Farnham Carriage Company and the AA FAIL

Following on from THIS DISASTER STORY

In short, from the latest breakdown:

The Fiesta overheats. Chris pulls over. AA are called.

He  removes the thermostat which has broken – this allows Chris to get home.

Oddly, this was previously replaced with a new item by Farnham Carriage Company when the head gasket blew 10 months ago… or not. You see, the failure of the thermostat was caused by a fracture piece of metal, and the only way it could have received the damage was if it had been REMOVED incorrectly.

Now, you can’t damage the thermostat FITTING it… only removing it… SO Farnham Carriage Company had actually REFITTED the faulty thermostat (damaged on removal) and not replaced it with a new item as they had said. Yeehaw cowboy.

A few days later Chris goes to buy a new thermostat. When she starts the car to come home it makes a very serious noise. She stops the engine and  the AA are called out.

The AA roadside mechanic tells Chris that the big end has gone. Writes a report saying the very same thing.

There are two choices, the AA man says: A new car or a new engine.

Bugger… that’s the advice from the most respected experts there are – Not a good result.

Chris asks our neighbour if he can swap the engine out. He’s a good guy and has helped us out a lot with cars, heating and  plumbing. He says no problem, he can put some time aside to do the job. He also suggests a new clutch whilst the engine is removed as it would be well worth it. Nothing really in it for him as we would supply the parts – so no ulterior motive.

After a few weeks the engine arrives, the new clutch and new gaskets are purchased. We’re looking at about £300 in parts.

A couple more weeks go by whilst we wait for a window to get the job done. All of this time the car has just sat doing nothing. It had’t been started as there was no point, and anyway, we left the starting of it to the moment we had to move it into the neighbours garden  – a last few minutes of running for the dead engine just enough to move the car… we hoped…

He starts it. We both look confused. The noise is not a big end failure – not by a long shot. The noise is from the top of the engine and our neighbour says “Stuck valve”…

The rocker cover is removed (4 small easily accessible bolts).

Straight away our neighbour spots the problem. A push rod has slipped from the rocker. This happens in older cars where the adjustments slowly drift. The popping, tapping noise was simply the gases building up and back firing.

The adjuster was loosened easily, the rod popped back into place, the adjuster reset. The cover put back on.

10 minutes work.

The key is turned and the engine runs sweet as anything.

Nice one you AA “Experts”…. we almost scrapped the car on your advice… but instead paid £300 for spares we didn’t need and had no car for 4 weeks whilst all that was required was A TEN MINUTE ROADSIDE FIX to be carried out by our “handy man” neighbour.

Just because they are the AA it doesn’t mean a damned thing – They are cowboys under a respected badge, but still cowboys.

About LB

www.ravenblackengineeringltd.com about.me/thelucasblack View all posts by LB

2 responses to “Farnham Carriage Company and the AA FAIL

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