Wheel disconnected whilst driving - advice please!!!!
Hi - Please help!
I've just been causing a major traffic incident when my car broke down. The front drivers side wheel essentially disconnected from the axle or somehow so that the wheel turned in under the car. It wasn't entirely disconnected but think that the wishbone nut came loose, or something to that effect. I really don't know yet. Given what happened, I was incredibly lucky, I was driving incredibly slowly (~15 mph) and there was a police van behind me which saw the incident happen and was able to help and control the traffic incident and as one of them said had this been on a motorway or with any amount of speed it would have been a very serious incident indeed.
The background to this is that I just had an MOT 3 weeks previously and less than 50 miles added since.
During the MOT the garage replace the front driver's side constant velocity gaiter (CV Boot).
Can anyone help explain this to me - would they have had to take off the wheel entirely to put on a new CV Boot?
If so would they have had to undo the wishbone nuts or anything similar that would have caused this - in that the nuts weren't tightened back in place properly?
It just seems an unlikely coincidence that they worked on this area of the axle/wheel and then this happens.
The car was brought to a nearby garage. Getting the car onto the back of the recovery caused some body work damage.
At the moment I'm a bit clueless about the whole thing and what to do next.
I'd really appreciate some advice on any aspects - repair, insurance, dealing with the garage, anything.
The wheel would have to be removed to replace a gaiter, as would the hub. Along with other bits and pieces depending on what car it is. Either way, I think it reasonable that the garage is responsible for the failure. I would have a word with them and see what they say. I am not sure there is any point in advising insurer as it was a mechanical breakdown rather than a collision, and the only result I see there is an increased premium next year on some pretext or other.
I am not a mechanic.
Wishbone nuts are the nyloc type which are not supposed to be re-used. It may be that the garage did re-use the nuts and that is why they came off, but it will be impossible to prove as you don't have them. Any work that a garage does is subject to warranty and there is very little doubt, that whatever the cause, the garage did something wrong, and they must put it right.
In the first instance, you should contact them on Monday morning and tell them what happened. Hopefully they will do the right thing. As for the damage caused during the recovery, you should be able to claim the cost of that from the recovery company.
would not be the blue and yellow lot would it??
Thank you all. I was a bit flustered last night when and certainly appreciate the confirmation and advice.
This morning I went to the garage where the car was towed to - yes it is the Blue/Yellow lot, I guess that's telling - but not the same garage which did the MOT - straight off the service manager said that he's spoke to his boss and they blue/yellow would pay for all the repairs, the body work, paint work etc. I asked about OEM parts and he said yes. Basically told me it'll be better than what it was......... Anyway, they are just waiting for my say so tomorrow morning to start on Monday.
So my thoughts at the moment is I need the car up and running asap so I'll let Blue/Yellow do the repairs.
Then the question is should I pursue compensation from them - had this happened at faster speed it could have been absolutely horrendous and certainly potentially fatal. Not sure what to do on that one and whether it's worth getting insurance involved at all now as there will be no claim.
Also I want to sell this car as quickly as possible now - so likely going to a dealer. I wonder would Blue/Yellow buy it off me.......
Thanks for your thoughts and any further advice.
At the last garage I worked at, I was asked to replace a pair of front road springs. I had got as far as lowering the car to tighten the upper strut nuts, when I was asked to help another mechanic for a while. Without my knowledge, the Manager, seeing the car on the ground wrongly assumed I had finished the job and took the car for a road test. When he returned he was very upset that I had apparently not done the job correctly. We had a blazing row because I was incensed that he had taken the car without bothering to check with me whether I had finished or not, and having the gall to accuse me of such uselessness. I opened the bonnet and showed him the top mount nuts missing, (both sides), which was why the car did not handle properly and made such a racket. I advised him as to what would happen should he ever behave in such a way in the future. I am also aware of an incident at another garage where a different mechanic to the one working on a car gave a car to a customer one lunchtime when the responsible mechanic was out. The owner got around five miles along the dual carriageway before losing a wheel in the manner described by the OP because the bottom ball joint clamp bolt and nut were missing. (The responsible mechanic was out collecting a new bolt and nut because of the corrosion on the originals.) Unfortunately, I can only say that these things do sometimes happen.
You should certainly press for compensation for any expense incurred - e.g. alternative transport while the car is off the road.
Originally Posted by Tricky231
There's no legal redress for "might have beens", but it won't do any harm to paint them a horrific picture to help your case.
I disagree. Certainly ask for reimbursement of expenses, but compensation is going too far. I know that today we have a culture which demands compensation for just about everything, but I would just be glad that it was not worse.
I understand why you think you want rid of the car but I suggest that you think again. They will surely do the repairs properly this time, and how can you be sure that another car won't have some other fault on it - buying a secondhand car is always a gamble. If you are going to sell it - don't tell the garage before they repair it.
Again - thank you all for your comments. Rolebama - you're stories are scary! Thank you for sharing! ;-)
I have agreed with the garage to go ahead with the repairs. Yes they are going to be very attentive.
I have also agreed with them that I will get the car checked over by an independent garage or more likely a Peugeot garage (it's a 207) to check it out afterwards, which they'll cover. Also that the garage will cover any cost that I incur from this - I've had to rent a car at the moment - and they'll cover that.
I'll pursue this course and see how further discussions go once the car is fixed.