencies. Much more likely to avoid a battle if you find an equitable split…


#6

Did you pay for a diagnosis or for a new fuel pump? I think the diagnosis was free, and whether you needed one or not, you’re driving around with a new fuel pump, so getting a refund isn’t likely to happen. It doesn’t hurt to ask though.

It is possible that you needed a new fuel pump and the one that was installed is defective, or it was installed improperly. If that is the case, the shop that did the work should be willing to fix it for no additional cost.

If the shop you went to did actual diagnostic work, but misdiagnosed the problem, you might consider giving them another shot. However, you would be within your rights to ask them to discount future repairs by the $450 you already paid for a misdiagnosed repair.

There are simply too many variables to tell you what you should do. You need to find out what is really wrong with your car before you can get any good advice.


#7

Just some food for thought, but it’s entirely possible to have more than one thing causing the same symptom.

Maybe the fuel pump was really bad. Once replaced the next weak link in the chain (say the main relay) gives up. Replace the main relay and then the ignition switch goes south. All of those parts are in an electrical chain so to speak with the pump affecting all of them due to age and current consumption.

It could well be a misdiagnosis, or no diagnosis at all, occurred and you could certainly ask for a refund but legally I don’t think you have a shot if push comes to shove.
Your brother is also incorrect about an O2 sensor causing this problem and you’re certainly not entitled to have it replaced for free because of the fuel pump issue.


#8

@kingsolo might listen to the opening segment from show 1345. Tommy and Ray give some commentary on this exact problem – where the first “fix” doesn’t fix the problem. The customer complains of a whining noise. The shop says the solution is to replace the serpentine belt. The noise remains … the customer complains “why should I have to pay for the belt replacement when it didn’t solve the problem?” … the shop says the serpentine belt was glazed and needed replacement anyway. … OP might listen to that opening segment for some perspective on this very common problem that occurs between customers and mechanics.

Another perspective: If you go to your doctor complaining of a pain in your arm, does the doctor guarantee the pill he gives you will fix the problem? If you go to your lawyer complaining of a noisy neighbor, does the lawyer guarantee the letter he writes to the neighbor will resolve the problem? No. These professionals do the best they can is all. Mechanics, Doctors, and Lawyers are all professionals. What these professionals guarantee is to perform their jobs with due diligence, and to work on the customer’s problem for as many hours as it takes until the customer is satisfied. Each hour billed at the normal billing rate.


#9

As he usually does, I think OK4450 “nailed it”. On a vehicle this age there are often multiple problems that contribute to a single symptom. Unfortunately, your car predates systems that store “fault codes”, so it’ll take s shop some time to do a through evaluation. Your spark could be erratic, your fuel delivery still erratic (perhaps due to a failing sensor), and you could even have erratic valvetrain operation.

I agree with those that say “don’t fault the shop”. I also agree that a tranny shop is not the proper place to start for this type of problem. Find a reputable owner-operated shop and tell them the whole story.


#10

The 90’s Accords had problems with the relay to the fuel pump solder joints fracturing with time. Take it to a Honda dealer and they will know exactly how to fix it for about $100. I owned 93 Accord and had that expearience