Leagl position?

Griffo

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I agreed a price with a MB specialist to do some work on my E320CDI, which included the fitting of a repair kit to one of the injectors. They had noticed carbon around it when doing a recent service and suggested that, although there was no audible blowing, it would be wise to repair it.

When they started work on the car, they started on the injector first and after much use of an impact extractor, couldn't remove the injector. As they had agreed a price, they stopped and phoned me to say they couldn't complete the job.

They said there was a significant risk of the rocker cover breaking, so they wouldn't proceed until I had considered my position. They thought the options were:-
a) to remove the retaining bolt, then start the engine to see if compression would move the injector (or even, blow it out!), or
b) remove the other 5 injectors and the rocker cover retaining bolts, to see if the rocker cover could be moved enough to break the seal it has with the injector thus, hopefully, allowing removal.

They say that this could still result in the rocker cover breaking, the injector being damaged and needing replacement, 5 additonal injector repair kits plus a lot of labour costs. Parts alone could exceed £500.

The problem now (apart from all the above) is the car is running quite rough and smoking very badly under accleration. Additionally, today it went into 'limp mode'.

It occurs to me that, if a garage cannot finish the agreed job for the agreed price, they must, at least, return the vehicle in the same condition as when it arrived with them? It was running fine and not smoking before they touched it.

Does anyone know what the legal position is in these circumstances please?
 

Cole@MBS

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Not up on the legal side of things, but we do a awful lot of the "black death" jobs, never broken a cover, never screwed up a injector!!

You have to take time and work at it slowly, its a real crap job but we have done so many "others" said cant be done!

Sorry i cant answer your legal side for you!!
 
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Griffo

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S-a-m / u-n-i-t

Thanks for the response. Are you able/willing to suggest the best course of action to remove the offending injector please?

Clearly, whatever the legal implications might be, the job is going to have to be done for the car to return to 'good health'.
 

Alex M Grieve

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I agreed a price with a MB specialist to do some work on my E320CDI, which included the fitting of a repair kit to one of the injectors. They had noticed carbon around it when doing a recent service and suggested that, although there was no audible blowing, it would be wise to repair it.

When they started work on the car, they started on the injector first and after much use of an impact extractor, couldn't remove the injector. As they had agreed a price, they stopped and phoned me to say they couldn't complete the job.

They said there was a significant risk of the rocker cover breaking, so they wouldn't proceed until I had considered my position. They thought the options were:-
a) to remove the retaining bolt, then start the engine to see if compression would move the injector (or even, blow it out!), or
b) remove the other 5 injectors and the rocker cover retaining bolts, to see if the rocker cover could be moved enough to break the seal it has with the injector thus, hopefully, allowing removal.

They say that this could still result in the rocker cover breaking, the injector being damaged and needing replacement, 5 additional injector repair kits plus a lot of labour costs. Parts alone could exceed £500.

The problem now (apart from all the above) is the car is running quite rough and smoking very badly under acceleration. Additionally, today it went into 'limp mode'.

It occurs to me that, if a garage cannot finish the agreed job for the agreed price, they must, at least, return the vehicle in the same condition as when it arrived with them? It was running fine and not smoking before they touched it.

Does anyone know what the legal position is in these circumstances please?

I am sure others will rehearse the correct legal position - although you are probably pretty spot on.

However, you entered into this in good faith. They agreed a price for the job, and I think they should have followed that through - both by completing the job and by charging the agreed price.

It is just not reasonable for them to take you car to bits, then say sorry, we can't fix it, please come and collect it.

Call it the need for good will on their part, or professionalism, but one way or the other they should return the car to you with the agreed work done.

Had they begun the job and revealed a whole different and hitherto unsuspected problem, then there would have been scope for restructuring the agreement, but removing injectors is what this job was about, the complication was foreseeable, and they blew it (if you'll pardon the pun!).

So I would ask them to try harder, and remind them of the arrangement.
 

Cole@MBS

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A lot of time and work,

One of the forum members on here, got his car recovered down from birmingham for us to sort it, took us 15 hours total, but all 5 were seized in, car left sweet as, got a e,mail a few weeks later saying how nice it was running,

Same injectors went back in and no damage to the cover!!

A lot of firms use a slide hammer to remove, its quicker but kills the injector, we dont, might cost another £50 in labour, but save up to £250 for a injector!!
 
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Griffo

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Alex

Appreciate your comments. I would love to believe that they would see it that way but sadly, I doubt it very much!

That is why it would be so helpful to have the back-up of a sound legal (see - spelt it right that time!) argument, if/when reason fails.
 
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Griffo

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S-a-m / u-n-i-t

Interesting, it was a slide hammer they used and it seems they have damaged the injector, judging by the way it's running now.

Do you have any view(s) on their proposed methods of tackling this please? I know I shouldn't have to research this and give them guidance/information but it could save me a great deal of money. Also, I want a) the job done properly and b) a fair outcome.
 

Cole@MBS

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I think a lot of firms see this as full labour and no out goings on parts, apart from washers and bolts, cost of about £12, and tones of labour!!

We charge for the amount of time we spend on a job, if it takes 8 hours of just cleaning and working the area, then we work it into a price and look after the customer!!

Last big one we did, at £50 an hour x 15 hours was £750, if we killed every injector by slide hammer, that would have cost £1000 just in injectors!!
 

Cole@MBS

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Interesting, it was a slide hammer they used and it seems they have damaged the injector, judging by the way it's running now.

Do you have any view(s) on their proposed methods of tackling this please? I know I shouldn't have to research this and give them guidance/information but it could save me a great deal of money. Also, I want a) the job done properly and b) a fair outcome.

MB quote, if the use of a slide hammer is needed, then that one injector needs to be replaced!!
 

Alex M Grieve

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Appreciate your comments. I would love to believe that they would see it that way but sadly, I doubt it very much!

That is why it would be so helpful to have the back-up of a sound legal (see - spelt it right that time!) argument, if/when reason fails.

Sadly, you are probably right. If challenged legally, they have a difficult position to defend.

  1. They suggested the work - you had not reported any defect to them and the car was working properly
  2. they persuaded you to have the work done to prevent future disappointment
  3. you accepted their professional advice
  4. the problem is well known with this sort of job and can be foreseen
  5. in spite of this, they quoted an optimistic price
  6. they ran into (foreseeable) complications
  7. they have not discovered anything which was unexpected, or outside the scope of doing the agreed work
  8. they are not prepared to complete the work as agreed
  9. your car is now not running properly, or as well as it was doing before.
If they do decline to complete the job - and it clearly can not be left as it is, I suspect a solicitor's letter spelling out the above points will get them going. (It could be a "letter before action", but it almost looks like a writ).

The good guys are on your side - please keep us posted.
 

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If I give a price for a job,,and know that difficulties could arise I point it out before I start,,If I do not,and it goes pear shaped,,then its down to me to finish the job,no matter what
 

Cole@MBS

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That is why any "black death" jobs we take on Malc, theres never a price, you cant quote for these jobs, it might take 2 hours or like the last, 15 hours!!
 
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Griffo

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"MB quote, if the use of a slide hammer is needed, then that one injector needs to be replaced!! "

It would appear now that it does anyway, but it didn't before they started on it. It would be good to know how the injector can be removed without trashing the rocker cover and requiring the removal of the other 5 injectors though (especially as they're all sound), as this is going to massively increase my costs and they are bound to say that it was all necessary.

I feel so helpless in these situations, the garage tells you it has to be done and there's no way of disproving it. Basically, whatever work they say you need, you have to pay for it.

Alex
I will put the facts to them tomorrow and hope they see reason (not going to hold my breath!).

Will report back.

Thanks for the support folks.
 

Cole@MBS

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Griffo, where in the world are you??

If you want it done a min cost without damage, get it shipped down to me!!

Every injector will come out, it just takes time and care!!

Trouble is, it know sounds like you need to replace that "Slide hammered" one!!
 
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Griffo

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About 4.5 hours away , would rather outweigh any potential cost savings.
 

Alex Crow

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all good advice above. as TV says, if your garage did not warn you of the possible pit falls they have already failed to provide a reasonable service. if they did not know the possible pit falls they are not competent to take on the task - a certain level of professionalism and knowledge must be expected.

removing the rocker cover is not going to help anyone, the injector is seized in the cylinder head not the cover. as sam, aka colin says, all injectors can be removed without damage eventually. having said that, of the many we have done over the years i have had to drill one out, with no damage to the head or cover (ml270, a colleague started the job :roll:).

and i can confirm what has been said already, using a slide hammer has almost certainly damaged the injector. also, sometimes the combustion leakage damages the seating face of the injector, i have seen people fit two washers in an attempt to overcome this but to no avail.
 

Xtractorfan

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I think on this one the fact they did ring you to tell you the job was going to be more complicated, will work in their favour if you should decide to take legal action, It would also be impossible to leave the car as it was originally if they attempted to remove an injector with a sliding hammer,
The use of a sliding hammer is recommended by Mb for extremely awkward injectors, so their use of it would not be seen as being wrong.
As already started by SAM and AP and others it would seem you were in the hands of incompetence..

I think it is better to cut your losses, unless they charged for doing the job and not completing it..

Have a word with trading standards and get their opinion on the situation, but I think its a lesson well learned..

Done one on mine tonight 15 mins from start to finish ..and it started to rain half way thru..was outside..
 
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Griffo

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This deepens the dilemma though - if I "cut my losses" and am "in the hands of incompetence", where do I go to get the matter resolved at a reasonable price?

The vehicle is a 2000 model, so not worth a great deal now - can't really justify spending (possibly) getting on for £1,000 on putting it right - especially when it was running OK to start with.
 
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Griffo

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Meant to add - I can't really see it as "a lesson well learned". How are we supposed to know the competence of a garage, until it's too late - what can I learn from that, apart from not to use this one again?

On that principle, we just stumble from garage to garage, parting with hard-earned money, hoping to find honour/competence and fair prices/treatment I think it's called 'the holy grail'.

No offense intended to any on this forum but it really doesn't feel good being at the sharp-end of these situations.
 


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