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Extra workdone - not requested


austin8
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Hi

 

I sent my car to norhern road engineeing newark, for a routine serivce. quoted £78

 

On collection they stated that the timing belt needed replacing, and carried out the job. now the engine sounds bad.

 

 

They have given me a bill for £375, to which i said i will not pay, but they refused to give my my car back, so i had to pay.

 

The carhas now been taken to another gargae and im waiting there opinion.

 

But can a gargae refuse to return my car if i dipute thier bill?

Can a garage do extra work with out my concent?

 

Is this a fraud or theft or just a poor service? and as being a trade dispute nothing can be done, norhern road can do this kind of thing to every costomer?

 

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I would say they should not have carried out work to the value of 10 times what you expected without your prior agreement. Refusing to return the car without payment amounts to blackmail but you did the right thing in paying up as you really had no choice at that time; like paying a clamping fee you disagree with. Anyway how can they tell a timing belt needed doing? Did you submit a service history to the garage? If not I doubt they would have looked at the timing belt as £78 would probably only cover oil, filter, plugs and maybe a check of the brakes. Not sure how you are best to proceed; I guess you better see what garage 2 has to say first. You could also try Citizen's advice re. the unauthorised work and whether you can get some of the cost back. 'Engine sounds bad' - I hope they havn't mucked it up !

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Yes a garage can refuse to return the car over a disputed bill, called a lien, but they can only do this over a legally submitted bill.

 

You asked for a service and got a cam belt, that's not on and not the price you agreed to. Just as Ed says above, how did they know the cambelt was dodgy, they don't give any sign that they are wearing.

If they had reason to suspect the cambelt then they should have contacted you for permission before commencing the work.

 

It sounds as if the new belt (if fitted) has been incorrectly fitted a tooth out.

 

I have no doubt that you will not have a problem getting your money back but you might have to issue a small claims to do so, so be prepared for that.

 

As for 'is this fraud, theft or bad service', I would say it is all three.

Edited by Conniff
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Garage 2 , said the timing tensioner had been losened, probly trying to get extra fund out of me, IE tighten the tensioner and bill me again kind of garage, money for nothing. Also that the belt did not look new,

 

But in the long run, wouldnt this be my word against garage, and be a waste of time? Will check with local CAB and trading stadards to see if they have a file!

 

Thanks

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A loose tensioner does not make the car sound bad BUT would greatly increase the chances of the timing belt slipping or breaking and writing off the engine. I guess you have two approaches; one is to claim money back on the extra work you never agreed to in the first place; the second is to get the belt inspected (apparently there are forensic experts around who can do this - see nearby thread re faulty cam belt on this forum) and if it has not been changed, get your money back and get them done for fraud.

Did garage 2 fix the problem of the 'bad' sounding engine ?

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Re. 'A loose tensioner may make the engine noisy, if the belt is slapping against the belt cover.'

 

I don't think a belt would stay on/last long if it were that bad. Are you seriously suggesting that garage one loosened off the tensioner that much and then claimed to have replaced the timing belt?? Likely outcome would have been a wrecked engine with garage 1 the likely culprits for not doing the belt properly so it doesn't make sense for them to have done that.

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I've had a loose belt on vehicles I've bought many times especially on the Ford Zetec engine that are hitting against the cover. Recently had a Vauxhall Ecotec that had never had the belt replaced in 115000 miles, now that one really was slapping against the cover. For some reason I've bought quite a few Renaults with the Energy engine where the belt has been too tight, and the belt whirrs like mad. Very loud. Just slacken it slightly and all is well.

Edited by gwc1000
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'I've had a loose belt on vehicles I've bought many times' - why do you buy them if they have timing belt problems?? I've had the whining due to over-tensioned belt (my own fault) but never the belt slapping the cover; I wouldn't dare start it up in that state ! Still we digress and are not helping Austin 8.

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'I've had a loose belt on vehicles I've bought many times' - why do you buy them if they have timing belt problems??

.

Er, I'm a secondhand car dealer, and I have to take in part exchanges irrespective of their condition, or else no deal. Also when at auction I will buy some cars knowing they are faulty as long as the price is right and there is enough margin. Sometimes in this game you have to press the gamble button, or you will not earn a living. If every car only had a slapping cambelt to contend with, I would be over the moon.

Edited by gwc1000
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