Do I have a small claims case if I purchased a custom crate engine and it had several issues which cost me a few hundred dollars?
Question Details: I purchased a 600 hp crate engine and I ended up having to get the a couple of parts swapped for the correct parts and it cost me approximately $1800.
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You may have a case if you can show that the person you bought it from was negligent or careless in any way: used bad or the wrong parts, installed them incorrectly or damaged them during installation, etc. Note that the fact that you ended up swapping out parts by itself does not prove the seller was liable: the parts could have been damaged later, after he finished your work, or they have been adequate and you may have either chosen to upgrade voluntarily to better parts, or else misunderstood what was needed and changed out parts unnecessarily. You would need a relevant "expert"--someone like an engine rebuilder or mechanic familiar with this type of engine--who can testify in court that he/she examined the engine and in his/her experienced and trained opinion, believes the wrong parts were used. You'd likely have to pay such a person for their time to examine your engine and appear in court, so factor that cost into whether it is worth suing. The issue is, if you are a layperson, the court will not credit your testimony about had to be done; you need someone with the right job experience and training to testify as to the issues.