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What do you do when the mechanic's replaces the wrong part?

So, I just read another threads here where the mechanic obviously replaced the wrong part at a tune of $1200 for that “repair”, only to find out that it did not resolve the problem.

Customer is out a lot of money and now is asked to spend more for, hopefully, repairing the problem correctly.

What should a customer expect?

It depends on how the repair was presented to the customer. From here’s the problem and this is how much to fix it, to we’re not sure but the best we can tell, this is the problem do you want us to proceed? And anything in between…


Let’s assume this scenario

Ideally, I would want to pay cost for the parts and no labor. We would have more thorough discussion on what to do next, if anything.

I had a problem with the windshield wipers not functioning correctly on a 1968 AMC Javelin I once owned. The Rambler dealer said it was the transmission rod going to the left wiper and replaced it. The next day it rained and the wipers again stopped in the middle of the windshield. I took the Javelin back and the service tech determined it was the wiper motor. It was a vacuum motor. They deducted the entire first bill–parts and labor from the cost of replacing and installing the wiper motor. The next week the wiper motor failed on the 1965 Rambler 550 I owned. It also had vacuum wipers. The dealer said that they had installed the last vacuum wiper motor they had in stock on my Javelin and it would be a couple of days to get another vacuum wiper motor. I was also advised the next time I bought a car to buy a higher trim line with electric wipers.

My repair shop will charge for parts, but no more for labor. They might also throw in an oil change to make amends. OTOH, they charge by the hour. If you have an older car and disassembly takes longer, you pay for it. That took a little getting used to.