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Mechanic Won't Take Responsibility - Ideas?

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Mechanic Won't Take Responsibility - Ideas?

Post by TVJ »

I love my 1999 Volvo S70 Sedan. Although older, I decided to keep it and put about 1500.00 to it this year as it is the last year before they were sold to Ford and a pretty rare find. One of the things I was in need of was a new heater core and fan which I had installed in April. The Volvo mechanic has been my exclusive mechanic. On my way up to the mountains this past Wednesday I was just past Lookout Mountain from Denver (like 15 miles) and all this white steam came through my vents, fogging the whole cabin and I immediatley pulled over and called my mechanic. My resevoir was empty with no coolant. I added some as well as about a gallon of water. Nothing leaked below the car so I thought all was okay yet the resevoir did not stay full - I added more water, (not mechanically inclined okay???/) and noticed it was coming under my floor mats into the car.
I had to wait a long time for a tow truck who took it directly to my mechanic. Long story short they said the engine had a warped head and would cost about 3000.00 to repair. When I asked about the heater core they said that any problems would have happened prior to then. Granted it was a hot day but the previous core had lasted 10 years! SO my question is, to anyone who may know for certain that my car over heated due to a loose hose or core right? Could it have just over heated from something else? I hate to put all this effort into fighting with the mechanic if it is possible it was something else (seems unlikely though) yet I am car-less now and very upset about the whole thing.
I'd appreciate any ideas, constructive opinions, etc.
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Re: Mechanic Won't Take Responsibility - Ideas?

Post by JDS60R »

It is difficult to tell without inspecting the car but it "could" very likely be something else as you did not state any leaking from the heater core until it was too late. This would point to a failure elsewhere?

Just for clarity - Are you saying there was no water on the floor and no smell or steam from the vents before it fogged up the cabin? Did the guage show a higher than normal temp? Did a low coolant light come on?

If the answer is no to both of those you may want to check the pressure cap on your resivour to see if it no longer holds 22 psi pressure?

Let us know what you found and if your pressure cap was grey or green.

You can find guaranteed used motors for under $750 and an install should run in the $500 area. $3K is too much
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Re: Mechanic Won't Take Responsibility - Ideas?

Post by Volgrrr »


Some years ago a mechanic talked me into having all the hoses in the engine bay replaced while the engine was out having the rear main crankshaft seal replaced. This seemed quite logical to me at the time and so I gave permission for them to go-ahead and replace the hoses (however, I nearly fainted when I received the final a/c - boy, do Volvo dealers know how to charge).

I had never experienced any trouble with loosing coolant up till then, but I soon noticed the coolant level had to be topped up on a regular basis.

I examined all the hoses and couldn't find any sign of leakage but until one day my wife complained there was a loot of sticky green gooey looking stuff seeping up through the carpet in the footwell on her side of the vehicle.

Suspecting the heater matrix had gone west (a not too uncommon occurance with these vehicles) I pulled it out but found it was 'as good as new'. Upon investigating further, I discovered the leak was caused by one of the new heater hoses being forced on a slight angle into the hose joiner unit in the firewall which resulted in the copper pipe 'nipping' a small chunk out of the 'O' ring seal allowing coolant to seep past it and eventually accumulate under the carpet in the footwell.

I returned to the garage, but they wouldn't accept any responsibility because (a) I had done the repair and (b) they already had their payment for the work and didn't want to part with any of it. They even went as far as inferring I had most likely damaged the seal due to my limited DIY backyard mechanical skills (their inference - not mine) so, it is probably needless to point out the vehicle has never crossed the threshold of this garage and since then, through general conversation, numerous friends and acquaintences are now fully aware of my unfortunate experience.
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Re: Mechanic Won't Take Responsibility - Ideas?

Post by jblackburn »

Back home, our local news station has somebody they call "The Troubleshooter". People give her a call after a bad experience with someone and she'll "investigate" into their business a bit more - my mom & a couple of her friends called them once on the Chrysler dealer in the area that just about everyone hates.

Often, bad press will be enough to make them take responsibility for it; otherwise they will lose much of their business.

The most important question you need to ask the mechanic right now, however:

Did they PULL the head to make sure? Or are they just spouting BS out of thin air? Yes, if the engine overheats, it will warp the head most of the time, but did it actually overheat on you?
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Re: Mechanic Won't Take Responsibility - Ideas?

Post by cn90 »

In order to get warranty, you need to prove negligence. Mechanics do this all the time, brushing off responsibility.

Take pictures of the current problems.

Maybe he forgot to tighten some screws etc. so it leaks at the O-ring area. The heater core is brand new, so I doubt it leaks from the HC (unless it is damaged during shipping).

Once you prove that the current problem comes from mechanic's recent wotrk, then he has to fix the consequences, by law.
Last edited by cn90 on Tue Jul 06, 2010 12:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mechanic Won't Take Responsibility - Ideas?

Post by shiloh51933 »

Sorry to hear bout your unfortunate experience recently with your Volvo. I have not dealt with auto shops/dealerships in atleast 10 years for there neglegence directly in a/c compressor install on a Lincoln LSC back in 1998. I brought them a new used a/c compressor from a friends wreck yard that was perfectly good for them to install cause I was way to busy and would lose much money taking time to do myself. I was referred by a girlfriend of mine who said her family always uses them and trust them. When I dropped the auto off I specifically told them I wanted the compressor installed and to find/fix reason for compressor ceasing up. Also I wanted a full tune up with new plugs, wires, cap/rotor, oil, tranny fluid, new coolant and all other fluids etc. . So about a week later I hear nothing, no courtesy call or nothing, so I go down there to see what's up to find that my LSC hadn't even been touched. The shop owner gave me some song and dance about his best mechanic who owns the same kind of auto is out and he was waiting for him since he would know my car the best out of all his techs. So I waited another 2 days and still nothing, well long story short they just had one of there so called mechanics install and do everything else I wanted. I went to pick up my ride in the middle of summer mind you(90 degree's out), I start car which doesn't sound like it was given the full tune up I wanted and put a/c on which if you ever owned a Lincoln you would know how powerful the a/c is on them. I always set the climate control to about 68 degree's and it was coming out cold but not like it should. Long story short I inform shop owner and take my car and will return it in couple of days when his "best mechanic is back". Well they did nothing but install compressor which ceased up and broke the belt to it and ended up far from home and had to replace compressor which I was lucky friends yard did for free and pay another shop to do what I wanted to begin with. I tried to bring shop to small claims court with mechanic write from other shop mechanic of neglegance to no avail, they didn't show and I was out 700 bucks and plenty of wasted time time. My bad about long post but this what happens when you deal with scum bag mechanics. I worked in the industry for a couple of years until Otis Ford out by me had me doing crooked stuff to people's vehicles so they would have to bring them back later for more repairs or charge for work not being done, so I know what goes on. Do yourself or find friend to help or give specific directions on what you want done, good wrenching.
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