Yesterday we got Nuala’s car back from the garage in Dublin. The work that was supposed to be done by the Portsmouth garage had to be redone. So we have had to pay twice for the same job plus the added inconvenience and cost of breaking down en route, in addition to missing the ferry. Yet the Portsmouth garage will get away with it because it’s too much trouble to fight it!
As you know the engine in Nuala’s car started to make weird sounds about 100 km from Caen in France. I managed to nurse it onto the boat and we got to Portsmouth where my friend Neil helped me to get it repaired. We had to go to five garages to get one that said they could fix it in the short time span we were in Portsmouth. Every garage we went to sent us to another one saying they were too busy. After the third garage we no longer knew who we were dealing with.
At that stage, I thought to myself that this was getting all too difficult and complicated and that I should just leave the car and it would probably make it to Ireland but I ignored that thought and continued going to garages and the fifth one said they would fix the car at a cost of £456 (€630) ( Gap Year Lesson –Just Go with the Flow – blog 20/02/15) .
They confirmed that an injector seal had failed and that the reason the repair bill would be so expensive was that they needed to replace all four seals. The car was difficult to work on as there was so little space around the engine, for example they stated they would have to take the turbo off the car to get at two of the injectors. This made the job difficult and labour intensive.
We got the car back the day before we left and it seemed to be ok but the engine had little power- I should have been on full alert! The next day, Sunday, we left for Fishguard and onto Ireland. Thirty miles down the road the engine started to give trouble again and finally died 30 miles from Fishguard. Only thanks to the help of strangers and a great service from AXA, that we managed to get the car towed from there all the way back to Dublin, but missed the ferry and had to travel on the night sailing and pay for a cabin.
The car has been in a Dublin garage until yesterday. This garage we know well and trust. They charged €524.90 as they had to open up the injectors and replace the seals. They have told me, that in their view, the seals were never replaced and they don’t think the turbo was ever taken off the engine. (Without taking the turbo off, you cannot replace the seals). Naturally they don’t want to get involved and don’t want to write a report but they did give me the old seals and parts.
It looks like the English garage did a quick tighten up the injector bolts and did not do the work they charged for.
Furthermore they will get away with it. On return to Ireland, I immediately contacted my credit card company to see if I could stop the credit card payment. They said I could not but if I made a formal complaint they would investigate it.
Unfortunately, unless I go to the trouble and cost of getting an independent engineer to investigate the car, write the report and go through a lengthy process of proving the English garage did not do the work, I won’t get the money back. I have also to be very careful because if I don’t establish 100% proof and publically accuse the garage of faulty workmanship, they could sue me. It’s not worth my time or trouble so they will get away with it.
Maybe it’s a cheap lesson for me to finally learn to go with the flow! But maybe that garage owner will also learn that when you steal from someone you actually do yourself more harm than good….