Cost of V6 Rebuild? - Alfa Romeo Forum
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(Post Link) post #1 of 7 Old 26-04-07 Thread Starter
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Cost of V6 Rebuild?

Hi Peeps.
A couple fo weeks ago my cambelt on my 2001 166 V6 went on the M1. The belt had only been changed 40,000 miles previous, but after an altercation with a white van, stones had found their way into the cambelt cover and were knawing away at the belt. During one moment of acceleration at 80mph.....SNAP!!!!!!!!!!!!
I'm even more annoyed as the car was booked in at a local Alfa specialist for a new water pump, and they suggested doing the cambelt at the same time which made sense, but the garage forgot to put me in the book so couldn't do it on the day!
Anyway, I got the car towed to them and asked for a breakdown of what needed to be done and the costs. They gave me a low fixed price for the inspection which I agreed. They took the heads off and sent them away to a local engineering company, who went ahead and did ALL the work without giving a price to my garage or myself. They've replaced all 24 valves, several liners, and done a three way cut (whatever that is) amongst a few other things. Their bill alone has come to £1100 plus vat!!!
On top of that, I've got the bil from the garage coming, which will have the cambelt work, new water pump, etc, plus the labour involved. I'm not expecting any change from another £1000 min.
This is all far more than I would have spent, as the car only cost me £1700. I'd have broken her up and bought another, especially as she was a 2.5 and really was a bit underpowered in my opinion. I'd also just had lpg fitted, which I could simply swap to the new car.
What costs have other members incurred when faced with a similar situation? Do these costs sound reasonable?
I have spoken to Trading Standards who have advised me that if the engineering company carried out the work without my authority, then the cost of their work should be met by my garage, as they clearly weren't clear enough with their instructions. This obviously won't go down too well with my garage. Either that, or I can insist that the car be put back to how it was before the work was done and pay nothing.
What would you do? All advice welcome....


Last edited by The Stefmeister; 26-04-07 at 10:54.
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Re: Cost of V6 Rebuild?

Well all I can say is when mine went, the total bill with new water pump was £3k. This was at a main dealer with £80/hr labour costs. It is a very expensive job. I think an engine swap is about £1500 at a independant garage, and what you are having done is much better.
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Re: Cost of V6 Rebuild?

Sounds like a lot of money to me, especially for the small amount you paid for the car. I would try and come to some agreement with the garage as they clearly didn't carry out your wishes.

I would've sold you my 3.0 Super for the money you are paying
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Re: Cost of V6 Rebuild?

You are probably best off trying to some agreement with the garage who in turn will have come to some agreement with the engineers.

If you simply asked them to obtain a quote detailing what required to be repaired and how much it would have cost then I cannot see how you could have contracted with the garage to have them carry out the repairs for you without further recourse to you.

As a matter of law there needs to be certainty as to the scope of works and an intention to enter into legal relations for those specific works to be carried in. On the facts as advised I cannot see how a contract could have arisen between you and the garage for these works to be carried out.

Privity of contract prevents any contractual relationship arising between you and the engineers directly. Thus, the engineer's claim for payment will be to the garage and they are trying to pass this on to you. In the absence of a contract this will be difficult as they will be relying on the legal principle of unjust enrichment ie. if you have obtained a benefit (re-engineered head) then you must have to pay something for it. However the amount you will have to pay is measured on the amount that it is worth to you rather than how much they have run up on the clock (that is why making sure a contract is in place is so crucial).

Given that you can buy a reconditioned engine for 1295 + VAT their 1100 invoice will not wash at all as you would have simply had the entire engine replaced. Therefore it is arguable that the benefit you have derived from their work is only 3-400 especially as you have no impartial record of what actually needed doing.

The garage may try to institute what is called a Lien on your vehicle ie. they retain it until you pay them for the work. In these circumstances where their grounds for doing so relate to work that you did not request from a third party I would have thought that you would stand a good chance of obtaining an injunction from the County Court compelling them to release the car. However, you would need a soliciotr to do that for you and it would be stressful (although you could claim the costs against the garage - threatening that course of action may also pay dividends). However, it would be best to cut a deal to avoid any unpleasantness.

I hope you can resolve it soon.
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Re: Cost of V6 Rebuild?

Like he said.....
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Re: Cost of V6 Rebuild?

Do your best to get a reasonable agreement with garage

If the engineers wont give you your engine components back then tell them to keep it and start to source a cheaper fix elsewhere

Rock and a hard place..... sounds familiar !

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(Post Link) post #7 of 7 Old 27-04-07 Thread Starter
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Re: Cost of V6 Rebuild?

Some great advice, thanks. Especially you Pietvg.
I'm off to pick it up tomorrow so I'll let you know what happens.

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