I don't disagree with you about the difficulty I face seeking any reasonable contribution I'm seeking from the dealer, if I take my case to small claims court.
I would have thought the burden of proof would be in my favor in small claims..."Beyond the preponderance of the evidence" vs. "Beyond a reasonable doubt."
My experience with this once in a lifetime...perfect storm of everyone not doing what they should have done (including myself) and the poor design by Mazda of the CX-7 4 cyl. Turbo, puts the burden of proof squarely on (The consumer's) my shoulders.
In a perfect world, every car owner would change their oil every 3,500 miles and document the event. Since that's not the case in many situations, the service industry has used that against customers to protect themselves against almost every customer complaint. Even though 3,500 Mile oil change intervals have been proven unnecessary and premature in most instances, even the new expanded oil change intervals are still very conservative. I guess "Better safe than sorry" is easier than actual diagnostic testing to determine accurate service intervals.
As long as no group is willing to challenge the automotive industry regarding guidelines and procedures in reference to accurate service intervals and repair procedures, the consumer will continue to either pay too much (Time and Money) for unwarranted service work and vehicle repairs that are a ticking time bomb to either repeat themselves or cause even greater damage the next time the same component fails.
With ALL of the things the dealer did wrong, didn't do or should have done...the appropriate thing should have been to see why the turbo failed. Usually it's oil starvation, so why didn't "Captain Obvious" check for that.
I happen to know after the fact, due to my online research...the CX-7 has a design flaw in the PCV valve. Premature engine sludge buildup is a know problem with the 4 cyl.turbo engine to the Mazda Service community. That's why the CX-7 is no more. 3, 5, 9, but no 7. The PCV valve remained clogged after the replacement of my turbocharger, which caused the compression in my motor to build up and shoot the dip stick out of the dip stick holder. All but one quart of oil remained after the other 4 or 5 quarts spilled out into the engine compartment. Lack of oil caused my engine to seize. Every time my car was started after that, the dip stick shot across the service shop bay. Duck!!!
I regularly checked my engine oil levels and added oil as needed. I had no idea as a non-motor guy, that the oil I saw on the dip stick didn't provide a visual clue to the level of engine sludge. The oil looked good to me...not dirty...dark...or thick. Since I don't know how to check for that, the dealer (Expert) has to do that.
All I needed from the dealer, was to know why they believe the turbo failed and what was needed to correct the problem. It may have cost me, but that's a choice I should have been provided.
*We think it's engine sludge, but we need to do 1, 2 or 3 to determine if that's what it is. The cost to do the diagnostics will be $$$$$. Replacing the oil, oil filter and air filter, may not correct the problem. Are you willing for us to break a few engine components down so we can confirm the issue. Even then, we may not be able to correct the damage that has been done, but we will have a better idea if you need a new engine or can live with the degradation of your engine, by you not changing the oil more frequently.
Boom! Now the monkey is squarely on my back and the shop did the right thing for me as the customer.
I know what happened...the dealer is always getting blamed for jacking up prices once they have the vehicle up on jacks. The Mazda dealer was probably such good guys, they didn't want me to think that, so they avoided the confrontation completely. As long as dealers are afraid to do the right thing, this vicious circle of ineptitude will continue, with the customer taking the fall almost every time.