Hi guys, I could do with some advice. I am currently in dispute with a certain Lexus dealership over them (I think) trying to rip me off. The story goes like this:
My LS400 engine was making an unusual noise one morning (any noise is unusual from an LS400 engine!) I rang the AA and the guy did not want to touch an LS, so they ended up trailering it into the said dealership. After putting the diagnostics on the car they rang me and told me my engine was knackered. They said that the noise was piston slap and would require a strip down to diagnose the problem further.
The more I thought about this, the more I disagreed with it. Piston slap would give several other symptoms such as heavy oil consumption and low compression. Also, how could an engine be running fine one day then have piston slap the next? I then rang Chris Shipley and Mick at Lexus Hanley for a second opinion. Mick diagnosed the fault within 2 minutes over the phone and it was nothing more than carbon build-up. Some of the carbon had swelled with fuel and dropped off onto the top of the piston. The noise of this banging into the cylinder head was what I could hear. A can of de-coking agent later and the car was right as rain. The car never uses a drop of oil between oil changes and runs almost silently. Mick also said that this is a common problem in high mileage LS400's and he has seen it on numerous occaisions before.
I then contacted the dealership again to tell them this, and they said this could not possibly be the case and I must have added an oil additive to mask the noise! If anyone could invent an oil additive that totally masks the effects of piston slap, they would be very rich indeed!
After being messed around and fobbed off for a further 3 weeks (numerous promised phone calls not being delivered etc) I contacted Lexus directly who in turn sent me straight back to the dealership who promised to investigate it further. They have now done this and have said that they were correct in their diagnosis and they will take no further action.
My biggest problem is this: I could have quite feasibly spend a couple of grand on a recon engine on their say so when all it needed was decoking. I reckon they were trying to charge me for work that did not need doing.
At first I was only interested in getting my money back that they charged me for the diagnosis (£45) but it has gone too far for that now.
I now have the dilemma of wether to have an independent inspection done to prove them wrong and trying to recover the cost of this from them as well, or to do nothing and forget the whole thing. I am very reluctant to do the latter option out of principle but I want to know what you lot would do? What are my chances of getting the money back?
Cheers guys :)