Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: United Kingdom
This is the exact problem with someone buying a second hand engine and getting a third party to fit it. Where and who does the guarantee rest with?
In our workshop we never fit second hand engines as there are limited tests you can do, every engine we remove from a car that is being dismantled we run up, head gasket test and a compression test, if these are OK the engine gets marked as good and is put on a palette. Any engine that is no good or if we are unable to test is stripped to use as parts for our recon engines.
In our workshop we only ever fit fully rebuilt Twin Spark engines and once fitted we run them up properly and I get the technician that fitted the engine to take the car for a good long run to make sure everything is as it should be; I often get them to take the cars home over night.
In this case we sold a second hand engine with a cam belt kit to be fitted by someone else as the customer was in North Wales (250ish miles away)
Chris contacted us to say there was a problem with the engine we had supplied, it ran well to start with then after a couple of days it would not start one morning. We agreed to send our truck to collect the vehicle free of change which is a 500 mile round trip. When the car was with us we looked over the car and made our observations, the engine had been really badly fitted with lots of bolts fitted incorrectly or not fitted at all. The cam belt was incorrectly fitted, Tippex marks all over the place (picture attached) and the belt had been incorrectly tensioned (picture attached). The wiring loom was incorrectly routed with wires getting court and stretched. The radiator was also in poor condition.
Initially I thought the valves were bent due to the belt being fitted incorrectly so we agreed to remove the cylinder head and inspect, what had actually happened was that the head gasket had blown between the cylinders (picture attached), head gaskets tend to blow when the engine is overheated, this could be the due to the poor condition radiator or the cooling system not being bled properly, difficult to say.
I don’t think there was a fault with the engine when we sold it but as a gesture of good will we supplied free of charge a second hand cylinder head (had it skimmed), head gasket and did not charge for the recovery (500 miles). We did get Chris to pay for exhaust gasket, inlet gasket, cam seal and variator gasket (as these had not been changed when the engine was fitted), cam belt as the original could not be reused due to it being over tensioned and a contribution towards labour. There was quite a substantial list of advisories relating to the car written on the invoice. The engine really needed removing and starting again.
In my opinion second hand engines should only be bought by garages that will take responsibility for fitting and guaranteeing their work or to someone that is going to be fitting the engine themselves. The problem is by the time you buy a used engine and pay someone to fit it you may as well had a recondition engine fitted, we charge £1,500 for a fully fitted guaranteed engine with a 3 year warranty. Hindsight is a great thing but if Chris had booked his car in for a recon engine he would have been in a much better situation and would have spent the same amount of money.
Chris what do you expect us to do, you did not listen to my advise and do the job properly you wanted to do it on the cheap and this is what happens. You have bad mouthed us on here and said you will contact Trading Standards, on your answer phone message you left said you were instructing a solicitor. I don't think we could have done more to help.
Last edited by Autolusso; 25-07-11 at 14:16.