Out of town mechanic botched fix

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covertfantom
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Out of town mechanic botched fix

Post by covertfantom » Sun Jan 15, 2017 2:40 pm

I'm from Southern California and was in the San Francisco area when my 2006 Honda Civic wouldn't start. I brought it in to a local mechanic up there and they told me the alternator died. They replaced said alternator with another used alternator. Diagnostic, service, and part charges totaled to $575. The mechanic warrantied their work for 1 year.

It hasn't even been a month later and my car is not starting again. Since I'm home, I've done some of my own diagnostics and it seems the alternator died again. I'm not willing to drive 8 hours with a less than reliable car to have the original mechanic warranty his work. What are my options at this point?

ved
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Re: Out of town mechanic botched fix

Post by ved » Sun Jan 15, 2017 2:48 pm

Get a local mechanic to put in another new/used alternator?

I think (not that I had this experience) that when we are out of reasonable driving distance from home, any auto repairs should be done at national chains...that way the warranty is sill valid when you are home, and far away from the location that performed the repairs.

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dwickenh
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Re: Out of town mechanic botched fix

Post by dwickenh » Sun Jan 15, 2017 2:57 pm

ved wrote:Get a local mechanic to put in another new/used alternator?

I think (not that I had this experience) that when we are out of reasonable driving distance from home, any auto repairs should be done at national chains...that way the warranty is sill valid when you are home, and far away from the location that performed the repairs.
+1

National warranty is the only way to go if having repairs done out of town.

Dan
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Millennial
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Re: Out of town mechanic botched fix

Post by Millennial » Sun Jan 15, 2017 2:57 pm

Call the original mechanic, explain the situation and see what he says. May not be helpful at all, but I can't see how it could hurt. Maybe you could get him to at least ship you the part.

ResearchMed
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Re: Out of town mechanic botched fix

Post by ResearchMed » Sun Jan 15, 2017 4:38 pm

covertfantom wrote:I'm from Southern California and was in the San Francisco area when my 2006 Honda Civic wouldn't start. I brought it in to a local mechanic up there and they told me the alternator died. They replaced said alternator with another used alternator. Diagnostic, service, and part charges totaled to $575. The mechanic warrantied their work for 1 year.

It hasn't even been a month later and my car is not starting again. Since I'm home, I've done some of my own diagnostics and it seems the alternator died again. I'm not willing to drive 8 hours with a less than reliable car to have the original mechanic warranty his work. What are my options at this point?
Had something similar happen some years ago (car died right in front of hotel in mid-town Manhattan).
Cost was horrendous for tow and repair, but kiddos and I needed to get home at some point.

It also was an alternator problem.
I forget the exact details, but once home, within a few days, car died again, same symptoms.

The local dealer service folks determined the new replacement part... wasn't new.
I called Amex, they asked for copies of all paperwork, and gave a temporary credit for the charge.
No surprise, car repair folks in NYC declined to respond to any of Amex's queries, so the entire credit became permanent.
(We always try to use Amex when there is something potentially sketchy, or unknown, etc.)

If you charged it, ask the CC company for advice about this. Perhaps suggest they prorate the cost by the % time the fix lasted, of the year guarantee?
But I'd get a pro to certify in writing that it was the same part(s) that was replaced.

RM
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miamivice
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Re: Out of town mechanic botched fix

Post by miamivice » Sun Jan 15, 2017 5:20 pm

covertfantom wrote:I'm from Southern California and was in the San Francisco area when my 2006 Honda Civic wouldn't start. I brought it in to a local mechanic up there and they told me the alternator died. They replaced said alternator with another used alternator. Diagnostic, service, and part charges totaled to $575. The mechanic warrantied their work for 1 year.
It sounds like the issue with not with their work but the used part they put in the vehicle. Does their warranty cover the part as well as labor? if only labor, you might be out of luck.

I do not recommend paying mechanics to put used parts in one's car, as the cost to put a new part is usually not much more.

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whodidntante
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Re: Out of town mechanic botched fix

Post by whodidntante » Sun Jan 15, 2017 5:31 pm

You might have a warranty claim on the alternator. Ask the mechanic. The labor will be on you, I suspect.

covertfantom
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Re: Out of town mechanic botched fix

Post by covertfantom » Sun Jan 15, 2017 5:52 pm

I'm a little surprised that I'm only hearing one person suggest a chargeback while everyone else says that I'm likely out of luck. Is there a reason not to file a chargeback (after reasonable attempts to work out with the original mechanic?)

miamivice
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Re: Out of town mechanic botched fix

Post by miamivice » Sun Jan 15, 2017 6:03 pm

They can file a mechanics lien and potentially reposes your car.

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fire5soon
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Re: Out of town mechanic botched fix

Post by fire5soon » Sun Jan 15, 2017 7:24 pm

I don't have any specific advice as to the mechanic, but I will say using a remanufactured alternator is common practice and isn't shady at all (unless they charged you for a new part). Unless you were charged for a new part I wouldn't hold using a reman alternator against the shop.
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inbox788
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Re: Out of town mechanic botched fix

Post by inbox788 » Sun Jan 15, 2017 7:59 pm

What are the chances a 10 year old alternator fails? And the replacement fails? You're either unlucky or maybe facing an additional problem. Do you have any non-factory additions (i.e. aftermarket speakers/amps)? Is the third alternator holding up?

miamivice
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Re: Out of town mechanic botched fix

Post by miamivice » Sun Jan 15, 2017 8:00 pm

fire5soon wrote:I don't have any specific advice as to the mechanic, but I will say using a remanufactured alternator is common practice and isn't shady at all (unless they charged you for a new part). Unless you were charged for a new part I wouldn't hold using a reman alternator against the shop.
I can't tell from the OP if the mechanic installed a remanufactured part (which I agree is standard and fine) or a used part (i.e., from a junkyard).

A reputable shop will install a remanufactured part while a mobile mechanic might install a remanufactured part.

"used" to me implies junkyard part but I don't have more context to understand the situation.

toofache32
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Re: Out of town mechanic botched fix

Post by toofache32 » Sun Jan 15, 2017 11:59 pm

He gave you a warranty. How is it his fault that you live so far away? Just like other vendors, I'm sure he will help if you take your auto back. I'm not seeing the problem here.

stlutz
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Re: Out of town mechanic botched fix

Post by stlutz » Mon Jan 16, 2017 12:11 am

Why wouldn't the first step be to talk to the mechanic? Although I'm sure he would want to hear a diagnosis from another mechanic as opposed to from you. You need to fix the problem regardless. After that, first step is to try to get the other mechanic to pay for most of it, talking with credit card company would be second step

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Doom&Gloom
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Re: Out of town mechanic botched fix

Post by Doom&Gloom » Mon Jan 16, 2017 1:10 am

miamivice wrote:
fire5soon wrote:I don't have any specific advice as to the mechanic, but I will say using a remanufactured alternator is common practice and isn't shady at all (unless they charged you for a new part). Unless you were charged for a new part I wouldn't hold using a reman alternator against the shop.
I can't tell from the OP if the mechanic installed a remanufactured part (which I agree is standard and fine) or a used part (i.e., from a junkyard).

A reputable shop will install a remanufactured part while a mobile mechanic might install a remanufactured part.

"used" to me implies junkyard part but I don't have more context to understand the situation.
+1

Is it a used or a re-manufactured alternator? If used (ie, pulled from a junkyard), did you request or agree to that? If that is the case, I doubt the cost of the alternator is covered. If rebuilt, it may well be covered for some period of time.

If "the work was guaranteed," that implies labor only. Do you have a receipt? What does it state? As others have said, give the guy a call and discuss it. It can't hurt, but he may insist you bring the car back to him for any covered repair or replacement. That seems reasonable from his point of view but probably not from yours. Good luck, but I wouldn't get my hopes up very high.

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tfb
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Re: Out of town mechanic botched fix

Post by tfb » Mon Jan 16, 2017 1:48 am

This happened to me. I thought I had to pay again but it turned out the out-of-town mechanic participated in a national network even though the shop appeared to be independent. I was able to have the reman'd part replaced by a different shop in the same network under warranty. The part distributor where the mechanic obtained the part may have warranty on the part as well. Call the out-of-town mechanic.
Harry Sit, taking a break from the forums.

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bottlecap
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Re: Out of town mechanic botched fix

Post by bottlecap » Mon Jan 16, 2017 7:39 am

toofache32 wrote:He gave you a warranty. How is it his fault that you live so far away? Just like other vendors, I'm sure he will help if you take your auto back. I'm not seeing the problem here.
OP doesn't want to drive 8 hours to take it back. Or tow it 8 hours.

What was the labor on the install? I'd ask the mechanic to refund the labor, because that's what it would take him if you drove the car back and made him honor the warranty.

He might refuse, but you might get lucky.

JT

Frisco Kid
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Re: Out of town mechanic botched fix

Post by Frisco Kid » Mon Jan 16, 2017 8:44 am

Since the part failed so quickly, I would assume it was a used part having no warranty. The only time it makes sense to me to install a used part is when a re-manufactured or new part is not available. As others have posted, we need more information................

Rodc
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Re: Out of town mechanic botched fix

Post by Rodc » Mon Jan 16, 2017 9:03 am

Frisco Kid wrote:Since the part failed so quickly, I would assume it was a used part having no warranty. The only time it makes sense to me to install a used part is when a re-manufactured or new part is not available. As others have posted, we need more information................
I had a remanufactured alternator fail almost immediately once. Fortunately repair was done locally so was not a major issue.

OP: call the mechanic and see what if anything they will do. Consider a credit card charge back, but that might be problematic if the mechanic say yes the warranty is good, just bring it back and I'll fix it. Not his fault you are not local.

Best of luck
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Calhoon
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Re: Out of town mechanic botched fix

Post by Calhoon » Mon Jan 16, 2017 9:15 am

If you're having problems with the mechanic take it up with your credit card company.

I had a problem where a mechanic botched a job on my car, and I think it was on this forum that the suggestion came up that I complain to my credit card company. Actually worked.

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