An auto glass company replaced the glass in the passenger side window of my Acura. The mechanic cut his arm open with a knife, hastily finished the job, had me pay for the "completed" repair, and left. After he left, I tried to open the door and could not. I called the company, and they sent someone out next day. The mechanic asked me for a coat hanger to try to open the door. I refused. His boss called and said he was going to send a lock-smith. I said I was taking the car to Acura as I doubted his ability to properly fix it. Acura said the glass company cut a cable in the door and it would need to be replaced for $300.00 and the window was the wrong size and was being held level by a lot of putty. I instructed Acura to do the repairs and cancelled the check to the glass company.
In Illinois, an auto repairer has a right to a "retaining lien". That means that they can hold the car until they're paid for their work. They lost that lien when they released the car to you. However, just stopping payment on the check might bring a lawsuit claiming fraud against you. If you can really prove that the work was as bad as you describe, you should probably protect yourself by filing a lawsuit against them in the Rolling Meadows courthouse. The small claims process should help bring this to a head quickly. I doubt hiring a lawyer will prove cost-effective because most attorneys in the northwest suburbs won't touch a case without being paid a fee of at least $500 and this isn't a case anyone would take on a contingency fee basis. Good luck!