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  • FIRST POST
    • karen10101p
    • By karen10101p 5th Dec 17, 8:32 PM
    • 5Posts
    • 0Thanks
    karen10101p
    Should I pay for wrong diagnosis?
    • #1
    • 5th Dec 17, 8:32 PM
    Should I pay for wrong diagnosis? 5th Dec 17 at 8:32 PM
    Hi
    Needing advice on what others think before contact the garage.
    2 months ago my car was leaking oil. The garage admitted they did not know what was wrong with it and simply topped up the power steering oil. 3 days later the exact same problem was happening. the garage then replaced the power steering pump. I now question if they were just stabbing in the dark (referring back to the fact they admitted they did not know what was wrong with it and admitedly stated that they couldnt find any obvious fault with the pump)
    I paid the invoice, thinking problem solved.
    3 weeks ago the exact same problem arose. The garage stated they needed to change the pipe, as that was the problem. They have invoiced me for this work.
    My issue is, the initial work was not completed satisfactorily.

    If it is the pipe, then the pump was replaced unecessarily
    If it was both, why was the pipe not replaced at the time.
    I emphasise, it was the exaact same problem with the exact same noise and the same oil spill as the last time. Im thinking the garage didnt have a clue what they were doing the first time.
    Barclays have stated I can issue a chargeback, to be quite honest, the whole thing makes me angry but at the same time, I'm not a person who likes confrontation. I want to hear other's opinions before I contact the mechanic.
    Regardless of the outcome, there is no way Im returnig to this mechanic. I dont trust him and I feel he's pretty much incompetent.
    Shame I left my garage I used to use simply becasue it was too far out of the way - I had complete trust in them
Page 1
    • Wig
    • By Wig 5th Dec 17, 9:24 PM
    • 13,581 Posts
    • 7,342 Thanks
    Wig
    • #2
    • 5th Dec 17, 9:24 PM
    • #2
    • 5th Dec 17, 9:24 PM
    Such is the problem that motorists have.

    As far as I know you just have to put up with and pay for works done to try to fix a problem even if they don't fix it, then the garage moves on to the next possibility and you pay for it as well.

    I would be interested to see any replies from anyone who has managed to get a refund on a previous repair that did not fix the problem. The best you can hope for is a discount on the next repair.
    • sevenhills
    • By sevenhills 5th Dec 17, 9:25 PM
    • 758 Posts
    • 269 Thanks
    sevenhills
    • #3
    • 5th Dec 17, 9:25 PM
    • #3
    • 5th Dec 17, 9:25 PM
    Hi
    Needing advice on what others think before contact the garage.
    2 months ago my car was leaking oil. The garage admitted they did not know what was wrong with it and simply topped up the power steering oil. 3 days later the exact same problem was happening. the garage then replaced the power steering pump. I now question if they were just stabbing in the dark (referring back to the fact they admitted they did not know what was wrong with it and admitedly stated that they couldnt find any obvious fault with the pump)
    I paid the invoice, thinking problem solved.
    Originally posted by karen10101p
    So you gave the go ahead for the work?

    • angrycrow
    • By angrycrow 5th Dec 17, 9:27 PM
    • 406 Posts
    • 307 Thanks
    angrycrow
    • #4
    • 5th Dec 17, 9:27 PM
    • #4
    • 5th Dec 17, 9:27 PM
    What make and model of car was it. My initial thought is mk1 focus as power steering pipe ruptures are a common issue that if not fixed quickly causes the pump to fail.

    It quite possible the pump had failed and was leaking and then 5 weeks later the pipe fails as a second unrelated fault. Impossible to prove either way.
    • karen10101p
    • By karen10101p 5th Dec 17, 9:41 PM
    • 5 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    karen10101p
    • #5
    • 5th Dec 17, 9:41 PM
    • #5
    • 5th Dec 17, 9:41 PM
    Ive read through loads of these posts tonight
    • karen10101p
    • By karen10101p 5th Dec 17, 9:44 PM
    • 5 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    karen10101p
    • #6
    • 5th Dec 17, 9:44 PM
    • #6
    • 5th Dec 17, 9:44 PM
    He told me the pump needed replacing so I said do it (obviously - he said thats what needed done and I trusted him as the mechanic to do it)
    Barclays earlier stated they would raise a chargeback for the initial invoice as faulty repairs/goods/services delivered/supplied and they got the whole story Re pump and pipe. But I need to contact him first and get his reply to a refund request from the initial repair that did not work.
    Last edited by karen10101p; 05-12-2017 at 9:49 PM.
    • karen10101p
    • By karen10101p 5th Dec 17, 9:46 PM
    • 5 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    karen10101p
    • #7
    • 5th Dec 17, 9:46 PM
    • #7
    • 5th Dec 17, 9:46 PM
    "What make and model of car was it. My initial thought is mk1 focus as power steering pipe ruptures are a common issue that if not fixed quickly causes the pump to fail.

    It quite possible the pump had failed and was leaking and then 5 weeks later the pipe fails as a second unrelated fault. Impossible to prove either way."


    Ford Focus - the issue is - he admitted at the first insepction point he did not find any fault, topped it up and had to take it in again 3 days later. I dont think he knew what he was doing and thought it'll likely be the pump, cause I cant find anything else wrong. I should have been suspcious at that point - fool on me
    Last edited by karen10101p; 05-12-2017 at 9:58 PM.
    • force ten
    • By force ten 5th Dec 17, 9:51 PM
    • 1,670 Posts
    • 1,129 Thanks
    force ten
    • #8
    • 5th Dec 17, 9:51 PM
    • #8
    • 5th Dec 17, 9:51 PM
    repair by trial and error keep throwing parts at it and keep hitting the customer with big bills because the garage has no idea what they are doing and hopefully they will find the right part eventually and everybodys happy apart from the poor person paying the bills

    sorry cant offer any advice but i feel your pain
    • karen10101p
    • By karen10101p 5th Dec 17, 9:57 PM
    • 5 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    karen10101p
    • #9
    • 5th Dec 17, 9:57 PM
    • #9
    • 5th Dec 17, 9:57 PM
    repair by trial and error keep throwing parts at it and keep hitting the customer with big bills because the garage has no idea what they are doing and hopefully they will find the right part eventually and everybodys happy apart from the poor person paying the bills

    sorry cant offer any advice but i feel your pain
    Originally posted by force ten
    A lot of posts are stating these are common situations. I think I will call trading standards tomorrow, see what they say, then no doubt have to call the garage, get my confrontation over with, then raise a charge back with Barclays. I can see me ending up havng to pay anyway based on the other posts I've read, but at least I'll be happy that I fought it. I cannot simply accept that the garage can get away with this without at least doing all i can to argue that I shouldnt be paying twice for a repair that should have been done properly in the first place. I'm not taking it to court, if I lose I'll be the one that has to pay the court fees.
    • welfayre
    • By welfayre 5th Dec 17, 11:19 PM
    • 162 Posts
    • 140 Thanks
    welfayre
    It's quite possible you've just been unlucky and had two power steering faults develop close together.

    A leaking pipe would be very obvious and I can't see how replacing the pump would stop a pipe leaking for 3 weeks before it started up again.
    • angrycrow
    • By angrycrow 6th Dec 17, 6:09 AM
    • 406 Posts
    • 307 Thanks
    angrycrow
    You can not go directly to trading standards any more, you have to go via citizens advice. T's are unlikely to take any action on this and will just note it on file unless they have had other similar complaints against the garage.
    • Nodding Donkey
    • By Nodding Donkey 6th Dec 17, 8:33 AM
    • 2,479 Posts
    • 2,103 Thanks
    Nodding Donkey
    So they changed the pump and it stopped leaking. For three weeks. Then it started leaking from the pipe.

    Looks to me like he fixed the problem then another problem occured.

    Now you are going to chargeback the original bill?

    TF I don't work on ordinary cars. This is just the sort of customer that would drive me batty.

    Luckily it's a very small world for the cars I work on and believe me, there is a !!!! list of owners that none of the specialists will work for.
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 6th Dec 17, 8:51 AM
    • 15,728 Posts
    • 14,033 Thanks
    AdrianC
    There's a leak, somewhere in a dark and oily corner of the engine bay.
    You can't quite see where the leak's coming from.

    Do you strip everything out so you can clean it all up, then spend chargeable time running it until the source becomes obvious?

    Or do you simply go for the most likely cause?

    Let's look at the timeline.
    Leak noticed.
    Top up level.
    3 days later. Leak recurs.
    Replace pump.
    3 weeks later. Leak recurs.
    Replace pipe.
    Leak does not recur.

    Obviously, simply topping the level up is not going to stop the leak.
    Replacing the pump did, though, for a much longer period than it previously took for the leak to become obvious. Great.
    But then the leak came back - from elsewhere. Perhaps the increased pressure/flow from the new pump was too much for an already tired pipe, which wasn't previously leaking? Should they routinely replace every possible component, whether there's a sign of a problem with it or not?

    The "noise" was almost certainly the pump cavitating - pumping bubbles instead of fluid, because there's insufficient fluid left. The fluid constantly circulates in a closed circuit - it goes from the tank to the pump to the rack back to the tank. When steering is required, the pressurised fluid is directed to where it's needed to help move the rack, rather than simply straight back to the tank. If it's taking days for a leak to be noticed, then perhaps daily checking of the fluid level would give advance warning?
    • interstellaflyer
    • By interstellaflyer 6th Dec 17, 9:51 AM
    • 1,653 Posts
    • 980 Thanks
    interstellaflyer
    The only issue I see here is that if the hose fail is common as suggested, why did the mechanic not recommend replacing the hose at the same time as he replaced the pump as a precaution, the extra labour would've been minimal?
    I hate football and do wish people wouldn't keep talking about it like it's the most important thing in the world
    • angrycrow
    • By angrycrow 6th Dec 17, 10:07 AM
    • 406 Posts
    • 307 Thanks
    angrycrow
    The only issue I see here is that if the hose fail is common as suggested, why did the mechanic not recommend replacing the hose at the same time as he replaced the pump as a precaution, the extra labour would've been minimal?
    Originally posted by interstellaflyer
    Because the hose is about £110 plus loads of extra labour to fit it as it is the complete circuit. How many customers would agree to a £250 bill because the pipe might leak in the future.
    • interstellaflyer
    • By interstellaflyer 6th Dec 17, 10:21 AM
    • 1,653 Posts
    • 980 Thanks
    interstellaflyer
    Because the hose is about £110 plus loads of extra labour to fit it as it is the complete circuit. How many customers would agree to a £250 bill because the pipe might leak in the future.
    Originally posted by angrycrow
    But the OP had it done anyway and asked the same question so the extra cost wasn't an issue in it's self.
    I hate football and do wish people wouldn't keep talking about it like it's the most important thing in the world
    • IanMSpencer
    • By IanMSpencer 6th Dec 17, 11:51 AM
    • 1,126 Posts
    • 879 Thanks
    IanMSpencer
    I think the question is whether the garage is being unreasonable and also whether their knowledge has been of a professional quality.

    With a leak, a reasonable mechanic should be able to see where the leak is coming from, you clean the system, run it, and see where the oil starts appearing from. In this case, it seems the mechanic has noted that the oil has gone and concluded (amazingly!) that there is a leak, but not taken the time to check where the oil is going, simply guessing.

    I'd say two things:

    - don't go back there again.
    - you probably have a case that they have not been professional in properly identifying the leak in the first place.

    I would suggest that you go back and tell them that you are not happy that they just guessed at what was to be repaired. I think that they should make some refund as a gesture of goodwill at least.

    There are times when replacing parts, cheapest to more expensive is a reasonably cost effective way of identifying a problem - switching parts around often is the cheapest way of diagnosing electronic faults (and often the fitting of the part is a few minutes - the risk to the garage is having a part that they cannot re-use or return if they have to buy it in). With a leak, I'd suggest that no plumber would try and solve a leak by randomly replacing parts of the central heating, they'd find out where it was leaking, and the garage should have done the same.

    The only caveat is that if the garage had genuinely identified that the pump was faulty then there could be a second problem, as mentioned above, or the repair itself weakened the pipe (it could be for example, that the pump leaked and then the second leak was from a poor seal to the used pipework or damage from the pipework being moved around to fit the pump). Without having the knowledge of what the process was that the mechanic used to identify the problem, it is hard to chase down the real timeline of events, it is also hard to definitely say that the garage was at fault for the repair, regardless of your suspicions.
    • droopsnoot
    • By droopsnoot 6th Dec 17, 11:57 AM
    • 1,097 Posts
    • 701 Thanks
    droopsnoot
    Oil leaks are a nightmare to diagnose and properly fix. I have just rebuilt a classic car from a bare shell, and my engine has some oil leaks, and even they are proving very difficult to find, in a clean engine bay with (as it's an old car) plenty of room around it. And when I say "even they" I don't mean because I'm some kind of super-mechanic, but that it's only recently gone back together, and I remember all the various checks and so on that I have done.

    Hard to say where a fault lies here, the garage is perhaps trying to help the customer by changing as little as possible each time, as they maybe felt that the customer wouldn't be happy if they just said "needs a new power steering pump and pipes". How many times do we hear people posting about how the garage changed too much stuff when just a fraction of the new parts would have been enough to fix a fault?

    The only solution is to learn to fix the car yourself. And when doing so, that gives you an appreciation for how difficult it can be to diagnose some issues.
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 6th Dec 17, 12:35 PM
    • 15,728 Posts
    • 14,033 Thanks
    AdrianC
    With a leak, a reasonable mechanic should be able to see where the leak is coming from, you clean the system, run it, and see where the oil starts appearing from.
    Originally posted by IanMSpencer
    I admire your optimism, verging on psychic abilities...

    However, it does appear that they did that correctly. The pump was leaking. When that was replaced, the pipe started.
    • IanMSpencer
    • By IanMSpencer 7th Dec 17, 4:55 PM
    • 1,126 Posts
    • 879 Thanks
    IanMSpencer
    I admire your optimism, verging on psychic abilities...

    However, it does appear that they did that correctly. The pump was leaking. When that was replaced, the pipe started.
    Originally posted by AdrianC
    Depends on layout, but I would expect some sort of effort to isolate where the oil is coming from. Of course under a bonnet with dirt and stuff, it isn't going to be straight forward, but I got the sense that they hadn't even tried.

    I calm discussion with a mechanic should pin down whether they bothered looking or they simply did the "It's usually the pump so I'll change that".

    It's not necessarily wrong to change a component because you can't diagnose where the leak is from, but I'd expect someone to try in the first instance. To be honest, the "It's got a leak so I'll fix it by topping up the fluid" was pretty damning.
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