Amazing. Why are mechanics held to much higher standards than doctors? The first thing to look at is the car stalled on the side of the road. That is the most common way fuel pumps fail on GM cars, not most other brands. Your mechanic spent his time diagnosing the cause. We don't know how, but he came up with the fuel pump. He replaced it, and apparently the engine started. At this point all we could assume it was fixed and you owe him for his time, just like with any other profession.
The problem now is there are many other things that can fail intermittently and they require more in-depth diagnosis. How badly would you be complaining if the mechanic told you, "I found your fuel pump has died, ... But I'm going to keep looking for other things and spending your money"? When you have something obvious staring you in the face, do you ignore it and keep looking?
There are sensors that commonly fail on all car brands that lead to the secondary symptom of a turned-off fuel pump. The clues there are the Check Engine light will turn on as you coast to a stop, and the engine can almost always be restarted after it cools down for an hour. Those sensors can become heat-sensitive. You didn't mention either of those things so we have to assume they didn't occur and / or you didn't mention it to the mechanic either. Even if the light went out, the diagnostic fault codes would have been stored in the Engine Computer. With no reason to suspect that, and with the engine running, there would have been no need for the mechanic to waste your dollars checking those things. He would have had your wallet in mind, and you should be grateful, not trying to rip him off.
Now that apparently the easy, relatively inexpensive, and most obvious repair was not the correct solution and has been eliminated, your mechanic is going to have to start over with the diagnosis, just like the doctors you go to who don't diagnose your ailment on the first visit. Do you demand your money back for services rendered from them?
Now, if you're dealing with a reputable shop, they should be willing to recheck their work at no charge to you. Many will even not charge you for diagnosing the same problem a second time, (something unheard of if you run back to your doctor), but you CAN be expected to pay for any needed parts. They will legitimately not remove any previously-installed parts like that fuel pump because they aren't going to try to sell a used one to the next customer. Also, if it makes it easier to take, at the mileage you listed it is not uncommon to be on your second or third replacement fuel pump already, so that future breakdown has been handled before it let you sitting in the middle of nowhere. No brand of car is immune to fuel pump failures. When my mother needed hers replaced about ten years ago, she made it well over 22 miles before it died again. Turns out the wire feeding it had rubbed through also, and removing the fuel tank disturbed the corroded spot and caused a break that the mechanic had no reason to see or look for. Just bad luck on everyone's part, but that too was a problem that was about to occur anyway and it could have happened when she wasn't so close to home.
Remember too, your mechanic is your advocate, not your adversary. He wants your car fixed as much as you do. He wants you to come back willingly for your next service, not with a complaint about his previous service.
Tuesday, January 29th, 2013 AT 8:41 PM