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Lou P.
Lou P., ASE Certified Technician
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About $800 in repairs and 2.5 days without my vehicle, but the shop

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I'm at about $800 in repairs and 2.5 days without my vehicle, but the shop that has my car still hasn't fixed the problem I brought it in for. They give me the whole "Well, those other things WERE causing problems with your car. We can put the old parts back in if you want.." Blah blah blah.

The mechanics are currently on this website talking back and forth with one of your experts to help figure out how to fix my car. What should I do as a consumer? I don't want to be the yelling and screaming jerk, but I don't want to pay for all of the repairs they've done that DIDN'T fix my car. Any advice would be appreciated.

Hello my name is Lou.


did you authorize the repairs in any way shape or form???(written consent,verbal over phone,email)

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
On Monday last week I authorized new plugs, plug wires, and coils. Total was $550 for everything. On Tuesday I drove the car to work and it died on me again. I called them and they told me to bring it back in.

On Friday last week they had it all day and promised that by replacing the hydraulic timing belt tensioner, another $250, that would definitely fix the problem. That's when I asked, "What about the first repair you did?" They told me "Well, those WERE causing problems, and we can put the old parts back in, but they DID need to be replaced." I said, "What happens if it breaks again?" They replied, "We'll make it right."

Went in this morning to pick up my car and they said, "Sorry, it's not fixed yet." We're working with some mechanics online to try and figure out the best solution. I found their posts on THIS website trying to do that. They're still going back and forth on it as I type this. I think they've narrowed it to the vaccuum portion....

Authorized first attempt for $550, authorized second attempt $250 with their promise that it would solve the problem. Now what? They're going to try to stick me with more repairs, but should I really be paying for the repairs that haven't fixed the problem?
you really should only have to pay for what fixed it but since you authorized the repair its now up to the descretion of the shop. what kind of car do you have maybe i can see there post??? or copy the link to there post. also what is wrong with the car?? any codes???
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
No codes, it's a serious mystery to the mechanics invovled:
ok i have a question for you , i read the cluster &%^&& that is going on in that forum and i think that expert is just trying to get that guy to accept because he has helped nada and i dont see it going anywhere so my question is did the problem start after refilling the gas or not. can you tell me the scenario when it started to happen?? i will try and fix your problemn with YOU then i will intervene with those numbskulls.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
It didn't start after a tank of gas, it had been doing a rough idle when I was stopped, in gear for a month or so off and on.

Progressively it was getting worse, but it wasn't stalling. The rough idle would just come and go. In the meantime my alternator went bad, which I replaced myself and I can't help but feel like it has something to do with this whole mess. After replacing my alternator (within a few days) the rough idle at a stop became really bad and the oil light started to flicker and the engine started knocking. Another symptom was that when I would accelerate from a stop it would begin to sputter with almost no power until I got up to about 20-25 mph. Then everything appeared normal.

To keep from stalling when at a stoplight I would just throw the car into neutral. The car would stop shaking, idle would be at around 1,100 or 1,200 and run smooth. The first thing they fixed (plugs, wires, coils) solved the sputtering problem off the line, but the car would still idle very rough. They said it was idling rough because of bad motor mounts. (RIGHT!)

After driving the car to work for 20 minutes, the next stoplight I was at almost made the car die again. Clearly they hadn't fixed it. That's when I brought it back to them and they replaced the tensioner. I haven't driven it since then, but they say it's still not working properly. Once the car is warm, in a gear(reverse does the same thing), and at a stop, the RPM's drop to about 500-600 and the car shakes. Given enough seconds the car's oil light start to flicker and the car eventually dies.
ok. let me do some thinking,.ill get back to you soon.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I'm replying because the website said this request is waiting for me. I'm sure it's not, but here's a reply just in case.

ok i think its a fault with your egr valve i have sent that expert my opinion on what he should tell them, i cannot intervine yet because only one expert can assist at a time until he releases a lock. so i sent him a message and am awaiting his reply,Lou.

ok it will do that everytime i reply just to let you know the ball is in your court. so no worries.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thanks a ton for checking out the problem and giving the other expert your thoughts. Hopefully you can get the $$$ for that response as well.

What should my approach be with the shop? Assuming you're right and it's the EGR valve they're going to be calling me soon with another quote and a request for approval to move forward with the repair.

Don't get me wrong, I'm sure the stuff they fixed in the beginning did some good, and the tensioner portion would've needed to be fixed eventually (maybe), but I wouldn't call this A+ service either. Like you said, I should only have to pay for what fixed the problem. I guess I could threaten to go to the BBB or something, but I don't want to be that guy. Let me know your closing thoughts and I'll ACCEPT the payment for you with some positive feedback. Thanks again.
ok well BBB only works when they are regestered. also i am not too concerned about the money i kinda like the karma aspect if you will. im sure the other parts helped the car too BUT the diagnosis should have been done properly before and i always test new parts BEFORE i sell just to make sure they will help. i hope they listen to me cause i can offer some help, so keep me up to date and PLEASE tel them w have seen the posts because mayber then they will offer some discount to your problem , hopefully they dont charge you the FEE for the question they are asking on this website , i will let you know if they respond,Lou.
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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Will do, thanks again. They definitely used your idea. Here's the most recent post:

Another idea would be the egr valve sticking open causing an internal vacuum leak?
(Just had a friendly expert bring this theory up to me.)
i know i have it open in my other window. i gave the expert this link wo he could see what weve been talking about. sometimes its way easier to fix a car with it right in front of you i am just giving them outside the box ideas, let me know if they call and just try to sell youit, they can unplug the vacuum line from the egr and it will not actuate, it will set a check engine light but if its the problem (egr) then the car will run great and not die.
o i havnt seen another post from those guys, any resolution yet??

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