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Report: #1525356

Complaint Review: Browns Auto Salvage Bomoseen VT - George Hopp/Chris Coloutti - Bomoseen Vermont

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  • Reported By: Rich — Ticonderoga United States
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  • Browns Auto Salvage Bomoseen VT - George Hopp/Chris Coloutti 170 Depot Terrace Bomoseen, Vermont United States

Browns Auto Salvage Bomoseen VT - George Hopp/Chris Coloutti George Hopp - Chris Coloutti Braowns say's mechanic installed the motor incorrectly, so the transmission is not working? Bomoseen Vermont

*Author of original report: Seems hard to believe

*Consumer Suggestion: Seems hard to believe

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Have a 2013 Outback 4 cylinder 2.5. Well maintained.  One day It started with a miss in the motor. It was not due for any Maintenace. My mechanic thought it was a spark plug, wires or a coil pack. Turns out it was low compression in one cylinder. It had 150,000 miles on it. After driving it around a few months and talking to business and people, I decided to replace the motor. The check engine would display once in while and then go out. The car is in very good shape otherwise. Talking to everyone again I decided to go with a business that had a very good reputation for used motors. I was told by Browns Auto Salvage 170 Depot Terrace Bomoseen Vt 05732   (800 660 4290) that they only use powertrains from wreaked vehicles, so there is very little chance of a problem.  I found a mechanic nearby in Vt and brought my car to him. I then ordered the motor from George Hopp at Brown's and I pick it up in a few days and delivered to the mechanic with new plugs, antifreeze, oil and filter which the mechanic used on the new/used motor. The motor was installed by the mechanic and he test drove the car for 3 miles? I drove over to pick up the car and test drove for 10 minutes. I paid the mechanic's bill went to a gas station about a mile away and filled up with fuel. I left the gas station and started driving on the highway and everything seemed to be fine. No lights and temperature were fine.  I was about 15 miles on the highway and my son who was following me called to say as we went up a hill a puff of blue smoke come out of the exhaust and stopped. No lights or rise in temperature.  As I topped the hill and drove down the hill the temperature started to rise a little bit. I looked for a place to pull over and as I did the dash lights came on the temperature rose up more. I pulled over in a safe area and went to shut off the car and it stalled. White smoke was coming out of the front of the car. I got the hood open and while I was wait for the motor to cool off, I called the mechanic. Then a police officer stopped and told use the car needed to be towed off the highway, Rt 4. My son put a strap on it and tow the car to a safe area the policeman had suggested to park it. We were in a very bad cell area, so it took 2 hours to find a tow truck and an hour for the tow truck to get there. I had to pay the $200.00 tow bill.  This was a weekend. I told Brown's Auto in Bomoseen Vt that the mechanic said it was bad head gaskets and sent Brown's a video of the problem.  I called/emailed and also sent the video from the mechanic to George at Browns Auto Salvage in Bomoseen VT  4 times. George at Browns Auto Salvage in Bomoseen Vt always said the warranty department will get back to you. Finely Chris Coloutti call me (weeks later) and said he knew about the problem. More calls/email before Chris from Browns Auto Salvage Bomoseen Vt said they would replace the motor.   I went over a few days later after Chris Coloutti okayed the pickup of the replacement motor from Browns Auto Salvage in Bomoseen VT. I dropped it off at the mechanics. As the mechanic unloaded the motor the crate on the bottom fell off, That's when we both saw a crushed oil pan on the new motor. The mechanic said he would pull off the crushed oil pan and check the inside to see of it affected the oil pump, pickup tube or any other parts. The mechanic said it appeared to be just the oil pan affected so used the one on the bad motor that Browns Auto Salvage in Bomoseen Vt have giving me. I again gave the mechanic antifreeze, oil/filter. I asked to take the plugs out of the other motor and use them if they were okay.   The mechanic installed the second motor Brown's Auto Salvage in Bomoseen Vt. The mechanic started the motor and said it was running a little funny. He found a sensor or two that were not working property. He used parts off the defective motor to correct the problems of it running.    Then he found there was a new problem. The check engine light was on for the transmission codes. ??  After searching the codes out and after a number of weeks (parttime so it did not cost a bundle of money) he found the transmission was bad. I picked up the car for a second option at my mechanics in Ticonderoga NY. (he does not install used motors or transmissions) After my mechanic called his friend at Subaru to confirm his findings, he called me.    When the first motor from Brown's Auto Salvage overheated it also overheated the transmission and destroyed the transmission.    I called/emailed Brown's Auto Salvage in Bomoseen Vt and stated what had happened.  Their Brown's advisor stated that the engine overheating did not damage the transmission in anyway. Brown's states the mechanic installed the second motor incorrectly and will not pay for anything. I'm not paying for a third time to remove the motor.    All I know is I had a running driving car before this started, now it runs (parked) but does not move under its own power. The transmission fluid is burnt and looks like crude oil. George Hopp, Chris Coloutti and Brown's Auto Salvage in Bomoseen VT  800 660 4290.- 802 265 4090 Are Ripping Me Off.      Thank you for taking the time to read this.       

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#2 Author of original report

Seems hard to believe

AUTHOR: Rich - (United States)

POSTED: Friday, March 31, 2023

   Transmission was servived approximately 35,000 miles before the motor was changed. I never said the transmission fluild/filter was changed when the motor was replaced. I did say the engine oil and filter were changed. The strap was used to tow vechile across the HWY. Approximately 900 feet. Again the fluid now was like crude oil with metal in it.  My mechanic keeps records of his work. Any other questions. Thank you.

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#1 Consumer Suggestion

Seems hard to believe

AUTHOR: Flint - (Afghanistan)

POSTED: Monday, March 27, 2023

I find it very difficult to believe that the motor overheated so quickly that it could possibly damage the transmission, unless you were driving for miles with it in an overheated state.  Overheating the transmission does mess up the oil, and the mechanic should have checked and changed the transmission fluid prior to giving you the car back.  But you can drive thousands of miles with burned oil without the transmission failing catastrophically.  It's more of a long term problem.

It seems more likely that the transmission was already on its last legs, and you finished it off when you towed the car with a strap.  Modern automatic transmissions cannot be towed that way, the engine has to be running to pump oil through the transmission.  If you tow the car with a strap, you will be running the transmission with absolutely no lubrication and you will burn and destroy the clutches.

Bottom line, it sounds like you took a gamble with a junkyard motor and lost that bet.  The only thing the junkyard owes you is a working replacement motor, and it sounds like you got that.  Subarus are notorious for head gasket problems due to their oddball engine design, so I would have done a leakdown test on that motor prior to installing it, which would have likely uncovered this issue.  Either way, the junkyard doesn't owe you anything beyond a replacement motor.  Warranties don't cover consequential damages, and there is absolutely no evidence the junkyard knew or should have known that the motor had a bad head gasket.  Like I said, it's a very common problem with Subaru engines.

Also, find a better mechanic.  There is absolutely zero reason not to change the transmission fluid when you swap out an engine.  If they had changed it, they would have likely discovered that it was burnt and could have investigated the transmission further.  I'm also wondering if your engine overheated because this mechanic didn't burp the cooling system properly, which in turn led to the head gasket failing.

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