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Can you beat this?
#1
5 years ago, I put my then Blingo into a local garage at the Kyle of Lochalsh on the West coast of Scotland with a good reputation to have the O/S/F wheel bearing replaced..£110 all in, the car had only covered 35,000 so wasn't too impressed but thats the state of the wheel bearing industry these days, the hub had never been stripped before and I didn't have a press or a vice to push the new bearing in. I got the car back and all seemed fine, then after 2 months I noticed a steering wheel wobble when braking, I put a dial gauge on the disc, it had buckled...strange, so I put another disc on, 2 months later..it buckled and I noticed a wheel wobble at 50mph so I decided to strip and investigate and i was shocked at the results.
1- The flexi-brake pipe to hub casing bolt was stripped, had been thrown away and the pipe was tied to the strut with a cable tie, 2-the hub casing had had the bearing pressed out, the casing had then been ground out with a drill and grinding stone so that the new bearing just dropped into the casing ruining it as the bearing should be a interference fit (bloody tight)....( this caused the bearing to oscillate in the casing causing the disc to buckle against the caliper) 3- I then noticed there were hammer marks on the end of the drive shaft, I removed the drive shaft and found 2 of the inner spider bearings were cracked cos the shaft had been abused with a hammer when refitting ( this was the cause of the 50mph vibration) The car required a new driveshaft, a new hub casing from Citroen complete with fitted bearing and wheel flange and another disc...cost..£600, and on top of that i had paid £110 for the pleasure in the first place, I took fotos and the ruined parts to the garage, and with a calm cool head which is my style....presented my case, and was told to leave the garage and never to come back ever again, When I pressed on with my complaint....as told to leave or the police would be called to remove me. Can you beat this?
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#2
Yes I would have beaten them with a very strong legal team. That is horrendous service, especially with something so safety critical.
My sister in law has a wheel bearing replaced on her Kia Sedonna at a local fast fit centre (Kwik fit) their policy is to replace both bearings on the same axle. She didn't ask for my advice at the time unfortunately for me. Anyway several weeks after this, she bought the car to me becaus ethe brakes where terrible, and after several return trips to them she decided to ask my advice as they kept saying all was well.
There was at least 3 or 4 inches of play when shaking the wheel , which was pushing the pads back in the holders, by now the abs light was on.
When I stripped the car, the drive flange was so worn on the inner bearing that it was at least 3 or 4 mm smaller on one end than the other, and the driveshaft abs ring had worn through the abs sensor, destroying it.
The branch of KF, couldn't understand the issue with the flange until I took the old and new one into them to see.
Total cost of the repair was about £650, and they made me go to them for the money , when I arrived they didn't have enough in the till, so asked everyone in reception I they would like to pay their bills in cash so that they could refund me.
Even I was embarrassed, but they seemed to think this was fine.
You couldn't make it up !
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#3
The problem is that a lot of places use semi-skilled labour, the idea is that an overseer / foreperson / charge-hand mechanic takes control of a number of semi,s, this drives their labour costs right down, especially when they are all hired part-time, this gives the semi,s less "employee,s contractual rights" like no redundancy etc....just like supermarkets ....while still having a fully qualified mechanic on the shop floor, BUT, the mechanic has to keep a constant check on the semi,s quality output, if hes not sharp and on the ball, or he leaves them to themselves that's when quality plummets and dangerous work is turned out.
A lot of garages work this system these days to drive costs down, the employer then throws into the equation a "Bonus scheme" where the lads are paid more for turning out more work and hey presto...its a chimps tea party!!! and I think that's what has happened to us.
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#4
Long term continuity of employment has gone out the window. Why is someone going to respect a workshop's tools if they imagine it may only be a three month stint of "permanent" employment?

If you require all "subbies" to provide 100% of the gear they use, you get jobs being abused because they don't have the right puller, or socket.

I ended up working part time in the car repair industry by accident, not design. It was simply the least risky way to preserve my vehicles...
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#5
I had a similar but not so bad or dangerous thing with National Tyres. They replaced my rear brake cylinders as one was leaking (I was on holiday at the time or I'd have done it myself). The garage fitted a bar in the brake back upside down which cause it to rub on the ABS ring causing a whirring noise which got worse.
Took it to the local National Tyres who replaced things FOC as they should but I really had to chase National for some compensation for fuel and time. I wasn't asking for the earth either just £50.
Malc

Stupid computer!
Security system should not fail safe!
Security system should fail dangerous!
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