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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good afternoon,
Please help, any advice legal and otherwise would be great.

I bought my VW camper over 2 weeks ago now, it was running well, I knew it needed a bit of sprucing up but not too much, the chasis is sound etc. I decided to book it in for a service just to get it all checked over. Paid for the service no problems, had new heat exchangers and the exhaust slightly welded. Was told there was an oil leak, which would involve removing the engine to be sorted out. I waited a week to save up the needed pounds, then too kit back for the oil leak, it was in for 3 days, so:
Engine was tripped down,new: flywheel oil seals, push rod tubes and seals, oil cooler seals, and gasket set.

Oil leak sorted. Picked it up late on Friday afternoon, drove down to Brighton Breeze, coming back just got off the M3, when the van stalled and the engine froze up...

So the question is: where do I stand, I took a working engine to him, with an oil leak, less than 48hrs later the engine is completely knackered. Its a reputable garage and he is now saying he did his job and thats that.

Well obviously this leaves me in a predicament...?..

Where do I go from here, I've had the van trailered to his garage, from where it broke down, hoping he would take some if not all the responsibility and fix it, I gave him the keys this morning so he can investigate what has actually frozen up and make sure it cant be fixed easily otherwise we have a problem...

Any help, the more the better, do I get solictors and what not involved...

Cheers

From Jon
 

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Hi,

Sorry to heear about your woes dude, it's a trust thing really - do you trust him to own up to a mistake or blame somthing compleatly different (which of course it could be). I'd ask him to find the problem and let you know before he went any further this way you could nip down and have a look for yourself...

it's a tough one becuse proving that his workmanship was at fault is difficult...

good luck anyway :)
 

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Yeah, see what the comes up with first, and see if he is prepared to remedy it at all, or admit a possible mistake/refund or whatever...

.....and then get him to tell you EXACTLY what he did......

i.e.
..........He may not have checked the tappets after doing the pushrod tubes........ and he might have has the cylinder heads off too to do this.......
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Cheers for the reply....

Thanks for the speedy reply...

It is a tricky one, the garage is highly recommended by the VW community so in that way thats got to be a good thing.

But then obviously if the garage is at fault they're not gonna wanna pay out for the new parts (Possibly new engine), plus the labour etc... so I can understand them wanting to get out of it.

At the moment they have the van, and should call back later. Fingers crossed for it being a false alarm and only the starter motor or something, though going by what the RAC man who picked up the van said ...its not, its seized up and its gonna cause problems......aaaah!!!

Any ideas for other options other than trust? or is that it...? is there no sort of guarantee normally from a garage. obviously its a tricky one, they did there job and stopped the oil leak, but quite possibly buggered the engine up at the same time.....

cheers from jon
 

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How fast were you going on the motorway? Got an oil temp guage or dipstick?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Speed 55, 60 top on motorway and dipstick

Hello,

The fastest on the motorway was between 55 and 60, we were in a little convoy on the way back so were are cruising at average speeds.?

And it has a dipstick?

Teh mechanic this morning said it the engine would'nt of needed wearing in as it was only a few replacement parts and mostly seals?
 

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Fair enough. Very hard to tell then whether the garage fucked up or youve been unlucky.

A berg temperature dipstick will tell you when the oil in your engine is too hot. Very useful IMHO.

draper3000 said:
Hello,

The fastest on the motorway was between 55 and 60, we were in a little convoy on the way back so were are cruising at average speeds.?

And it has a dipstick?

Teh mechanic this morning said it the engine would'nt of needed wearing in as it was only a few replacement parts and mostly seals?
 

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If you did a fair bit of motorway mileage, it may have been another leak, or another problem that occured and caused the problems. Without stripping it down and finding the exact cause of the problem, I dont think its fair to blame the garage for repairs they did. What engine is it? (size) and what speed were you travelling at? If you were low on oil, then surely the oil light would have come on to give you warning if it was working, if not, then why not? If he replaced the parts he was asked to, and can prove this when the engine is stripped then you have no legal grounds to take any further action, if however you remove the engine and find that seals/gaskets whatever was supposed to be done was not - then you can take legal action.
 

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draper3000 said:
And it has a dipstick?
Are you sure you're cut out for owning a 30 year old vehicle?

In all seriousness, it's going to be difficult to prove - if the engine had lots of endfloat and bad compression it could easily overheat and sieze up, no matter how many new oil seals were on it. Unfortunately if it's siezed there's no way of checking that now.

Did you ask the mechanic to check compression and endfloat before he did the oil leak?

Did the oil warning light come on just before it siezed? Did both warning lights come on when you turn on the ignition?

Gareth
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
thankyou....

Thanks for the helpful reply,
...the engine is a 1600cc, the oil leak was flashing but it was doing that when I left his garage and he said that that was a separate problem, it only flashes when the van is standing still, The van did leak a bit of oil when it stalled, and then seized up. But other than that no more oil has come out, it never went below half way on the dipstick.

???????
 

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Was the oil light winking at tickover before it went it the garage. Its more likely to have winked on and off at idle when the oil is hot (after a fair run). Oil light winking is sign of a dodgey oil pressure switch or the fact that the engine is ready for a re build ie very lowoil pressure at idle.

Its one of the things to check when you buy an old vw engine, along with looking for oil leaks and checking end float. By pulling the bottom pulley forwards and backwards and seeing if it moves.

Cheers mick
 

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Kerb Side Autos said:
Its one of the things to check when you buy an old vw engine, along with looking for oil leaks and checking end float. By pulling the bottom pulley forwards and backwards and seeing if it moves.
I take it there should be zero movement or is some play acceptable?
 

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ms316 said:
I take it there should be zero movement or is some play acceptable?
If itís a lots of play you can physically see with your eye ie you can see the bottom pulley moving in and out its probably too much. If itís a little bit of play that you can hear or feel that its usually ok. Thatís how I judge engines I donít know.

There has to be some play or the flywheel would spin the bearing.

Just because and engine has excessive end float doesnít mean you cant use it. But the more end float the more the crank/flywheel moves in and out of the flywheel oil seal and the more likely you are to have oil leaks from the at seal. You can replace the oil seal but the crank/flywheel will only wear it out again.

Its really bad news because to cure excessive end play properly means a full engine strip down and either a new case or a line bore of the old case.

Hope this helps

Cheers Mick
 

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Keep things amicable if you can and let the garage investigate to see what is wrong. In the meantime contact the Citizens Advice Bureau, (Cheaper than solicitors at this stage), and find our precisely what you rights are.

It is a difficult situation because the garage doesn't want to admit liability until they have looked at the engine...afterall you could have spent the last 2 days hammering the hell out of it and he's only got your word that you haven't.

A good garage will look at it objectively and report back...I recently had an issue. the garage picked up the car, provided a courtesy car and fixed the problem and returned my car with absolutely no charge...they hadn't tightened the bolts properly on the front struts on my MG ZS180....the whole suspension was loose after they had worked on it :eek: but they admitted their error and fixed it.


Sorry i typed this hours ago and only just sent it...probably out of date now.....Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
thanks for all the replys...

Thankyou for all the replys, quite an impressive thread and within 2 hours...

When I got the van 2 weeks ago, the oil light was behaving fine, and the pulley wheel was pretty firm, I knew the oil leak was there but it was a case of finding a van within budget and having a bit of cash left over to get it checked over and have any problems sorted.

The oil light started flickering when the van was at a stand still after having the van a few days after service, I thought it was due to the oil leak so kept an eye on the oil level very regularly.

Thanks gain for all the replys, I guess the only way through it now is to hope the mechanic finds out the cause, and if not easily fixed, see if we can come to some agreement where I pay for a new engine and see if he can fit it at a lower rate than normal....

Oh and as for 'Am I sure I'm ready to own a 30 year old vehicle', yes I am, cause I love my van, running or not, and my girlfriend and I met so many cool people at Brighton Breeze. I look forward to more, convoys, drinking under marquees whilst the rain comes down and everyone talks about the VW scene and take it in turns to show off their latest accessory.

Plus at least now we all have the winter to get things sorted, engine, the dreaded wiring, interior and the exterior....

Thanks from Jon
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thankyou, lots of informative info...cheers
 

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draper3000 said:
Oh and as for 'Am I sure I'm ready to own a 30 year old vehicle', yes I am, cause I love my van, running or not
Cool, but what would you have written after someone's standing on the hard shoulder and says "It has a dipstick?" ;)

Hope you get it sorted.

The same advice about getting the compression & endfloat checked before spending money on the oil leak stands for the rest of the van too. Get it looked over for rust, if it's going to cost £10k to repair, there's perhaps no point in having £1000 worth of engine in a Van that'll fail the MoT.

Don't want to teach anyone egg-sucking, but I've got no idea how much you know about VWs and how they rust.
 

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pellandine-sports said:
Keep things amicable if you can and let the garage investigate to see what is wrong. In the meantime contact the Citizens Advice Bureau, (Cheaper than solicitors at this stage), and find our precisely what you rights are.
(World's cheapest solicitor checking in :) )

You really need to know what (on a test of 'what is more likely than not ?') caused the problem

Then you need to step back and think objectively about whether

1) it is something that the garage did and they did not do their work to a good and workmanlike standard; or

2) it is something that the garage advised you on, and that advice was negligent (i.e. below the standard of a reasonably competent VW garage)

AND did that failing by the garage cause the loss,

AND did you contribute to it (e.g. bu driving on as the light flashed or similar)

If its their fault, in whole or part, following this approach, then you can think about what you can do about it.

That's your basic legal flowchart.

But it all starts with 'what - in fact - caused the problem ?'

Hope that helps (see cheaper than the CAB after all - didn't even cost you a bus fare :) )

Non legal, practical point - are you and the garage both quite clear about who is paying for the investigation ?

Other non legal thoughts - what exactly did they do to it ? It does seem to me that a half decent garage ought to have checked end float and advised on bottom end condition generally before doing a costly-ish top end rebuild ? But I'm no mechanic
 

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First you have to decide whether its something that the garage has done...just because the garage have just done some work on it doesn't necessarily mean its their fault, as you said you have only had the camper for a few weeks so it could of been an underlying problem, or may be totally unrelated to the work they have carried out.

If you want to pursue the garage, you will have to get an INDEPENDENT report done on your engine. The AA and RAC do these, they are very good evidence if you go through the small claims court, but they do cost money and they don't guarantee to find a definate cause.

Failing that, you may be able to come to some arrangement with the garage where you pay for parts/engine and they fit it. At the end of the day its better than nothing.
Garages work hard to build a reputation, especially small local garages, and are usually keen to come to some arrangement to keep the customer happy

Jay
 
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