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Garage taken a month and still not fixed car


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To cut a long story short, my car broke down 4 weeks ago.

Took it to my local garage who, after 3 days, diagnosed burnt exhaust valves.

This shoudl take less than a week to fix and put back together.



However they still have the car, in bits, after making various excuses about things going wrong,

the latest one today is they need to take the head back off and send it to a machineing shop for some more work,

and I 'should' have it back early next week.



This will be over a month since I first took it to them.

I've completely lost confidence now in their ability to fix my car.



Do I have any rights re; taking my car back in its current state,

would I be liable for any repair/parts costs?


Thanks for any help

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I think that you have waited quite long enough. Clearly, it is time to start taking matters into your own hands.


One of the problems of course will be that the engine is in pieces and you need to make sure that you get back the whole thing and get it repaired by somebody that you can rely on.


How much of this of you got down in writing? I think you need to start making sure that you have got a detailed account of everything that has happened and also if you can get to visit the garage and take pictures of the engine and the state of it then this would be a good idea as well.


Is this a well-established garage that would have difficulty closing down if they were faced with legal action? Or is it being run out of some lock-up in an alleyway?


I think that you need to find an alternative garage that you have confidence in and talk to them about it and asked them if they will be prepared to repair the car if you had it towed to them. It would be best of all if you could get somebody to agree to undertake the towing and the repair so that it is all with the same person.


You must make sure that the repairing garage is reputable and will do a good and thorough job – or else you will find that you are in dispute with two garages – each one of them blaming the other and then everything will become so complicated that you won't be able to sort it out at all. This is not the time to start getting cheapskate about the final repair solution. If you deal with this correctly, the garage that has let you down so far will be picking up quite a lot of the repair bill.


I suppose that the present garage will be unwilling to put anything in writing. I would suggest visiting them with a voice recorder running, and asked them lots of questions about what is wrong with the car and why it has taken so long et cetera et cetera and get them to commit themselves onto the recording. Obviously you would do this without revealing that you were doing the recording.


You also need to tell them that you are preparing to have the car taken away to be repaired elsewhere.


You clearly don't want to have any continued delay. This means that you don't want to get into any more protracted conversations or broken promises.


Once you have identified and spoken with a new garage, then you should write the existing garage a letter and give them, say, seven days to complete the repair after which the car will be removed from them and repaired elsewhere and they will be presented with a bill for any extra expenses that you have incurred as a result of their inadequate workmanship so far.


Be prepared, however, because they might suddenly say that they have done a certain amount of work on the car and then not prepared to let go without some payment.


If this happens then I think that you will probably need to move immediately to a small claim in respect of a broken contract and the detention of your car.

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Do you know the machine shop that is being used ?


If so, it might be a good idea to give them a visit and see what they say about the condition of the head.


Assuming they sent it to a machine shop in the first place.


Everything that has been done ie remove head, replace exhaust valve seats, (skim if required), supply and fit new exhaust valves etc. must be listed on your bill. Not only so you know what has supposedly been done, but to increase the saleability of the car when it's time to go for another one.

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Oh my oh my.



Here we have people jumping to conclusions again with no knowledge of the reasons why the repairing garage got it wrong.



A classic example of this would be with VW Polos and the 3 cylinder 1200 cc engine breaking down which is much documented on here.



What car is it, what mileage and reason given as to why it broke down. Then it would be in order to give opinions!!!

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Ok, to update the thread, I finally got the car back last Wednesday. Not really had the chance to drive it properly until today. Sadly (but probably not surprisingly) its far from right. Its running like a bag of nails, smoking and belching. I'm wondering where I stand legally with the garage now? I don't particularly fancy taking it back to them given that it seems they really don't know what they're doing, although I'm guessing I probably have to give them the opportunity to put it right before escalating things? I paid for the repair with a credit card so I assume I have some protection there?

If it helps its a Ford Smax 2l petrol with 77k miles

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