This is a real tale of despair. I had a phone call from a customer who had recently had the head gasket changed by another garage at a cheap rate. She paid the bill, and drove the car away but at every T junction the engine cut out. She rightly took the vehicle back only to be told: “There is probably a problem with the inlet manifold which is causing vacuum problems to the ECU and our diagnostic computer is not sophisticated enough to diagnose exactly where the fault is.”
It was booked for collection as the owner was rightly afraid to drive the vehicle and when it arrived atWorcester’s Mobile Mechanic, it had a clear misfire – it barely ticked over! If one of the technicians here had sent the vehicle out like this, they would be looking for another job.
Our first action was to remove the spark plugs and then, after checking the plug for condition, carry out a simple inexpensive compression test. We did not connect the computer, there was no need – the misfire was so bad it had to be a mechanical fault.
This simple test showed instantly that there was a problem within the cylinder head. I strongly suggested the car should go back to where it was repaired as the cylinder head had to be removed again! The customer stated that the last garage had the vehicle for seven weeks trying to resolve the stalling issue, and insisted Worcester’s Mobile Mechanic repair the vehicle.
In this case the valves were not seating correctly and according to our machinist the previous garage had not had the cylinder head ‘faced’. Various other poor engineering practices had also been used.
Once we had carried out a proper repair, the car drove perfectly. The customer said we had restored her trust in garages and she could get on with her life.
Remember a poorly maintained vehicle is a breakdown waiting to happen.