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Not happy with mechanic's services

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Looking for a bit of advice on how to deal with this situation.


Story goes as

Water leaking from car, took to usual mechanic who replaced a valve.

Drove car for 2 days to work and on 2nd day car started over heating. Left car at work as 20 miles from home. Got a mechanic close to workplace to take a look at car. Says must be the thermostat and order 1. Replaced thermostat, still over heating, says the themocup? is cracked and needs replaced.

Car still overheating so he takes out the radiator and takes it to an engineer to have a look, twice he done this. Anyway after a week he came to the conclusion that the valve that was replaced was faulty and needs replaced by the garage who put it in for me at home.

So i get the car back (collecting it from his home as it was after working hours. Paid him the money £140.00 but didnt get a reciept)and the heating is not working, mechanic says he turned it to cold until i get the valve replaced. Says it should work fine after this.

Now i dont know anything about car's which is the reason I use mechanic's but when i got the car back their was no oil in it either.


Still no heating after valve replaced and Im working so havnt had time to check car checked again for 3rd time with different garage to fix the heating. About a month after i got the car back i take it to the garage to check the heating and they tell me that there is no thremostat in the car. I say that I paid for new one to go in to it and explain the story.

Have tried to contact this so called mechanic but is away on holiday and so going down this week to ask my reciept and to see why he charged me for work which was not complete.


Just looking for a bit of advice on which way to deal with this situation and was considering informing the Trading Standards ppl and if I dont get a reciept also the VAT office. I am in Northern Ireland.

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Update: got a reciept from the mechanic, total of 140.00 paid for services which included replacement of themrostat and housing, replace and fixture of radiator and for something else aswell, which I forget.


Could someone please help and guide to which why I should handle this.

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Hi lassie,


Cooling systems are not quit as straight forward as they at first seem.


Your leak could have been from water being discharged past the radiator cap due to overheating, hence the subsequence loss and overheating again two days later.

It could have been a faulty thermostat locked in the closed position that caused the overheating.


Not all garages have the equipment to allow them to make a swift diagnosis.


His first test, after making a visual check for leaks, should have been to pump up the cooling system with a special pump and check for leaks. If there were none, then he should have refilled the system and with the engine running, kept an eye on the temp guage and felt the radiator hoses to guage when/if the thermostat opened.

If the thermostat did not open and the guage reached the normal operating temperature, then suspect the thermostat and either change it, or remove it and test it. I don't know of any garages that test the stat now as it is just as easy to put a new one in while the houseing is removed.


The lack of heat from the heater, if is has been returned to hot, would indicate that there was an airlock in the cooling system and that it needed bleeding. This could also account for any overheating you may be experiencing now.


You should phone him and ask for a receipt for the work done, make some excuse that you need it to submit to your employer for reimbursment. If he decides to be difficult and say he can't supply one, then you could just mention taking it further, and if you know that he is VAT registered, what better thing to hint at than you telling them.


Are you still experiencing problems?




I hope that is what you were looking for.

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Hi Connif, thanks for replying.

I have got a reciept from the garage but my complaint is that I paid him for work and parts that were not complete.

My car is now going grand after the 2nd garage put a thermostat in my car which I paid the 1st garage to do.

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I'm a little puzzled lassie.


You have been to three garages?


Garage No 1 fitted a valve but it did not cure the fault?

Garage No 2 at your workplace replaced the thermostat ?

Garage No 3 sorted the heater and said garage No 2 had not fitted a thermostat?


It is garage No 1 or 2 that you want an invoice from?

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Thanks for reply, no wonder you were mixed up I was myself aswell. Got mixed up a bit with the different garages, hopefully I've made it a bit easier to read below.



Garage No 2 fitted and charged me for thermostat. Car still had no heating.

Garage no 3 fixed the heating by installing a thermostat as none in the car, which garage No 2 charged me for.

Garage No 1 can disregard as they replaced the faulty valve.


I have recieved a reciept from Garage No 2 but it seems to be my word and garage No 3 against his as to car not having thermostat when returned to me.

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Morning lassie


Ok - a bit like a Chinese puzzle.


Overheating and water loss would be caused by a faulty thermostat in the shut position. If garage 2 replaced the thermostat housing, I can't see why he would not have replaced the thermostat as well seeing as he had the thermostat housing off and a thermostat is only a few pounds.

Leaving the thermostat out will indeed cure overheating if there is not a fault somewhere else, it's usually done as a stop gap - get you home resolution.


If you have been told the full story, I think your only recourse is to get a sworn statement from garage 3 to challenge garage 2 with. You will need to ask garage 3 if they will do this. If not, then whom do you believe?


Seems the whole saga was caused by garage 1 who misdiagnosed the problem to start with, I'm not sure what this 'valve' is they fitted.

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