-= Thermostat Installation Question =-
::: NOTE: Names of people and businesses have been changed up for their privacy ::
I had repair work done on my 1995 Jeep Wrangler (2.5L), at N*** T****, in Dallas, on January 24, 2004. The radiator was replaced as well as the thermostat. A few weeks later, on Monday March 1, 2004, my jeep started to over-heat and blew radiator fluid all over the motor.
I immediately got the Jeep to a VERY reputable shop, called SB, in Dallas. When their mechanic started to look at the water pump (it was blown out), he discovered that the thermostat was installed backwards. This caused massive damage of up to $1000; head-gasket, seals, water pump, on and on. This faulty installation could have damaged my new radiator.
The owner at SB called me IMMEDIATELY, and took photos of the thermostat mis-installation, at my request. The Owner told me what he found, and suggested that I call this other guy up and tell him what one of his mechanics did. They decided to leave the Jeep on the rack until they heard back from me or N*** T****.
I called the owner at N*** T****, where I only had that one repair done, and the Owner told me that there is no physical possibility that the thermostat could be put in backwards.
At my request, the Owner who runs SB, called N*** T**** and spoke to that owner. SB went into detail in describing to N*** T**** the issue and went as far as noting the markings that showed where the thermostat was hitting incorrectly. After they hung up, the owner of N*** T**** called me and said, "Tell you what, if you tow it to my shop I will fix all of this for you, for $400." I declined to pay anymore money to N*** T****, due to the original damage that was caused to my vehicle, due to his shop's negligence.
I explained that his faulty installation of a $15 part just cost me $1000, and that I would never go to his shop again. I believe that the incorrect installation of the thermostat was done on purpose, to force me to go back to his place, and thus pay him more money. The owner of N*** T**** noted on my receipt "Possible head gasket problem", however he never showed me any tests that were run to back this up. I do believe that N*** T**** was committing a fraudulent business practice, by setting my vehicle up for failure.
After retrieving my vehicle from N*** T****, I had tests run on the integrity of the head gasket and there was never any signs of a damaged head gasket. I watched and checked for signs synonymous with head gasket damage. There was never any white smoke coming out of the tailpipe, nor was there at any time bubbles in the coolant. There was never any liquid dripping from the tailpipe. The oil was checked regularly, and there was no sign of discoloration or signs of coolant in the oil.
I rarely drove the jeep after that, due to getting layed off. The first time I did any kind of hard highway driving was the other day. Most of my driving has been a short trip to the store. Our weather up until this week was for the most part, cold.
On Tuesday afternoon, the owner of N*** T**** drove over to SB and to look at what their mechanic found. The owner of N*** T**** even made a remark to the owner of SB about the thermostat being in backwards and how coolant would never flow correctly with it installed like that. The owner of N*** T**** then left the shop.
Two days later, after not hearing back from the owner of N*** T****, I called him. I again inquired what responsibility N*** T**** was going to take for the damage to my vehicle. The owner became clearly agitated and stated that he wasn't at fault and that SB sabotaged the thermostat to try to take advantage of me. He again stated that there is no physical possibility that the thermostat was installed incorrectly. He went as far as to say that he had a document from a Jeep dealership backing him up.
I think that this guy is full of crap, and that a thermostat can indeed be installed backwards. I wanted to ask the board here though for input on if that thermostat can be (even by force) installed backwards.