Cary, N.C., auto repair shop won't take blame for blown engine

Cary, N.C., auto repair shop won't take blame for blown engine

COMPLAINT: Harry Baulch, Cary, N.C.

"I went to Volvo of Cary to have a battery and alternator replaced, followed by a 70,000-mile service. The next day, all the service lights came on so I returned to Volvo to have them look at it.

"I opened the hood to show an employee the steam plume coming out of the radiator to hose connection. A hose wasn't connected properly and caused damage to my car.

"The service manager admitted that even though Volvo of Cary had to detach the radiator hose, the only water leak was at the back of the engine, not at the radiator hose.

"When asked why the hose would have a steam plume if all the water had drained, he responded with the statement that there was no steam plume at the hose to radiator connection.

"Resulting damage to the engine was estimated to be $1,500 just to find extent of problem and $4,000 to repair. It was never made clear if the $4,000 was limited to regrinding the head, or all work necessary to repair everything that might have been damaged by the overheating that warped the head."

DESIRED RESOLUTION: "I would Volvo of Cary pay the $2,500 required to repair the engine at another shop."

RESPONSE: William Small, Parts & Service Director

"We understand and sympathize with this member's frustration regarding his vehicle. However, we aren't at fault for the engine overheating. We didn't remove the hose to the radiator.

"If the hose in question had not been secured, the vehicle would likely not have gone more than a few blocks from the dealership. We saw no evidence of any leaks from the hose and it was still properly secured.

"The only area that we observed any coolant leak was at the engine head. When he asked about repair costs, we gave him the upper and lower range of possible repairs.

"We don't know what failed in the engine causing it to overheat. We do know that this catastrophic failure could've easily been prevented if he wouldn't have continued to drive the car - ignoring appropriate warning lights and gauges with steam coming from under the hood.

"Driving the car from Durham to Cary caused the severe overheating, and ultimately resulted in the damage to the engine. The attempt to blame us for damage that occurred solely because of their actions is without merit."

STATUS: Stalemate

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