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Discussion Starter #1
I bought a 2007 Pathfinder from a neighbor in March. The 4th time it was driven engine quit. It didn’t overheat for me, but apparently it had been overheated in the past. I did have it gone through by Firestone before I bought it but the problem was undetected. It’s a 4 WD so rather than rebuild high mile engine I purchased a used OEM 2007 Pathfinder Engine with a warranty. Due to CoVid it was delayed. It arrived at the Repair shop where my car was towed to about 10 days ago.

Here’s where everything fell apart. Owner of the repair shop called me on 6/ 25 livid; yelling and spouting that the engine wrecked the transmission. Now... I’m in Minnesota for the summer and the vehicle is in AZ So I can’t just go look at it. His story was that The flywheel was “dead” so he took flywheel off of the old engine but that the fly wheel from old engine was off (bent) 3/8ths “. It, he said, damaged a bearing inside transmission and all the transmission fluid came out. He tried to buy a new bearing ( it’s actually a sleeve, Nissan said) but Nissan Dealer said it’s not a part they make for sale. He wanted permission to have a part fabricated for $245 and $2800 for his labor to drop the transmission etc. I told him I needed time to comprehend and figure this out which made him so irate he yelled at me and said he was done / told me to pay him the $2800 and send a tow truck to get it off his property because he wasn’t touching it again.
I did not pay him more than what I’d already paid him to install the engine, and the tow truck removed the vehicle in pieces (with the help of the sheriff the next day. Nissan mechanic who now has the vehicle said the catalytic converter was jammed into the transmission and the shaft is bent. He called it negligence.
He hasn’t had time to go through the whole thing yet so I don’t know if I need a new transmission or what’s going to happen here. I admit to ignorance; I’m a woman in my 70’s. I knew there was a problem when the previous shop demanded a lot of money without explaining exactly what he did. Don’t auto repair shops carry insurance for things like this?? My nephew thinks he damaged it trying to put the engine in. The transmission had no problem prior to this. Even the shop had said transmission was solid and that the car was worth fixing.
opinion: Is this something that I’m responsible for? Does this happen routinely when replacing an engine? Do I have any recourse?
 

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NF Mod/Nissan Master Tech
2006 Pathfinder LE, 2003 Frontier SVE
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It's not something that routinely happens when replacing an engine. It's hard to say you have recourse or not without having a full assessment and determination made by either a certified shop or Nissan dealer, or by an independent mechanic inspector. If they find fault and damage caused by the shop in AZ, you could take him to small claims court in AZ, which has a limit of $3500. You do not need an attorney for small claims court, but you will need to support your claim with evidence, such as pictures and paperwork from the shop/dealer/inspector making the determination of cause and showing negligence or wrong-doing by the shop in AZ. As far as insurance, they "should" have it, but that would come into play after the lawsuit. Of course, if you want better clarity, you can always consult an attorney as to your options.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for your thoughts. I’m pretty upset because the second shop (recommended by Nissan) called and said he could not repair it and that there was a lot more damage than a bushing or a sleeve but he flatly refuses to be specific or put anything in writing. I do not understand at all. I can’t go on towing this thing all over the county if everyone’s going to clam up and not want to get involved. If it’s my fault all they have to do is say so. I see no way to get the evidence if mechanic shops won’t tell me what they see.
 

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NF Mod/Nissan Master Tech
2006 Pathfinder LE, 2003 Frontier SVE
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Then you would need to hire a mechanical inspector, which is something I used to do back in the '90's. Most are independent and work for an agency. These agencies usually get hired by warranty and insurance companies to inspect claims, taking photos and making a determination of a cause of failure. The mechanical inspector is usually an independent contractor who gets their casework through the agency. I have no idea what it would cost or if they would do this for a private individual, but it doesn't hurt to check into it. The one I worked for was Centro Inspection Agency:


You may be able to find other options with a web search for "mechanical inspectors" or "mechanical inspection agencies." Or, again, consult with a lawyer to check your options.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you. Very helpful. So far the best I have is the owner of the shop blaming it in a bad flywheel which he put on the vehicle. He could change his story but before I ordered the engine he stated to 3 people that the tranny was “solid”.
 
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