To start with my mechanic contacted several local junk yards to replace the engine in my car with a used one. Star City (Mark) contacted him claiming to have an engine out of a 92 Chevrolet Corsica priced at 300.00 with 73k on the odometer. When the engine was delivered to the garage it arrived without a mileage statement or any other form of paper work. There was a verbal 45 day warranty on the engine which covered labor if the engine didn't run on the replacement installation. I was concerned at this point because nothing was written. I questioned the mechanic about it at which point he seemed to be ok with it and assured me if there was any problem, it would be taken care of and also that he would work on getting a mileage statement on it to verify the mileage so i'd know how many miles the replacement had on it.
After the engine was installed, several phone calls were made and nearly 2000.00 had been spent we were still attempting to get the mileage. It was at this point that the junk yard told my mechanic that the engine had 134k on it and then the next day 137k. Still no written verification or any source for this information. I called the junk yard myself and spoke with Mark (owner) telling him of my concerns and the discrepancies and asking him if he could clear that up for me.
After driving the car 320 miles over a weekend and not hearing anything from Mark at the junk yard, the engine began knocking so I returned to the garage. They verified the problem and that it was covered under the 45 day warranty. They sent for another engine and apparently billed the junk yard for labor as well to install it.
The engine arrived at the garage that following Saturday morning at which point I came in to look at it before it was installed in my car. This one was cleaner in comparison than the first one. The first one they had sent looked like a very messy engine with more than a half inch of grease caked on all over it. This one didn't have quite so much mess on it and looked about right for it's age. It was at this point that I found out that the second engine had not arrived with any paper work either. It had "91 Lumina" painted across the top valve cover indicating the donor vehicle. A stipulation with my mechanic and the junk yard on the replacement for the 1st engine they had sent was that the second one had to come with verified mileage otherwise it wouldn't be acceptable. We were basically asking for an odometer reading and a VIN number in this statement so that we could match the block number on the engine to the VIN number and verify the odometer reading etc. by matching numbers.
On October 13th I called the junk yard to follow up my mechanic's phone call. He was unable to get any information from them. I called a total of 4 times during the day and after being given the run around I showed up at their business requesting the statement.
call 1 8:30 AM- Called spoke to Mark ask him about the mileage statement. He said he'd have to check up on it and get back to me. I requested a VIN number at this time as well after he told me the vehicle was still at the yard.
Call 2 10:30 AM- Called back and spoke to another person. This man told me that he had no idea. I explained to him that Mark had told me earlier that the car was still there and asked him if it'd be easier if I came and read the odometer myself since it was a rather trivial request. He then spun a horror story about how the car was terribly wrecked and hard to look at. I explained to him that this didn't bother me and I had myself removed parts from cars at junk yards prior that were badly wrecked. He added that this one (specifying a Lumina) was covered in blood on the interior and someone had died in the accident. At this point I felt that he was just attempting to get me to leave it alone which I wasn't going to do so I told him that didn't bother me either, i'd still like to come read the odometer. He said with this that he'd get it for me and send it.
Call 3 1:30 PM- I returned a call to the junk yard, spoke to Mark who at this time claimed to be finishing up writing his statement and would fax it soon.
Call 4 3:45 PM- I still have no statement on my fax machine and it's nearing the close of the business day. I called back and talked with Mark about it once again and explained to him that I would like to have this as soon as possible and if it was ok with him, I could just come get it myself. He then tells me that the odometer is missing from the car after we've went through whether or not he will look around the junk yard and get it for me.
I showed up at their place of business at approximately 4:45 where I requested the information in person. It was at this point and time that I was presented with a long list of GM cars that were apparently swappable and in his inventory. I might note that there were several cars on this list that are very rare models and probably aren't in his inventory and probably haven't been seen outside of Canada for 20 + years. I told him I was well aware of the models that would swap into the car, explained that I wasn't questioning the engine he provided but only the mileage and VIN number of the donor vehicle. At this point he tells me that it came from a 93 Pontiac Grand Prix so I asked him if I could see that car. He has his junk yard mechanic take us to the vehicle. We found a Green Grand Prix parked there among other vehicles that had been stripped down. This particular vehicle did not look to have been in an accident at all. This would indicate to me that it was probably placed in the junk yard for other reasons --LIKE A BAD ENGINE PROBLEM--the vehicle had no odometer or dash cluster, no engine or wheels but the body of the car was in reasonable condition as far as paint etc. The hole under the hood to the ground showed some growth of weeds that had very obviously not been trampled or broken recently in the process required to remove an engine. Also, the hood was laid back over the windshield. I noted that the VIN number on this vehicle did not match any of the numbers from the block of the engine that the yard had sent.
I returned to the office and questioned this asking them about it. I was told that in 25 years of business not one single person or mechanic had ask for mileage on a used engine. I would stand by the reasoning that if you buy a used car, you look at mileage. If I am putting a used engine in my car, I don't want to purchase something that has extremely high or unknown mileage if I can help it. I've already tied up a lot of money in the car. I want a decent used engine especially after the first one only ran 320 miles!
At this point the owner becomes extremely irate with me to the point that I am in fear that he is going to physically do something to my husband and I, he throws a typed paper at me along with a slip with some information on the Pontiac that says "to the best of my knowledge the car showed 115000 miles on the odometer prior to disassembling" this paper went on to state that the 45 day warranty only covered the engine and specified that it did not cover labor costs. The original verbal warranty covered labor and the engine. At this point he gets up in my face and starts grilling me on whether or not I am a certified mechanic and how stupid he thinks I am for coming to his junk yard thinking I am going to get something new when I purchased a used engine. He starts going off on the whole thing on how I could have went to auto zone and purchased a new rebuilt block etc. I am well aware of my options in that respect. It cost too much money. We're talking about a 1990 Corsica here! Not something that's worth a lot of money!
He continues with insults among which he states that the price I paid for the engine isn't a piss in a bucket for him and if I will have my mechanic send it back he will give me the money I paid for it to get me away from him. at this point he begins insulting my intelligence so we left. Outside in the parking lot about 5 of his cronies were smoking and talking together. When we left, they began insulting us and jeering saying that the mechanic probably already had the engine in my car and i'd just be stuck with it.
Stay away from this place! This is the most dishonest junk yard I have ever seen. The people who work there are very unprofessional (not that I expected professionalism on any level from a junk yard) but these people are liars, cheats and thieves! If they find out that you've called their bluff they will become very irate. You're better off NOT dealing with them. Tell your mechanic not to deal with Star City as well!