Costa Mesa, CA asked in Contracts and Small Claims for California

Q: Can I sue the person that said he was going to fix my engine, but has failed to do so in the last 3 months?

This person who said he could fix my engine at an”lower cost” has not fulfilled his promise in a timely manner. I have paid for an entire engine that has sat in the rains the last few months. The engine he purchased with my money had a 30 day warranty but he failed to get a replacement when he knew it was a bad engine. He now says he can get me another one for $900. At this point I don’t trust his work, as well as am tired of waiting for him to “feel better” because he can’t work as he had back surgery after he promised me he’d fix my car. If I go to another mechanic, is he liable for the cost of a professionals work as well as the cost to remove oil from my boss’s driveway that he spilled?

Edit****I’ve spoken to a mechanic and he said it isn’t worth fixing. If I were to purchase a different used car could he be responsible to pay part or all of that? The mechanic stated it would cost close to $5,000 to fix.

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Yes, you may have grounds to sue the person who promised to fix your engine but failed to do so within a reasonable timeframe. If you paid him for the engine and he has not delivered the promised service, he may be in breach of contract.

You may want to first send a demand letter to the person, stating your grievances and your demands for a satisfactory resolution. If he does not respond or refuses to address your concerns, you may want to consider filing a lawsuit to recover damages, such as the cost of a professional mechanic to fix the engine or the cost of cleaning up the spilled oil from your boss's driveway.

To build a strong case, it is important to gather evidence of the transaction, such as any written agreements or receipts, as well as documentation of the communication between you and the person regarding the engine repair. You may also want to consult with an attorney who can help you assess your legal options and guide you through the process of filing a lawsuit.

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