Update on my 240D/300turbo problems - long

Hi folks,
Some of you probably remember my problems last fall with my Benz which had started life as a 240D, then got an engine swap in 2001 to a 300
turbo.
Last fall it suddenly started running very roughly so I took it to the mechanic who did the engine swap. After 8 weeks, and chiding me about a broken engine mount (Didn't you notice the vibration? Well duh, yes I did, that's why I called you....) He replaced all the injectors, fixed the broken mount and $1k later I have my car back.
Fixed? Nope. Drove it home, it was still running unevenly, though not "shaking". Called him back and got an appointment to bring it in one week later. Didn't drive it in the meantime. Doofus has the car for SIX more weeks, can't find the problem to fix it. I get mad, take it to the dealer. Three hours later I know the problem - no compression in cylinder 5, though 1-4 are fine.
I'm hoping the problem is as simple as a head gasket, but wanted to wait for civilized weather to work on it.Finally my Dad (who gave me the car), urges me to find a GOOD mechanic, since I have not had the time to work on it. I start asking around and one name crops up from several sources, including a couple of other shops. Retired MB mechanic who still works on them from his home shop.
He poked around, popped the head off, took it to the machine shop.....Cracked head. Daylight visible through it. I'd think any competent mechanic would have done a compression test when I first brought it in, given the symptoms, but mechanic #1 didn't.
Current mechanic found a good used head, we're having the valves ground, since most of them were a little toasted, and I should be back on the road for about $1200-1300.
I'm pretty sure I got ripped by mechanic #1. I know for a fact that worn injectors were not the main problem, maybe not even a problem at all. I also think he was piddling around on the time. It should not have taken 8 week + 6 weeks not to fix the problem. I'm seriously considering filing a Better Business Bureau complaint against the guy. Doubt if I could even get a cent back, but it might help warn off other people, and keep them from getting ripped off.
Rochelle
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Did mechanic #1 do the engine swap?
If so, you now know why he delayed the bad news, hoping the delay would encourage you to simply throw in the towel and dump the car.
Forget about Better Business Bureau, does your state have a Dept of Automotive Repair or Consumer Affairs?
I'd confront #1 with the diagnosis and ask for a refund of the labor charges for the injector replacement (not the parts cost as you now have them) plus other labor charges for his "diagnosis" of the motor's problems - essentially for his failure to do the most basic diagnostic test - a compression test.
If he balks write to your state's agency and include copies of the repair bills being disputed.
Lesson learned: No shop needs weeks and weeks to diagnose a problem - either they find it in a day or two or they must admit it's beyond them. #1 saw you as a "mark" to be jerked around so don't show #1 any consideration as none was shown you.
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snip intro....

    know the feeling well, have started to use the dealer more and more myself to avoid exactly that frustrations
cheers, hope it all works out to your satisfaction
guenter
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How about throwing away #5 piston and reverting back to a 240D?????????????
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I have seen a few cracked heads, by no means all of them. I have never seen "daylight" thru any of them. Such a crack would surely leak oil, coolant or both. After low compression was found, was a subsequent test made to determine the source of the compression leak? If so, what was it? If not, why not? I think you're being jerked around by everyone.
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Personally I'd go one step further...sue the guy in small claims court. Draw up the papers, send him a copy and let him know that if he doesn't do something about your complaint you'll file the papers within the next 72 hours. Before going to small claim court make three copies of every single document you have and bind them all in chronological order with a number tab on each item. One will go to the judge, one to your opponent and one for your use. Make a detail by detail list of everything that took place beginning with item number one and go to the end. Every time you come to a fact which is supported up by a document make reference to that document. Go over your presentation several times before going to court so that you are entirely familiar with exactly how you will proceed. When you are finished simply say, "Thank you your honor." Judges love organized, detailed, and understandable presentations. My guess your mechanic will not be as prepared and will ramble through his rebutal. Take notes as the guy talks so that you can address anything he brings up. If possible always refer back to a specific document in your document list. I've done exactly as I've described and have never lost in small claims. Good luck.
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Ernesto wrote:

The above sounds like good advice. Most critical is you need good evidence of the correct diagnosis and proof that it wasn't the result of a new problem, but in fact the same problem that mechanic #1 did not correctly identify. Best would be to have the expert in court, but many small claims courts will take notarized statements.
To be fair to mechanics, sometimes it can be hard to diagnose a problem and they may not get it right on the first try. However, to miss a cracked cylinder head, which can be found with a simple compression test, and was obvious to look for given the symptoms, there is no excuse for.
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Well, I went out this weekend to see the car and drop off the air filter bracket, which I had to get welded.
The old head wasn't exactly "seeing daylight" through the cracks, but it was pretty bad. You could see the cracks highlighted by the remains of the magnaflux job. Cylinder 5 was cracked between the intake and exhaust valves, if I recall correctly. 3 & 4 both had some smaller cracking running to the prechamber. Those two still had decent compression, but it was surely a matter of time before they croaked too. I think I may keep the head for a little while as evidence along with the printout of the compression test that the dealer did.
All of the valves were mighty toasty as well. Had to replace the exhausts, they were able to clean up and reuse the intakes. It should be good for another 100K or so now.
The temptation to whop the first mechanic about the ears with my old head is REALLLLLLY tempting. (And it's the nice heavy iron head too <VBEG>) And I'll be telling anyone who asks what an idiot he is..... Rochelle Looking forward to having my car back home!!!
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