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BP Gas Problems, Kia van driving me nuts


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Gotta first say "hello" to everyone. I am new to the boards and have been in business for myself for roughly a year and a half. This site is a great resource for the "less experienced" shop owner like myself.

 

Now, to get on topic...

I have a 2003 Kia Sedona that the customer reported random stalls and mild engine knock/rattle on startup, as well as "funny" engine sounds. I myself did not hear the "rattle", but the engine ran poorly when I brought it in and sounded "gurgly". The customer requested a basic tuneup and diagnostic, which I agreed was a good place to start since it was VERY overdue for this kind of service anyway. When I pulled the plugs, they were so worn I was amazed they would still fire at all.

 

I finished the tuneup and re-fired the engine to check my work. After a few seconds, I was greeted with a loud rapping sound. I immediately shut it off and began going back through my work, making certain every bolt and nut were accounted for in case I had dropped something into the engine. Everything was present and accounted for, so I am very certain I did not drop anything into the motor. Then I discovered that Kia had issued a bulletin regarding parts of the variable intake system falling into the engine and causing loud noises and damage. After tearing down the upper intake, I discovered the intake butterlies were still intact, but the anti-rattle parts seem to be missing. Must have been loose already and became disloged inside the intake plenum while moving it around during the tune-up (I had tipped it over 90 degrees several times, but had not taken anything apart in the upper plenum at all). Sartup would have sucked it right into a cylinder. Ruh-roh...

 

I explained the situation with my customer and got the approval to dig deeper and find out the full extent of the problem. The customer at this point does not think I am at fault, but has hit his financial limit with this vehicle. It has 185k and nearly worn out already.

 

Now the quandry... The customer contacted me today and had discovered he had bought some of the faulty BP gas sold in Northern Indiana (as well as Chicago, Milwaukee, and parts of Ohio) shortly before bringing the vehicle in. The faulty gas has been rumored to cause loud knocking in some cases, but I cannot be sure because BP is keeping their mouths shut and just addressing the claims as they come in without acknowledging what the possible damages that could occur are.

 

I think this vehicle has had the "Kia intake problem" and the bad gas issue almost simultaneously. I'm afraid BP will reject his claim if they know other circumstances are involved, but I'm certain now that the original symptoms were most likely from the bad fuel and the rest has been a chain of misfortune for my customer. I really want to help this guy. He has been very patient and has even offered an apology for bringing in such a difficult vehicle!

 

My reputation is my livelyhood here, so any sage advice out there for a troubled newbie?

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Yeah, Xrac... situations like this are always a joy! :rolleyes:

 

My customer has filed a claim with BP based on the estimate I gave him to fix the fuel related problems. Guess we'll wait for their response and go from there.

 

Anybody else have vehicles in their shop recently with the bad BP fuel? Just wondering so I can get a better idea of the symptoms. I'm sure this is not the last one I'll see over the next week or two.

Edited by SHP Bobby
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My reputation is my livelyhood here, so any sage advice out there for a troubled newbie?

 

1st off what does this vehicle need to put it back in service?

 

2nd You came across this bulliten after you serviced it? The issue was there before the service correct?

 

3rd My thought is to let BP pay for they problem and the customer for theirs. If you feel you did something wrong then cover your part. If your reputation is your livelyhood then step up to the plate and go the extra mile. It will pay off dividends.

 

Spence

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BP has a claim system in place. They were pretty quick in setting things up, but I don't think they realized the size of the problem. I have already provided the estimate for the bad fuel related costs, and we are just waiting for a response to the claim. My research in regards to the symptoms caused by the BP gas has only provided vauge answers. Apparently, the damages have varied from just a tank and fuel system flush to an entire fuel system job (injectors, pump, filters, regulator, etc.).

 

The car was already knocking on cold startup before it came into the shop. It became much louder and constant after the service. The customer didn't mention the prior knock until after I called him post-service. Likewise, he did not inform me of the BP gas until later.

 

I don't believe I did anything wrong during the service that caused the knocking problem. Like I said, the only thing that could have made its way into the engine was the anti-ratte parts inside the upper plenum. Everything else was accounted for, and the lower intake was cleaned out before the upper was reinstalled.

 

I found the bulletin after the service while trying to diagnose the cause of the knocking sound. If I had found it before hand, I would have approached the job differently and probably would have refused it. If parts can come loose inside the intake plenum just as a result of tipping it aside during a simple tuneup, that's a headache I don't want to deal with again. Too easy for the worst to happen.

 

Spence's post about "let BP pay for they problem and the customer for theirs" makes sense because they are unrelated problems. The intake issue presented itself only after fufilling the customer's request to service the vehicle. It may have occured on it's own after driving over a rough set of railroad tracks... or it may have never happened for years. That's something everyone involved can only speculate on.

 

I already took the "extra mile" approach and offered to "eat" the labor on the repairs related to the bulletin. The customer is still happy with us so far. My only fear is that the cost of the parts will be greater than what he can afford, and that may encourage him to change his attitude and try to blame me for the problems in an effort to get his car fixed. Not that his financial problem is really my problem, but I still feel empathy for him, and also want to avoid a lawsuit or insurance claim. But, with business being already slow, a "freebie" is impossible.

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BP has a claim system in place. They were pretty quick in setting things up, but I don't think they realized the size of the problem. I have already provided the estimate for the bad fuel related costs, and we are just waiting for a response to the claim. My research in regards to the symptoms caused by the BP gas has only provided vauge answers. Apparently, the damages have varied from just a tank and fuel system flush to an entire fuel system job (injectors, pump, filters, regulator, etc.).

 

I'm sure they do understand the size of the problem. They may be trying to nip this in the butt to keep it from becoming a bigger issue then it already is.

The car was already knocking on cold startup before it came into the shop. It became much louder and constant after the service. The customer didn't mention the prior knock until after I called him post-service. Likewise, he did not inform me of the BP gas until later.

 

This paragraph confuses me. Between your opening post and the first sentence in this paragraph it seems you knew of the knocking prior to service. Maybe it's me but it's what I got out of your post.

I don't believe I did anything wrong during the service that caused the knocking problem. Like I said, the only thing that could have made its way into the engine was the anti-ratte parts inside the upper plenum. Everything else was accounted for, and the lower intake was cleaned out before the upper was reinstalled.

 

I found the bulletin after the service while trying to diagnose the cause of the knocking sound. If I had found it before hand, I would have approached the job differently and probably would have refused it. If parts can come loose inside the intake plenum just as a result of tipping it aside during a simple tuneup, that's a headache I don't want to deal with again. Too easy for the worst to happen.

 

Here is the chance to learn.

 

First off make sure to interview you customer good and ask is there anything else you want to tell me about it. Also listen and ask questions that might lead them to tell you info that they not think is important but is.

 

Second to check TSB's

 

I would not turn work away like this. I would look into how to make it more profitable and avoid the stress part.

Spence's post about "let BP pay for they problem and the customer for theirs" makes sense because they are unrelated problems. The intake issue presented itself only after fufilling the customer's request to service the vehicle. It may have occured on it's own after driving over a rough set of railroad tracks... or it may have never happened for years. That's something everyone involved can only speculate on.

 

I already took the "extra mile" approach and offered to "eat" the labor on the repairs related to the bulletin. The customer is still happy with us so far. My only fear is that the cost of the parts will be greater than what he can afford, and that may encourage him to change his attitude and try to blame me for the problems in an effort to get his car fixed. Not that his financial problem is really my problem, but I still feel empathy for him, and also want to avoid a lawsuit or insurance claim. But, with business being already slow, a "freebie" is impossible.

 

I would be carfeful here. Eating work is eating profits. It also may look to the customer that you are admitting to doing something wrong. If you feel you are just making this go away it might come back to bite you. How so? Customers will figure with some stress towards you they can get some free work figuring you'll fold to keep them happy.

 

 

 

Maybe more later but gotta go for now

 

Spence

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Maybe more later but gotta go for now

 

Spence

 

BP had to hire outside administrators to deal with the claims. There has been numerous delays due to backlogs on their side. So they are definitely being overwhelmed. But patience and persistance pays off... My customer is due to have their claim settlement within about 3 days.

 

The knocking was not reported to me the first time I spoke with the customer, only post-service did he mention it when I asked if it had knocked on start-up before. I'm sorry if my statements were confusing, I did try to clarify in my later post. Sometimes I get ahead of myself when trying to explain things. That's why I'm a mechanic and not a public speaker... or a politician. :lol:

 

I did ask fairly pointed questions before I brought the vehicle in, but I definitely learned that something the customer thinks is unimportant (cold knocking in this case) and fails to mention can be critical information. I'll definitely remember to ask questions a couple different ways to make sure they aren't forgetting to tell me something, or leaving out details they think aren't important.

 

I very very rarely offer to provide anything for free, but this was an extraordinary circumstance. I'm certain this customer will not take advantage, so I'm not too worried about that now. I don't like to profit if the customer ends up in worse shape than when he came in. That may not be the best decision business wise, but it proves my integrity. My customer has decided to replace the vehicle and wants to pay for the work I've already done.

 

I appreciate the input. I've definitely learned something and hopefully somebody else that reads this thread can benefit too. Thanks!

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