Autotronics Automotive Repair, Inc. Reviews (1)
Review: I have a Bmw x5 that overheated on December 14, 2013. I had it towed to Autotronics for repair. I received the vehicle back December 20, 2013 after paying 2137.40 fixed. December 27, 2013 the afore mentioned vehicle overheated on my way home from work. I had it towed back to Autotronics as this was the same problem I paid 2137.40 to have fixed and now they are stating that my engine is blown. I ordered an engine from European recycling for 2480.00 with a 6 month warranty. January 23, 2014 at 1:14pm I receive a call from Autotronics on my voicemail that "they had the new engine in and while test driving it it overheated on the way up the hill on highway 50 near Bass Lake exit, but if anything was damaged they would take care of me." European recycling delivered a new engine as it was under warranty. I receive a call February 14 on my voicemail that this engines fluids look milky and they didn't feel comfortable installing it. I let them know I wanted my vehicle transferred to European Performance as they have had it for over 2 months and car rental weekly at $239.00 was getting expensive and I had lost confidence in their competencies. They would not transfer the vehicle until I paid a bill for parts and labor totaling 3924.00. I paid it to expedite the process. The vehicle was not transferred for a week and in the process the broke the passenger window and never returned the used parts to me per request or the parts to the engines that were sent back to European Recycling. To date I have not received a refund due to the above afore mentioned. I purchased another engine for 3211.00 and had it delivered to the other shop. The estimate is currently at 3800.00.I have missed three days work at $2232.00. My car rental cost is currently at 1821.00This is a horrible financial loss for a repair that should have been fixed properly over two months ago.($19,605.40)Desired Settlement: My total out of pocket is $19,605.54 so far.I would like a full refund within the next month.This is a horrible way to treat a female customer!!
[redacted]’s vehicle a 2003 BMW X5 30i was first towed into us on Dec 14, 2013. It had 99,749 miles on the odometer. [redacted] stated that the vehicle had overheated on her and when she tried to add coolant to it and it spilled out everywhere. We found that a clip had come off the transmission cooler which mounts the cooler to the coolant reservoir bracket which was causing the vehicle to leak out coolant. We replaced the clip and refilled the cooling system and then pressure checked the system to insure there were no other leaks. We test drove the vehicle and during the test drive the coolant expansion tank which is plastic was cracked and was leaking. This is a very common problem on a BMW. We replaced the expansion tank, expansion tank cap and refilled the system with coolant and again pressure checked the system for any leaks and there were none. We also performed a combustion leak test to insure there were no other issues with the cooling system and it passed. We test drove the vehicle approximately 40 miles to insure the repairs made to the cooling system were complete and correct and there were no other problems. The total cost of repairs to the cooling system at that time was $343.11.
While we were working on the cooling system we also noticed that there was water on the oil fill cap. We found that the crankcase oil water separator was failing and we recommended replacement. At this time we replaced the oil water separator, two crankcase breather hoses and two oil separator hoses along with an intake manifold gasket. Total cost to replace the oil water separator and associated hoses was $1,135.60
During this time [redacted] wanted us to check for a clunking noise coming from the rear of the vehicle. Upon inspection we found the rear suspension was fine but the clunk was coming from the front suspension. We found both front radius arm bushings and ball joints were worn and the passenger front sway bar end link was worn. We replaced both front radius arm bushings and both ball joints and the passenger front sway bar end link. This corrected the clunking noise that [redacted] had complained about. The total cost of the front end repair was $643.67.
All repairs were completed on Dec. 20th 2013. During this time [redacted] was in our loaner car that we provided at a total cost of $15.00 to her. The total cost of all repairs was $2,137.40
[redacted]’s BMW was towed back in to us on Friday night Jan 3th after hours as we were closed. It was checked in Sat. Jan. 4th and had 100,455 miles on the odometer. [redacted] stated that she was driving at night and her vehicle overheated and she had not paid attention to the temperature gauge. [redacted] stated that she saw steam and smoke and pulled over to the side of the road. She attempted to fill the cooling system and start the vehicle but it would not start. At that point she had the vehicle towed back to our shop.
At this time [redacted] was provided with our loaner vehicle again while her BMW was in our shop. When we got the vehicle into the shop and attempted to start the engine we noticed it had no compression at all. When we tried to fill the cooling system coolant was running out from between the cylinder head and block and also the coolant bypass tube behind the water pump was broken and leaking. There was no evidence of any fault or problem with any of the components replaced or the previous repairs that had been done in our shop. The vehicle had been driven just over 700 miles since the last repair. At this point a tear down inspection and removal of the cylinder head would be necessary to determine the extent of the damage. After removal of the cylinder head cylinders #2, #3, #4 and #5 had areas around the top of the piston that had melted away and there was scoring in some of the cylinders. It was determined that the engine had lost coolant and had been severely overheated. We recommended a replacement engine along with the necessary components.
We had quoted [redacted] a price of $8,500.00 for another engine and labor to install it and it would have a one year parts and labor warranty. [redacted] thought this was too high and said she had found a used engine for around $2,400.00. We told her that we normally do not use customer supplied parts, but we would make an exception for her to help her out. The engine [redacted] purchased came with a six month warranty.
We installed the used engine that came from European Recycling that [redacted] had purchased and after we completed the installation during a test drive up highway 50 on the grade the engine did overheat. We rechecked all our work and the components that we had replaced to insure there were no defects or problems with our workmanship. When we performed a combustion leak test on the cooling system it failed. This is an industry standard test that will check and confirm if combustion gases are entering the cooling system. We determined that is why the engine would overheat on a grade under load because hot combustion gases were entering the cooling system. This test was conclusive and meant that the engine had a defect in the head gasket or cylinder head.
We contacted [redacted] and told her about our findings and the fact that the engine we installed had a defective head gasket and or cylinder head. She would need to get another engine from European Recycling under the six month warranty. We proceeded to remove the engine that we had just installed and were waiting for the second engine to be delivered from European Recycling. It took a week for the second engine to be delivered as European Recycling had to send it out to the machine shop for valve repair before they could deliver it to us. When the engine finally arrived and we removed the oil pan to install the correct oil pan for [redacted]’s BMW we noticed a lot of milky oil and coolant residue inside the engine. The engine also looked very dirty and we questioned the integrity and the condition of this engine. We explained to [redacted] about our concerns installing this engine and questioned the condition that it was in. We advised [redacted] that we should get another engine that was in better condition than the one we received.
After another couple of days [redacted] advised us to halt any further work on the car and that she did not want us to install another engine. She said she was very frustrated and concerned and was not confident in our work. She said that she wanted the car delivered to European Performance, another shop next door to us. I explained to [redacted] that I did want to complete the job for her but I had concerns about installing the second engine that European Recycling had delivered to us. [redacted] said she did not want us to do any further work on her vehicle and said that she wanted us to transfer the car to European Performance. She was insistent on this, so I would comply with her wishes. [redacted] told me that European Recycling would be picking up the two engines and to have all the used parts available for her to pick up. I told her that we had a bill of $3,924.00 for parts and labor. She thought that was high and wanted me to email her a copy. I complied and did email her a copy of the invoice.
In order to get [redacted]’s BMW over to the other shop we had to reinstall the whole front sub frame assembly and steering gear. In this way we could then install the front wheels and steer the vehicle to get it to the other shop. [redacted] paid her bill of $3924.00 on Feb. 19th and the car was delivered to European Performance on Feb. 21st. All of the used parts and new parts were put into tubs and available for [redacted] to pick up. On Feb. 24th the remaining parts including the used parts were sent over to European Performance.
The used parts that belonged to the used engines have since been delivered to European Recycling and [redacted] at European Recycling has assured me that [redacted] will receive credit for the engine she had purchased on Mon. March 10, 2014.
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION OF ALL FACTS
1) [redacted] claims we did an improper repair over two months ago. This is false and untrue; [redacted] drove her BMW a little over 700 miles after we performed repairs to her cooling system. There is no evidence or indication of any problems with the repairs that we performed to the cooling system. The vehicle had a loss of coolant and overheated. Had [redacted] stopped the vehicle when it initially overheated there would not have been the significant damage to her engine. She claims she did not watch or see the gauge but pulled over when she saw steam and smoke.
2) [redacted] claims she had a weekly car rental bill of $239.00 and it was getting expensive. We had provided her with our loaner Town and Country Van the entire time that we had her BMW in our shop. Total cost to her was only $60.00.
3) [redacted] claims that we did not deliver the car to European Performance for a week. In fact we did after only three days.
4) [redacted] claims that we broke the passenger window; I am unaware of any damage done to her window by us. But if we did damage her window then I would be more than happy to take care of it.
5) [redacted] claimed she could not receive a refund on the purchase of the used engine from European Recycling as there were parts missing. In all the confusion all parts that belonged to the used engines have since been returned to European Recycling and [redacted] should receive a refund on Mon. March 10th as I was assured by [redacted].
6) All the remaining parts including used parts were in a tub and available for [redacted] to pick up if she wanted. On Feb. 24th all the remaining parts including used parts were delivered to European Performance as they were now going to be doing the work on [redacted]’s BMW.
[redacted] blames us for a faulty cooling system repair which is not the case; she severely overheated the engine which caused significant engine damage. Had she stopped when the engine initially overheated there would not have been the damage done that would have required a replacement engine. There was no evidence to suggest there was any problem with the previous repairs made to the cooling system.
When we quoted [redacted] a price for the engine replacement she said she had found a used engine at a much lesser price. Although our policy is not use customer supplied parts we would work with [redacted] and allow her to purchase a used engine. The engine [redacted] purchased was a junk yard “USED” engine not new as she states in her complaint. [redacted] blames us for the fact that the used engine she purchased and provided us had a defect in the head gasket or cylinder head. This was out of our control and there was no way we could have known this was the case until the engine was installed and running in the car. Because of this we had concerns over the second engine that was supplied to us. In our professional opinion it had indications of having other problems, plus the fact it was sent to a machine shop for a valve repair prior to us receiving it. Had we been able to provide the engine ourselves this would not have happened at all. We would have been able to control the quality and the condition of the engine that we would have installed. We also could have provided a much better warranty of both parts and labor on the engine that we would have installed. I was more than able and willing to install another engine for [redacted] at no additional expense to her and complete the job to her satisfaction. [redacted] did not want that and it was her choice to move the car to another shop.
The six weeks we had [redacted]’s car was due much to the fact that the first engine had a defect and would need to be replaced. It took another week to get a second engine; again all of this was out of our control. [redacted] states she has been treated horrible and wants a full refund. We have treated [redacted] with courtesy and respect all through this process. We provided her with a loaner vehicle at a very minimal expense the whole time her vehicle was in our shop. We worked with [redacted] and allowed her to supply her own used engine to help her save money. We performed a tear down inspection at no charge to her. We reduced the labor time as we removed and installed an engine then removed the engine again. We have significantly more labor time on her vehicle than we charged her. I even gave her an additional 15% off both parts and labor as a courtesy on an earlier promotion that we had run. There were many new parts purchased that will need to be used on the engine when it is installed and are at the other shop now. The fact that [redacted] wants a full refund is unreasonable and unfair. She would not allow us to complete the job so now wants all her money back. We have bent over backwards to help [redacted] and I realize her frustration and sympathize with her over the situation. It is unfortunate the engine she supplied to us had a defect but that was not our fault. There is an inherent risk when purchasing and installing a used junk yard engine that there may be an internal problem that cannot be detected until the engine is installed and running in the vehicle. In closing I want to say we treat all our clients with courtesy and respect and always stand behind all of our work. I have been in business now for fourteen years. I take this situation very personally and I can assure you that I would never take advantage of anyone and always work hard to build trust and respect with our clients.