Mechanics

REPAIR SHOP RESPONSIBILITY

1984 Jeep Laredo

Warranty problem
1984 Jeep Laredo 4 cyl Four Wheel Drive Automatic

I took my Jeep to a local repair shop for overheating and coolant leaking out of the side of the engine.

They said is was a blown head gasket.
The head was also warped and needed leveled according to the shop.

The shop sent the head out to a machine shop had it leveled and dyna-fluxed (checked for cracks). They put the engine back together. Within 15 minutes coolant was again leaking out the side.

They said the block is was a crack between two cylinders and there was no way of knowing this until the warped head was fixed and put back on the car.

They say I owe them for the head gasket replacement ($840.00) and that swapping the block would be additional.

Shouldn't they have checked for a cracked block or seen the crack before all the head work was done and replaced?

They still have my car but I do not think I should pay for their mistake.

What is your opinion?

Thanks!
Avatar
Bobbers
October 28, 2008.



This is a tricky one. Well in my opinion I think the repair shop may or may not have misdiagnosed it. First of all I need your honest answer. When you first took truck to shop with the coolant leak. What was the exact scenerio of what happened from the beginning, was the coolant leaking for a while and the engine was severely overheated? Did it just all of a sudden happen?

Tiny
Mastertechtim
Oct 28, 2008.
HI there,

This is a tricky one, firstly it is VERY unusual to get a cracked block, I have been in this industry for 35 years and have never checked a block for cracks while doing a head repair, it is just not a consideration. The crack will be tiny and I doubt that you would see it with the naked eye, even if you were looking for it, and to confidently crack test a block, it must be stripped chemically cleaned and magna fluxed or X-rayed, so you see this is just not an option, I feel that you should sit down and work this out with the repairer, it's not his doing, he has done the work in good faith, talk with them and see what can be done.

Mark (mhpautos)

Mhpautos
Oct 28, 2008.
I have learned from experience to 'thoroughly' check EVERYTHING when it comes to those kinds of coolant leaks. In fact, just today, I was checking for a coolant leak on a car. I thought I had figured it out when I decided to check a little more with a light and a mirror. I, in fact, discovered the " REAL" leak and I would have been wrong if I had gone with my first hunch. So, YES, the shop, in my oppinion, should have seen it. They could have if they had looked REAL closely. Also, it depends on where the leak is. (In they're defense). If it's impossible to see with it in the vehicle, then there's NO way of being 100% sure. The machine shop should have reported what they found on the head while they had it. I.E. Was it warped, etc? If it was NOT warped much, then where was the water coming from? This informantion could have triggered a second look before reassembly. Don't completely blame them for not finding it but at the same time, they were incorrect in they're diagnosis so they should not hold YOU responsible. Good luck

Tiny
Jasonray
Oct 28, 2008.
Masterrtechtim,

It happened all of a sudden. I was driving on the expressway, the temp guage shotup almost instantly to hot and the engine quit. I was going about 70 mph on the expressway when it happened.

I pulled over and looked under the jeep. Fluid was running out of it. I opened the hood and found that a support bracket from the radiator had come loose (unsoldered) and hit the fan. The fan took the support and pushed it into the radiator. I thought that this was the only problem.

My dad towed it to our house. My Dad is somewhat of a backyard mechanic. He was able to solder the radiator. He pressure checked it and put it back into the jeep and tried to start it. It would not start and turned over quiet hard. My dad noticed that coolant was coming out of the seam where the head meets the block.

He said that there was nothing else to do except tow it to the repair shop. It took the shop 2 weeks to look at it.

The shop said it was a blown head gasket. They also said that they would check the head for any warping. If they found that it was warped they would need to send the head to a machine shop. They also suggested that the head should be checked for cracks regardless of any warp.

I agreed to fix it and agreed to the price.

I do not have much money (driving a 85 jeep) and I am willing to work with them but they are saying things like they will pay for the parts and I'll cover the rest. The parts are about $200.00 and the other $640 is my responsibility? I think this should be the other way around.

We have not actually sat down and discussed this yet because I didnot know who is responsible for what.

This is why I posted the question.

Thanks for the response.

Bobbers

Tiny
Bobbers
Oct 28, 2008.
Coming from a repair shop owners perspective if anything I think it should be the other way around like you pay for the parts and they eat the labor. Im a little concerned about their diagnosis of a cracked block. Remember you get more flies with honey, dont go in there screaming or threatening anyone, that will get you nowhere fast. Let us know how you make out.

Tiny
Mastertechtim
Oct 29, 2008.
Hi there,

I agree with Tim, I also run my own business and I would be thinking the same way, these problems do crop up from time to time, and you can normally come to a reasonable conclusion with talking to each other, keep it calm and you should work it out.

Mark (mhpautos)

Mhpautos
Oct 29, 2008.