Car Dies While I am Driving

my car dies while drivingI was driving my older 1999 Volvo station wagon at about 35 mph and it just stopped. The check engine light came on first and then all other lights. after about 5 attempts to restart and then a push, it was able to start back up. I took it to my mechanic and he changed the fuel pump relay.

I drove it home and after a couple days it happened again. I took it back and then he replaced the fuel pump and I got charged $860.00 for the whole job.

I drove it home and drove only 8 miles, it happened again. i took it back and he redid the job. I drove it yesterday and it happened again. so, I am unsure what to do. I was thinking that maybe he doesn’t have the right diagnostic equipment to see what is going on. but, i went to him because I wanted to support small business rather than the dealer.

But now I’m thinking I should have just gone to the dealer. How do i ask him whether or not he can actually do the job? Can i get my money back? how does this work? I REALLY need some advise.
Thank you very much.


Mali Hi there,

Ouch! I feel your pain. I first thought of a faulty fuel pump in the first few lines of your email as well. Thanks for trying to support the little guy, but some cars…like Volvo are best kept to the people experienced with them. I… not that experienced with Volvo either.

Your mechanic seems to think it is “lack of fuel” related…..humm. I think at this point in the game I would either ask for your money back…..which I seriously doubt will happen.

So, your choices might be to let him continue to “guess” at his expense until he finally gets to the problem, cut your losses and visit the dealership, or figure out how to fight him to get your money back.

If you want build a relationship with this shop, I would give them yet another chance to fix it. Do they have a loaner car you can borrow while they work on it? They can probably repair all your other repair needs which don’t really require any special training or tools for this particular vehicle.

I would take the car back, talk to the owner/manager nicely about what is still happening, why you want to support their shop and not a dealership, the likelihood that you will be a long time customer for them and that this visit has not gone as planned, but that you really hope they stand behind their warranty and their diagnosis ….and wrong diagnosis as well.

I would let them try one more time to properly diagnose and repair the problem, then offer then the option of you taking it to the dealership and getting a proper diagnosis….and they pay the dealership for the diagnostic fee but do the repair…..probably at their expense since they already spent $800 of your money.

If you came to me in my shop and offered to stay my customer if I would just fix the car, I would bend over backwards to repair your car….even at my expense. Most customers would demand their money back and never visit my shop again.

I have had to take a few cars to the dealership ( I personally took them there) for a “proper” diagnosis, so we could do the repairs at my shop and save the customer for their future repairs.

I would probably be looking at:

1. Crankshaft position sensor
2. Camshaft position sensor
2. Distributor problem
3. Computer

You could have an electrical issue, not a lack of fuel issue, but they will need to test while the engine is in the “no start” state to see what is actually going on…..or they will be guessing.

Posted in: Running Problems

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