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heretic 01-01-2012 09:57 PM

shop liability question
I recently got in a fender bender with my 4-door e36 at 30 kph which crumpled my fender, lower spoiler and the piece that covers the front around the grills (actually only the drivers corner was bent but the whole thing was replaced).

The body shop replaced all of the parts with what appears to be brand new BMW stock. I was surprised the headlight and both fog lights were replaced too which were not damaged. BTW this was an insurance job and there was no underhanded negotiating.

When I got my car back it was a beautiful job. However, within 30 minutes (actually 2 days later but that's the only time I started to drive it) of actual driving time I pulled onto a 400-series highway and there was a lot of shaking in the front end. I thought a tire was underinflated. It went away when I went over 100 kph. I went to work and drove home the next day with shaking at different speeds. When I was very close to home my battery light came on and when I stopped at home I could see smoke under the hood.

When I opened the hood I smelled antifreeze which was pouring out from beneath the car (even after I turned it off). The car did not overheat. The fan shroud was cracked and the belt was off.

The next morning I inspected further and the cooling fan was very loose (I have to look if the nut is still even on).

Because I worked days again and it's dark I can't get a really good look.

I'm assuming the garage removed the cooling fan and the radiator (or moved the radiator back toward the engine) to replace the parts.

I think the shaking was the cavitation of the fan coming loose and the loss of coolant is from the water pump grenading. But I'm not completely sure until I get a really good look at it tomorrow in the daylight. I'm not sure if the fan even ground away part of the rad yet.

I also found a prybar still resting under my hood left by the mechanic / body guys.

Does this seem plausible that the garage is completely at fault for these damages? What are the chances that a cooling fan would loosen on it's own and doing this ?

noodles101 01-01-2012 10:34 PM

bodyshop might've screwed it up..or it could've been the accident that caused it.

heretic 01-01-2012 11:03 PM

but I drove it for about 30 days waiting for the bodyshop to get parts and the collision had no impact on the mid section of the car; it was completely isolated to the drivers corner; I'll post a pic tomorrow

noodles101 01-01-2012 11:22 PM

u have all receipts and everything so go talk to your bodyshop and see if they can fix it for you , explain nicely that its their fault and prove it to them that they caused it.

if they wont cooperate , call your insurance and see if they can do anything for you.

Bimmer Heaven 01-01-2012 11:39 PM

The fan/water pump will spin free when the belt is off, like you stated. The fan clutch bolt is reverse tread so it will get tighter whe engine is running, even if hand tight it will never come off...

heretic 01-02-2012 11:08 AM

After getting a better look at it this morning it looks like the water pump bearing failed. The fan is still firmly attached to the pulley. Stay tuned.

slemmer 01-02-2012 03:59 PM

Don't forget about the mysterious crowbar.

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