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zro
 
How to negotiate with repair shop?

Recently I had a local shop change the timing belt on my B5 A4. The swap went fine, and since my battery was low on charge, I took it out to charge it. When I was ready to put the battery back in, I tugged on the hood release handle but the hood would not pop.

I tried to manually move the latch after removing the front grille, but I could not quite reach the latch. Next, I jacked up the car to see if the latch could be moved from the bottom. Immediately I found that the hood release cable was hanging loosely instead of being properly inserted into the notch of the metal tab which is used to move the latch. I towed the car back to the same shop and they were able to open the hood after cutting the latch.

I believe that the shop did not properly reinstall the hood release cable when they reassembled the belts, pulleys, radiators, lock carrier, bumper, etc. after the timing belt change. I cannot prove with 100% certainty that it is their fault, since the hood did pop one time after they had returned the car to me. In my defense, I did not go anywhere near the cable to remove the battery. The battery is situated right by the firewall, whereas the cable is routed along the front of the engine bay, so there is no reason to believe that I dislodged the cable.

They will undoubtedly try to charge me full price for the repair. It looks like a classic case of my word vs. their word, and I fully expect that the shop will not concede any responsibility. Do you have any suggestions for persuading them to defray at least some of the repair cost?
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Old 01-11-2012, 04:16 PM zro is offline  
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Jehannum
 
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Do you have to remove the hood latch to swap timing belts on an A4?
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Old 01-11-2012, 04:45 PM Jehannum is offline  
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zro
 
Not the latch hardware on the hood, but you have to undo the cable in order to remove the "lock carrier", i.e., the front end frame which the bumper, radiators, etc. mount to. Here's a pic:

Old 01-11-2012, 04:57 PM zro is offline  
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Jehannum
 
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Jesus, and people rag on Z32s for being difficult to maintain.
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Old 01-11-2012, 05:04 PM Jehannum is offline  
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Old 01-11-2012, 05:54 PM Xcric is offline  
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gee
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Do they know you pulled the battery?

If not, bring that shit back and say "my hood won't pop"
Old 01-11-2012, 05:59 PM gee is offline  
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[H]ard|On
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I would assume it's their fault, yes. Hood cables do come off sometimes but once the hood is up you can go from there as far as what it looks like (broken may mean it just broke for no reason)

It is really hard to open the hood on some cars if the cable breaks - often you actually have to cut a hole
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Old 01-11-2012, 06:16 PM [H]ard|On is offline  
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zro
 
Yes, I told them I took out the battery because it would be obvious once they open the hood. To be clear, they were able to open the hood after cutting the latch.

Now it's time to pay the man, and I'm trying to convince them to eat some of the cost since it was likely their fault. Unfortunately, they have the upper hand because it's my word vs. theirs and ultimately I will have to pay whatever they feel like charging me.
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Old 01-11-2012, 06:29 PM zro is offline  
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asa
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is it a mom & pop place, or something with a corporate connection?
either way, it's basically the same method, be polite but firm about the fact that after they removed something and didn't install it properly they had to remove it, from that point become a complete douchebag, flip your shit and start making a scene

if it's corporate call the corporate office and start bitching, you should get decent results, if it's a mom and pop... ultimately you hope that you don't get to the douchebag part, you hope that they do the decent thing and work with you, but if you make a scene you'll pretty much have to not go there afterwards, so keep that in your mind
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Old 01-11-2012, 08:48 PM asa is offline  
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zro
 
So I went to pick up the car today. They wouldn't budge after I politely explained my logic, but then when I went to my car and tried pulling the hood release in their parking lot it wouldn't engage just like before. The mechanic scratched his head and said he thought that he had fixed it once and for all. That gives my claim a lot more credibility and hurts their case. Well, it'll be interesting to see what happens.
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Old 01-12-2012, 04:58 PM zro is offline  
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tell them to eat the labor cost of replacing the cable, that would sound fair to me.
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Old 01-13-2012, 02:55 PM grjr is offline  
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[H]ard|On
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Oh I see. Cutting the latch should be free and a new latch should be around $30 so i don't see what you guys are fighting over.
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Old 01-13-2012, 02:55 PM [H]ard|On is offline  
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Tex Arcana
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xcric View Post
use a gun.

TSRH

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Old 01-13-2012, 09:15 PM Tex Arcana is offline  
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Tex Arcana
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jehannum View Post
Jesus, and people rag on Z32s for being difficult to maintain.

Because only japochinks can get in there to do anything...
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Old 01-13-2012, 09:15 PM Tex Arcana is offline  
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Tex Arcana
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [H]ard|On View Post
Oh I see. Cutting the latch should be free and a new latch should be around $30 so i don't see what you guys are fighting over.

I think this proves you're a completely moronic nazi kraut apologist, because that AUDI part will cost more like $300, not $30. And if it's a stealership they are gonna charge him $1795.99 for the labor and the use of the seven-and-a-half sekratspeshialdoppeltollerung to release a simple latch and repair the fucking thing.
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Old 01-13-2012, 09:23 PM Tex Arcana is offline  
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