Hi guys, it's been a while...
I'm not really sure if this thread belongs here so sorry if it doesn't.
My local garage has been giving me all sorts of problems fixing my 147. It's a bit of a long story but i'll be as concise as possible.
In June 2009 the Cam-belt snapped and destroyed and bent the valves in the Head Unit, my local garage managed to obtain a second hand unit which apparently has been pressure tested and skimmed. This cost me a little under £1000 and 2 weeks without my car. 2 weeks later the car started to shudder and cough on start up, took it back, they took it apart and the Head-gasket has blown and was replaced at their cost. At this point I noticed that my coolant was dropping rapidly but that there was no obvious leak, I mentioned this and they also pressure treated the coolant system, no leak was found. I took the car away but brought it back a few weeks later with an oil leak and still with the coolant dropping rapidly, having to top up almost every week. They pressure treated the Coolant system again and again found no leak... the mechanic seemed to be at a loss as to what it could be as he could not find a leak. Unfortunately at this time I could not afford to have the engine looked at for the oil leak. I just topped it up with the oil I had and wiped off the excess, continuing to top up the coolant with water etc for a few months. I then was made redundant and consequently again could not afford a mechanic to look at the car so kept on topping up.
3 months ago I took it to a different garage to find out their take on the situation, he took the engine apart and reported back saying that the last mechanic has broken a corner of the cam cover which had caused the oil leak. He also pressure treated the coolant system to find the leak... couldn't find the leak so informed me the only possible place the coolent could be going is into the engine!! Why did the other mechanic not know this? He probed the coolant and it was showing hydro-carbons showing that the Head Gasket had blown again, meaning that it was never fixed in the first place!! I contacted the first garage with the information, and they said that it was all out of warranty because it was over a year and are refusing to put everything right. But they have acknowledged that there was a coolant leak after the original head-gasket replacement so surely they HAVE to don't they?!
Any help would be really appreciated, i've contacted Citizen's Advice who are hopefully getting back to me tomorrow, but what do you guys think.
I really think i've been totally screwed over here!