Anyine taken a garage to court?

I took my car in to have two centre prop shaft bearings replaced and they have damaged the front coupling to the transfer box - it now has play in it.
I wrote a letter by recorded delivery explaining why I knew that this was the case, and asking them to contact me to take the matter forward. They have ignored it.
I am not sure how to proceed, Assuming that this ends up in the small claims court I am conscious of the need to proceed with caution. Should I insist that they fix it? I am concerned that I am using a car that may damage itself further if driven with an out of balance prop shaft. Or should I get it fixed elsewhere, and claim the money back? The cost of doing that ranges from a new 'spider bearing' at £36 plus labour through an after market prop shaft assembly at £100 plus labour to a full Land Rover OEM part at £200+ plus labour at main dealer prices.
My question is really how the court would look on each approach. I.e. should I fix it and claim and if so at what level? Or should I take them to court before fixing it so they have the option of fixing it for free? And to what level should the (pretty old) car be fixed?
TIA
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That’s what I would do. They might well choose to do that once they realise that you will be taking it to the small claims court.

It should always be fixed at the sort of prices that you have listed.
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On Tue, 08 Oct 2019 09:35:37 +0100, The Natural Philosopher wrote:

This is one aspect of UK consumer law that is total and utter bollocks (IMHO). The clowns have fucked up once. Why on earth are you *required* to have any faith in them thereafter ?
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On 08/10/2019 10:14, Jethro_uk wrote:

To be fair, I suspect they hadn’t done a freelander before and unless you KNOW that the front coupling is fragile and you have to tie up the prop shaft before removing the centre bearings and VC then its an easy mistake to make. The mechanic I spoke to was competent, he admitted he never disconnected the front prop shaft which the service manual issues dire warnings about if you don’t. He just made a mistake, that’s all. Of course he insists 'it was like that before I started' It wasn't. Immediately I drove it away I noticed the difference and drove straight back into the garage.
IS this an aspect of consumer law though? That is what I need to know. The easier way forward for me would, if it did not prejudice my position, be, to get an after market prop-shaft for £100 and get another garage to fit it and sue these guys for the cost.
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On Tue, 08 Oct 2019 11:17:14 +0100, The Natural Philosopher wrote:

At the risk of sounding snippy, would a competent mechanic have left you in the position you now find yourself ?

Maybe a legal NG is a better place ?
All I know is from years of reading Q&As, is that when you turn up in a court, the very first thing the mags/judge will do is to ask if you have exhausted *all other avenues* for redress. And if you haven't they can strike cases out, and leave you to foot the bill. It's the classic #1 mistake a lot of morons make. Rushing to issue a summons before anything else, which no court likes.
So you need to show you have done everything you can before you turn up in court. And that *usually* requires you allow the other party a chance to make good the problem.
Which is all very well in a fairytale where no one is crooked and setting out to rip punters off. However in the real world, it fails to address the situation where Bodgit, Son and Runne, are a midnight flit away from their last customer at all times ....
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On 08/10/2019 11:53, Jethro_uk wrote:

crossposted to uk.legal

OK good advice.

Which I have so far

Oh no. This is a well established and generally decent firm that's been around a long time.
They made a mistake, it's not shoddy work per se. I just want them to admit it and fix the problem.
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On Tue, 08 Oct 2019 12:11:58 +0100, The Natural Philosopher wrote:

There is a further problem, in that *if* they offer to fix it, they are de factor admitting liability. Which may not be a good thing further down the line. Which is arguably an artefact of our adversarial concept of civil law. Or not. I don't know.
There's also the added factor of any consequential loss. Once liability is admitted, it could lead to a lot more expense than the mere fixing of the problem.
What is the actual mechanical remedy ? I'm guessing it's a new <very expensive bit> + <a shed load of labour> = in excess of £500 ?
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On 08/10/2019 12:22, Jethro_uk wrote:

I am perfectly happy to sign an agreement to not pursue the matter firther if they do fix it.

Actually no. Its about £100 + 30 mins labour or £36 and about an hours labour
Or if taken to a main dealer what you said. £100 labour and a £300 part
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On Tue, 08 Oct 2019 13:01:55 +0100, The Natural Philosopher wrote:

Not sure such disclaimers can be enforced in court, but IANAL. (You can't sign away statutory rights AIUI)

Oh, FFS ! - Even 25 years ago, when I worked in trade I'd have done that without mention, to keep a good customer.

Are both those estimates for the correct job ?
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On 08/10/2019 13:29, Jethro_uk wrote:

Yes.
I diunno if you are familar with the front propshaft of a freelander but it has a sliding and slighly flexible coupoleing to the transfer box (stock UJs aft) The coupling consits of a three way, rather than 4 way 'spider' with roller beraing tips in cups, that fits over the prop shaft via sliding splines and is retained to the transfer box by a housing.
4 bolts and that bit all comes apart and the bearing can be replaced. Or take the front shaft off completely and dismantle on the bench. an hours work max.
IF YOU CAN SOUERCE NEW BEARINGS. Only one ebay seller has them LR sells a propshaft for £295 complete and after market clones are £100.
These are obviously 'fit and forget' solutions.
.
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On Tue, 08 Oct 2019 14:16:06 +0100, The Natural Philosopher wrote:

I think I can picture it ... maybe fiddly, but nothing like having to remove the gearbox etc ?
As I said, for £100, I would have "just done it" and had a happy customer. But then again we never once paid for an advert in nearly 30 years of work ...
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On 08/10/2019 11:17, The Natural Philosopher wrote:

So take it to a LandRover dealer and pay the appropriate labour rate !.
Back Street grease-monkey outfits are hit and miss when you have a non-straight forward vehicle, unless you are certain that they are specialists in that make of car.
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On 08/10/2019 15:56, Andrew wrote:

Er no. Just before I went into hoipsital for my cancer operatin I made that mistake. They wanted to charge me £1500 for an MOT. I told them to stop work and give me the car back. I had to threaten them with the police. Eventually I paid for a bit of work to the handbrake and took it for a second MOT. It passed.
I then involved an official MOT man who failed it on a couple of minor things. He had words with the workshop manager.
I then learnt that the same workshop manager who had tried to stiff me years ago for £3000 quid for a new XJS rear diff when it only needed a new oil seal, was involved.

This is not a back street grease moneky outfit. Its a decent firm that does alot of work for commercial vehicles. I use them because they have the headroom to get under my camper on a 4 poster.

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The Natural Philosopher wrote:

Many years ago there used to be a Mercedes dealership in a town called Blackpool - oop north. I know for a fact that they just sandblasted the spark plugs, filtered the engine oil and charged the customer for new.
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On 08/10/2019 17:29, Mr Pounder Esquire wrote:

You'll have a job to filter dirty diesel engine oil. How many people in Blackpool can afford a decent merc. Are these clapped out taxi's ?.
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200* mercs with an easily fixable fault don’t cost much. Mate of mine gets them off ebay and flogs them off at a decent profit when fixed.

None of the ones my mate sells are. We don’t have many merc taxis at all.
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Andrew wrote:

Do diesel engines have spark plugs?
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On Wed, 09 Oct 2019 22:11:56 +0100, Mr Pounder Esquire wrote:

They used to have glow plugs :)
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On 10/10/2019 10:44, Jethro_uk wrote:

Stll do.
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On Thu, 10 Oct 2019 11:53:14 +0100, The Natural Philosopher wrote:

Well our Citroen diesel doesn't have a warning light or a startup delay ... I thought newer diesels (common rail ?) didn't need them ?
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