Mechanic Wants to Charge Me $1000 More than Quoted Price for Replacing Peugeot Timing Chain

Hi all, I took my car (Peugeot) to a mechanic to having timing chain replaced.

He said he has never done the job on a Peugeot before so he wasn't sure how much it will cost exactly so he gave me a quote to do the job between $1500 and $2000 which I agreed and I budgeted $2000. He has had my car in his workshop for over 3 weeks now he says it took him longer than he thought it would and wants me to pay $3000. He denied giving me the quoted price. I am angry to say the least and refused to pay.

Just wanted to know where I stand and how I would go about getting my car.


  • +75

    "He said he has never done the job on a Peugeot before so he wasn't sure how much it will cost"

    Uhhhh but why did you agree without shopping around?

    • +29

      Very stupid on my part really.

      • +11

        That's ok, you live and you learn.
        Hopefully gets sorted soon!

        • +2

          So wholesome

          I should try to be more wholesome in 2021

          You've inspired me, I hope you get to pee soon

      • -3

        If you've signed off on the job order saying replace timing chain then he's done exactly that. If you really wanted to then take the bloke to *CAT to have a whinge. If you leave it for too long he might do a mechanic's lien on the car and flog it off.

  • +39

    "Better ignore this red flag and get him to work on a car he's never done before."

    • +3

      by any chance was he cheaper around lets say 1k then other mechanics who have done the job on a potato before?

  • i hope the mechanic actually replaces the chain. I thought they're suppose to last "forever"?

    • +3

      They're generally supposed to last the life of the engine.

      OP, you said you were given a quote. Why not show it to the mechanic and say that's all you're paying?

    • +2

      Wait until you get a Holden Commodore.

      • +1

        VZ onwards

        • Basically 1st Gen Alloytecs.

          • +2

            @AdosHouse: Yep. But those ecotecs go forever.

            • +5

              @MS Paint: Right up until they shit a cam bearing. First hand experience.

              In saying that, car had 300,000km shat a cam bearing, I had the engine completely rebuilt to last, and then a year later doing general maintenance I left the radiator cap off and cooked the engine. Fun times. Still ran for another 8 months with the knocking getting progressively worse.

              Next car was another Ecotec and sold it with 400,000km on the odometer and still going strong. The last of the die hard, 80s engineering, tough as nail, cast iron block, V6s produced by Holden.

              • @AdosHouse: Originally based on the Buick V6…
                I own a Grand National back in the day…

                • @deepblonde: Yep based on the same sized Buick 3.8L, I think it was the L26 (?). True 80s technology, but damn those cast iron blocks could take punishment.

                  • @AdosHouse: My 1987 was the fastest accelerating production automatic in the world at that time ; well I remember it was at least advertised as such? Zero to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds …

      • I bought a ve, the timing chain went at around 150000km. Got it replaced at a holden dealer 3 yrs ago. It went again a month ago after doing 50000km. Holden only provide 2yrs warranty on repairs, and with them shuting up shop they refused to provide any assistance, even though you should never need to replace the part in the first place.

        • I bought a VE SS.

          Engine exploded after 4 years of ownership.

          paid 6k to fix it, no help from holden.

  • +5

    He has had my car in his workshop for over 3 weeks


  • +91

    Mistakes in order :

    1) Purchasing a Peugeot.
    2) Not getting a quote in writing.
    3) Allowing a mechanic that has never worked on a Peugeot to work on your Peugeot.
    4) Allowing your car to be kept for ONE week let alone THREE weeks.

    I would negotiate with the mechanic to meet somewhere in the middle.

    • +21

      Agree with mistake 1 all the way. Worst thing I have ever done. Thanks for the advice mate!

    • +11

      I had owned a Peugeot and cannot agree more with #1.

    • +5

      Btw don’t replace it with a Jeep, relo waited 3 months for a gasket set.

      • Saw the Jeep TV ads where people say "I'm in".
        Who says that?

        Pretty sure they are being paid…

        • +11

          More like: I’m in (shit)

        • +1

          Heard it before at a gentlemans' sauna.

        • +1

          "I'm in (for huge repair bills)"

        • How are the Jeep SRTs ? I would love one of those.

    • I had a Peugeot and the number one mistake I made was taking it to a corner mechanic thinking I would save a few dollars and have the convenience of having car service done 500m away from where I was living… Lucky I did this at the start. Ended up having the car for 5 years.

    • 1) Purchasing a Peugeot… my thoughts too. lol

    • couldn't agree more, i made mistake 1 for getting a nice little red convertible. so many issues and i sold it off after a year lol

    • Like I get why people buy audis and mercs, they look good and have performace engines in certain variants, but peugeot's look ugly as hell and on top of that most are pretty slow

  • +1

    OP how old is your car to have the timing chain replaced?

    • Inside warranty knowing Peugeot. Probably flashed a sheet they couldn't give him showing it was a design feature and the timing chain is a consumable. Because everyone knows design features need single, non re-printable fact sheets.

  • +9

    What year is your Peugeot? I guess i'm asking… is it worth more than 3K?

    • +4

      Not possible.

    • +5

      Unless it’s sitting on the new car lot, then the answer is no.


      The answer is still no.

    • +2

      Timing chain/belt is pretty labor intensive, I got the timing belt/water pump changed on my 1999 Magna earlier in the year as it's just gone 200k kms and due for the belt (every 100k) for $1300 cash. The car is probably worth $500. I figured at least I know my engine is strong and don't have any major problems with the car, I could've slogged it off for $500 and got a $5k car off someone but then I don't know the history of the car and any pre-existing problems it may have. As they say, better the devil you know.

      • +1

        I did the exact same thing on my 2000 Subaru Liberty Heritage wagon. Bought 2 years ago for $800 with head gasket issue starting, bad tail shaft u-joint and 208000km. Replaced tail shaft from the wreckers, and managed the oil leak and coolant up until 232000km. Today I spent $2200 replacing head gasket, honing the head, and replace timing belt. So $3000 in on a car that’s proven reliable for 2 years thus far touch wood.

        I figured if I took $2200 I wouldn’t be able to find another vehicle for the same fit and quality.

  • +4

    Ooof, I'm sorry OP, if you have no idea about mechanics, next time it would be a really good idea to get a few quotes, and have them on paper!

    • +3

      Thanks mate appreciate it. Lesson learnt

      • +2

        This time though, ask for an itemised bill, and then go from there, I'm guessing it took much more labour than expected. I've got no idea about the particular Peugeot you have but it may be more likely that the timing chain tensioner needs replacing if the chain is rattling, not the chain itself, which would be an absolute pain to get to. The parts being a Euro car would also be much more expensive.

        Unless its like those Holden VE V6 commodores that had an incorrectly heat treated chain and it stretched and it needs to be replaced.

  • +12

    The day I sold my Peugeot was up there with best days of my life, sorry if it was to you ;)

    Ring some Euro specialists and get a quote for a timing chain. If these are all 2k or less then be firm with the mechanic that 2k was the agreed price and further more that is the market rate. They can't move the goal posts after the fact.

    • ^this.

    • +1

      this is good advice until you start calling and they all tell you to bring the car in

  • Is it actually $3000, or $3026 or something? Can he provide an itemised account for you?

    • It's actually $2999.77 and yes he did provide itemised quote

      • +3

        Sounds like the price of a discounted passive income workshop.

  • +2

    Why did you want the timing chain replaced?

    • +19

      It was the right time

    • +1

      The timing was right.

    • -1

      The time

    • +1

      I seem to have arrived late to this party.

    • In time

    • +4

      The timing was wrong

    • The timing 'Chain'ged…

    • Why did you want the timing chain replaced?

      Because it was the weakest link in the chain of engine components.

    • Gravity > Time

  • +1

    Honestly the mechanic should've said this is going to be over 2k earlier as opposed to springing the trap.

    Yes op should have probably taken the fact mechanic hasn't done a Peugeot before and ran away, but still…

    • Agreed. A simple courtesy call could've avoided the hassle

  • Is this the prince engine, same as in the minis? If so, they aren't that hard, but you need the special tools. The timing chain and guides etc come out as a sort of "cartridge", pretty straight forward. $3k to do it is pretty high.

    • Not sure what engine they are

      • +1

        What year and model of Peugeot?

        • 2008, 308 XSE. It's the 7 seater version

          • @Meercat: Yeah, same engine as the mini, known for timing chain problems, and as I said, not $3k hard to do.

          • +1

            @Meercat: Big variation in value on carsales but worth about $6-7k. Ouch!

  • +13

    Sounds like the mechanic took alot longer to do what was needed because they were incompetent, and are charging you for the extra time it took them due to their incompetence.

    • +7

      That's what I thought too. He rang me pack to ask if there were other issues with car because he is getting error codes after taking it apart and said has to order another part which makes me think maybe he stuffed up or broke something somewhere along the line and is passing the cost to me.

      • +1

        That a cost of doing business

    • A week spent watching youtube videos is costly.

  • Say what you will about a dealership, they wouldnt even screw you like this

    • +25

      They'd quote $4500 and then bill you for only $4449 because they wanted to make sure you got looked after ;)

      • with free POD coffees

  • +2

    Peugeot. There's your problem.

  • -3

    Main mistake, buying Peugeot. Remedial action, go to mechanics workshop, take off plates, leave Peugeot and so “I am leaving car as payment of bill”, de register it, he then has issue of offloading it to try and cover his costs. You win!

    • Terrible advice

  • +1

    This is why you buy a Corolla.

    • +1

      But those Peugeots handle so well

      • +1

        This is factually incorrect.

    • -4

      Or a recent Peugeot, which is just as reliable, much nicer to look at and far better to drive.

      You really cannot go wrong with a Peugeot if you do your research and buy the right model. OP's is renowned for timing chain issues.

      OP take it to a French car specialist. Ask on Aussiefrogs for recommendations. I love my Peugeot and will continue to buy them, they make the best affordable cars in the world.

      • +2

        Yeah nah

        • +1

          None of those words are accurate in Australia.

          Peugeot are not the best, not reliable and are sold as a premium car in Australia, because they're European.

          • +3

            @Jalif: Depends what you want. We all know that Ozbargainers want the cheapest A to B transport and are happy driving a dull and boring Corolla. I expect more from a car. Peugeot make far more appealing cars than Korean junk or just as reliable but boring and less refined Japanese cars. Yes Peugeot is sold as a premium brand here and I hope that this will change and that it eventually becomes a manufacturer backed operation, but as a used car buy (and actually you can get some very attractive new deals after negotation), Peugeot's offer oustanding value for money and despite what you might think are very reliable when serviced on time and built to a very high standard. My Peugeot has cost me nothing outside of regular servicing and still feels as good as new. Unless you have owned a Peugeot you cannot appreciate their qualities and why so many owners are loyal to the brand.

            • @nubzy: I really appreciated selling mine though I'm sure my mechanic was disappointed to see it go. I'm sure it really helped his mortgage repayments.
              It was however fun to drive and a lot of bang for the buck. It's just the bucks started piling up.

              That car really did persuade my future choices in cars; bring on boring Korean/Japanese!

              • -2

                @Hardlyworkin: If you have a good French car specialist and are capable of sourcing parts yourself, then Peugeot's are only negligibly more expensive than a Japanese car to run. Don't take it to just any random mechanic, that's just asking for trouble and additional expense. There are a number of specialists in NSW with a very good reputation and reasonable pricing. I looked at the new Mazda 3 and whilst it looks quite good, it doesn't drive anywhere near as nicely as my Peugeot and it is very impractical as the back seats are next to useless, interior is claustrophobic and it has a tiny boot. French cars are made for touring comfort and driving enjoyment, Asian brand cars are designed for smaller people and don't have the same level of refinement. All cars need money put into them as they age, some have a few more issues than others, but it's no reason to swear off a brand for life. Peugeot are currently producing their best cars in decades and have a very exciting future ahead.

            • +1

              @nubzy: Keep coping. Yeah sure , a "refined" 3 cylinder. How is any Peugeot good value when Toyota Hybrids absolutely destroys them in economy and smoothness

              • -2

                @johnkimun: The 3cyl did not win engine of the year for no reason, it is an excellent engine with great economy and refinement. The 1.6 is also great, paired with the 6 speed Aisin transmission the same as Toyota use. I've driven the Hybrid Corolla and it's very smooth and great for 1 person around town, but as a touring car, no way. Seats are much better in a Peugeot, so is the dash layout with i-Cockpit and a nice extendable armrest. Can drive all day and not feel tired, the Toyota feels a class below and not as comfy. Toyota are getting greedy with their pricing now too.

                • @nubzy: maybe it won it for efficiency?
                  How would a smaller engine be nicer for higway cruising? It does the same RPM for highway speeds. Both do ~2000rpm at 100km/h. The corolla even less , like 1500RPM. Maybe the corolla seats aren't suited for your larger aussie frame

  • +1

    I had the misso go through a similar situation where they quoted $2000 for a new dsg clutch (this was from a specialist euro mechanic)
    low and behold after 2 calls that they couldn't finish it that day, and 3 days later they come back with a new total of $2700

    Turns out the existing clutch wasn't the correct clutch for the car and that they'd ordered the same part to replace it only for it not to work.
    They then get in a "VW clutch specialist" who points them in the way of the correct clutch.

    She then had to fork out another $700 for the privelege.

    I personally didn't agree with this given they're the experts and you pay them to be.
    Definitely wouldn't go back to them.

    • I'd tell them to put the old one back in and I'd get somewhere else to do it and not pay a cent.

    • +4

      The existing clutch wasn't the right one for the car… This sounds like the least creative bullshit ever.

  • +1

    It might come down to whether he gave a quote or an estimate. If he said he was going to charge you for the time it took but estimated between $1.5-2k, then it could be reasonable to charge more if it took longer. If he said the quote is $2k then it took more or less time then he takes the risk/benefit. Sounds like you needed to be clear at the start about whether it was a quote or estimate.
    Best way to resolve now might be to get some actual quotes from different mechanics to replace the chain and use them to see if you can negotiate on the price.

    • +2

      The issue here sounds like he wasn't familiar with the car.

      Example, I run a small IT Business and refuse to work on platforms that I am not intimately familiar with unless a client insists. In the case of them insisting it'd be hourly charges regardless of the outcome achieved..

      But if I work with something I'm familiar with I can accurately and reliably estimate my time within 10-15% give or take so I win some I lose some and it evens out.

      No one wants you to eyeball something and say hmm somewhere in the vicinity of 10-30 hours. What's worse is he came out well outside of his range, you should always set your upper range to an unrealistic amount which you really shouldn't hit outside of some freak scenario.

  • +1

    I'd charge $1,000 more just to work on a Peugeot

Login or Join to leave a comment