Car Wash Caused Engine Problems - What to Do?

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7 October 2014
I asked attendant if it was ok to wash my car engine. He said it was rare to have problems, and gave instructions/ I blew a coil and had to get a mechanic to fix it, plus the miss firing of my engine caused the car to shake profusely for short time. After the initial shaking, I tried to dry it, but I think the coil had already blown. The mechanic said never to wash the engine and to use an air hose. What should I do under Australian Consumer Law?


LawConnect (LawTap) Verified
27 May 2014
Not sure from a strict legal viewpoint.

You washed your car. You asked a non-qualified car mechanic for advice. The reply you got may have been factual correct.

Maybe chalk this one down to experience rather than try to seek compensation for your own act. I had a similar issue many many years ago doing same thing. Fortunately for me everything was OK when engine dried out at home. Learnt not to put water in engine bay :)

Derrick Huff

26 December 2014
As far as I know you can't ask for compensation as it was not there fault as you ask a non qualified car mechanic to do this process, so its better to take your car to a good mechanic and let them check the engine parts suppliers.
Last edited by a moderator:

Tracy B

Well-Known Member
24 December 2014
Hi John65,

I agree with the above comments. Unfortunately, if you were the one who washed the engine upon reliance of advice given to you by an unqualified mechanic or service person, you cannot sue for negligence of the unqualified mechanic. This is because from the court's view, (i) you assumed all responsibility and risk for anything going wrong by carrying out the wash yourself; and (ii) no reasonable person would rely on one opinion of an unqualified mechanic; and (iii) you did not mitigate your risk by seeking the advice of many qualified mechanic opinions or a service company (i.e. professional).

Further, consumer affairs cannot help you as you did not enter into any business transaction with a company/business, the person you asked did not advise you in their professional capacity or the capacity in which they were employed, hence, Australian Consumer Law will most likely not cover this.