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1998 Audi A4 Base 4dr Sedan 1.8L T Auto

1998 Audi A4
Trim Info:
Front Wheel Drive, 4 Door Sedan, Compact
21 mpg city / 31 mpg hwy
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June 29, 2013, 11:15 am

0LGA J
 

Question: IS A MECHANIC RESPONSIBLE

BROUGHT MY CAR TO REPAIR SHOP BECAUSE IGNITION KEY PIN BROKE AND NEEDED A NEW TUMBLER IN A 1998 AUDI A 4 V6. HE CALLED ME TO ADVISE THE JOB WAS DONE AFTER 3 DAYS (SAID HE HAD TO WAIT FOR LOCKSMITH). ANYWAY, HE TOLD ME THE CAR WAS READY FOR PICK UP AND THAT IT WAS A "GREAT CAR" . I ASKED IF HE CHECKED THE CAR OVER THOROUGHLY BECAUSE THE CAR HAD SAT IN A LARGE POOL OF RAIN AND I WANTED TO BE SURE THAT THERE WAS NO FLOOD DAMAGE. HE SAID EVERYTHING LOOKED GOOD.
I THEN TOLD HIM THAT WHEN I PURCHASED THE CAR (ONLY 7 MONTHS EARLIER FROM ONE PREVIOUS OWNER) THAT THE SELLER TOLD ME THAT I WOULD EVENTUALLY NEED FRONT BRAKES AND VALVE COVER GASKETS BECAUSE THE SEAL WAS WEARING. ONLY AFTER I SUGGEST THESE TWO ISSUES, DID HE AGREED THAT HE COULD CHANGE THE BREAKS AND CHANGE THE VALVE COVER GASKETS. HE THEN DID NOT CALL ME FOR 4 DAYS AND I HAD TO CALL HIM. HE SAID HE WAS KEEPING THE CAR BECAUSE HE NOTICED THAT THE OIL LIGHT HAD COME ON AND THAT HE HAD STALLED WHILE TEST DRIVING. GAVE HIM THE O.K. TO KEEP FOR A FEW DAYS WHICH TURNED INTO 8 DAYS WHEN I HAD TO CALL HIM AGAIN.
HE TOLD ME THAT THE CAR WAS FINE AND I COULD COME AND PICK IT UP. WHEN PICKING IT UP HE TOLD ME THAT THERE WAS SLUDGE AND HE ADDED A SOLVENT TO THE OIL.
SHORTLY AFTER THE CAR LEFT THE SHOP, THE OIL LIGHT CAME BACK ON AND THE CAR BEGAN SHAKING LIKE CRAZY IN IDLE WHEN WAITING FOR A TRAFFIC LIGHT. THE CAR MADE IT FOR ABOUT 10 MORE MILES AND THEN STALLED AGAIN IN FRONT OF ANOTHER MECHANIC SHOP. THE MECHANICS THERE SAID THAT
THE OIL APPEARED TO HAVE WATER IN IT AND IT WAS WELL OVER WHAT IT SHOULD BE. THE CAR THEN WAS TOWED BACK TO THE ORIGINAL MECHANIC AND HE HELD ON TO IT FOR ANOTHER WEEK WITHOUT CALLING ME. I THEN CALLED HIM AND HE SAID THAT HE HAD TO REMOVE THE OIL PUMP AND OIL PAN TO CLEAN IT UP AND HE HOPED THAT HE COULD GET IT GOING AGAIN. HE SAID HE WOULD CALL IN 2 DAYS BUT HE NEVER DID. I WROTE HIM TO SAY THAT I HAD HOPED TO HEAR FROM HIM AND WOULD GIVE HIM ANOTHER WEEK TO GET MY CAR GOING THE WAY IT WAS PRIOR TO HIM REPLACING THE COVER GASKETS, AS THERE WAS NO WAY I EVER HAD A PROBLEM WITH THE OIL PUMP OR THE ENGINE BEFORE. AGAIN, HE NEVER CALLED AND I HAD TO CALL HIM AGAIN. THIS TIME, HE SAID THAT I COULD PICK UP THE CAR....BUT IT NOW ONLY HAS 5 CYLINDERS AS ONE CYLINDER ONLY HAS 10 PERCENT FUNCTION. HE SAID THAT IT IS DRIVABLE BUT THE ENGINE WILL SHAKE WHEN IN IDLE. I AM SO CONFUSED AS A WOMAN BECAUSE, I FEEL THAT HE DID SOMETHING WRONG AND IS NOW TELLING ME THAT IT WILL BE ABOUT 1,500.00 FOR A REBUILT ENGINE TO FIX THE PROBLEM. I NEVER HAD A PROBLEM AND HE IS TRYING TO SAY THAT WHOEVER CHANGED THE OIL USED THE WRONG OIL AND IT CAUSED SLUDGE TO BUILT UP. THE FORMER OWNER ONLY HAD THE CAR SERVICED WITH AUDI AND THE ONLY OIL EVER USED WAS SYNTHETIC WHICH IS REQUIRED. NOW HE CLEANED OUT THE OIL PUMP, OIL PAN AND LEFT NO RESIDUE...SO HOW COULD I PROVE THAT THE CORRECT OIL HAD BEEN USED. COULD HE HAVE DONE ANYTHING BY ADDING A SOLVENT TO THE OIL? HE SPECIFICALLY TOLD ME THAT HE ADDED SOLVENT (I HAD A FRIEND WITH ME WHO HEARD IT AS WELL) AND NOW HE DENIES EVER ADDING SOLVENT. HE SAID HE TOLD ME THAT HE ADDED TRANSMISSION FLUID. THIS IS SURELY A LIE. WOULD WELCOME YOUR OPINION. THE FEW THINGS HE DID ON THE CAR.......IGNITION, VALVE COVER GASKET AND BRAKES ALREADY COST ME 962.00. HE ALSO LED ME TO BELIEVE THAT HE WAS GIVING ME NEW BRAKES AND THEN I SEE ON HIS RECEIPT THAT HE RESURFACED THE ROTORS. PLEASE RESPOND I AM DESPERATE TO KNOW WHAT TO DO......AND I AM A SINGLE WOMAN WHO IS OUT OF WORK SO I REALLY NEED THIS CAR FOR JOB HUNTING. THANKS SO MUCH


July 10, 2013, 5:35 pm

Elizabeth K
Expert Mechanic

It is hard to say who is lying, the previous owner or this mechanic. Did you look at the oil when you bought the car or before you took it to this mechanic? It is possible the oil was too thick, but adding a solvent to the oil is never a solution. And if the 2nd shop said that it appeared to have water in the oil and the level was too high... that is very suspicious.

So it is hard to say exactly if there was a problem before you brought it to this guy that he was trying to fix, or if he caused the problem. In any case, he does not sound like a good mechanic and do not give him any more money. Take the car somewhere else.

And you can try to contact your state's attorney general, they will usually mediate on your behalf with this shop, but they cannot take legal action. If you don't have proof of the oil before you took it there, it will be hard to prove anything. But getting away from a shop that doesn't communicate well and is always raising the price is a good place to start.


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