Complaint: On May 1, 2002 I took my car to Keeton Automotive for the replacement of the timing belt as is recommended by the manufacturer. There were no problems with the car; I was simply doing the suggested routine maintenance. I paid cash for this and Mr. Keeton did not give me a receipt. A few days after I got the car back, my Father and a friend checked the oil in the car and noticed that the power steering/AC belt was beginning to fray. My Father and my friend took the car back to Keeton Automotive to have it looked at and told him there must be something causing this to happen. Keeton replaced the belt at no charge but could offer no explanation as to why it had happened. A week later, this same belt broke again and my Father replaced it. A couple of weeks after that, the car completely stopped while I was traveling on the highway. Keeton had the car towed in and diagnosed that the timing belt had broken, causing extensive damage to the engine of my car, resulting in a bill from Keeton $1215.45. Keeton repaired it and we paid the money to the Clerk of the Court. Today we went to small claims court. Mr. Keeton was caught in several lies, the most blatant being that he claimed to have called us 3 times on a specific day and said that the timing belt tensioner was bad and we refused to repair it when he did the routine replacement of the timing belt. We had subpoenaed the telephone records and these records showed no calls from him. In addition, why would I take the car in for scheduled maintenance and then refuse to pay an additional $50.00 to keep my car running properly? My father went to Keeton’s place of business to look at the supposedly broken tensioner but Mr. Keeton said he had thrown it away, that he did not have the space to keep broken parts. The tensioner is approximately 2×6 and would have fit in the ashtray of my car. Two other mechanics have told me (one even went to court) that they believe the cause of the timing belt failure was that he installed an adjoining part incorrectly, causing the belt to continually slip and eventually break. My car is still not fixed properly. When it was picked up, the speedometer did not work and the engine was skipping. The Sheriff was in the process of serving Mr. Keeton when my father arrived to pick up the car and Mr. Keeton made my father sign a paper saying it had an oil leak and there would be no warranty. At this point, we did not believe we could safely leave the vehicle in his possession. I’ve had the car looked at by the dealer where I bought it and there is no oil leak. It is the belief of another mechanic that the reason the speedometer does not work is because now the speed sensor is broken, probably from when he removed the wiring harness. The magistrate was unable to find completely in our favor and awarded us 50% of the $1215.45. The Magistrate stated that unless we could prove that his repairs caused the timing belt to break she could not find totally in our favor. There is no way to prove this since he so conveniently threw the parts away. What I do know is that I took a perfectly running car in for routine maintenance and it has been broken ever sense. I guess only time will tell what else he has destroyed on the car. I am a single mother and cannot afford these repairs. It is going to take me months to pay my Dad back this money a little at a time. Mr. Keeton proved himself to be a liar and one lie should have been enough for the Magistrate to see his character. I want Mr. Keeton to do the honorable thing and pay for his own mistakes. He should pay me $607.72 plus the $50.00 in court costs. In addition, it is going to cost me $173 to have the speed sensor repaired. I had a speedometer when I drove in there and now I don’t. The total Mr. Keeton should pay to me is $830.72. Angela Winston Salem, North Carolina
Tags: Auto Mechanics
Address: 7880 N Hwy 150 Clemmons, North Carolina U.S.A.