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Pete
Pete, Technician
Category: Lexus
Satisfied Customers: 24721
Experience:  Over 17 years diagnosing and repairing automobiles various makes and models with some training and certifications.
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Please (note), there were no noted problems on my car, in

Customer Question

Please (note), there were no noted problems on my car, in other words, it ran well (26-27 miles per gallon on the HWY). I went to a mechanic who promotes/advertise and do work on Lexus and asked him to performed routine maintenance on my 2007 Lexus GS350. The engine did have 142,000 miles on it, most of the miles were from HWY trip miles. He changed the spark plugs, replaced the synthetic track belt, thermostat, water pump, flushed transmission, performed oil change and some other etc. items on the car. I live a half mile from the HWY. Therefore, I was going HWY speed, 65-70 miles per hours, within a mile or so on the HWY. The car overheated quickly and started to decelerate...steam appeared from the engine. I pulled over and open the hood of the car...the radiator hose was disconnected and fluids had escaped from the disconnected hose area. I had it towed back to his certified mechanic shop. My wife picked me up...and noted a tremendous amount of fluids (pink/reddish) fluids on the driveway where my car was parked. The mechanic ruled out the hose security stating the combustion pressure caused the hose to be disconnected. in which, fluids were loss, causing the engine to over heat. He stated it was possibly cause by taking out and replacing the spark plugs. My question is...could this be the root cause of the problem and if so, is this common or possibly better worded, not uncommon? The engine(motor) is cracked and doesn't work. What are my chances of winning damages in a small claim case? Just your opinion. Also, do shops like this generally have warranty insurance on their work?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Lexus
Expert:  Pete replied 1 year ago.

Hi my name is ***** ***** I will be happy to help with this today.I apologize for any delay.

Most likely a hose was left loose to where it wasn't clamped down properly and when you started to drive and the coolant pressure built up in the cooling system it blew the hose off causing this issue here.This is most likely the reason since there were no issues with this at all when you brought the vehicle in.I have seen this before and actually left a couple of clamps loose myself in some cases and had the same occur (without the engine damage though) by mistake.The mechanic may be trying to cover up his/her tracks on this saying something else may have caused this that wasn't related to the repairs done to avoid paying for the repairs.

The shop should have some type of insurance/warranty to help cover costs like this when a fault is found to be theirs so it doesn't hurt the business.I don't suspect this was intentional but was most likely accidental.I cannot say this for sure of course as I cannot see the vehicle myself but this is the most likely cause.

You would have to have another mechanic/shop look at the issue with it being un touched to see if they agree then if you have another visual hands on agreement then you may be able to do something legally but its hard to say for sure on the legality of this here.You might speak with our legal experts here to find out for sure.

If more help is needed, use the reply tab to continue our conversation. If no further assistance is needed, kindly rate my service.You can rate at any time and we can continue to work on your question as this will not close out your question.Keep in mind in some cases it can be difficult to fully diagnose or help repair your vehicle without seeing it and I work on delivering the best possible answer from what I see to work with.Thanks Pete.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I originally went in to have my car routine service on 10/27/2015. The cost, $2,199.43, I also received a Vehicle Diagnostic Report from the mechanic...stating the Health Checks Results were good on my engine before servicing it...Calibration: 330C0000, ECT: 53079000. Also, to add on the original inquiry...on 11/04/2015, 100 miles was put on the car after the 10/27/2015 original service, my wife was driving the car and heard a loud boom and seen steam smoke coming from the engine. She call me and the car was towed to the mechanic shop...the bottom hoses of the radiator was blown off, he stated the engine was okay and no head gasket was damage. The mechanic stated, he started to change the bottom hose on my original first service but tried to keep the price down (bill). He replaced the hose, billed me for the part and said "he would split the labor cost with me", total cost, $150. However, on the 8th, 4 days later the top radiator hose blew off as discuss in the first Inquiry, which resulted in a tremendous bill...motor. I was DOA (dead on arrival) when I left my driveway. The coolant was already depleted from my car before I departed my home...are you saying they probably didn't tighten both hoses bottom and top properly? After receiving this added info...do you feel now, they could have damage the internals by changing the spark plug or the technique on how they changed them? Please, also remember a new thermostat was put on the car...does this play a part (PSI) on the coolant system? They did disconnect and connected the hoses on the radiator possibly more than once. Seriously, the car didn't skip and ran very well before bringing it in to have service. He even ask me about my mpg, before any work was performed. I said, "based on the manufacture, I still get excellent miles". He noted, the original spark plugs was still in the car after changing them. Oh yes, he is the one who indicated the spark plug changes could've compromised the internals of the engine. I didn't hot rod the car and changed my oil often.
Expert:  Pete replied 1 year ago.

O.k.,most likely it wasn't an issue of the hoses not being tightened as unlikely they didn't do this to both hoses.This sounds like to much pressure was in the coolant system and this can be due to a leaking head gasket with exhaust heat entering past the gasket into the cooling system or an issue with a stuck thermostat.The thermostat would need tested to see if this was the cause and if found to be the fault then the shop would need to check into with where they purchased it to see if there is any warranty coverage for it being defective.

Most common is a leaking cylinder head gasket,a simple block test by the shop/mechanic would have revealed this as the cause when the hose blew off the first time.Now that the engine is damaged from this the engine will most likely need rebuilt or replaced.Trying to determine who is at fault from here though is difficult as it may have been caused from the repairs possibly if it was a thermostat issue or it may be an issue with a leaking head gasket that failed on its own.

The only way to be sure is to have another facility examine your vehicle to see if they can determine the exact cause then it can be determined if it was the shops fault or just a fault with the vehicle.I don't see changing the spark plugs causing this here unless they damaged something when this was done but its hard to say for sure from here exactly.If he suspects changing out plugs caused this and they are the ones that changed them out then he is leaning on it being their fault and they should cover the costs out of pocket or with their insurance.

Thanks Pete

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