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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    5

    Default Mechanic Charged in Advance, and then is Not Fixing My Car

    My question involves a consumer law issue in the State of: Connecticut

    My car was overheating badly, so I took it to this mechanic. He told me that issue was the heads of the gasket, and he could fix it for 800-1300 dollars, it would take 2-4 days, and I would have to drop my car off with him. He said he would have to check the heads first to see if they were repairable or needed to be replaced, and that would determine if it was 800 or 1300.

    This was Saturday, November 17. I told him I'd drop my car off on Monday, November 19. I did so. On Tuesday, November 21, he told me they needed to be replaced, and it was going to be 1300. I said alright, do it. He said he needed to be paid for the parts first. I agreed, and when he came to pick up the check, he told me he'd knock 50 off if I just paid it all at once. I did so.

    I called Saturday morning, the 24th. He said it should be done by that Monday, the 26th. Monday he called me and said it was running hot still, apparently the block had been cracked. He said he would replace it for me, free labor, but he needed $400 for the block and it would take a few days.

    Since then, it's been over two weeks. I have been without a car this whole time and am about to by a new one. Whenever I call him, he always says "a few more days." What legal rights do I have? Can I demand my money back? Can I take him to small claims court if he refuses and would I win?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    OH10
    Posts
    17,019

    Default Re: Mechanic Charged in Advance, and then is Not Fixing My Car

    Likely you would not win. It appears he is trying to make the best of a bad situation. When you overheat an engine, there are 4 approaches; first, fix what is obviously wrong assuming indicators are everything else is okay and second, tear everything down, send the block for xray and completely rebuild the engine form the ground up with all new parts,r third, buy a used block, complete and replace the heads you already have or fourth trade back in the heads for a complete used engine. As he is essentially doing this rebuild/replace for free, it makes sense he is doing it in addition to paying work.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    NW of KSTL
    Posts
    2,554

    Default Re: Mechanic Charged in Advance, and then is Not Fixing My Car

    With what you describe I would say that you can, and should, demand your money back. But I'd also surmise, from what you described, that your chances of gettin' a refund are slim and none, and Slim just left town.

    Parts and labor, even for an older car, amounting to $1300 total for complete replacements of the heads is a tad low. $400 additional to replace a "cracked block" is definitely way too low. If your block is truly cracked, the replacement parts and labor would be easily in the thousands, depending on the make and model.

    Try demanding your money back at this point, as this is the first step.......the first step in the process of most likely having to initiate legal action to actually get your money back.

    $1700 to replace a cracked block is an incredibly low "estimate"!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: Mechanic Charged in Advance, and then is Not Fixing My Car

    "This mechanic" - are we talking about an actual auto repair shop, or a guy who fixes cars out of his back yard? If it's the former, what do you have in writing documenting the repairs and their cost?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Mechanic Charged in Advance, and then is Not Fixing My Car

    Well he has a shop, and it's a company name, but it's just him. I do have documentation in writing for the repairs - with the prices and description and it's on one of those big page sized repair shop receipts with all the shop information on it.

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