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Dispute Advice

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Old Sep 13th, 2018, 18:00   #1
Boxybutgood
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Hello

Not a Volvo issue but a general one; last Jan I had the h/g's replaced on my Subaru as they were deemed about to fail. Work carried out by a Subaru MD (who I trust and have been very fair for a number of years). The other week the car didn't seem quite right and a quick inspection showed radiator expansion tank full of oily water, car coughed on start up, etc. MD discovered the thermostat (replaced when h/g's done) had failed. As all tests carried out could not show h/gs had failed we had the engine out and we have found a cracked head.

Their position is that as we cannot prove the thermostat failed before the head cracked they are not liable. They have suggested an independent engineer inspect the head but I can't see how this can prove the sequence of events.

To me it's clear cut and if it came to court the balance of probabilities has to be the thermostat causing the crack due to overheating. As I paid by credit card I could make a Section 75 claim but before I go further does anyone have any similar experience here?

Any thoughts gratefully received.
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Old Sep 13th, 2018, 18:51   #2
volvoid
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It’s very reasonable of them to suggest independent inspection.
One cant expect the garage to hold their hands up and say its their fault, very expensive, but their insurance should cover it. Did they supply all parts used ? If not theres another can of worms, not our fault guv, must have been that dodgy xyz.
Thermostats tend not to fail often and then generally do so fullly open, but not always.
I wonder what cracked the head ? Overheating ? Some failure in doing up bolts correctly ? Is the engine still intact or has it been dismantled ?
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Old Sep 13th, 2018, 18:51   #3
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I agree with you that a faulty thermostat is the most plausible cause however as the garage or the defendant is refusing you claim, you the claimant need to prove this. If it went to a court you will need an expert opinion such as an engineers report. As a layman the judge will not look at your opinion as strongly as that of the garage full of qualified mechanics and probably rule in their favour. Bring in an engineers report in your favour and the garage will possibly do the repair rather than go to the expense of fighting it and if they do you have evidence on your side to persuade a judge.
As for a Section 75 claims, yes they are great but only if you are in the right. They will help you if the dealer has gone bust or refuses to help you. Your card company will also want some proof that the dealer and they have a case to answer. With an engineers report they may just tell the dealer to fix it or they will and then take the money out their account.

I have had two full refunds for cars I bought with support from my credit company via a section 75 One had a fake service history. Easy to prove the stamps in the book did not match the dealers records. The other one a faulty gearbox. I had a report from a BMW dealer down the road saying the car needed a £6,000 Gearbox.

You need an engineers report. It might cost but if it is in your favour you can claim that cost back as well. Good luck I hope it goes your way.
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Old Sep 14th, 2018, 13:53   #4
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For what it's worth, I am in agreement with the responses to date, and sympathise with your situation.
What I would question from your original post is the statement relating to the faulty thermostat leading to overheating which has then led to the head cracking.
Now it could reasonably be asked:-
If you believe this to be true (and even if it could be proved) surely there would be a responsibility on your part to monitor the coolant temperature (assumed there is a gauge or at least an 'over heat' light) and stop the car before such damage occurred?
Sorry, it doesn't help your case, but no doubt the question will be asked.
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Old Sep 14th, 2018, 14:10   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Austin160 View Post
there would be a responsibility on your part to monitor the coolant temperature (assumed there is a gauge or at least an 'over heat' light) and stop the car before such damage occurred?
Very true. No car should overheat if the driver monitors the coolant temperature gauge properly
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Old Sep 14th, 2018, 15:24   #6
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The car left their garage in January and has been fine for 7 months , So it can't have been cracked then .. What exactly happened regarding the recent overheat ? Did you let the temperature gauge go up far , how far and for how long? Hopefully heads are plentiful for these ..
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Old Sep 14th, 2018, 16:52   #7
iain cooper
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The car left their garage in January and has been fine for 7 months , So it can't have been cracked then .. What exactly happened regarding the recent overheat ? Did you let the temperature gauge go up far , how far and for how long? Hopefully heads are plentiful for these ..
last January, 18 months ? even more difficult to prove a case.

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Old Sep 14th, 2018, 17:00   #8
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Does it have a temperature gauge? Mine hasn't, it is just a warning light.

(When we were racing Chevrons with BMW engines, one popped an expansion plug at full revs, the gauge briefly flicked to hot, then, with no coolant, dropped again.
We shovelled the engine out of the sump in bits!)
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Old Sep 14th, 2018, 18:57   #9
Boxybutgood
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Thanks all for responses and sympathy!

To answer a few questions;

1; New thermostat fitted by MD (at my request...)

2; Temp gauge never indicated overheating; as the expansion tank showed no evidence of overflowing, and the cough was on the day I discovered the issue, I am confident (not legally helpful I know) that I found it on the day it happened. No coolant had been lost. It was transported to the MD and was not driven from the time of discovery. On arrival they said it started fine, no cough, though after they replaced the thermostat it ran poorly when hot. It clearly has overheated and I suspect that the sender is in the part of the engine that may have been starved of coolant so the temp gauge was of no help. The MD hasn't suggested that the crack was a consequence of being driven with a failed thermostat, but that the crack may have occurred beforehand due to age/mileage (155k). This is of course more difficult to disprove than arguing that the damage was my fault because I drove it with the temp gauge showing a problem; if I had driven any distance the engine would have completely overheated and probably seized

3; Last Jan is Jan 18.

I'll think on over the weekend as to my options, but thanks again for the advice re an engineer's report before I start proceedings.
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Old Sep 14th, 2018, 20:36   #10
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talk to a solicitor before starting, he might well advise you of your chances of winning. Im thinking had head gasket, higher mileage, older car, little while ago, your chances are reducing with every post.
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