Mechanic expects me to pay for his mistake

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Devil's Advocate
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Mechanic expects me to pay for his mistake

Post by Devil's Advocate » Wed Oct 11, 2017 9:43 pm

Small town mechanic broke off spark plug in my 2006 F150. 140,000 miles. Worth around 7k before this problem. He can't fix it and wants me to pay $2400 to another shop to pull engine and have them fix.

Was running fine with some intermittent stuttering so I took him my truck to replace spark plugs and coils. He called me today and told me unfortunately he broke off spark plug in engine and then broke off the tool to remove broken spark plug. He got the quote from the other shop. He has not offered to help.

How should I proceed?

DA
:annoyed

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Re: Mechanic expects me to pay for his mistake

Post by Nate79 » Wed Oct 11, 2017 9:48 pm

Devil's Advocate wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 9:43 pm
Small town mechanic broke off spark plug in my 2006 F150. 140,000 miles. Worth around 7k before this problem. He can't fix it and wants me to pay $2400 to another shop to pull engine and have them fix.

Was running fine with some intermittent stuttering so I took him my truck to replace spark plugs and coils. He called me today and told me unfortunately he broke off spark plug in engine and then broke off the tool to remove broken spark plug. He got the quote from the other shop. He has not offered to help.

How should I proceed?

DA
:annoyed
Didn't the shop warn you ahead of time that this is an extremely common and we'll known problem? They should have informed you that all liability rests with you if they break off.

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Re: Mechanic expects me to pay for his mistake

Post by Devil's Advocate » Wed Oct 11, 2017 9:49 pm

No...he didnt.

My brother knew this was an extremely common problem and switched my parents spark plugs and coils. He researched it on the internet and did some pretreatment. He is not even a mechanic and his didn't break off. But the mechanic did not tell me of the risks.

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Devil's Advocate
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Re: Mechanic expects me to pay for his mistake

Post by Devil's Advocate » Wed Oct 11, 2017 9:51 pm

Not only do I want to know your opinions on whether or not he is liable I also would like to know whether or not I should go ahead and have it repaired or sell as is.

DA

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jainn
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Re: Mechanic expects me to pay for his mistake

Post by jainn » Wed Oct 11, 2017 9:52 pm

hopefully this helps. i just googled for a solution after reading your issue...

https://www.fordf150.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=101286

https://shop.advanceautoparts.com/p/lis ... 26941730-P


good luck!

Jainn

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Devil's Advocate
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Re: Mechanic expects me to pay for his mistake

Post by Devil's Advocate » Wed Oct 11, 2017 9:59 pm

Jainn,

The mechanic told me that he broke off that tool in the engine.

DA

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Re: Mechanic expects me to pay for his mistake

Post by Sandtrap » Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:00 pm

Ford Triton engine's 2 piece shell spark plugs are known for getting stuck or breaking apart, or ejecting. It's such a known problem that there's a special tool to take out the broken plug. Not good.

http://www.fordproblems.com/trends/trit ... lug-stuck/

There is a number of class action lawsuits on this problem and you may be able to recover costs to repair.
Suggest getting a number of estimates to remove the head and have it fixed.

Car Complaints.com lists the average repair cost at about $1200
https://www.carcomplaints.com/Ford/F-15 ... head.shtml
Last edited by Sandtrap on Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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denovo
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Re: Mechanic expects me to pay for his mistake

Post by denovo » Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:40 pm

Sandtrap wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:00 pm


AFAIK the mechanic and shop is not liable.

Why, he messed up?

denovo
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Re: Mechanic expects me to pay for his mistake

Post by denovo » Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:42 pm

Devil's Advocate wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 9:43 pm
Small town mechanic broke off spark plug in my 2006 F150. 140,000 miles. Worth around 7k before this problem. He can't fix it and wants me to pay $2400 to another shop to pull engine and have them fix.

Was running fine with some intermittent stuttering so I took him my truck to replace spark plugs and coils. He called me today and told me unfortunately he broke off spark plug in engine and then broke off the tool to remove broken spark plug. He got the quote from the other shop. He has not offered to help.

How should I proceed?

DA
:annoyed
Tell him you'll accept a check from his shop or liability insurance. I am pretty sure every state licenses mechanics and has a site you can file complaints on.

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Watty
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Re: Mechanic expects me to pay for his mistake

Post by Watty » Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:44 pm

Devil's Advocate wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 9:43 pm
....pay $2400 to another shop to pull engine and have them fix.
I don't have a clue as to what is right in this situation but I would be concerned about what "fix" means.

How much would it cost to get a rebuilt engine? With 140K miles that might be a better use of the money than spending that much to fix the spark plug. A rebuilt engine should last for many years, with a warranty, and would add value to the truck.

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Sandtrap
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Re: Mechanic expects me to pay for his mistake

Post by Sandtrap » Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:50 pm

denovo wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:40 pm
Sandtrap wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:00 pm


AFAIK the mechanic and shop is not liable.

Why, he messed up?
Very true. There are other options.
I corrected my post.
Thanks, "denovo".
j
Getting spooked a bit :shock: :shock: . Probably will check my spark plugs later this week.
Last edited by Sandtrap on Wed Oct 11, 2017 11:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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IMO
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Re: Mechanic expects me to pay for his mistake

Post by IMO » Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:52 pm

I'd suggest those reading this post look at the great link/information posted by Sandtrap:
http://www.fordproblems.com/trends/trit ... lug-stuck/

Based on the above, seems you have a reasonable recourse to this common problem, and there appears to be no particular liability for the mechanic. Although, I suppose if you were warned ahead of time, perhaps you wouldn't have proceeded with spark plug replacement or chosen a Ford dealership to do the work to assist in the claim/paperwork that Ford is requiring.

Fortunately, while our vehicle wasn't on the listed years covered (perhaps those particular plugs weren't used?), had plugs changed more on age of vehicle (over 10 yrs old) despite the mileage being at 50,000 which is 1/2 the recommended replacement schedule.

denovo
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Re: Mechanic expects me to pay for his mistake

Post by denovo » Wed Oct 11, 2017 11:13 pm

IMO wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:52 pm
I'd suggest those reading this post look at the great link/information posted by Sandtrap:
http://www.fordproblems.com/trends/trit ... lug-stuck/

Based on the above, seems you have a reasonable recourse to this common problem, and there appears to be no particular liability for the mechanic.
There is nothing on that link about mechanic liability. If the mechanic felt he couldn't do the work, he could pass on the work or warn the customer of potential issues and ask him to sign a waiver. The mechanic did damage to the car and has to pay for it. End of story.

BH's are way too passive , imo, when it comes to perceived authority figures telling them they need to do something or pay for something.

Nate79
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Re: Mechanic expects me to pay for his mistake

Post by Nate79 » Wed Oct 11, 2017 11:33 pm

Devil's Advocate wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 9:49 pm
No...he didnt.

My brother knew this was an extremely common problem and switched my parents spark plugs and coils. He researched it on the internet and did some pretreatment. He is not even a mechanic and his didn't break off. But the mechanic did not tell me of the risks.
That's too bad. He should have informed you that he will attempt the work but if it breaks it will be your liability. I don't know what happens when they didn't tell you that up front. Your engine was defective before the mechanic worked on it. Unless the mechanic is an idiot he should not be held liable for a design flaw and for something that would have broken no matter who worked on it. Unless you think the mechanic did an improper procedure then I would say he is not liable.

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Re: Mechanic expects me to pay for his mistake

Post by Spirit Rider » Wed Oct 11, 2017 11:54 pm

denovo wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:40 pm
Sandtrap wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:00 pm
AFAIK the mechanic and shop is not liable.
Why, he messed up?
No, there was a bad outcome. This is not an uncommon event in maintenance.

Even if there was not a particular manufacturing defect, a mechanic or any other tradesman is not generally be liable for part failures, unless it is due to gross negligence. Many parts break during maintenance, the technician is not generally liable. The OP's vehicle is 11 years old. There is any number of parts where it would not be uncommon for breakage to occur during a particular part replacement.

I will give you another common occurrence. You have a problem with your vehicle. In the process of troubleshooting the problem, the mechanic ends up replacing two or more parts. You don't get to only pay for the part that fixed the problem. You have to pay for the whole process. Now a good mechanic might discount the earlier parts and reduce the labor charge, but they are under no obligation to do so.

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whodidntante
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Re: Mechanic expects me to pay for his mistake

Post by whodidntante » Thu Oct 12, 2017 12:08 am

You might have signed a waiver without reading it, unless you are a rare bird who reads everything before signing. Contracts are valid even if you don't read them.

If he won't pay, you might want to have a lawyer send him a letter. Sometimes that will work. I doubt it is worth suing for the money involved, but you could get legal advice and then decide.

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eye.surgeon
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Re: Mechanic expects me to pay for his mistake

Post by eye.surgeon » Thu Oct 12, 2017 12:27 am

It's a VERY common problem with that generation of F150. Not saying the mechanic doesn't hold some responsibility, but it doesn't necessarily indicate incompetence.
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Fudgie
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Re: Mechanic expects me to pay for his mistake

Post by Fudgie » Thu Oct 12, 2017 12:30 am

What about small claims court? I got satisfaction for multiple botched master cylinder replacements back in the 90s. Didn't even hire an attorney. Maybe you can also work out some middle ground with the guy where he procures replacement parts at cost and chips in some labor. Good luck!
"That's entertainment!" - Vlad the Impaler

denovo
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Re: Mechanic expects me to pay for his mistake

Post by denovo » Thu Oct 12, 2017 12:46 am

Spirit Rider wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 11:54 pm
denovo wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:40 pm
Sandtrap wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:00 pm
AFAIK the mechanic and shop is not liable.
Why, he messed up?
No, there was a bad outcome. This is not an uncommon event in maintenance.

I will give you another common occurrence. You have a problem with your vehicle. In the process of troubleshooting the problem, the mechanic ends up replacing two or more parts. You don't get to only pay for the part that fixed the problem. You have to pay for the whole process. Now a good mechanic might discount the earlier parts and reduce the labor charge, but they are under no obligation to do so.
I think you're trying to argue semantics. There was a bad outcome. But it was a result of the mechanic messing up and then tossing his tool into the engine and compounding the problem. He already agreed to pay for bad spark plugs, he didn't pay to have things fall into the engine.

Your example is unclear. Yes, a mechanic can find other parts have gone bad and ask you to replace it. But if he broke them, it's a different story. I speak from experience. I had a mechanic replace spark plugs, a dealer mechanic no less, and they damaged my ignition coils in the process. I found out when my car didn't start 10 miles later :annoyed I didn't pay for the new ignition coils and in fact I squeezed them for a luxury car rental.

denovo
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Re: Mechanic expects me to pay for his mistake

Post by denovo » Thu Oct 12, 2017 12:50 am

eye.surgeon wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 12:27 am
It's a VERY common problem with that generation of F150. Not saying the mechanic doesn't hold some responsibility, but it doesn't necessarily indicate incompetence.
I am not saying every mechanic does it, but it's usually recommended to check the TSB's before working on the car. Here, if the mechanic did, he would have noticed that the problem with this car.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technical ... e_Bulletin

IMO
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Re: Mechanic expects me to pay for his mistake

Post by IMO » Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:36 am

denovo wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 11:13 pm
IMO wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:52 pm
I'd suggest those reading this post look at the great link/information posted by Sandtrap:
http://www.fordproblems.com/trends/trit ... lug-stuck/

Based on the above, seems you have a reasonable recourse to this common problem, and there appears to be no particular liability for the mechanic.
There is nothing on that link about mechanic liability. If the mechanic felt he couldn't do the work, he could pass on the work or warn the customer of potential issues and ask him to sign a waiver. The mechanic did damage to the car and has to pay for it. End of story.

BH's are way too passive , imo, when it comes to perceived authority figures telling them they need to do something or pay for something.
I'd disagree strongly about some assumption that I'm way too passive and don't appreciate your categorization. I'd be f*ing pissed off it happened (and probably provide more than a few words of my frustration). I'm just not unreasonable. After reading about the problem and the settlement: There was a manufacturer defect that basically Ford agreed to a settlement to reimburse (to a significant amount) those like the OP who's car developed a problem from the faulty spark plug design. That settlement essentially admits there defective product has caused expense/problems for a simply act of replacing spark plugs. The fix/tools designed and the complications are not are straight forward as you are suggesting. Put the true blame where it belongs, and in this case, it's with Ford. If he wants to get free legal help on the issue, the information is on the claims page:
http://www.fordsparkplugsettlement.com/FAQ.html

If he chooses not to utilize the settlement, he can sue Ford and the mechanic if he wants in small claims court.

Edit: I'd also try to work something out with the mechanic for a discount on future work, etc on any amount not covered.

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Re: Mechanic expects me to pay for his mistake

Post by bottlecap » Thu Oct 12, 2017 6:36 am

The real question is did the mechanic screw up.

You are going to need another mechanic to tell you whether he did or not.

If there was nothing he could have done to prevent this on this model, then he did not screw up.

If there was something he could have done to prevent it, given that this model had this known problem, and he failed to do it, then you have an argument it was his fault.

None of use can help you with this. Get an opinion from someone who knows this truck.

Good luck,

JT

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Re: Mechanic expects me to pay for his mistake

Post by Devil's Advocate » Thu Oct 12, 2017 7:00 am

The problem is in this location it is a fairly small community and I doubt another mechanic will lay blame on the original mechanic.

DA

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Re: Mechanic expects me to pay for his mistake

Post by Devil's Advocate » Thu Oct 12, 2017 7:05 am

I think what I am going to do is to have a conversation with the mechanic in a non-confrontational way. Will lay out the fact that he did not warn me ahead of time of the inherent risks of changing spark plugs in this era of truck. I certainly did not sign anything. I will not threaten him with a lawsuit. If he won't agree to help then I will tell him I am disappointed. Being a small community I would rather not start conflict with him.

I will ask him what he thinks his liability is and whether or not he is willing to help fix it. Part of the problem is this particular mechanic does not pull the engine and fix it himself. We will have to take it to another shop.

I agree that it seems that Ford has some significant liability. I did look at that lawsuit website and it appears that I am too late to get compensated. I believe the work had to be done before February 2017.

It's not like I don't have the money. I just feel that I should not have to bear the entire responsibility of fixing this outcome especially since I wasn't warned ahead of time.

DA

onourway
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Re: Mechanic expects me to pay for his mistake

Post by onourway » Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:26 am

Not the mechanic's fault.

A small town mechanic who doesn't specialize in this specific model of vehicle quite possibly did not know the entire scope of the problem. You took that risk when you asked a non-expert to work on your vehicle. This is a design defect that Ford has admitted to. Your beef is with them, not your mechanic. Whether you can get any restitution from Ford is another story. I'd hope the outcome of that conversation would inform your future brand choice.
Last edited by onourway on Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

clutchied
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Re: Mechanic expects me to pay for his mistake

Post by clutchied » Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:27 am

Devil's Advocate wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 7:00 am
The problem is in this location it is a fairly small community and I doubt another mechanic will lay blame on the original mechanic.

DA
it's a manufacturing fault that is well known in the repair community.

Sometimes they break and sometimes they don't. You were unlucky.


I agree he should have notified you but this is hardly someone "screwing up" and more in the lines of bad engineering on Ford's part.

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Re: Mechanic expects me to pay for his mistake

Post by clutchied » Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:27 am

onourway wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:26 am
Not the mechanic's fault.

A small town mechanic who doesn't specialize in this specific model of vehicle quite possibly did not know the entire scope of the problem. You took that risk when you asked a non-expert to work on your vehicle. This is a design defect that Ford has admitted to. Your beef is with them, not your mechanic. Whether you can get any restitution from Ford is another story. I'd hope the outcome of that conversation would inform your future brand choice.
should have just quoted your post... perfect.

westrichj312
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Re: Mechanic expects me to pay for his mistake

Post by westrichj312 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:29 am

you have no proof the mechanic screwed up. You really expect them to pay for your old car repairs?

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Re: Mechanic expects me to pay for his mistake

Post by pangea33 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:53 am

I just want to say that I hope this is resolved to your satisfaction somehow. It sounds like a nightmare.

Thanks to the BH for letting me know I should avoid this vehicle, as I'm considering buying a used truck.

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Re: Mechanic expects me to pay for his mistake

Post by Devil's Advocate » Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:06 am

I guess that is the Crux of my main issue is that the mechanic did know of this risk but did not inform me. That may have changed whether or not I would have changed the plugs.

The issue I was having in the first place is very intermittent and has been there off and on for a couple years. I thought I was being proactive and it may have cost me. Like I said I am not expecting the mechanic to pay for everything just perhaps he should feel some burden of responsibility.

For example if he was doing the engine repair discount his labor somehow. The unfortunate thing is he is unable to pull out the engine and do the repair. Therefore he has to outsource this and I am unlikely to get a discount from their labor.

If I don't ask for any help then it would not be offered. I guess I am just negotiating not unlike what I would do for any other purchase.

DA

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8foot7
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Re: Mechanic expects me to pay for his mistake

Post by 8foot7 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:17 am

Get the mechanic to cover difference between whatever the Ford settlement is and the actual cost to get your truck fixed. Those folks saying the mechanic has no liability in this are simply wrong. You engaged him to repair the problem, not break off tools into your truck's engine. If he knew of the risk and didn't inform you, he's a bad actor. If he didn't know of the risk and didn't research it and just dove headfirst into it, he's negligent. The problem is compounded by Ford's bad engineering, hence my suggestion to avail yourself of settlement funds as a partial remedy and then get the mechanic to cover the rest of it.

financeidiot
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Re: Mechanic expects me to pay for his mistake

Post by financeidiot » Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:21 am

You might get him to agree to split the cost of the repair with you 50/50. "I should have done more investigating upfront, you should have made the liability for the repair clearer, let's split the cost of the repair, call it a day, and we'll both be smarter next time."

Teague
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Re: Mechanic expects me to pay for his mistake

Post by Teague » Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:21 am

If I understand correctly, the plugs are spec'd to be changed at 100K miles. You waited to change them until 140K miles. Unless they had been changed earlier?

It's commonly known that the longer spark plugs stay in a motor the harder they are to remove.

It's not like the plugs could just be ignored forever, they had to be changed at some point, and it sounds like they were overdue.

Let's say the mechanic warned you that a plug might break. Probably not, but maybe, and with a greater chance than on other cars. Would you simply have driven the car until it didn't run anymore? Maybe try to change them at that point (when they would be even more firmly welded into the motor?)
Semper Augustus

Nate79
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Re: Mechanic expects me to pay for his mistake

Post by Nate79 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:43 am

Devil's Advocate wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:06 am
I guess that is the Crux of my main issue is that the mechanic did know of this risk but did not inform me. That may have changed whether or not I would have changed the plugs.

The issue I was having in the first place is very intermittent and has been there off and on for a couple years. I thought I was being proactive and it may have cost me. Like I said I am not expecting the mechanic to pay for everything just perhaps he should feel some burden of responsibility.

For example if he was doing the engine repair discount his labor somehow. The unfortunate thing is he is unable to pull out the engine and do the repair. Therefore he has to outsource this and I am unlikely to get a discount from their labor.

If I don't ask for any help then it would not be offered. I guess I am just negotiating not unlike what I would do for any other purchase.

DA
Did you know about the problem ahead of time?

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Re: Mechanic expects me to pay for his mistake

Post by Sandtrap » Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:59 am

pangea33 wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:53 am
I just want to say that I hope this is resolved to your satisfaction somehow. It sounds like a nightmare.

Thanks to the BH for letting me know I should avoid this vehicle, as I'm considering buying a used truck.
So true.
I had Ford trucks in my fleet for decades until they changed from the standard iron block (bulletproof) 302-351 c.i. series and problems started creeping up. I'm not sure what happened to auto engineering in general but it certainly is not from the old school where things were accessible. Some engine problems now require extensive procedures just to get access. Same for other unnamed car makers.
I switched to Toyota and things are much better though I do wish they would make a 3/4 and 1 ton truck. They also have the 100k Iridium plugs but it is known amongst the "gearhead" community to take out these modern "long life" plugs well before 100k (50k) and reinstall them with anti-sieze lubricant.

It's helpful to do research on the various problems that cars have before buying them, especially because repairs are so costly nowadays. The modern internet makes this so much easier.
The stress of car problems is something most everyone experiences and dreads.
Not a financial expert - just a retired businessman hacking out of a sand trap -- again.

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Re: Mechanic expects me to pay for his mistake

Post by inbox788 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 10:41 am

Devil's Advocate wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:06 am
I guess that is the Crux of my main issue is that the mechanic did know of this risk but did not inform me. That may have changed whether or not I would have changed the plugs.

The issue I was having in the first place is very intermittent and has been there off and on for a couple years. I thought I was being proactive and it may have cost me. Like I said I am not expecting the mechanic to pay for everything just perhaps he should feel some burden of responsibility.

For example if he was doing the engine repair discount his labor somehow. The unfortunate thing is he is unable to pull out the engine and do the repair. Therefore he has to outsource this and I am unlikely to get a discount from their labor.

If I don't ask for any help then it would not be offered. I guess I am just negotiating not unlike what I would do for any other purchase.
California's Proposition 65 warnings are complete useless, but legal CYA. Are you warned that the last mechanic that did your oil change might have overtorqued the drain bolt, and that it might crack and leak, requiring a costly oil pan change? Or worse, oil might leak out and damage the engine? And would you want to be warned about every possible complication for every possible repair or manintanance you do? It's not open heart surgery. I'm guessing most legal CYA people sign when at mechanic shops cover most these cases.

To add insult to injury,
1) how much is the mechanic charging you for the failed spark plug change?
2) is he asking to be reimbursed for the broken tool?
3) how much is he charging for the failed attempted spark plug removal?
4) any mention of storage and towing fees?

You're in a very fuzzy position where there isn't clear blame, but what is known is there is a bad outcome. It's possible the mechanic is anywhere from zero to 100% to blame, so he should be compensated fully or compensate you fully.

One "fair" way to split the baby is you pay nothing to the mechanic and he helps you get the car fixed at another mechanic, hopefully at a reduced cost. I've seen these types of situations settled in a cooperative manner that leaves everyone satisfied. This assumes an honest mechanic who wants to avoid legal. For the cynical, the mechanics are in cahoots and taking advantage of the customer.

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Re: Mechanic expects me to pay for his mistake

Post by Devil's Advocate » Thu Oct 12, 2017 10:41 am

No Nate I did not.

DA

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Re: Mechanic expects me to pay for his mistake

Post by Devil's Advocate » Thu Oct 12, 2017 10:59 am

8foot7 wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:17 am
Get the mechanic to cover difference between whatever the Ford settlement is and the actual cost to get your truck fixed. Those folks saying the mechanic has no liability in this are simply wrong. You engaged him to repair the problem, not break off tools into your truck's engine. If he knew of the risk and didn't inform you, he's a bad actor. If he didn't know of the risk and didn't research it and just dove headfirst into it, he's negligent. The problem is compounded by Ford's bad engineering, hence my suggestion to avail yourself of settlement funds as a partial remedy and then get the mechanic to cover the rest of it.
I do not appear to qualify for settlement since I did not change my plugs prior to 120,000 miles.

DA

Teague
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Re: Mechanic expects me to pay for his mistake

Post by Teague » Thu Oct 12, 2017 11:17 am

8foot7 wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:17 am
Get the mechanic to cover difference between whatever the Ford settlement is and the actual cost to get your truck fixed. Those folks saying the mechanic has no liability in this are simply wrong. You engaged him to repair the problem, not break off tools into your truck's engine. If he knew of the risk and didn't inform you, he's a bad actor. If he didn't know of the risk and didn't research it and just dove headfirst into it, he's negligent. The problem is compounded by Ford's bad engineering, hence my suggestion to avail yourself of settlement funds as a partial remedy and then get the mechanic to cover the rest of it.
As to apportioning blame, with sympathy to OP, I would suggest they share some responsibility for having waited until 140,000 miles to change the spark plugs, rather than the prescribed 100K miles. That made the plugs more difficult to extract.

OP really was in a no-win situation at that point, as driving with the misfire would eventually set a check engine light, and destroy the catalytic converter from uncombusted fuel ruining the catalyst. Plus the car would just progressively run even worse as the plug gaps widened with wear and the coils got weaker. Ford is most to blame of course, but their offer of a remedy is unfortunately pretty limited.
Semper Augustus

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Re: Mechanic expects me to pay for his mistake

Post by Devil's Advocate » Thu Oct 12, 2017 11:22 am

Teague wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 11:17 am
8foot7 wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:17 am
Get the mechanic to cover difference between whatever the Ford settlement is and the actual cost to get your truck fixed. Those folks saying the mechanic has no liability in this are simply wrong. You engaged him to repair the problem, not break off tools into your truck's engine. If he knew of the risk and didn't inform you, he's a bad actor. If he didn't know of the risk and didn't research it and just dove headfirst into it, he's negligent. The problem is compounded by Ford's bad engineering, hence my suggestion to avail yourself of settlement funds as a partial remedy and then get the mechanic to cover the rest of it.
As to apportioning blame, with sympathy to OP, I would suggest they share some responsibility for having waited until 140,000 miles to change the spark plugs, rather than the prescribed 100K miles. That made the plugs more difficult to extract.

OP really was in a no-win situation at that point, as driving with the misfire would eventually set a check engine light, and destroy the catalytic converter from uncombusted fuel ruining the catalyst. Plus the car would just progressively run even worse as the plug gaps widened with wear and the coils got weaker.
I share a portion of the blame no doubt. Most likely a large share of it. However sometimes when running a business there is a cost associated with keeping a customer happy. If this isn't handled delicately there is a high probability I will not return. I am not asking him to shoulder the entire cost nor am I willing to threaten a lawsuit. A discount to fix the problem is really all I am pursuing.

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Re: Mechanic expects me to pay for his mistake

Post by dbr » Thu Oct 12, 2017 11:43 am

There is the point of view that a mechanic being asked to change plugs at 140,000 miles has an opportunity to refuse the work. I am inclined to agree that having accepted the work and being in the business of being an expert at one's trade the liability is with the mechanic. The vehicle owner did not present with a hidden defect that he knew about and kept secret from the mechanic.

But does anyone know what the usual custom and law is with mechanics damaging things trying to fix them? Do shops carry insurance for such things? I would assume if they crash a car test driving it or something that it goes on their insurance rather than on the owner's insurance?

Teague
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Re: Mechanic expects me to pay for his mistake

Post by Teague » Thu Oct 12, 2017 12:39 pm

dbr wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 11:43 am
There is the point of view that a mechanic being asked to change plugs at 140,000 miles has an opportunity to refuse the work. I am inclined to agree that having accepted the work and being in the business of being an expert at one's trade the liability is with the mechanic. The vehicle owner did not present with a hidden defect that he knew about and kept secret from the mechanic.

But does anyone know what the usual custom and law is with mechanics damaging things trying to fix them? Do shops carry insurance for such things? I would assume if they crash a car test driving it or something that it goes on their insurance rather than on the owner's insurance?
In a previous life I worked on cars for a living (probably where my empathy for the mechanic comes from. :happy )

Occasionally, "stuff" would happen. There was of course insurance if the shop caught fire and the car got burned up. Insurance for slip and fall, and all the things like that. But occasionally stuff would happen that was really no one's fault, and that wasn't worth an insurance claim. Much like the case in this thread.

We'd generally try to work something out with the customer, but not always.

Examples: A battery would die while the car sat in the shop. Batteries die, and with thousands of cars going through the shop per year, 1 or 2 might croak just by probability, even though we disconnected it before doing anything to the car. But, like this case, good luck explaining that to the customer. On a case-by-case basis, we'd work something out with the customer, probably splitting the cost of a new battery. We were not required to do so.

Once one of my newer guys put a 3 inch screw through someones heater core. The customer calls up complaining that hot water is shooting out of his dashboard. My day just went from average to terrible. We rented the customer a nice car while we fixed the problem. Probably gave him a discount or some work for free, too. Obviously that one was our fault.

Once a customer claimed her air conditioner stopped working after we worked on the car. We had her bring it back so we could take a look. She was abrasive, belligerent, and madder 'n hell. Until we showed her the AC compressor and plumbing that she didn't know her boyfriend had removed and put in the trunk. Of course, we offered her nothing on that one.

So, in my experience, it just depends on the circumstances of each case.
Semper Augustus

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