Car broke while at garage?

13
Found 11th Oct 2017
Hi all, bought a car recently and took it into a garage this morning to get checked over and have a service done. Although far from a new car it was, as far as I was concerned in perfect condition at this point.
Dropped it off at 8:30 and just rang to see if it was ready to collect on my lunch.
To my surprise I was told that when they pulled it into the garage after i'd left a belt snapped on the water pump, which they think was caused by overheating and the coolant has gone everywhere..I know that's a pretty useless description but its all i got as apparently they haven't looked at it yet... (no idea why it hasn't been made top priority and looked at all ready)
Anyway I'm not sure what to do now! I've told them to get it looked at as soon as and call me back with details but it seems like a massive coincidence to me.
What should I expect from them when I hear back, should they offer to fix it as it happened while in their care, would their insurance cover them or something?
I still don't know whats happened but it sound pretty serious and I'm expecting them to phone telling me its gonna cost hundreds.

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13 Comments

Their starting position will be that any repair will all be down to you! They will deny any responsibility. You will need to argue with them if you want them to cover any of the repair - but don't expect it to be easy. Very difficult for you to prove that they have caused any damage. I have had items "broken" at a garage before and best I got was a reduced labour rate - nedless to say I've never been back!

If there had been any overheating it is likely you should have seen it - how many miles have you driven the car for since you bought it? It is almost impossible for your car to have overheated in the short distance of pulling the car into the garage - so you need to understand and question what they claim has happened!

As to cost it depends what the make/model of the car is and what the cause of the problem and damage is. If you need a new water pump on some cars this is a simple replacement - on VW's the front bumper, radiator etc need to come off! If it truly has overheated the cause of this needs to be identified and repaired.

Did you buy the car private or did you get any form of warranty?

Original Poster

Van197342 m ago

Their starting position will be that any repair will all be down to you! …Their starting position will be that any repair will all be down to you! They will deny any responsibility. You will need to argue with them if you want them to cover any of the repair - but don't expect it to be easy. Very difficult for you to prove that they have caused any damage. I have had items "broken" at a garage before and best I got was a reduced labour rate - nedless to say I've never been back! If there had been any overheating it is likely you should have seen it - how many miles have you driven the car for since you bought it? It is almost impossible for your car to have overheated in the short distance of pulling the car into the garage - so you need to understand and question what they claim has happened! As to cost it depends what the make/model of the car is and what the cause of the problem and damage is. If you need a new water pump on some cars this is a simple replacement - on VW's the front bumper, radiator etc need to come off! If it truly has overheated the cause of this needs to be identified and repaired. Did you buy the car private or did you get any form of warranty?


I bought it private, its a bmw cooper S.
I drove it to Blackpool and back from Manchester on Sunday which included some heavy traffic and a fair bit of motorway, haven't noticed any problems. The garage is about 4 miles away from home, I dropped it on the way to work. After googling there is supposed to be a warning light for high temp which I didn't have.
It was sat for at least 15 minutes after me arriving before they could have started it so also had time to cool down.
It just seems like a massive coincidence that it was fine when I had it yet broke minutes after them getting it.
I'm about to call them again for more info if they have bothered to look at it yet! I'll update when I hear back.

I doubt the cambelt would snap due to overheating, Obviously the cambelt could have been ready for a long time. Did you not check the service history on when the cambelt was last changed?. Rule number one = Make sure cambelt has been changed at the correct service interval.

Not sure how the coolant can go "everywhere" if a belt snaps?

Most likely it'll boil out the header tank.

It should be an easy fix anyway, far as i'm aware you'd just need to get the belt(s) replaced, check the header tank for leaks / damage and get the coolant flushed and replaced.

Unless the water pump suffered a bad crack?

.MUFC.5 m ago

I doubt the cambelt would snap due to overheating, Obviously the cambelt …I doubt the cambelt would snap due to overheating, Obviously the cambelt could have been ready for a long time. Did you not check the service history on when the cambelt was last changed?. Rule number one = Make sure cambelt has been changed at the correct service interval.




Pretty sure it's chain driven.

It'll be the "Aux" belt(s) that have gone, think they only power the PAS pump, alternator and water pump.

Overheating? Most garages wont look at a car as soon as you drop it off (was the engine temp high when you dropped it off?), sounds unlikely.

JmeH6 m ago

Pretty sure it's chain driven.It'll be the "Aux" belt(s) that have gone, …Pretty sure it's chain driven.It'll be the "Aux" belt(s) that have gone, think they only power the PAS pump, alternator and water pump.


True, I guess the water pump was probably failing, Maybe the pulley on the water pump caused the belt to snap.

It could be a coincidence or maybe the garage invented the work.

Original Poster

JmeH24 m ago

Pretty sure it's chain driven.It'll be the "Aux" belt(s) that have gone, …Pretty sure it's chain driven.It'll be the "Aux" belt(s) that have gone, think they only power the PAS pump, alternator and water pump.


Just got off the phone and your right, its the belt for the pump. They were about to take it for a drive as I had mentioned a rattle noise at the back that they wanted to diagnose.
They said they drove it round the car park, went to go on the road and it stopped revving properly. They pulled over, started it again at which point it was fine but then coolant pooled out onto the floor.
Said they are changing the belt now.
Haven't mentioned anything about if they are charging and didn't want to give my position away until at least the work is done. If the parts cost is minimal, which a belt will be, I think if they try and charge me labour its more than fair of me to kick up a bit of a fuss.

difficult one, as if you had taken an extra 5 minutes to get there, it could have very easily happened whilst you were driving it.

if they try to charge you, does the garage have CCTV that they would let you look at? if they point blank refuse, it might suggest foul play. they might not have it, or let you look and see nothing.

as above, unless you can prove they caused it, it just sounds like an unfortunate coincidence, in the same way some cars break down during an MOT. its not usually up to the garage to foot the repair bill though.

Deaa3 h, 20 m ago

Just got off the phone and your right, its the belt for the pump. They …Just got off the phone and your right, its the belt for the pump. They were about to take it for a drive as I had mentioned a rattle noise at the back that they wanted to diagnose.They said they drove it round the car park, went to go on the road and it stopped revving properly. They pulled over, started it again at which point it was fine but then coolant pooled out onto the floor.Said they are changing the belt now.Haven't mentioned anything about if they are charging and didn't want to give my position away until at least the work is done. If the parts cost is minimal, which a belt will be, I think if they try and charge me labour its more than fair of me to kick up a bit of a fuss.


what engine is it?

1.4L petrol?
1.6L petrol no turbo?
1.6L petrol turbo?

if it is any of those, if my memory serves, the water pump is driven indirectly from the crank so it might not be part of the aux belt setup. i dont remember completely though.

Original Poster

adamspencer959 m ago

what engine is it?1.4L petrol?1.6L petrol no turbo?1.6L petrol turbo?if it …what engine is it?1.4L petrol?1.6L petrol no turbo?1.6L petrol turbo?if it is any of those, if my memory serves, the water pump is driven indirectly from the crank so it might not be part of the aux belt setup. i dont remember completely though.


It's the 1.6 supercharged.
Just collected. Ended up paying parts but labour free. Was happy with that to be fair. Thanks for the input everyone!

Deaa1 h, 33 m ago

It's the 1.6 supercharged.Just collected. Ended up paying parts but labour …It's the 1.6 supercharged.Just collected. Ended up paying parts but labour free. Was happy with that to be fair. Thanks for the input everyone!


Sounds like you did well with that! Well done!

jax6192 h, 20 m ago

Heavy traffic in blackpool

Why not?
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