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Hi

I brought my Pathfinder with overheating problem. Paid the shop diagnosis fee. Received a quote for rear thermal regulator. Approved 7 hours of labor and parts.

Once the repair was completed, car still overheated and swapping the radiator fixed it.

I paid for the radiator and they gave me free labor. However here is where it gets tricky:

The 7 hours of labor for rear thermo, the part itself and the other little parts (they swapped temp sensors and another thermal regulator – the front one) was totally unnecessary and due to their error. I pointed that out and got 2 hours of labor credit.

Was that too idiotic on my part to agree on this arrangement? I would gladly take the shop to small claims but would like to know what is a reasonable claim:

In my mind should they have diagnosed it correctly they would have determined that the radiator was bad. Then I would gladly pay them labor for swapping the radiator (2 hours) and the diagnostics fee plus the radiator itself and the little stuff like coolant and new radiator cap.

In that scenario they eat ALL of the labor for swapping thermo and ALL of the unnecessary parts. Is that reasonable? Isn’t it customary for the client to pay for the parts on all errors and bad diagnosis and the shop gives free labor?

I just need to know how the industry works and what other shops would do in cases of misdiagnosis and unnecessary repairs.

Thanks
B
 

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I'm a lawyer - take 'em to small claims. You have little downside risk, except time - and you might win. Their own paperwork should show that they diagnosed and charged you for the other items - it's their job to do it right. A simple pressure test of the system would have disclosed where the leak is - or, they should have sent you to a radiator shop where they could test the temperatures at different areas of the radiator.
 
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