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  • FIRST POST
    • sartois
    • By sartois 18th May 17, 9:20 AM
    • 144Posts
    • 231Thanks
    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 4
    • DTDfanBoy
    • By DTDfanBoy 18th May 17, 6:40 PM
    • 1,668 Posts
    • 2,730 Thanks
    DTDfanBoy
    It ain't about the engine, it's about how it looks.
    Originally posted by Strider590
    Have you ever seen a Fiat 500
    • facade
    • By facade 18th May 17, 7:35 PM
    • 2,642 Posts
    • 1,354 Thanks
    facade
    Have you ever seen a Fiat 500
    Originally posted by DTDfanBoy
    This is a proper Fiat 500
    https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Fiat_500_Topolino_-_Flickr_-_exfordy.jpg

    Although I believe they have since released a facelift version
    https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Fiat_500_Abarth_(Foto_Sp_2016-06-05).JPG?uselang=en-gb

    Last edited by facade; 18-05-2017 at 7:38 PM.
    I want to go back to The Olden Days, when every single thing that I can think of was better.....

    (except air quality and Medical Science )
    • Richard53
    • By Richard53 18th May 17, 8:01 PM
    • 2,415 Posts
    • 2,075 Thanks
    Richard53
    Is it just me or is that animated engine picture relaxing and mesmerising?
    Originally posted by forgotmyname
    There's an animation going round of a cutaway V8 doing its stuff at a similar speed. I have been known to stare at it for half an hour.
    If all misfortunes were laid in one common heap whence everyone must take an equal portion, most people would be contented to take their own and depart. (Attrib. to Socrates)
    • Iceweasel
    • By Iceweasel 18th May 17, 8:11 PM
    • 4,139 Posts
    • 3,004 Thanks
    Iceweasel
    Here you go - animated engines:

    http://www.animatedengines.com/diesel.html

    For those with time on their hands there is a link to 507 'mechanical movements'.

    Enjoy.
    • Mercdriver
    • By Mercdriver 18th May 17, 8:13 PM
    • 919 Posts
    • 602 Thanks
    Mercdriver
    It ain't about the engine, it's about how it looks.
    Originally posted by Strider590
    You said something that WAS sporty, not something that LOOKED sporty. A Clio 182 IS sporty. There's quite a difference.
    • Tarambor
    • By Tarambor 18th May 17, 8:26 PM
    • 656 Posts
    • 415 Thanks
    Tarambor
    She basically took a working car in excellent condition (as far as I can tell) to the garage for a service and MOT and now the engine has (from the sounds of it) blown, and there is nothing she can do apart from ask nicely? Ouch.
    Originally posted by sartois
    Cambelt/chain failure in MOTs is not the MOT test centre's fault, neither is any other mechanical failure that happens during the test, and every single MOT centre will have notices stating it is your responsibility to ensure that your cambelt/chain is in good condition precisely because if you don't change it when you should then an MOT is where it's likely to go pop.

    The MOT centre owe nothing, there is nothing she can ask, they don't have to offer her anything.
    Last edited by Tarambor; 18-05-2017 at 8:28 PM.
    • Joe Horner
    • By Joe Horner 18th May 17, 9:31 PM
    • 3,862 Posts
    • 3,234 Thanks
    Joe Horner
    Cambelt/chain failure in MOTs is not the MOT test centre's fault, neither is any other mechanical failure that happens during the test
    Originally posted by Tarambor
    Not necessarily true.

    The test manual is quite clear that testing stations carry the same liability for cars on test as any other mechanic would doing the same task under a consumer contract without a disclaimer against liability.

    In other words the tester is expected to maintain reasonable diligence and skill and, if he doesn't, he can be liable for the results.

    The risks of the emission test are well known within the trade and amongst armchair experts on forums but (believe it or not) is not common knowledge with the general motoring public. That's why the government leaflet on the subject advises that the tester will actually ask you about the car's history.

    Just putting a poster up and assuming someone will see, read, and understand the implications may not meet the requirement for reasonable diligence if they were later taken to court over damage.
    • Chrysalis
    • By Chrysalis 18th May 17, 10:05 PM
    • 1,621 Posts
    • 570 Thanks
    Chrysalis
    found a few videos on youtube of this issue.

    Seems its quite common, I am amazed for this reason that

    (a) mechanics running these tests are not standing by to react if it occurs so they can recover it before gets out of control
    (b) the manufacturers dont add some kind of safety mechanism that detects the behaviour and stops the air intake.
    • JP08
    • By JP08 19th May 17, 8:22 AM
    • 806 Posts
    • 855 Thanks
    JP08
    Nice really big diesel runaway from an episode of Scrapheap Challenge. Starts at around 22 mins.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGQnKmW0yBs&list=PL31gVHGyyau00QsO_qWhVcTi kVnOxjXSG&index=6
    • JP08
    • By JP08 19th May 17, 8:29 AM
    • 806 Posts
    • 855 Thanks
    JP08
    Here you go - animated engines:

    http://www.animatedengines.com/diesel.html

    For those with time on their hands there is a link to 507 'mechanical movements'.

    Enjoy.
    Originally posted by Iceweasel
    A nice site. Still doesn't explain to me why the "push" comes from in a Wankel engine drives the rotor in the right direction ... never have been able to quite figure that one. Yes the fuel/air mix goes bang. And all the gases heat and expand. In a conventional engine cylinder you can see that the piston as the only moveable part has to go down. But why does the rotor go clockwise (in the animated diagram one anyhow) ?
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 19th May 17, 8:31 AM
    • 13,957 Posts
    • 12,351 Thanks
    AdrianC
    A nice site. Still doesn't explain to me why the "push" comes from in a Wankel engine drives the rotor in the right direction ... never have been able to quite figure that one. Yes the fuel/air mix goes bang. And all the gases heat and expand. In a conventional engine cylinder you can see that the piston as the only moveable part has to go down. But why does the rotor go clockwise (in the animated diagram one anyhow) ?
    Originally posted by JP08
    Because it's already going clockwise - the starter motor started it spinning. Yes, if it was stationary, it could go either way - but the explosive forces just push it to continue in the direction it's already rotating. The ignition timing is also set so that the push starts to happen JUST after the combustion chamber volume starts to increase from minimum.
    • JP08
    • By JP08 19th May 17, 8:36 AM
    • 806 Posts
    • 855 Thanks
    JP08
    Ahh - obvious really. Helps to be thinking about the dynamic situation, not the static one at the start of the power stroke ...
    • Le_Kirk
    • By Le_Kirk 19th May 17, 9:25 AM
    • 1,686 Posts
    • 835 Thanks
    Le_Kirk
    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.
    Originally posted by angrycrow
    Wouldn't somebody already be in the car carrying out the high revs test by pressing on the accelerator?? If there is no one in the car, could that be considered negligence?
    • EdGasketTheSecond
    • By EdGasketTheSecond 19th May 17, 10:00 AM
    • 74 Posts
    • 43 Thanks
    EdGasketTheSecond
    Whatever the technicalities and provisos for MoT testing; if the garage won't help with the repairs then it could be worth taking it to court. The law can be unpredictable and it makes quite a good case to say you dropped a perfectly good car into the garage and when you went to collect it, the engine had been wrecked. From a consumer law standpoint the customer would win hands down. Of course the garage will defend with technical arguments but they might not be enough to win the magistrate over to the garage's side. Who knows, if enough of these go to court then eventually the smoke test might be changed for something else that doesn't risk destroying the engine.

    Hope the OP comes back with the garage's story on this.
    • Mercdriver
    • By Mercdriver 19th May 17, 10:06 AM
    • 919 Posts
    • 602 Thanks
    Mercdriver
    Wouldn't somebody already be in the car carrying out the high revs test by pressing on the accelerator?? If there is no one in the car, could that be considered negligence?
    Originally posted by Le_Kirk
    Some use a device to hold the accelerator down when the car is on the ramp...
    • Aylesbury Duck
    • By Aylesbury Duck 19th May 17, 10:10 AM
    • 612 Posts
    • 642 Thanks
    Aylesbury Duck
    Whatever the technicalities and provisos for MoT testing; if the garage won't help with the repairs then it could be worth taking it to court. The law can be unpredictable and it makes quite a good case to say you dropped a perfectly good car into the garage and when you went to collect it, the engine had been wrecked. From a consumer law standpoint the customer would win hands down. Of course the garage will defend with technical arguments but they might not be enough to win the magistrate over to the garage's side. Who knows, if enough of these go to court then eventually the smoke test might be changed for something else that doesn't risk destroying the engine.

    Hope the OP comes back with the garage's story on this.
    Originally posted by EdGasketTheSecond
    I really don't think it's as clear as you're suggesting.

    As for your last point, I suspect the numbers of cars suffering serious damage during MOT testing would be so small as to be statistically completely insignificant, and nowhere near a level to consider changing the test.
    • onomatopoeia99
    • By onomatopoeia99 19th May 17, 10:12 AM
    • 2,917 Posts
    • 6,406 Thanks
    onomatopoeia99
    Some use a device to hold the accelerator down when the car is on the ramp...
    Originally posted by Mercdriver
    I've seen this when my own (petrol) car has been tested, they use an adjustable rod to hold it at 2500rpm to warm everything through for the emissions test.

    Never watched my diesel being tested, my response to a runaway situation would probably be to try to get it to a wall and dump the clutch to stall it, then hope it doesn't burn the clutch out!
    INTP, nerd, libertarian and scifi geek.
    Home is where my books are.
    • sartois
    • By sartois 19th May 17, 10:24 AM
    • 144 Posts
    • 231 Thanks
    sartois
    Ok so we haven't been to the garage yet (meeting them at midday) but it appears I didn't have the full story. A few more facts that she has just revealed before we go down there:

    1. The low engine warning light was on when she took the car in and she didn't check the oil when the light came on, instead waiting to take the car to the garage for MOT.
    2. She told the mechanic the oil light was on and said the oil needed changing when she dropped the car in.
    3. The low engine light was on for 2 weeks prior to going for MOT.
    4. Another light was on - the Particulate Filter Cleaning Light.
    5. She actually does less than 1000 miles a year so didn't think it necessary to get the car serviced annually. The last oil change was 3 years ago!

    Also when the garage phoned her up to tell her the engine had blown, they said there was 'excessive oil' and they drained 5 litres rather than the expected 3 litres of oil. There is currently ambiguity about when they did this (before or after the engine blew). They actually accused her of putting 'excessive oil' in.
    As mentioned previously she never opens her bonnet and didn't even do so to check the oil when the warning light came on so she definitely hasn't been putting excessive oil in.

    Not sure any of this helps but my previous assumption the car was in excellent working order is probably incorrect!
    • EdGasketTheSecond
    • By EdGasketTheSecond 19th May 17, 10:29 AM
    • 74 Posts
    • 43 Thanks
    EdGasketTheSecond
    Ok so maybe, maybe they did the oil change and just emptied a 5l container of oil in there? What is key is did they blow the engine up after the service!

    Not good that she didn't maintain the car well and drove it with warning lights on is it?
    • sartois
    • By sartois 19th May 17, 10:49 AM
    • 144 Posts
    • 231 Thanks
    sartois
    Ok so maybe, maybe they did the oil change and just emptied a 5l container of oil in there? What is key is did they blow the engine up after the service!

    Not good that she didn't maintain the car well and drove it with warning lights on is it?
    Originally posted by EdGasketTheSecond
    Yes, still don't know the order of events yet and whether they carried out the testing before or after changing the oil. Also don't know why a low oil warning light would come on if a car has excessive oil?

    Completely agree about driving with warning lights on and the lack of servicing though...
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