Complaint: On Thursday July 24, 2008 my son picked up his 1997 Honda civic from Master service in Neosho Missouri, from having the timing belt changed. His old belt had been changed 3 years prior by the same shop at approximately 80 thousand miles. His car now had around 170,000 and was still running strong with no engine problems at all. Since he had about a year of college to go it made sense to have this maintenance done so he would have good use of the car until he could get a full time job after graduating. He brought the car home that night and was complaining about a knocking/clicking noise coming from under the hood, especially when he accelerated. He said it sounded kind of like he was dragging around a ratchet wrench under the car. I told him it was probably due to the fact that the car was not timed correctly after the belt was put on. I instructed him to take the car back after work the next day and have the shop check the timing. This was of course the end of July and we were experiencing quite a hot spell at the time, upper 90’s with triple digit heat indexes in the afternoon. Since I mention the heat a person can imagine what I am about to say next. He made it 15 miles to work the next morning with no problem except the knocking noise. On the way to Masterservice after work the car overheated and he said he could smell anti-freeze. The car was almost red lined but not quite so he turned on the heater and brought the temperature down in order to get the car back to the shop. This seemed to work ok and they adjusted the distributor to compensate the timing and get rid of the knocking. Mechanic #1 that did the timing belt work did mention that the car was a couple of teeth off when he changed the belt which would explain why the distributor had been turned. My son mentioned the fact that the car overheated but nobody seemed to pay much attention. He also mentioned they were the ones that changed the timing belt the previous time, and they sent him on his way. It did cross my mind that the overheating could have damaged the aluminum engine head but it was running ok at the time so I never gave it another thought. The car never ran the same after that day. The first thing it did was start belching coolant out of the overflow if the car was run for extended periods of time on the interstate. In order to make sure everything was ok with the cooling system though, we changed almost all of the heat sensors, thermostat, etc. He had to start carrying around anti-freeze with him in case it overheated. I noticed when the car was started cold and the radiator was full it would spurt anti-freeze out the top of the radiator when the cap was off. I found on the internet that this is an indication of head problems so all the parts we put on the car would probably do no good. I called the shop and they said to bring it by, so my son did so. They put a temperature gauge on the car and said it never did overheat. Of course the overheating seemed to be correlated around running the car for extended periods of time at a high speed and high heat outside so I was not surprised when the car did ok just driving around town. At one point I got a call from my son and the car had gotten hot and blown a heater hose. Of course this was when it was still triple digit heat and he was running the air going down the interstate on his way home from work. I called the shop and talked to mechanic #2 who used to own the shop but does not anymore, he just works there now. I explained what the car was doing and that I felt the engine could have been damaged from the first overheat when the timing was off. I had done extensive research by this time and had discovered that an engine out of time like that can overheat. I talked to another mechanic in town and he agreed that if the car was fine one day and the timing was off the next and then the next day it overheated that is probably what caused it. I found numerous cases on the internet that stated the same thing. By this time the temperature outside had cooled off to the 80’s and the car was overflowing some but not as bad. I called and made an appointment with the shop to look at the car. I explained that it had never been the same since the overheat and I felt it had engine head problems now. I guess I kind of figured when I pointed this out I would get an apology and an offer to fix the car since it was the timing problem that caused the original overheat, boy was I wrong! We dropped off the car on a Thursday morning August 7th. The shop had the car all that day and the next day. At one point I called and talked to mechanic #1 and found out that mechanic #2 had adjusted the timing again just to make sure and had driven the car around town with no overheat. I explained to mechanic #1 that the car was not overheating anymore but was mainly pushing anti-freeze out the overflow now and that driving around town was not going to get it. It would have to be taken to the interstate and driven harder to get coolant to start disappearing. This was in the afternoon of Friday the 8th of August. He called me back later to report that the car never overheated and the coolant was fine and there was no extra pressure on the hoses. I told him that figured and he said it happens all the time. At that point I told him I knew the car had a problem with the head and that I could get the car to duplicate the problem on Monday and I would just bring it by when it decided it was time to either get hot or belch out the overflow because the car did it every other day now and I would just show him. He pretty much said that even if I could duplicate it they would not take care of it for me anyway. I kind of got the hint then that this deal was going to turn out bad for us and they had no intentions of fessing up to causing the overheating of the engine. My son picked up the car and drove it to a friend’s house. He brought it home the next day and we let it cool off and guess what? The overflow now has oil drops in it from the engine and the car is missing a pint of coolant, either burned through a crack in the head or head gasket or possibly pushed out the overflow. The bottom line is that I knew the head on the car was ruined or in need of repair now. This pretty much sealed the deal for me. I called the shop the next day to report the problem to mechanic #2. He agreed that the car probably had an engine head problem and to bring it in. I told him mechanic #1 had already stated he had no intentions of working on the engine and as a result I had no intention of letting them at the car again. I told him I at least wanted my money back for what we paid for having the timing belt put on. It didn’t make the least bit of sense for Master service to get to keep money for basically tearing up my son’s car engine. After a few more heated words he said he would tell the new owner what I wanted. I had already made a deal to sell the car for junk price over the weekend. All I wanted was the money for the timing belt change. It didn’t make sense to sue over a $1500 car if I could at least get back the timing belt money. I told him I would tell the whole town if they did not refund my money. I never heard a word back on the deal so here it is Neosho, you have just read my Master service story. Even though I don’t feel in any way this was intentional destruction of my property, it was destroyed by this place and not one attempt was made to rectify the situation, not even an apology. If any person decides to have work done there, enter at your own risk. And remember, you will not be taken care of if anything happens to your vehicle. There are names for people who treat other people this way, but from what I understand I am not allowed to say what they are in this forum. If someone from Master service wants to call me I will gladly tell them though. evert neosho, MissouriU.S.A.
Tags: Auto Repair Service
Address: 912 S Neosho Blvd Neosho, Missouri U.S.A.