Am I being ripped off by my garage?
Hi, I would be grateful for any advice or where I go from here. Please perservere with this, it is quite long!
I had my car in for a service in August 2009 and thay recommended that I needed the front bearings changing. I said this was fine and they did it. Towards the end of December 2009 I started to hear a droning noise coming from the front right wheel. My dad and grandad (both former Forces mechanics) had a listen and suggested it was a dry or rusty bearing. I took the car back to the garage and they replaced the bearings with no charge and the noise stopped.
Last week when doing 60mph plus on the motorway I felt a lot of vibration in the pedals and steering wheel. Again I took it back to the garage. A mechanic took it out for a test drive and said he didnt think anything was wrong, but balanced the front wheels anyway free of charge. The next morning while driving to work the initial droning noise started again. I phoned the garage straight away and they said they wouldnt be able to look at it for several days. On my way home from work I was just coming off the motorway when I heard a loud bang, had a severe wobble from the front right wheel. I had it back in garage again today and they have said it is the Hub Assembly that has broken and that the bottom ball joint needs replacing, all at a cost of Ã‚Â£250.
I really think that either this is something that should have been picked up the first time, or that they have caused it while doing the others things. They are in total denial, and I have said to just get on with as I need the car as my wife is 39 weeks pregnant.
Does anyone know what I should do about this? Is there someone I can contact and get Proffessional advice?
Most front wheel drive cars have to have the balljoints removed to change a wheel bearing. I would not necessarily say that the garage caused any damage to your balljount, but would suspect their ability to diagnose and inform you of a fault. Basically, I think it would have to be decided as to whether it was negligence or incompetence, which I think is going to be a tough call. Only useful advice I can give is to change your garage, and have the rest of the car checked over.
Hi dcork1982, welcome to the site, what Rolebama says is right. However if you want to take it further, which I think you should, contact the department of fair trading, as it will be up to you to prove your point?
I know that doesn't sound fair, but thats the way it goes with things like this, I wish you all the best with it, and hope you can return and tell us how it went.
Hi dcork1982. I go along with Rolebama's view.
You haven't described how your car was behaving prior to the bearings being changed, or the symptoms that led the garage to advise the repair. How old is the car?
Sometimes, disturbance of components to achieve one repair can lead to another problem developing. You have to consider being faced with this argument by the garage if/when you challenge them.
Bear in mind that, if you go through the Office of Fair Trading route, these people cannot be experts in everything, and may well have no more ability than yourself in verifying incompetence; other than referring you to independent professionals, which could cost you more money and still not be resolved in your favour.
Your faith in this garage is obviously shaken, so finding another, reliable garage is probably the better option.
Your wife's state of pregnancy doesn't help from an urgency point of view, but the last thing you need is to be rushing her off in an unreliable (potentially dangerous?) vehicle.
I wish you all the luck in the world in this matter.
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