I appreciate your fairness in the statement about our honesty. To be totally honest with people reviewing this post, the vehicle (1999 Subaru Legacy Outback) came in with the client, Jeff, stating it had overheated. After just adding water to the radiator and it pouring on the ground without any pressure on the radiator there was no way to conduct a block check (to check for hydrocarbons - indicating a blown head gasket) until the radiator could hold water and exhaust fumes.
A new radiator, thermostat and coolant were installed. Along with a new alternator as the vehicle was not charging the battery. Once the vehicle was started the radiator starting bubbling immediately. At that point the radiator was drained enough to conduct a block check and found the hydrocarbons in the radiator.
The Jeff was contacted and came over to look for himself. The cost to conduct the repairs was too excessive for him and though the bill was originally $740 for the radiator, alternator, thermostat, coolant and labor, the radiator was already used and could not be returned. The bill was lowered to the extent of diagnostic fees and the cost of the radiator only. The new alternator was removed and replaced with the original and the bill was reduced to $300 - $325 in an attempt to be fair for the work conducted and the cost of the radiator. Not other fees were asked as the client was going to scrap the vehicle.
Though I feel for Jeff's concerns of cost and losing the vehicle, I still need to pay my staff and pay my bills. I did my absolute best to help Jeff out in this situation and will be this forward with any other client that may be in the same situation. If we could have done testing that could have been confirmed without a doubt I would not have gone the route we took. But the damaged radiator would not have allowed the check to be completed with any certainty.
This should response is not and should not be taken as an excuse to Jeff or to his concerns. This is only a response to allow a concerned reader to know what the exact circumstances were and why the review says what it says.
Thank you for your candor Jeff.
Automotive Central Service