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  • FIRST POST
    • sartois
    • By sartois 18th May 17, 9:20 AM
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    sartois
    Garage ruined engine when car took in for MOT
    • #1
    • 18th May 17, 9:20 AM
    Garage ruined engine when car took in for MOT 18th May 17 at 9:20 AM
    Hi there,

    I hope someone can help here as I am not sure what the rights are in this situation.

    My friend took her car to a garage to have a service and MOT carried out, and whilst I don't have the full details the garage have contacted her to tell her the 'engine blew up' during whatever they were doing with the car.

    They haven't given her any more details than this and have said that she would need to speak to the owner of the garage who is not in until Friday to 'sort it out'.

    She has asked me to go to the garage with her for support tomorrow. I am wondering what rights she has here as she basically took a working car into the garage for a standard MOT and oil change, and from the sounds of it her car may now need a new engine.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
Page 3
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 18th May 17, 3:47 PM
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    AdrianC
    As discussed, diesel engines are run to their governor at MOT time - that's not something most people do in normal use, and certainly not unloaded.
    Originally posted by BeenThroughItAll
    But it IS something that any engine in even half-decent health will take with ease. If it causes a problem, it's really only hastened the inevitable a little bit.
    • BeenThroughItAll
    • By BeenThroughItAll 18th May 17, 3:54 PM
    • 4,165 Posts
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    BeenThroughItAll
    But it IS something that any engine in even half-decent health will take with ease. If it causes a problem, it's really only hastened the inevitable a little bit.
    Originally posted by AdrianC


    Yes, totally agree - I deliberately didn't mention that aspect as I didn't want to stir the 'is this Fiat a neglected shed' pot any further!
    • sartois
    • By sartois 18th May 17, 4:27 PM
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    sartois
    Thanks for all the responses everyone.

    I've given her a heads up that tomorrow will probably be expensive, and we will go in and see what options they come up with to resolve it.

    It's probably not a neglected car in terms of cleanliness but if I was to put a bet on it I would say that she doesn't even know where the bonnet catch is and the only time the engine has seen the light of day is when the mechanics open it for it's yearly service and MOT.

    This poster was referred to earlier about what should be checked regarding the timing belt issue:

    https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/240384/advice-for-presenters-of-diesel-poster.pdf

    It does say that "As part of the MOT test you will be asked a series of questions to confirm where possible the vehicle’s maintenance history, for example, has the timing belt been
    replaced recently? These questions will be asked before the tester carries out the emissions test"

    Does this mean these questions are an actual part of the MOT and if they were not asked this would be down to the garage not properly carrying out the MOT? I doubt she would even know what a timing belt is but I presume all this stuff is in the service book that they should have checked before doing the work?

    She says that all they asked her was for the keys and double checked her phone number so depending on what they say the cause is then potentially this offers some sort of leverage?
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 18th May 17, 4:35 PM
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    AdrianC
    Does this mean these questions are an actual part of the MOT and if they were not asked this would be down to the garage not properly carrying out the MOT?
    Originally posted by sartois
    No.

    so depending on what they say the cause is then potentially this offers some sort of leverage?
    No. If they'd asked, she would probably have said "It's been serviced regularly". If she'd said "Oooh, I have no idea" - they should probably have simply refused to carry out the test, until such time as either she could assure them or they changed the cambelt themselves. At which point, there'd probably be a lot of wailing about how they were taking her for a ride...

    But since it's a chain anyway...
    • Aylesbury Duck
    • By Aylesbury Duck 18th May 17, 4:37 PM
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    • 730 Thanks
    Aylesbury Duck
    Thanks for all the responses everyone.

    I've given her a heads up that tomorrow will probably be expensive, and we will go in and see what options they come up with to resolve it.

    It's probably not a neglected car in terms of cleanliness but if I was to put a bet on it I would say that she doesn't even know where the bonnet catch is and the only time the engine has seen the light of day is when the mechanics open it for it's yearly service and MOT.

    This poster was referred to earlier about what should be checked regarding the timing belt issue:

    https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/240384/advice-for-presenters-of-diesel-poster.pdf

    It does say that "As part of the MOT test you will be asked a series of questions to confirm where possible the vehicle’s maintenance history, for example, has the timing belt been
    replaced recently? These questions will be asked before the tester carries out the emissions test"

    Does this mean these questions are an actual part of the MOT and if they were not asked this would be down to the garage not properly carrying out the MOT? I doubt she would even know what a timing belt is but I presume all this stuff is in the service book that they should have checked before doing the work?

    She says that all they asked her was for the keys and double checked her phone number so depending on what they say the cause is then potentially this offers some sort of leverage?
    Originally posted by sartois
    Oh dear. I hope there's a mutually agreeable outcome to all of this, but with regard to your assumption of your friend's knowledge of cars, I would advise that she seeks the guidance of a relative or friend (or youtube) who can show her how to check the things she should be checking at regular intervals, such as oil level, tyre pressures, etc. It really is only a few minutes' work every week and it might save expensive problems on this or other cars in the future, as well as making her safer on her own travels. Also, if you have a friendly garage, get their advice on a suitable servicing schedule for the sort of mileage she does. It will likely be more frequent oil and filter changes and general checks but it will be worth it to reduce the risk of breakdown or safety problems.
    • mrmot
    • By mrmot 18th May 17, 4:39 PM
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    mrmot
    The smoke test procedure is to get the engine to operating temperature, turn it off and measure the oil temperature, 60c minimum - preferably 80c. It's also good practise to check the oil level, too high or low don't proceed with the smoke test and fail it.

    It's possible that if the car has been given a good clear out by driving it relatively hard to the test centre, that it'll get a fast pass which means only one acceleration of the engine up to its governed speed. If it's been used gently, a fast pass isn't going to happen, which means five more engine accelerations, which isn't ideal.

    I had one particularly dirty Skoda that on the 4th or 5th acceleration the engine ran away, which is running uncontrollably using its own engine oil as fuel. It transpired that this car for the last year had been doing a round trip commute of 4 miles, so when the turbo was woken up the oil seals went.

    Some cars, by way of their usage/maintenance are just a time bomb.
    • sartois
    • By sartois 18th May 17, 4:43 PM
    • 151 Posts
    • 232 Thanks
    sartois
    No.



    No. If they'd asked, she would probably have said "It's been serviced regularly". If she'd said "Oooh, I have no idea" - they should probably have simply refused to carry out the test, until such time as either she could assure them or they changed the cambelt themselves. At which point, there'd probably be a lot of wailing about how they were taking her for a ride...

    But since it's a chain anyway...
    Originally posted by AdrianC
    Thanks, it was a bit of a straw clutch in all fairness. I wasn't sure what you meant about a chain so just looked it up... doesn't sound good:

    "A broken chain will most likely result in damage that will result in a complete engine transplant being less expensive than the repairs you’ll need."
    • EdGasketTheSecond
    • By EdGasketTheSecond 18th May 17, 4:45 PM
    • 135 Posts
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    EdGasketTheSecond
    Did you see my earlier post? Diesel runaway is the most likely scenario. Hardly the garages fault (unless they overfilled it with oil which is possible but they are unlikely to admit it) and apparently something Fiat are well aware of on these engines.
    • Chrysalis
    • By Chrysalis 18th May 17, 4:47 PM
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    Chrysalis
    As discussed, diesel engines are run to their governor at MOT time - that's not something most people do in normal use, and certainly not unloaded.


    The process is known to carry a significant risk, and that is why test centres have 'ADVICE TO OWNERS PRESENTING DIESEL VEHICLES' posters up.
    Originally posted by BeenThroughItAll
    If its not something required of a car during normal use and carries a risk, why is it needed for a MOT test?

    There is no point putting a warning up as MOT is required by law, its not as if the owner can say ok I wont have a MOT done then.

    With that said knowing this I would just stick to petrol vehicles.
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 18th May 17, 4:50 PM
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    AdrianC
    OK - Are you familiar with the basics of valves and pistons, and the four-stroke engine? Suck-squeeze-bang-blow...


    Except it's all going round much faster - even at idle, the crank is going round 15 times a second, while at full revs, that's 75 times a second on a diesel, 100 or more on a petrol. You've got two powerful explosions on each of those revolutions...

    The camshafts operate the valves - at the top. The crankshaft is connected to the pistons (going up and down). The two are tied together, in a precise relationship. If they drift much outside that, bits meet each other, and it gets VERY messy internally.

    It always used to be gears or chains - but it moved to rubber belts, because they were quieter and more efficient. But belts need changing regularly, because they age in the heat of an engine, very rapidly if they get oil on them.

    So manufacturers are going back to chains. But because they're also trying to increase efficiencies, they don't always last the full life of the engine, like they used to, especially if oil changes have been neglected. They usually give audible warning of stretching - through funny noises - but not always, and those noises aren't always heeded...
    • sartois
    • By sartois 18th May 17, 4:50 PM
    • 151 Posts
    • 232 Thanks
    sartois
    Did you see my earlier post? Diesel runaway is the most likely scenario. Hardly the garages fault (unless they overfilled it with oil which is possible but they are unlikely to admit it) and apparently something Fiat are well aware of on these engines.
    Originally posted by EdGasketTheSecond
    Ah no, sorry I did miss it. Sounds like something that could happen anytime though and just a coincidence/bad luck it happened whilst in the garage?

    Still, will find out for sure tomorrow.
    • Aylesbury Duck
    • By Aylesbury Duck 18th May 17, 4:51 PM
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    Aylesbury Duck
    it was a bit of a straw clutch in all fairness.
    Originally posted by sartois
    There's the problem. They're better when they're made from sticks, and better still from bricks. Then when the engine huffs and puffs, it doesn't fall apart.
    • sartois
    • By sartois 18th May 17, 4:53 PM
    • 151 Posts
    • 232 Thanks
    sartois
    There's the problem. They're better when they're made from sticks, and better still from bricks. Then when the engine huffs and puffs, it doesn't fall apart.
    Originally posted by Aylesbury Duck
    I see what you did there
    • sartois
    • By sartois 18th May 17, 4:56 PM
    • 151 Posts
    • 232 Thanks
    sartois
    OK - Are you familiar with the basics of valves and pistons, and the four-stroke engine? Suck-squeeze-bang-blow...


    Except it's all going round much faster - even at idle, the crank is going round 15 times a second, while at full revs, that's 75 times a second on a diesel, 100 or more on a petrol. You've got two powerful explosions on each of those revolutions...

    The camshafts operate the valves - at the top. The crankshaft is connected to the pistons (going up and down). The two are tied together, in a precise relationship. If they drift much outside that, bits meet each other, and it gets VERY messy internally.

    It always used to be gears or chains - but it moved to rubber belts, because they were quieter and more efficient. But belts need changing regularly, because they age in the heat of an engine, very rapidly if they get oil on them.

    So manufacturers are going back to chains. But because they're also trying to increase efficiencies, they don't always last the full life of the engine, like they used to, especially if oil changes have been neglected. They usually give audible warning of stretching - through funny noises - but not always, and those noises aren't always heeded...
    Originally posted by AdrianC
    Actually no wasn't familiar at all Not my field. I've learnt far more than I thought I would today!
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 18th May 17, 5:03 PM
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    AdrianC
    So - diesel runaway... Diesels don't have a sparkplug. They use the heat generated by compressing the air to ignite the fuel.

    Diesel fuel isn't very different to oil.
    If the seals on a turbocharger get hard, they can leak oil past, into the air going into the engine. If there's a lot of oil gets in, then the engine can start to burn it instead of fuel.

    Diesels are "controlled" by varying the amount of fuel injected - more, they speed up, less, they slow down. Stop injecting, they stop.

    Except... If the engine's running on that oil, they can't be easily stopped. And if there's as much oil as they want, they'll just keep speeding up. And speeding up. Until they can't speed up any more. Then they'll run and run and run until there's no more fuel. And the fuel is the engine oil. So you've got a very, very fast-running and hot engine that's suddenly got no oil.

    The official workshop procedure for most manufacturers for dealing with a runaway... Evacuate the workshop and wait for the big bang then the smoke to clear. Seriously.
    • angrycrow
    • By angrycrow 18th May 17, 5:31 PM
    • 294 Posts
    • 204 Thanks
    angrycrow
    So - diesel runaway... Diesels don't have a sparkplug. They use the heat generated by compressing the air to ignite the fuel.

    Diesel fuel isn't very different to oil.
    If the seals on a turbocharger get hard, they can leak oil past, into the air going into the engine. If there's a lot of oil gets in, then the engine can start to burn it instead of fuel.

    Diesels are "controlled" by varying the amount of fuel injected - more, they speed up, less, they slow down. Stop injecting, they stop.

    Except... If the engine's running on that oil, they can't be easily stopped. And if there's as much oil as they want, they'll just keep speeding up. And speeding up. Until they can't speed up any more. Then they'll run and run and run until there's no more fuel. And the fuel is the engine oil. So you've got a very, very fast-running and hot engine that's suddenly got no oil.

    The official workshop procedure for most manufacturers for dealing with a runaway... Evacuate the workshop and wait for the big bang then the smoke to clear. Seriously.
    Originally posted by AdrianC
    No the correct response to a run away engine is jump in the car, clutch in brakes on engage a high gear and dump the clutch to stall it. Any garage letting it deliberately run to destruction is being negligent.
    • forgotmyname
    • By forgotmyname 18th May 17, 5:43 PM
    • 25,112 Posts
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    forgotmyname
    When the revs build its often too late, it can quite easily overpower the clutches grip. If you catch it early then yes brakes and clutch to stall it.

    Or stuff a rag in the intake to starve it of air.


    Is it just me or is that animated engine picture relaxing and mesmerising?
    Punctuation, Spelling and Grammar will be used sparingly. Due to rising costs of inflation.

    My contribution to MSE. Other contributions will only be used if they cost me nothing.

    Due to me being a tight git.
    • Strider590
    • By Strider590 18th May 17, 6:05 PM
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    • 6,215 Thanks
    Strider590
    My money is on a failed radiator fan, driver wouldn't necessarily notice it if they keep moving, might get a bit warm, but driver probably doesn't look at the dash that much.


    That now said, was this car anything sporty? I ask because I stopped using a local garage when I saw their technicians taking customer cars for a "spin", and later heard from a friend that he took his car for MOT, walked home and was promptly surprised to see his Clio sport 182 being driven past him at break neck speeds.
    Last edited by Strider590; 18-05-2017 at 6:08 PM.
    Having the last word isn't the same as being right.......

    "Never confuse education with intelligence"
    • Mercdriver
    • By Mercdriver 18th May 17, 6:19 PM
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    Mercdriver

    That now said, was this car anything sporty? I ask because I stopped using a local garage when I saw their technicians taking customer cars for a "spin", and later heard from a friend that he took his car for MOT, walked home and was promptly surprised to see his Clio sport 182 being driven past him at break neck speeds.
    Originally posted by Strider590
    Come on. This is a Fiat 500 diesel. How sporty do you think it's likely to be?
    • Strider590
    • By Strider590 18th May 17, 6:34 PM
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    Strider590
    Come on. This is a Fiat 500 diesel. How sporty do you think it's likely to be?
    Originally posted by Mercdriver
    It ain't about the engine, it's about how it looks.
    Having the last word isn't the same as being right.......

    "Never confuse education with intelligence"
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