Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@. Skimlinks & other affiliated links are turned on

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • sartois
    • By sartois 18th May 17, 9:20 AM
    • 151Posts
    • 232Thanks
    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 5
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 19th May 17, 11:02 AM
    • 14,710 Posts
    • 13,078 Thanks
    AdrianC
    Is it a low oil LEVEL warning light... or the far more common low oil PRESSURE light? (Which, if it's down to low level, means the level is so low the pump is sucking in air...)

    I wonder if the excessive level is actually due to diesel leaking (turbo seals?) and diluting the oil?
    • verityboo
    • By verityboo 19th May 17, 11:08 AM
    • 849 Posts
    • 1,056 Thanks
    verityboo
    The short journeys mean that the DPF regeneration process will not have been able to complete dumping excess unburnt fuel in the sump. That is what causes the oil level to rise as here

    http://www.fiatforum.com/500/234789-rising-oil-level.html
    • Aylesbury Duck
    • By Aylesbury Duck 19th May 17, 11:09 AM
    • 829 Posts
    • 894 Thanks
    Aylesbury Duck
    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!
    Originally posted by sartois
    Ouch to all of the above, but the bold bits are incredible. She really does need some help to teach her how to monitor and look after a car, otherwise she is going to continue to have expensive problems in the future with this or any other car.
    • Ganga
    • By Ganga 19th May 17, 11:22 AM
    • 616 Posts
    • 289 Thanks
    Ganga
    The oil pressure warning light switch is set at about 7-8 psi on most engines,when the light comes on when the engine is running you are in trouble as with oil pressure that low your engine is knackered( even more so if you keep on driving )
    ITS NOT EASY TO GET EVERYTHING WRONG ,I HAVE TO WORK HARD TO DO IT!
    • Iceweasel
    • By Iceweasel 19th May 17, 12:53 PM
    • 4,165 Posts
    • 3,016 Thanks
    Iceweasel
    The short journeys mean that the DPF regeneration process will not have been able to complete dumping excess unburnt fuel in the sump. That is what causes the oil level to rise as here

    http://www.fiatforum.com/500/234789-rising-oil-level.html
    Originally posted by verityboo
    Exactly this.

    So the engine had a sump full of 3 litres of oil and 2 litres of diesel.

    Poor car.

    Likely now poor owner.
    • Le_Kirk
    • By Le_Kirk 19th May 17, 1:37 PM
    • 1,920 Posts
    • 961 Thanks
    Le_Kirk
    Some use a device to hold the accelerator down when the car is on the ramp...
    Originally posted by Mercdriver
    A house brick!
    • Mercdriver
    • By Mercdriver 19th May 17, 1:53 PM
    • 990 Posts
    • 658 Thanks
    Mercdriver
    A house brick!
    Originally posted by Le_Kirk

    lol

    The MOT place I go to uses a rod as described by onomatopoeia99...my E220 CDI holds steady but it does 18 - 25k a year and is fully serviced to scheduled at main dealer...
    • arcon5
    • By arcon5 19th May 17, 2:07 PM
    • 12,993 Posts
    • 8,223 Thanks
    arcon5
    So her sump was full of mostly diesel from failed dpf regenerations. The dilution caused low oil pressure... and significant wear over the period she ran it like that.

    Now two things:

    If they MOTD it first there would actually be a case to have them contribute towards the repair costs as they should have refused the emmissions test with the pressure light on and overfilled sump

    If they serviced first bring pressure back up she would be liable for her idiocy
    • EdGasketTheSecond
    • By EdGasketTheSecond 19th May 17, 2:15 PM
    • 160 Posts
    • 80 Thanks
    EdGasketTheSecond
    idiocy is a bit harsh. Most women I know just get in a car and drive it and know nothing about dpfs, regeneration, and what the lights mean; bless em.

    Equally I have no idea how to use the washing machine!
    Last edited by EdGasketTheSecond; 19-05-2017 at 2:18 PM.
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 19th May 17, 2:27 PM
    • 14,710 Posts
    • 13,078 Thanks
    AdrianC
    idiocy is a bit harsh. Most women I know just get in a car and drive it and know nothing about dpfs, regeneration, and what the lights mean; bless em.
    Originally posted by EdGasketTheSecond
    Which is exactly why the Show Me Tell Me part of the driving test has been in place for a decade and a half or so. It's EVERY driver's responsibility to make sure their car is basically roadworthy, and to understand what to do when a problem arises.

    Equally I have no idea how to use the washing machine!
    And you don't find that utterly embarrassing and shameful? You should.
    • EdGasketTheSecond
    • By EdGasketTheSecond 19th May 17, 2:34 PM
    • 160 Posts
    • 80 Thanks
    EdGasketTheSecond
    And you don't find that utterly embarrassing and shameful? You should.
    Originally posted by AdrianC
    No, it means I don't get asked to do the washing lol.
    • sartois
    • By sartois 19th May 17, 3:20 PM
    • 151 Posts
    • 232 Thanks
    sartois
    Ok so we went to the garage but the owner was not there as called away for emergency in wales :/

    We did chat to one of the mechanics involved though and I am more and more inclined to think my friend has a case...although I'm biased so would appreciate any neutral opinions.

    So firstly she did point out the oil warning light and told them about the oil needing changing. The mechanic has now denied this and says the warning light was not on, so carried out the mot without addressing the oil issue.

    The issue was indeeed a diesel runaway and they did catch it before the engine went up in smoke so not likely the engine needs replacing, but they are waiting on tooling to get a full picture.

    The fact the mechanic is prepared to lie raises alarm bells for me that he knew he was in the wrong in some way.

    From what I've read the issue would have not happened if they had addressed the issue of changing the oil before doing the mot which appears to have been confirmed in my mind by not being honest about the warning light.

    So now waiting for the owner calls back but probably won't happen till Monday.
    • wgl2014
    • By wgl2014 19th May 17, 5:03 PM
    • 187 Posts
    • 96 Thanks
    wgl2014
    If it was booked in for a service then there's no argument the oil needed changing. However if it's down to your friend saying she explained the warning light was on and them saying it wasn't and she didn't it will be an uphill struggle.

    Don't forget that whilst it sounds like the garage could have been more careful for the brief time they had the car your friend should have been more careful for the last 3 years!

    If the garage are willing to assist in getting the car fixed I would take what they offer. Taking legal action based on a neglected car breaking during a regulated standard test is far from a sure win.
    • arcon5
    • By arcon5 19th May 17, 5:15 PM
    • 12,993 Posts
    • 8,223 Thanks
    arcon5
    If it runaway it could well be something different like turbo blew because of backpressure caused by blocked dpf
    • Joe Horner
    • By Joe Horner 19th May 17, 5:58 PM
    • 3,993 Posts
    • 3,434 Thanks
    Joe Horner
    "MOT before service" is the recommended (by DVSA) way to do things because it makes sense financially for the customer and efficiency sens for the garage. If there's a mega fail sheet the customer doesn't end up paying for servicing a heap of scrap and items that are duplicated (lights checks etc) only need to be done once during the MOT rather than during the service and again in the test bay.

    Before carrying out the smoke test the tester is supposed to verify several things:

    The smoke test must only be completed when:
    • there is sufficient oil in the engine
    • the oil pressure is not too low
    • there is no abnormal engine noise
    • the governor has not been tampered with
    • the camshaft belt is in a satisfactory condition
    • the engine is at its normal operating temperature

    Those are specified in the information column of Section 7.4 of the test manual. Clearly, to do that, the tester needs to check the oil level.

    Although it doesn't warn about excessive oil level it would be reasonable to expect a professional mechanic to know about the danger of diesel runaway because of excessive oil - and 2 litres is a LOT of excessive oil if they were only expecting 3! Reasonable professional skill would mean failing at that point for RFR 7.4.B.1 and re-testing for emissions after the service.

    Whether or not the low pressure light was on is really immaterial -
    and can't be proved either way in any case.
    • m0bov
    • By m0bov 19th May 17, 8:27 PM
    • 999 Posts
    • 688 Thanks
    m0bov
    Does the job sheet specify oil change and investigate oil light?
    • AndyMc.....
    • By AndyMc..... 19th May 17, 8:38 PM
    • 733 Posts
    • 555 Thanks
    AndyMc.....
    Does the job sheet specify oil change and investigate oil light?
    Originally posted by m0bov
    Which service wouldn't?
    • sartois
    • By sartois 21st May 17, 3:03 PM
    • 151 Posts
    • 232 Thanks
    sartois
    So the owner of the garage phoned yesterday and I'll attempt to summarise below. Thanks again by the way for all the helpful comments on here, they really helped!

    It was definitely diesel runaway and they did manage to stall the engine before it blew up in smoke. However, there is still damage to the engine.

    The owner explained the damage to the car and stated that the cost of repair (2 parts costing £1000 and 3 hours of labour) would be £1300, however he did explain that even with that he couldn't be 100% certain this would fully resolve the damage until they have replaced the parts and tested the engine. In other words it could be significantly more to repair the damage.

    Initially he was claiming that the garage could not be held liable for something that occurs to a car during the MOT. However, he did agree (eventually) that if they had done the oil change first then this problem would not have occurred based on what Fiat themselves have published about this condition. I did emphasise that based on the fact she expressly took the car in for a service and she pointed out the oil light was on (which they have now agreed to) and that this problem was preventable if they had done at least the oil change first. Also, that it was their responsibility to make sure the car was suitable for testing the emissions and that it wasn't if the car was reporting an issue with the oil. This he has also agreed to. One strange thing he said was that they did actually check the oil before the smoke test, but only carried out a dipstick test. He said that the dipstick doesn't show whether there is excessive oil, and would only tell them if there was too little oil, not if there was too much. Unless Fiats have a somewhat unique dipstick I find this very hard to believe.

    The conversation then returned to who should be funding these repairs and he asked if she could claim for the damage on her insurance but I countered that his garage should really be claiming for the damage from their own insurance based on what he had agreed to earlier. He agreed to this but is not sure if he is covered and would check with them on Monday.

    My prediction is that he comes back on Monday and says they are not covered and will say that she would need to claim. I have told her that it probably wouldn't be a bad idea to give her own insurance company a quick call to take their advice on this. Possibly they could fund it and then try and recover the money from the garage's insurance based on some claim of negligence although whether they would care enough for such a relatively small claim is probably debatable.

    So in summary, the garage owner is a nice guy but is going to be very resistant to funding any of this and initially wasn't even prepared to waive the labour costs of replacing parts.

    I do feel my friend has a case though, although as mentioned I am not particularly neutral on this.
    • AndyMc.....
    • By AndyMc..... 21st May 17, 3:12 PM
    • 733 Posts
    • 555 Thanks
    AndyMc.....
    So the owner of the garage phoned yesterday and I'll attempt to summarise below. Thanks again by the way for all the helpful comments on here, they really helped!

    It was definitely diesel runaway and they did manage to stall the engine before it blew up in smoke. However, there is still damage to the engine.

    The owner explained the damage to the car and stated that the cost of repair (2 parts costing £1000 and 3 hours of labour) would be £1300, however he did explain that even with that he couldn't be 100% certain this would fully resolve the damage until they have replaced the parts and tested the engine. In other words it could be significantly more to repair the damage.

    Initially he was claiming that the garage could not be held liable for something that occurs to a car during the MOT. However, he did agree (eventually) that if they had done the oil change first then this problem would not have occurred based on what Fiat themselves have published about this condition. I did emphasise that based on the fact she expressly took the car in for a service and she pointed out the oil light was on (which they have now agreed to) and that this problem was preventable if they had done at least the oil change first. Also, that it was their responsibility to make sure the car was suitable for testing the emissions and that it wasn't if the car was reporting an issue with the oil. This he has also agreed to. One strange thing he said was that they did actually check the oil before the smoke test, but only carried out a dipstick test. He said that the dipstick doesn't show whether there is excessive oil, and would only tell them if there was too little oil, not if there was too much. Unless Fiats have a somewhat unique dipstick I find this very hard to believe.

    The conversation then returned to who should be funding these repairs and he asked if she could claim for the damage on her insurance but I countered that his garage should really be claiming for the damage from their own insurance based on what he had agreed to earlier. He agreed to this but is not sure if he is covered and would check with them on Monday.

    My prediction is that he comes back on Monday and says they are not covered and will say that she would need to claim. I have told her that it probably wouldn't be a bad idea to give her own insurance company a quick call to take their advice on this. Possibly they could fund it and then try and recover the money from the garage's insurance based on some claim of negligence although whether they would care enough for such a relatively small claim is probably debatable.

    So in summary, the garage owner is a nice guy but is going to be very resistant to funding any of this and initially wasn't even prepared to waive the labour costs of replacing parts.

    I do feel my friend has a case though, although as mentioned I am not particularly neutral on this.
    Originally posted by sartois
    Maybe if she has legal cover on her home insurance but I can't see the car insurance being interested.
    • Retrogamer
    • By Retrogamer 21st May 17, 3:42 PM
    • 3,713 Posts
    • 3,702 Thanks
    Retrogamer
    So the owner of the garage phoned yesterday and I'll attempt to summarise below. Thanks again by the way for all the helpful comments on here, they really helped!

    It was definitely diesel runaway and they did manage to stall the engine before it blew up in smoke. However, there is still damage to the engine.

    The owner explained the damage to the car and stated that the cost of repair (2 parts costing £1000 and 3 hours of labour) would be £1300, however he did explain that even with that he couldn't be 100% certain this would fully resolve the damage until they have replaced the parts and tested the engine. In other words it could be significantly more to repair the damage.

    Initially he was claiming that the garage could not be held liable for something that occurs to a car during the MOT. However, he did agree (eventually) that if they had done the oil change first then this problem would not have occurred based on what Fiat themselves have published about this condition. I did emphasise that based on the fact she expressly took the car in for a service and she pointed out the oil light was on (which they have now agreed to) and that this problem was preventable if they had done at least the oil change first. Also, that it was their responsibility to make sure the car was suitable for testing the emissions and that it wasn't if the car was reporting an issue with the oil. This he has also agreed to. One strange thing he said was that they did actually check the oil before the smoke test, but only carried out a dipstick test. He said that the dipstick doesn't show whether there is excessive oil, and would only tell them if there was too little oil, not if there was too much. Unless Fiats have a somewhat unique dipstick I find this very hard to believe.

    The conversation then returned to who should be funding these repairs and he asked if she could claim for the damage on her insurance but I countered that his garage should really be claiming for the damage from their own insurance based on what he had agreed to earlier. He agreed to this but is not sure if he is covered and would check with them on Monday.

    My prediction is that he comes back on Monday and says they are not covered and will say that she would need to claim. I have told her that it probably wouldn't be a bad idea to give her own insurance company a quick call to take their advice on this. Possibly they could fund it and then try and recover the money from the garage's insurance based on some claim of negligence although whether they would care enough for such a relatively small claim is probably debatable.

    So in summary, the garage owner is a nice guy but is going to be very resistant to funding any of this and initially wasn't even prepared to waive the labour costs of replacing parts.

    I do feel my friend has a case though, although as mentioned I am not particularly neutral on this.
    Originally posted by sartois
    Strictly speaking, i wouldn't.
    It may end up recorded as a "loss" or "accident" on the insurance database and that might increase future insurance premiums for her.

    As the garage have carried out the MOT emissions test whilst the oil light is on, they have been negligent and i would expect anyone to find them fully liable.
    As others mentioned, they have not followed the guidelines set out by DVSA.

    However from a moral standpoint i'd tell your friend to suck it up. The oil light was on dispute a large amount of liquid in the sump. As the sump was full of diesel fuel and 3 year old engine oil, the combination has likely clogged or damaged the oil pump. Even if the service was done there is no guarantee the light would have went out. In fact i'd suspect it would still be on and i'd suspect if it got through the MOT without failing, it would have died shortly afterwards regardless.

    It might have had approx 55k miles on it but the lifestyle and service intervals would mean it's probably got the same wear as a a same car with about 200,000 motorway miles.
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

3,065Posts Today

8,250Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • Byebye! I'm about to stop work & twitter, to instead spend glorious time with Mrs & mini MSE. Wishing u a lovely summer. See u in 10 days.

  • WARNING Did you start Uni in or after 2012? The interest's rising to 6.1%; yet it doesnt work like you think. See https://t.co/IQ8f0Vyetu RT

  • RT @JanaBeee: @MartinSLewis Boris is the anomaly (coffee), the others are versions of normal (beer). Lots of same candidates = vote share d?

  • Follow Martin