can a garage charge if they don't fix it - tyro
Our Citroen Berlingo Multispace, purchased March 2002, was, after a while, discovered to have dampness in the front passenger footwell. It was taken in to the supplying garage, which changed what they called the "shower curtain" in the passenger door - and did the job under warranty.

We soon discovered that the carpet in the footwell was wet again. We took it in. They did the job again.

A third time we discovered that the carpet was soaking. By this time the car was out of warranty. The garage said "Hmmm, it will need to go to the body shop for a few days." So it did. They "tried everything" and said they couldn't find the problem. The carpet was still soaking, and they proposed charging us for a couple of hours of labour, which is not exactly peanuts. Is this reasonable?
can a garage charge if they don't fix it - v0n
No. First, because the job is related to them not being able to fix it while the car was still under warranty. Your complaint is now related to their workmanship, not the warranty from the car maker. It is important, because, if practice of claiming to repair something that wasn't in fact repaired was allowed dealerships could change your wipers instead of head gaskets counting on you to bring dead engine car right after warranty and charge you for it in the long run.

Second, because they didn't fix it. If you walk in to restaurant, order a meal, food or drinks never arrive but waiter brings you the bill an hour later, would you pay? It's no different in this case.
can a garage charge if they don't fix it - BazzaBear {P}
I think in general V0n is wrong - but in your specific case he is correct.
To explain:
It is correct in your case because the fault was originally reported while the car was under warrantee, their failure to fix it at that time is not your fault, so it should still be repaired under warrantee.

His reply in terms of your topic heading 'can a garage charge if they don't fix it' isn't correct I don't think. If a garage replaces a part in the honest belief that it will fix a problem, but it does not, they have still performed x hours labour, and spent £x on the part, and I think legally speaking you owe them the money. I'm sure the question has come up on here before.
can a garage charge if they don't fix it - Stuartli
>>and I think legally speaking you owe them the money. >>

Agreed, but the garage service staff should then be given every opportunity to find the problem and fix it; in this case you should not be charged.
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What\'s for you won\'t pass you by
can a garage charge if they don't fix it - No FM2R
Two different parts;

Irrespective of whether the wrranty has expired or not, it was reported before its expiration. They need to fix it under warranty.

As to whether or not a Garage can charge for not fixing, it depends. If the agreed task was "fix the water leak" then no, they cannot charge. If the agreed task was "investigate the problem" or ws "replace part x" then they can charge since they successfully completed the task, irrespective of whether or not the issue was resolved.
can a garage charge if they don't fix it - BazzaBear {P}
That's pretty much what I was trying to say. Mark has, as usual, managed to put it much more succinctly than I managed.
can a garage charge if they don't fix it - Civic8
>>We soon discovered that the carpet in the footwell was wet again. We took it in. They did the job again.

Fail to see why they did the job AGAIN,I would have expected them to look for other causes rather than waste time.Though I agree with No FM2R's remark,problem is still there, and dont see why they should be charging
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Steve
can a garage charge if they don't fix it - PhilW
A pity you are up in the Highlands Tyro - my wife's Xantia filled with water when we were in France a couple of years ago. ("nous avons une piscine dans l'arriere de notre voiture" as I put it) Took it to a main dealer and they spent an hour or so fixing it (a detached sun-roof drain tube). Labour charges were £35 an hour and was prepared to pay, but when we asked, the mechanic smiled and said "nothing to pay, it's all part of the service". Car was 2 years out of warranty.
can a garage charge if they don't fix it - tyro
PhilW
I'm very impressed. Right now, I'd be tempted to ask where in France that was, and plan a motoring holiday around it!

However, the issue is rapidly becoming "If the dealer can't discover the problem after having the car for 3 days, what do I try now?" Perhaps I need to pop over and post on technical.
can a garage charge if they don't fix it - machika
Something similar happened to me with our C5 during the last year. I reported a faulty door lock, that wouldn't unlock with the remote fob, when the car was still under warranty. The dealer said they couldn't find a fault (it was intermittent at this point). Six months later, the fault was permanent, so I took it back and they did eventually fix it for free.
can a garage charge if they don't fix it - L'escargot
Problems of rain water leaking into a car can be very difficult to cure. It's often difficult to find the source. I had a leak into the passengers footwell on my first Focus. My dealer said it was due to a misaligned pollen filter seal, and they did whatever they thought was necessary to stop the leak ~ but it didn't. Eventually I discovered that it depended on how/where I had parked. If I parked across a slope at work with the offside higher than the nearside then water came in. If I parked the other way round (or with the car level, or up/down a slope) there was no problem. And the car would tolerate any amount of hosing when I washed it. After I stopped parking across the slope with the offside higher I had no more problems. Does your leak always occur after being parked in the same place/orientation?
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L\'escargot.
can a garage charge if they don't fix it - tyro
L'escargot

Yes - we always park car in the same spot.
can a garage charge if they don't fix it - Railroad.
On moral grounds perhaps you shouldn't have been charged, but legally they are entitled to charge you because you're paying for their time. Many garages would've simply turned you away in the first place, and you can't blame them for not wanting to spend hours on a job than won't earn them anything. That's one of the joys of modern motoring I'm afraid.

The MOT test is the same principle. You pay whether your car passes or fails. If you leave it there for repair the re-test is free, but if you take it away and return it with the failed items repaired you will be charged either in part or in full for the re-rest.

The garage I worked in didn't do this in the interest of customer relations, but they are perfectly entitled too....
can a garage charge if they don't fix it - L'escargot
Rubber mats can sometimes be useful when looking for the source of a water leak into a footwell. The water stands on the surface instead of just soaking into the carpet.
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L\'escargot.
can a garage charge if they don't fix it - L'escargot
Have you tried looking for the source of the leak yourself? Obviously it's best done during or immediately after rain ~ assuming that it IS rain and not aircon condensate, coolant, screenwash etc. You may see evidence of the source of the leak on parts other than the carpets themselves at those times whereas this evidence may have dried by the time you take the car to the garage. I always believe in giving the garage any clues that I might have regarding a problem.

By the way, after more than 3 years isn't the carpet now rotten and smelling to high heaven?
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L\'escargot.
can a garage charge if they don't fix it - machika
On moral grounds perhaps you shouldn't have been charged, but legally
they are entitled to charge you because you're paying for their
time. Many garages would've simply turned you away in the first
place, and you can't blame them for not wanting to spend
hours on a job than won't earn them anything. That's one
of the joys of modern motoring I'm afraid.


If the car was under warranty at the time the fault was reported and it has not been fixed, I don't see how they can legally charge for trying to fix it. If it is a warranty claim, the garage claims from the manufacturer in any case.
can a garage charge if they don't fix it - L'escargot
I realise that I'm deviating from the thread subject but isn't curing the leak the primary concern? There must be lots of Backroomers that might be able to help by sharing their experiences of rain leaking into cars.
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L\'escargot.
can a garage charge if they don't fix it - Steptoe
A leak tale as requested;

Spent countless hours once trying to find out why water got into front passenger footwell on Vovlo ( it then filled up rear footwell to depth of an inch ) eventually gave up & removed a bung from rear footwell to alleviate symptons.

Many months later failed MOT on a rusty bit underneath next to a chassis rail ( pernickety lot ) welding this cured water ingress problem instantly ( bless the tester for being so thorough )

Obviously a three year old car is unlikely to have a rusty hole in the floor ( but maybe a missing bung? ) but the moral is that water doesn't always flow downhill
can a garage charge if they don't fix it - tyro
L'escargot

Thanks for your thoughts. Curing the leak is, indeed, the primary concern. This thread is really about dealing with the garage, and I've posted over in technical about the cause of the leak. However, I notice that one gets a lot more replies in Discussion than in Technical :-)

I admit that I could have done more myself to find the source of the leak. I someone naively imagined that a garage could find that without my help - and (somewhat pessimistically) reckoned that I wouldn't really be able to find much that would help.

No, the carpet isn't rotten and smelling, which is a great relief. Nor has the floor of the footwell rusted through and fallen out!

 

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