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RAC guy damages car whilst making repair...


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Unfortunately I broke down today - the engine wouldn't start, wouldn't even labour, but the battery was fine. So I called out the RAC and when they got there the guy managed to figure out that one of the wire connections to the starter motor had come away from its terminal (corrosion? metal fatigue?) - anyway the RAC guy managed to sort it at the roadside but upon driving away the oil temperature guage seemed dead, I didn't worry about this too much to begin with because it was cold outside and the engine had been off for a full 2hrs. But half an hour later into the drive, with the gauge dead, it had become obvious that in his efforts to repair the connection the RAC guy seems to have snipped away/dislodged the connection for the oil temperature gauge as it's not working now... He was a nice bloke and I don't want to get him in trouble - but how expensive a repair is this? Is this something really easy that I could sort myself? Is it advisable to notify the RAC of what's happened or is that just a waste of time because they could just claim that it had been like that originally anyway - and I have no way of proving otherwise. :)


EspritMiltonKeynes - ironically now lives in Edinburgh London (SE4)

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I would give the Rac guy credit for getting the car going again especially bearing in mind the access problems in that area,he probably just dislodged the connector (not good at the best of times) a single spade type IIRC.Also in the times we are ,none of us need bad comments from our customers give the Rac guy a break after all he did get you home .(meant in the nicest possible way don't want to appear a grumpy old git etc ) :)

Nick S4s

Edited by fflyingdog

Simplest things first.

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Also, I think you'll find they don't accept liability for any damage caused.

Oh yes they will. Best thing to do is get it repaired by a garage (sounds like it won't cost much, might only be the wire to the sender is loose) then send them the bill. If you were given any paperwork there may be an address on it. I'm really speaking from the AA's point of view but the RAC should be very similar, last year my team alone (48 patrols) had to shell out around 15 grand on customer claims. Some teams were up to around 60 grand! Most of the time the AA will pay out whatever you say it cost you but don't go too mad, we now have a team that looks a bit more closely into claims and alot of them get thrown out because people get greedy. He probably won't get into trouble but it is very frustating when someone claims after a breakdown, i tend to take it a bit personally especially if i've got them out of a mess or saved them money. These things happen, alot of the time the weather is not on our side, we are also targeted to get the job done as quick as possible just to keep our jobs and we don't have the luxury of all workshop equipment. I've even had someone claim that i drove over his brand new mobile phone that didn't exist.

Edited by davegtst
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And clean your car, it's filthy!

Car has already been cleaned and is looking lovely... :) Did it on the way home...

And yeah... don't get me wrong. I am VERY grateful to the RAC man who fixed the problem - I was expecting a trip back in the front of his van with the car being dumped off at a garage somewhere. But I will try and fix this thing myself and if I can't manage it - (and believe me, I am a lemon with car mechanics) I will try and get it sorted somewhere that does receipts and do what davegtst suggested.

My girlfiend thinks we're all sad btw and must be a bunch of anoraks for talking to each other like this on a Sunday night...

I've already:

#1 pointed out that she's watching a Welsh sitcom

#2 pointed out the

She says we have to wait until the summer

Edited by EspritMiltonKeynes

EspritMiltonKeynes - ironically now lives in Edinburgh London (SE4)

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Can't be corrosion that caused the starter not to work mate as Lotus only just fitted the recon one on the car. More than likely someone forgot to tighten somthing whilst she was in the shop!! :animier: Not what i would expecvt from Lotus! Like the guys said it sounds like he's just knocked a connector off. Nice to see her getting used anyway!

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James, If you're passing I can have a look at it. Don't think I'm too far from you (North Queensferry).

Got a spare engine sitting, so could change temperature sender if that is suspect.


Edited by Nigel
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I would get it fixed. RAC did well to get your car running. I wouldn't bother reporting this to RAC, it's one of those things.

It's only going to be a lose or broken wire (one wire).


Dave Walters

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The solenoid connector is a common problem, and this was the cause of the only time I have called out the AA to my car. Even if the starter is new, if the connector has green corrosion on it that will cause the engine not to turn over. The answer is while you are doing the pressure switch change the spade connector on the starter otherwise it will happen again.

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Thanks for all the advice once again.

Nigel! That would be great - unfortunately I'm not really around much now until the new year but it sure would be good meet up then! North Queensferry is not a problem! ;-)

EspritMiltonKeynes - ironically now lives in Edinburgh London (SE4)

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