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  1. #1
    Established Member Two Rings
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    Help! Mechanic is scamming me, and I can't get my money back!

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    About a month ago, I sent my 2002 Audi A4 3.0L to this mechanic in Elizabeth, NJ. The problem with the car, was that the past owner (my brother-in-law's Godmother) bought the car brand new in 2002, and ran the car without changing the oil. The engine cracked, and now, I have a broken engine and I need an engine swap. The mechanic said $3,400 for the engine + labor + parts + timing belt + water pump. He promised it would be finished in 1 week.

    He bought an engine from his supplier for $1,900 about the same mileage as the old engine. He told me, if I bought the engine by myself and sent it to him, that there would be no warranty and he would charge me for labor if the engine didn't start. So I agreed for him to buy the engine from his supplier so that if anything happened, I wouldn't have to pay for labor. Anyways, 2 weeks ago, he started calling me asking what happened to the car before I bought it, because apparently he can't the start the car. I told him I don't know. He sends the car to an Audi Specialist and apparently, the engine HE BOUGHT was ALSO broken! Now, he told ME to look for an engine online, spend ANOTHER $1,900 of MY OWN MONEY, and send him the engine! Now, at this point I'm furious. He has had the car for 3 weeks, and no progress! He is now charging me an additional $350 for labor, because of an engine that HE BOUGHT, BROKEN.

    The other day, I told him I was pulling out. I was gonna get my car back, and for him to return the broken engine to his stupid supplier. Now, he is charging me a total of $800 for REMOVING the broken engine! He said he wasn't even going to place back the front bumper, or the old engine, because it would add to even MORE LABOR. Take note: he wanted to charge me $1,100 for labor but because we were referred to him by another one of his customers, he lowered it to $800.

    I've only paid him $1,900 to buy the broken engine. He's going to return ONLY $1,100 of my hard earned money, and not even return to me my car in one piece. Also, I'm a simple banquet server and it took me a MONTH to earn that $800.

    I don't know how to deal with this. I don't have ANY money to sue him with, so that isn't even an option....

    Can anyone offer any advice?

  2. #2
    Account Terminated Four Rings
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    How much of this is in writing? If its in writing you can tell him to get bent and threaten to sue; if its not its heresay and will be fun to prove in court.

  3. #3
    Established Member Two Rings
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greedo View Post
    How much of this is in writing? If its in writing you can tell him to get bent and threaten to sue; if its not its heresay and will be fun to prove in court.
    None of it is in writing. My parents and my brother in law are the only witnesses. I wasn't aware that stuff like this could be written down. Learned a crappy lesson.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Four Rings
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    god damn.. the shit people get themselves into. i hate to have nothing to contribute, but if it takes you a month to make $800, then you shouldn't have an Audi. even at $1,500 to $2,000 a month you shouldn't have one...

    edit: all i can tell you is, I wouldn't pay sh*t until I know the car is running the way it should. every mechanic i've gone to; i drive my car before paying them. if anything's fucked up, it's on them, otherwise they're not getting sh*t from me.
    2003 A4 1.8T - 034 "Street" Mounts, 034 Snub w/ Bracket.
    2002 A4 1.8T (wife's car)
    2001 A4 1.8T (sold)
    2001 A4 2.8 (sold)
    2001 GTI VR6 (RIP)

  5. #5
    Active Member One Ring
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    England

    Court action is needed.
    He's trying to charge you for his misfortune.
    Dont pay him anything and if you have have you paid by credit card as if you have they will take up your case

  6. #6
    Senior Member Four Rings Charles.waite's Avatar
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    2004 A4 1.8TQ 6MT USP 2006 A4 Avant 2.0T tip
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlazinB5 View Post
    god damn.. the shit people get themselves into. i hate to have nothing to contribute, but if it takes you a month to make $800, then you shouldn't have an Audi. even at $1,500 to $2,000 a month you shouldn't have one...

    edit: all i can tell you is, I wouldn't pay sh*t until I know the car is running the way it should. every mechanic i've gone to; i drive my car before paying them. if anything's fucked up, it's on them, otherwise they're not getting sh*t from me.
    That's some terrible advice...
    -CP
    USP CLUB MEMBER #136
    2004 A4 1.8TQ 6MT USP - APR Stage 1+ - FSI Coils - BKR7EIX-11 - 034 Rear Swaybar (Soft Setting) and Endlinks - B6S4 Front + B7A4 Rear Brakes - 034 Street Trans Mount
    2008 Black Unicorn (2.0t S-Line Ti 6MT Avant) - Bosch FR6KPP332S
    SOLD -- 2006 A4 2.0TQ Avant Tiptronic stocker - Failing TC Mod

  7. #7
    Senior Member Four Rings
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charles.waite View Post
    That's some terrible advice...
    meh.. it's kept me outta crap like what this guy is in
    2003 A4 1.8T - 034 "Street" Mounts, 034 Snub w/ Bracket.
    2002 A4 1.8T (wife's car)
    2001 A4 1.8T (sold)
    2001 A4 2.8 (sold)
    2001 GTI VR6 (RIP)

  8. #8
    Active Member One Ring LandSurfer01's Avatar
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    You can take him to small claims court. It will come down to your word against his, even though you have a witness because might have others witness for him too. However, you don't need an attorney for that and if your a sympathetic enough person in the judges view then she may rule in your favor. Additionally if he is willing to admit to the same or similar story in court, at least the facts without slants, then the judge may also see the same thing we do and use that as well to role against him. Have you signed anything for him? Also, judge Judy may be an option, seriously.

  9. #9
    Veteran Member Four Rings imnuts's Avatar
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    Dolphin Grey Audi A4 3.0 Q 6MT
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    So, you paid $1900 for an engine that was broken, and he wants you to pay additional labor because he bought a bad engine for you, and he's keeping an engine that you paid for as well? I'd tell him to find a new engine that works and put it in as per the original agreement, or meet you in court.
    Retrieve your SKC for use with VCDS

    3.0 JHM Tuned, JHM LWFW & Clutch, JHM Solid Short Shifter, Zingo Airbox Mod, quattro, Vogtland Jr. Suspension, Single Xenon E-Codes, Apikol Snub, 034 Motor & Trans Mounts

  10. #10
    Veteran Member Four Rings coowhip's Avatar
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    So what his is warranty then? He should pick up anything broken if indeed he was going to warranty it. Should not be a fault of yours. You didn't get the motor, he did. He should then go back to his supplier and demand another working motor. How hard is that?
    RAI Test pipe / TT DP / S4 rear sway / Motoza stage 1 / SAI delete / IE Blockoff plate / S4 Front Recaros / B7 Center Console
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  11. #11
    Senior Member Four Rings Charles.waite's Avatar
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    2004 A4 1.8TQ 6MT USP 2006 A4 Avant 2.0T tip
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlazinB5 View Post
    meh.. it's kept me outta crap like what this guy is in
    Not the part about not paying. The crap where you say if you don't have $XXX don't buy an audi...

    It should read, if you don't have $XXX LEARN TO WORK ON YOUR AUDI...



    Also, asking for legal advice on Audizine is also a terrible idea...
    -CP
    USP CLUB MEMBER #136
    2004 A4 1.8TQ 6MT USP - APR Stage 1+ - FSI Coils - BKR7EIX-11 - 034 Rear Swaybar (Soft Setting) and Endlinks - B6S4 Front + B7A4 Rear Brakes - 034 Street Trans Mount
    2008 Black Unicorn (2.0t S-Line Ti 6MT Avant) - Bosch FR6KPP332S
    SOLD -- 2006 A4 2.0TQ Avant Tiptronic stocker - Failing TC Mod

  12. #12
    Established Member Three Rings RDA990's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charles.waite View Post
    Not the part about not paying. The crap where you say if you don't have $XXX don't buy an audi...

    It should read, if you don't have $XXX LEARN TO WORK ON YOUR AUDI...

    :thumbup::thumbup::thumbup:

    OP: You definitely shouldn't have to pay him for anything else. He bought the broken motor from his supplier so it's his responsibility to work it out with the supplier. Explain that to him first or even try to contact his supplier and ask about why the mechanic bought a broken motor from them, you shouldn't have to do that though, that's the mechanics job. If all that fails, definitely small claims court, it's not that hard and doesn't cost much at all.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 4

  13. #13
    Senior Member Four Rings Charles.waite's Avatar
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    2004 A4 1.8TQ 6MT USP 2006 A4 Avant 2.0T tip
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    Quote Originally Posted by RDA990 View Post
    :thumbup::thumbup::thumbup:

    OP: You definitely shouldn't have to pay him for anything else. He bought the broken motor from his supplier so it's his responsibility to work it out with the supplier. Explain that to him first or even try to contact his supplier and ask about why the mechanic bought a broken motor from them, you shouldn't have to do that though, that's the mechanics job. If all that fails, definitely small claims court, it's not that hard and doesn't cost much at all.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 4
    This.

    Also your mechanic sounds like a moron. I'd find a new one fast...

    Don't have him replace anything , leave the engine out, and tow the car to a shop that doesn't try to scam/rip-off its customers.
    -CP
    USP CLUB MEMBER #136
    2004 A4 1.8TQ 6MT USP - APR Stage 1+ - FSI Coils - BKR7EIX-11 - 034 Rear Swaybar (Soft Setting) and Endlinks - B6S4 Front + B7A4 Rear Brakes - 034 Street Trans Mount
    2008 Black Unicorn (2.0t S-Line Ti 6MT Avant) - Bosch FR6KPP332S
    SOLD -- 2006 A4 2.0TQ Avant Tiptronic stocker - Failing TC Mod

  14. #14
    Established Member Two Rings
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    Thanks for all of the advice guys! Gonna talk to him around monday, to see what I can do. Right now, he's removing his broken engine and he'll probably be done around monday.

  15. #15
    Active Member Two Rings
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    If he doesnt want to play ball after you talk to him, draft up a professional letter with your intentions to go to court on the advice of yor lawyer (even if you dont have one). Be formal but non threatening. Thiss often all it takes to get wrongs righted.

    Goodluck

    Sent from my GT-I9300 using Tapatalk 2

  16. #16
    Senior Member Three Rings screwball's Avatar
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    There's plenty of places to call for the work man, I'm local to you. You can PM me if you want. Junk yard parts or not, anytime I've bought something that was broken from the door it was returnable. There's no reason that guy should be dumping this on you.
    B6 A4 1.8t & Mk4 GTI 1.8t - PAG Parts 50 trim - AEB - RMR/70mm

  17. #17
    Veteran Member Four Rings Timtheguru's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charles.waite View Post
    Not the part about not paying. The crap where you say if you don't have $XXX don't buy an audi...

    It should read, if you don't have $XXX LEARN TO WORK ON YOUR AUDI...



    Also, asking for legal advice on Audizine is also a terrible idea...
    Yup, I bought my S4 when I was making $13/hr and have never been down for more than a weekend (control arms), and do all the work myself. This is since early 2007.
    2001.5 S4 Sedan
    2002 A4 Avant 1.8t

  18. #18
    Established Member Three Rings
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    Must be hard to walk with your nose so high.. this is why people don't like audi drivers
    Quote Originally Posted by BlazinB5 View Post
    god damn.. the shit people get themselves into. i hate to have nothing to contribute, but if it takes you a month to make $800, then you shouldn't have an Audi. even at $1,500 to $2,000 a month you shouldn't have one...

    edit: all i can tell you is, I wouldn't pay sh*t until I know the car is running the way it should. every mechanic i've gone to; i drive my car before paying them. if anything's fucked up, it's on them, otherwise they're not getting sh*t from me.

  19. #19
    Veteran Member Four Rings wolfdog's Avatar
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    ^
    Although blunt, he makes a good point. You know paying someone to take care of these cars is expensive. How many of us save $800 doing our timing belts because we've been here long enough to learn and give it a shot? Sounds like he may be on his first job and got a car he fell in love with. So did I when it was my time. There is some good advice in here, mainly a formal letter saying you will take him to small claims court because if what he says is accurate, it should work out in the end.

    EDIT: My first car was an '88 Toyota pickup... never an issue, even after my buddy rolled it - had to push it down off driver's side door and onto the wheels but started right up to drive onto the shoulder!
    Last edited by wolfdog; 09-28-2013 at 02:23 PM.
    2002 A4 TQMS
    Motoza 1+ w/Genesis 380s, 034 HFC, K&N drop-in, 710N, Neuspeed snub, StopTech SS lines w/Hawk HPS, Conti DWS, full Votex, Pioneer FH-X700BT, DDM 35W 4500K HID

    12/23/09 - My car has been phenomenal to me. Runs strong. Don't think I'm ever going to sell it. Rather throw $7k into it for a refresh than buy a new A4 that has no dipstick.
    12/5/10 - 100k miles & counting!
    9/22/13 - 146k+ & running strong w/a new TB, water pump, etc.

  20. #20
    Veteran Member Four Rings Peacob's Avatar
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    call him back and rehash everything out while recording the conversation... if nothing works out, go to court with that recording. Winner winner chicken dinner.
    -Brian

  21. #21
    Senior Member Three Rings themadscientist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peacob View Post
    call him back and rehash everything out while recording the conversation... if nothing works out, go to court with that recording. Winner winner chicken dinner.
    By most state laws, that's illegal and would be dismissed (entrapment, I believe) instantly.

    OP, I feel for you. I own a small repair business that specializes in these vehicles, and literally EVERY day someone has a story about how hard they were shafted by a shop, shadetree, dealer, etc. Yesterday's example: Customer with a 1.8t Passat was charged almost $400 to have his thermostat housing replaced by Ted Wiens. I have stories from most of the shops in this city. At the same time (and I hate to jump on the asshole bandwagon) if you're that strapped for cash, you're driving the wrong car. You'll either have to invest a lot in tools and learn to DIY, or sell it. Plain and simple. In Las Vegas especially, everyone seems to be the baller on a budget. I've watched people take out title loans on the car I'm fixing so they can pay me when it's done. You don't ever want to be in that position. If you're young, your money should be going towards other more productive things, that will enable you to own higher-end vehicles in the future while still having breathing room. I speak from experience, stress, and hard lessons learned.
    2005 A4 Avant 1.8t QTM

  22. #22
    Senior Member Three Rings themadscientist's Avatar
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    Also, call the city and make sure his licenses are current. I don't think you'll have a hard time dealing with this, as he's already clearly violated a few of your state's auto repair shop law's: http://www.state.nj.us/oag/ca/ocp/autobro.pdf
    http://www.nolo.com/legal-encycloped...shop-laws.html

    Most states have a specific set of laws that deal with and governs repair shops. EVERYONE should know them, but hardly anyone does, which is why so many shops get away with bullshit.
    2005 A4 Avant 1.8t QTM

  23. #23
    Active Member One Ring
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    Halmn did you ever get any resolution to this?

    Had something similar happen when I was younger, and even though the law is pretty clear and from what you have stated it would appear you would have a good chance of winning any action against this guy the hard part is actually collecting from him. That is a whole other topic though.

  24. #24
    Active Member One Ring
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    Quote Originally Posted by themadscientist View Post
    By most state laws, that's illegal and would be dismissed (entrapment, I believe) instantly.

    OP, I feel for you. I own a small repair business that specializes in these vehicles, and literally EVERY day someone has a story about how hard they were shafted by a shop, shadetree, dealer, etc. Yesterday's example: Customer with a 1.8t Passat was charged almost $400 to have his thermostat housing replaced by Ted Wiens. I have stories from most of the shops in this city. At the same time (and I hate to jump on the asshole bandwagon) if you're that strapped for cash, you're driving the wrong car. You'll either have to invest a lot in tools and learn to DIY, or sell it. Plain and simple. In Las Vegas especially, everyone seems to be the baller on a budget. I've watched people take out title loans on the car I'm fixing so they can pay me when it's done. You don't ever want to be in that position. If you're young, your money should be going towards other more productive things, that will enable you to own higher-end vehicles in the future while still having breathing room. I speak from experience, stress, and hard lessons learned.
    Mad your post was really what caught my attention in this thread as I had purchased a Jetta that spent 95% of its life in LV and the owner had full records going back to the first time at the dealer etc. Oddly it seems once they got tired of taking out mortgages for repairs at AutoNation VW they switched to Teds and then just paid less to have the same repair performed repeatedly until they gave up and got out of it lol.

    Far as all the comments on how "if you don't have lots of $$$ an Audi isn't the right car for you" which I see all the time I have to admit I am a bit confused. Is Audi really that bad compared to the other Euro products? I honestly have not had any more problems with the Audi than the VW's I have owned.

    Maybe I am just conditioned to have to do so many repairs on things that could have lasted hundreds of thousands of miles if made with the right materials etc and it has just been too long since I have owned a simple US brand vehicle :)

  25. #25
    Veteran Member Four Rings imnuts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LennyD View Post
    Far as all the comments on how "if you don't have lots of $$$ an Audi isn't the right car for you" which I see all the time I have to admit I am a bit confused. Is Audi really that bad compared to the other Euro products? I honestly have not had any more problems with the Audi than the VW's I have owned.
    I don't think it's isolated to Audi, I think any Euro is going to be expensive if you want to get it maintained at a dealer and don't want to do any work yourself.
    Retrieve your SKC for use with VCDS

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  26. #26
    Senior Member Four Rings customa4's Avatar
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    I don't think it's isolated to Adui or even just Euro cars. I was quoted $500 the other day to have an air/fuel sensor replaced at Toyota. BTW their labor rates are roughly $100/hr. Their labor prices aren't far off from Audi.
    K&N-Milltek HFC-Magnaflow Catback-APR snub mount-ER Sport FMIC-Forge TIP-Forge DV-Podi-034 Motor Mounts-034 Rear Sway/End Links-STaSIS Street Sport Coils-Bentley Manual

  27. #27
    Active Member One Ring
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    Quote Originally Posted by customa4 View Post
    I don't think it's isolated to Adui or even just Euro cars. I was quoted $500 the other day to have an air/fuel sensor replaced at Toyota. BTW their labor rates are roughly $100/hr. Their labor prices aren't far off from Audi.
    That's what I was thinking.

    When comparing dealer labor costs in the past I found the local Toyota dealer charged more than the Volvo dealer etc.

    Then again most of the Volvo I had in the past went nearly 300k before being sold and I never had to replace or repair a single power window, and am now looking at repairing the final of the four on my A4 that doesn't even have 160k.

    And it was replaced at the dealer w oem at $850 not long before I got it.

    Good thing I can replace just the clips etc.

    Hmmm maybe they do cost more lol.



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