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[VIC] - Service resulting in expensive repair bill for engine damage. Any legal advice?.

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' at netrider.net.au started by twisties, May 9, 2010.

  1. Ok, it's a long winded story so stick with me.

    My 2006 Honda VTR1000F's motor is currently getting most of it's bottom end rebuilt along with replacing both cam chain tensioners, a cam chain and 2 bent exhaust valves thanks to the bike running on 1ltr of oil instead of it's required 4.

    It was taken in for a major service roughly 4,000k's ago.

    Since then the bike has sounded fine and been riding fine until one day developing a serious knocking noise in the motor and losing alot of power.

    Since the service it has not blown any smoke or leaked any oil and the mechanic that is rebuilding it has assured me there is no way it could have lost 3 ltr's of oil in those 4,000k's. I have not changed the oil myself in that time either.

    Now I'm up for a repair bill of approx $4500 and as logic dictates to me that the previous service is the source of the problem I'd like some advice on whether I can chase up the original mechanic for costs of the repair, and if so, how to go about it.

    It has also been pointed out to me by the current mechanic that the valve covers looked as if they hadn't even been taken off, which I understand is a necessity for checking valve clearances in a major service. I have since looked back over the invoice and they haven't listed valve checking at all.

    Thanks in advance for any replies. And please no 'you should've checked your oil' replies, I'm already feeling flipping stupid about it.
  2. No chance. In 4000km's you should've had at least a quick look.

    Regardless you might have some options but having ridden to far before noticing a problem it's sure as hell not going to be easy convincing the mechanic that it his/her fault. Go back to the place where it was serviced and talk to them about it. They may be sympathetic or they may tell you to piss off. The second is likely this late in the picture which would mean you then need to talk to a lawyer. Good luck and remember you catch more bees with honey. Be nice in your approach. :)
  3. After 4000kms it is a loooooong bow to blame the previous service, I reckon you'd have buckley's chance.
    My opinion though.
  4. twisties
    "logic dictates to me that the previous service is the source of the problem...

    Sorry but logic dictates to me that the operator is the source of the problem...

    There is an onus on owners/operators to check any mechanical device under their control prior to operation.

    I do believe that you may well encounter a couple of suppressed smiles if you try to hit up the prior repairer with this one.

    Personally I check oil, lights, tyre pressures etc weekly, (in my case that's only 100km usually) change oil at about every 2000km, (oil's cheap, compared to rebuilds)
  5. it all comes down to your last comment bro, so like above, no chance, your wallets going to be light for a while
  6. Ok, I did fear exactly that. And if the general consensus is no chance then I'll cop it sweet. Expensive lesson learned.
  7. i feel for ya mate, could buy a whole bike for that ammount
  8. not cheaper to drop a different engine in it?
  9. It would be, but It'd be a waste of the $1500 of work already done on the top end, once that was done and it was started they found the bottom end damage. Plus, even though it's expensive, i get a mostly new engine.
  10. How long did the 4000k's take to rack up? While a lot of people will attribute blame to you the operator, what's the owners manual say for checking the oil level yourself?

    A reasonable person would expect these days never to have to touch the mechanics of a vehicle between service intervals unless something was quite visually wrong, and even then they'd just report it.

    I don't think it's all that clear cut myself.
  11. I know how you feel mate, I did the same thing 6 months ago with my TRX!

    I didn't check the oil & it threw a big end bearing.

    But: I'm the only one who works on my bike, I'm also the only one who rides it, more importantly.

    Put it this way: If it was a mates bike, would you have checked the oil? I know I would have.

    At least you'll have a basically new engine, that's good for peace of mind.
  12. Fixed

    Btw no one said anything about touching, just observing oil and coolant levels.
    You are normally expected to do so weekly.
    No one really does but that's what common sense would dictate.
  13. key-rect!! ANYONE would have been able to see a leak that resulted in that sort of oil loss, or seen the smoke haze behind the vehicle if it was burning it. ANY modern vehicle can easily go the full distance between services without the oil having to be topped up, much less checked. Hell, my 17-year-old Magna goes 6,000 between services with the same oil level.......
  14. You're probably right about the service not being done correctly, but to do 4000km without checking your oil level is not particularly clever and gives the mechanic the benefit of doubt.

    Personally, there are a couple of things I do when I put a bike (or car) in for a service. The first is to note the odometer reading before the service and I also make a mental note of the condition of the bike (car). Then when I pick it pick it up I check the odometer, check for any damage and check the oil level. I also have a quick check of the chain tension and the brake/clutch fluid levels.

    I have heard of, and seen, too many people getting ripped of by mechanics to take the risk of not checking myself.
  15. For 4,500k, what's he doing to the engine? That isn't that much work on a VTR, and I'm curious as to how 'basically' new you're thinking it's going to be.

    I dunno why peopoe think it's that hard to check the oil. Has anyone ever shown you how to do it.
  16. I've had a chat to them and the $4500 quoted was a worst case scenario, replace crank, rods, bearings etc. He hadn't actually pulled it apart to see how bad it was as he was waiting for my authority to start, given the expensive labour costs.

    Hopefully not everything will be damaged.

    That cost also includes $1500 of parts/labour replacing the cam chain and tensioners along with 2 bent valves.
  17. All Honda owners handbooks state that "oil level must be checked daily". After 4000k's riding you have no chance what so ever of passing the buck to the shop who did the last service. Engines that use oil dont always blow smoke that you can see hence thats why all manufactures state to check oil levels daily.

    If the oil had run low the oil presure warning light would have come on. Why did you continue riding the bike with the light lit up?
  18. Wait... so you guys all expect your elderly grandmothers to go out and check her oil and water once a week...

    What a brotherhood we have here.

    Your mechanic did shit work mate, go and tell him about it.

    Let him know that the valves he neglected to check are now bent and the lack of oil which is also his fault is to blame.

    If it gets you nowhere, name and shame him here. I certainly don't want to accidentally leave my bike there.
  19. You would be better off asking that as a question, not making it a matter of fact statement? How do you know the light was on?
  20. Ah yes! I forget about oil lights, because the TRX lacks one, worst thing to leave off a functional motorbike ever ](*,) I guess there is a reason they're called idiot lights though...

    Did your oil light come on?