OOOH! That adds another dimension to the story. Mechanics don't like installing customer-supplied parts except for those that are rare or hard-to-find. When they sell you the parts, they mark them up a little, just like any other retail store, then they assume the responsibility for solving any problems that result with them. A new part can be defective. It can be the wrong part. In this case, how would you have felt if they had installed the heater core and the problem was still there?
As a side note, when you request to have a part replaced, or a service performed, they are only obligated to do what you asked. If it doesn't have the result you expected, that is not their responsibility. If you need to have something done differently, you can expect to be charged again.
Providing your own parts is similar to bringing your own food to a restaurant and asking them to cook it for you. Who is to blame if you aren't happy with the quality?
Be aware too that sometimes we damage a new part, and that isn't always evident until we try to use it, as in starting the engine, turning on the system, or in this case, filling the cooling system and letting you drive the car for a few days. When the shop supplies the parts, it's up to them to replace what they broke at no additional cost to you. That responsibility shifts to you when you bring your own parts, and we know from experience that leads to a lot of arguments and unhappy people. That's one argument that can be avoided when the shop supplies the parts, but again, that may not apply if what is needed is hard to find and will take a lot of the shop's resources. When they ask you to search for the part and bring it to them, you'll usually get an explanation, their appreciation, and sometimes a discount on the labor for having done some of what they normally have to do.
As for returning again, that is the right thing to do. That gives the mechanic the opportunity to correct any mistakes he might have made. He will also be familiar with the car, the specific problem, and he will know what was done already. If you go to a different doctor, he will usually start all over with a bunch of tests that may have been done already somewhere else. A different mechanic is also going to assume the heater core is leaking, and start from there. You'll be paying again for a service that you've already paid for.
My worst one was for a pile of interior lights that would turn on intermittently when the driver applied the brakes, then they'd turn off when he accelerated. It turned out to be a bare wire feeding the vanity light in a sun visor, (which normally would have blown a fuse), and the fact someone else was in there ahead of me, who, instead of finding the cause, bypassed it by switching some wires. I didn't know that history, and as a result, much of my testing didn't make sense. That owner came back nine times before I solved the problem. Fortunately he wasn't angry because up to that point no one else could solve it, and no one else would stick to it once they also became confused. Fortunately the dealership owner told the service adviser to stop charging by the hour, but to keep me on the job as long as I was making progress.
The purpose of this sad story is to emphasize that a lot of problems are not solved in one visit. Sometimes we have to resort to trying a few things, then we let YOU test the results. The downside is you have to come back. The upside is you aren't being charged by the hour for test-drives and for waiting to see if the problem is still there. A lot of frustration is caused though when that isn't explained beforehand. Mechanics have pretty poor communication skills, so it's up to the service adviser to explain why the problem might not be solved yet, and to get your approval and understanding if the car has to come back later. The best thing you can do to get this solved is to be patient and courteous. You can be sure the mechanic is just as frustrated as you are, and he wants this solved too.
Monday, November 23rd, 2015 AT 8:15 PM