Did The Chevy Dealership Blew Up My Monte Carlo Engine?

Reader Question
Hi Austin,
A friend of mine suggested I contact you with my question as he feels your advice is worthy and very reliable. So here goes……..

I have (had) a 2003 Chevy Monte Carlo (90,000 kilometers). Recently while on the highway my connector rod let go blowing the engine block and starter. I had no steering, brakes or power. I managed to get it off the highway unscathed but now the engine is toast. It was just in a week prior to having the rear main seal repaired at the same dealership. They claim it is not related.

I sold the car to another dealership as is asking them to keep an eye out when they repaired it for what may have caused this to happen.

They told me that some screws were questionable – in particular the fly wheel nuts are sheared off. Leaving me to believe that they were either too tight or too loose for this to happen. This dealership does not want to put this (what they saw) in writing. Did they have to adjust or remove the fly wheel to change the seal?

I guess my next question is —- what questions do I ask the original dealership to try and get some answers from them. Do you think they are related? I’m at a loss as to what to do next. By the way I have a part of the blown up piston and the fly wheel nuts in question.

I’m trying to settle this as easily as possible as I am already out a lot of money and time.

Thank you for considering this question and for your time. I hope you can help.

Well hello there Sandra,

These types of situations are terrible, and almost impossible to actually PROVE without a doubt who was at fault and who is financially responsible.

This is what I would recommend you do, although I am not a lawyer and do not give legal advice.

1. I would make an appointment to see the general manager of the dealership and give him/her your story of what happened, when did you bring in the vehicle, who did you talk to, did you diagnose the problem or did they, how many miles did you put on the vehicle after the repairs were made before the engine blew up, what did the dealership do for you after the engine blew up, how were you treated by the dealership before and after the incident etc. etc. etc. Bring your receipts with you as well.

You are welcome to print out and show this email to him as well.

If I was the general manager I would do one of two things for you…since you seem like you would make a good long term customer for the dealership I would do what I can do keep your business.

I would make a claim on my insurance policy and have my insurance company pay ME, the dealership to install a new engine for you. I have had to make a few claims on my insurance policy as well.

I paid my deductible of $500 but I actually made money from the engine replacement job that my insurance paid me to do for my customer. So, actually I was not out any money at all…just a claim went on my record. They should have this type of insurance as well…if they don’t shame on them, because accidents like this happen. I would also give you a loaner car for free while we were working on your car….which might take a week to complete.

2. Get you to pay the dealership COST for the new engine and the dealership install it and supply the other small parts needed for the job at no charge to you. This might cost you $950 or so…but you will get a brand new engine out of the deal.

The dealership could also throw in 20 free oil changes or some other free services as a way to keep your business. The mechanic who did the rear main seal job should install the motor for free…since he was paid for the rear main seal repair and he MAY OR MAY NOT have caused this engine to blow up…but I think any mechanic that you talk to would say there is a 90% chance that this WAS caused by the recent rear main seal repair and mechanic error/negligence was to blame.

If this had happened at my shop I would opt for option #1 and let my insurance company pay me to install a new motor for you. You would instantly become a lifetime customer of mine and would tell all your friends about my shop and how we handled a sticky situation, a win win for everyone.

Since you have sold this vehicle to another dealership…maybe the original dealership can get it back for you?? Everything I have said so far will help you IF you still have the vehicle in your possession…I am not real sure what to tell you to do if you can not get the vehicle back.

Austin Davis

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