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Steve S
Steve S, Ford Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 1866
Experience:  10 years in Ford Dealership, Certified in: Auto Trans, Diesel Engines, Climate Control, Electrical D
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think mechanic left radiator cap off while checking car and

Customer Question

Help! my daughters' car has been sitting in the mechanics lot for two weeks.
I think mechanic left radiator cap off (untightened) after checking car out for "running kind of rough" and changing plugs and wires; less than 100 miles after leaving the shop during which car ran perfectly), car shut down suddenly on the highway with no warning and upon lifting the hood, found radiator cap was barely on and water slung everywhere. car towed back to shop where mechanic pronounced block cracked from overheating! Last conversation with mechanic I was told that according to the odometer the car had been driven about 100 miles since last leaving his shop (rather than the 30 or so I thought) and that it was actually his helper who had determined the block to be cracked and that he was going to check it out and call me back. He also restated that there was no way his helper had loosened the radiator cap and forgotton to retighten it. How could this be true? I've still heard nothing back from this guy. Do I have any recourse here?
please see prior thread from my last question and answers for more info about this situation.
Thanks, Lisa
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  Gary replied 5 years ago.
Thanks for asking Just Answer.I need a little more info to answer.What model,year and engine size is the vehicle.Exactly what was the vehicle in the shop for and what is it doing now?Let me know and we`ll go from there.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I'm sorry, I thought you would be able to access my original (question/answer/accept)for all that. Can you? or should I try cutting and pasting?
Expert:  Gary replied 5 years ago.
I haven`t seen the original post.You may have to resend it.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Last week I had trouble coordinating a timely q&a with Gary. His first info request came 6 hours after I posted my question. Then, after I responded it was almost 11 more hours before he responded by with answer Then when I
Expert:  Gary replied 5 years ago.
I`m sorry for the amount of time it took,there was some kind of mix up.I`ll be glad to try and help again if you want me to.Let me know.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Hi Gary, that last message was sent accidentally before I finished it. I have 4 kids and had to step away. Anyway, here goes once more. Wish you could access my prior q&a with Steve S. It was rather lengthy and would save a whole lot of time and unecessary clarification. The botXXXXX XXXXXne is this. It looks like my mechanics helper probably screwed up and didn't tighten the radiator cap before releasing my daughters car back to her. The car has always been very solid. The shop replaced wires and plugs and for two days after leaving the shop it ran PERFECT. During those 2 days it was only driven around town several times for short distances. On the second day, my daughter got it out on the highway and 4 miles down the road the car quit running suddenly with no warning whatsoever. It would not restart and when my dad got there and lifted the hood he found the radiator cap barely on and coolant slung all over under the hood.
We had the car towed back to the shop, they called 2 days later and said the block was cracked from being run hot and did we want them to look for a new engine. WHAT???? When I last spoke to the head mechanic he told me that he hadn't looked at it personally and was going to check it out for himself about the block being cracked. He also said that there was no way any of his people had even touched the radiator cap. It's been over 3 weeks now and he never called me back! My Question is this, Do I have any recourse here? Is there any way to get them to do the right thing? My dad has used this same guy for several years and never had a problem. The guy has always seemed honest. His shop has grown over the past few years and it's no longer just he and his brother. So, I don't think this was anything intentional, I think somebody just screwed up and now they are hoping we'll just go away. What should I do???
Expert:  Steve S replied 5 years ago.
Hi there XXXXX XXXXX I remember the situation clearly and I will correspond tonight with you some more but just give me some updates on what has gone on since the lastr time we spoke. Have you tried to contact them? Have you had the car fixed or has anyone else looked at it? Steve
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
thank goodness you're here! the car is still at the shop. When I last spoke to the head mechanic he told me that he hadn't looked at it personally and was going to check it out for himself about the block being cracked. He also said that there was no way any of his people had even touched the radiator cap. It's been over 3 weeks now and he never called me back!
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
When I last called him (3 weeks ago)he told me that he hadn't yet checked the car out for himself but was going to do it that afternoon. One of his helpers had actually pronounced the car dead w'cracked block. He seemed to be trying to keep the focus on whether the block was really cracked or not and if the car had run hot. I tried to bring the focus back to the real point; (after examining all the particulars,ie; car had just left his shop running perfectly after they had replaced wires and plugs, the last people to be under the hood were his people, it was running perfect when without any warning after its' first 4-5 miles down the highway it quit and would not restart, when my dad got there to rescue my daughter he lifted the hood and noticed that the radiator cap was barely on and lots of coolant was slung all over under the hood). The conversation ended with him pointing out that the car was actually driven about 100 miles after leaving the shop, rather than the 30-40 miles that I had guestimated and that he would check it out. Now over three weeks later and no return call from him, it looks even more like he knows his shop is at fault. What do you think? My question is this.
Is there anything that I can say or do to increase my chances of getting him to do right by us? I don't know if it makes any difference but, Remember my Dad has used this same mechanic for a number of years and until now has trusted him implicitly. In addition, up till a couple years ago the shop was just he and his brother but now it has grown and they have a number of guys working with them.   The reason I haven't called him back yet is because at this point I feel he is likely hiding from the truth and I would like to resolve this issue fairly and peacefully without causing a permanent rift between my family and this mechanic. Even so, my family can't afford to replace my 18 year old daughters car and she has a 2yr old and is a full-time college student. What would you do?thank you so much for your time, Lisa
Expert:  Steve S replied 5 years ago.
Hi Lisa Has your Dad had anything to say to these guys? Maybe if your father has used them for so long they will value his word. Anyways I have no magical thing to tell you to say but i don know that there is not anything that we hate more then an iratte customer that wants to yell. Just tell them that you would atleast like some sort of help with the repair. It is very possible that they did cause this but there is no way to actually prove this so they are not actually responsible for a new engine if they do not want to. i think that the best you could do is go down there, popssibly with a man (sorry but some people still do think that a woman does not know anything about a car) anyways go down there and talk with whoever is in charge of the shop, I think the most that you can hope for is some assistance toward the bill. They should not leave you hanging for 3 weeks, that is wrong. Steve

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