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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I didn't see a section for rants, but if this isn't in the right place, I trust a mod will move it...

Just discovered tonight that the shop where we had the front and rear re-geared to 4.88's forgot to reinstall the caliper bolts on the front driver's side brakes and only hand-tightened the bolts on the passenger side. Fortunately, I had been driving around town and had only gone a total of about 30 miles since the work was done. I did get it up to highway speed several times, and it's going a couple hours down the interstate tomorrow. I cannot imagine what might have happened if the caliper had worked its way off the rotor - I don't even know if there's clearance to do that, or if it would just get really really loose.

I've been driving with the windows down and the radio off since getting it back. It's been sitting in our driveway for the better part of the last two years because my son moved out of state and didn't have room to store it at his house. He and his wife have now sold their other car and need to use it as a daily driver. It's his pride and joy, so I wanted to make sure it had all the cobwebs cleared out before he got it back. I've driven it once or twice a week to make sure there were no lurking issues.

When I drove it today, I noticed a faint clunking sound when I stepped on the brakes the first time going either forward or reverse. Backed out of the driveway, heard a clunk as I stopped to put it in 1st ... pulled away and heard a clunk when I first put the brakes on as I approached a corner. I put it in reverse, backed up a little and stepped on the brake, heard a clunk. It was very repeatable, and I wondered if it were a loose brake pad. When I got where I was going, I grabbed the wheel and wiggled it to see if it might be the wheel bearing. The rattle made me think that was the problem, but turned out it was the missing bolts causing the caliper to rattle.

I'm mad, but glad I found the problem before it turned into something worse. I know everyone makes mistakes occasionally, and we've had reasonably good results from this shop in the past. They aren't cheap, and have a good reputation... so on the one hand, I want to go in and rip 'em a new one... but on the other hand, I just want the bolts they forgot to reinstall, have them apologize and promise me they'll learn from their mistake and not let it happen to someone else.

How mad should I be about this?
 

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so you trusted human beings to work on your vehicle and they prove that they are indeed human, no one was hurt and nothing was damaged but you're angry...

Call The Shop and have them send a wrecker to bring the Jeep back and fix it obviously free of charge

I say get over it and find something else to be angry about
 

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Yeah, you have a right to be angry. That job was beyond sloppy. Just keep a cool head when talking to management and you probably can get more done. Hopefully this is a legitimate shop and not a shade tree mechanic. You get this crap and dealerships also.

I would request everything to go back like it was and inspected.
 

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You can't help how you feel, but you can help how you behave.

I suggest you wait until you feel you can discuss this with the shop manager without becoming upset. Once you tell the shop manager what happened, give him/her a chance to make amends. "Ripping them a new one" wont get as good an outcome as simply giving a calm statement explaining your position and then allowing the other person (shop manager or owner) to speak. Everything is on video today and anybody acting like a fool will only end up on the internet.

I would expect the shop to send a tow truck as Gottagofast suggests and then for the manager and technician together to completely review the repair. You won't be part of the conversation between the manager and the technician, but I would want the manager to explain to me what happened and what steps they've taken to insure it doesn't happen again. Of course they should complete the repair and closely look for any damage that the loose calipers might have caused or received. If any damage or suspected damage is discovered, the shop should replace anything that's even suspected to be damaged.
All at absolutely no cost to you. An apology and some kind of financial response should also be forthcoming from the manager or owner.

The above paragraph is what a good shop will do. Anybody can make a mistake. What a business does in response to that mistake is what separates the "good" businesses from the "bad" businesses.

As part of the Community Rules, posters aren't allowed to bash businesses, each other or vendors. I don't see this thread as bashing, WBN3 had a problem, didn't identify the business or individuals involved. He simply asked for advice on how to proceed.

Let us know how all this turns out.

Good Luck, L.M.
 
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lucky you caught it b4 it became somthing.....................i'd be salty as well, but it'd do no good. i'd give them a call and inform them of the mistake. if they seem to not care, don't go back. don't spend your $ there.
 

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I had a similar thing happen to me with my XJ. I got a wrench and bolts out of my tool box and fixed it.:happyyes: I always double check any work that I don't do myself.
 

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1 - The shop needs to know what happened so they can correct their employee "mechanic".

2 - I'd be firm but not nasty and require that the problem be fixed and any collateral damage be fixed. I'd check the work myself after I get it back.

3 - I probably would never return their again for any type of work. Leaving bolts missing from a system as critical as braking is something IMO that a licensed mechanic would not do. Is that place having unlicensed employees working on vehicles. I wouldn't trust them.
 

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As @Luckymack said, wait until you calm down and discuss it with the shop that did the work. Let them tow it in on their dime and make it right. Or if you decide to do it yourself let them pay you for your time, at the same rate you paid them for their time. Just make sure you discuss it with them before touching it yourself.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Prevailing opinion is in line with how I thought it should be handled... I'm not good with confrontation, anyway, so "ripping them a new one" was simply my fantasy lashing out. I stopped by the shop and asked if they had found the bolts, explaining what had happened. Since it's been over a month since they did the work, the manager said that they'd cleaned up the shop (probably several times) since then. He apologized, and offered to pay for the replacement bolts when I said I was going to go by a parts place and get new ones. I didn't have time for them to tow it back to the shop, and felt like I could manage the cost and effort myself ($5 and under an hour). I explained that I really just wanted to make sure he knew what had happened since it was a pretty serious mistake. He appreciated that (or at least said he did).

When I put the new bolts on, I did find that one of the pads had worked its way out of position on the unbolted caliper, but that could've been from my moving it around when I was inspecting it. I put some red loctite on the threads of both sides and secured them, then delivered the jeep to my son. He's happy, I'm happy and all's well that ends well.

As far as inspecting the work they'd done, that's really not feasible... we took it to the shop because we don't have the expertise, so how am I supposed to inspect the work? It ran and drove when I picked it up, I listened for any funny sounds and all seemed in order until I heard the clunking sound a month later when the caliper had finally worked its way loose. The fact is, it took me a while after finding the bolts missing to even put 2 and 2 together... I looked back through our repair records to see when the last brake job was, and even searched my old posts here because I remembered having discovered a loose caliper bolt in the past. Just couldn't remember if it was the jeep or my project car... it was the jeep.

Thanks for the feedback... I really do appreciate the forum and its members. I can tell some come from a shop background, and probably get a lot of unjustified "new ones" on a regular basis. I am a Christian, and do believe in forgiveness... but it will be hard for me to trust this shop with work in the future. With the jeep going away, chances are good I won't have any work for them anyway. It's hard to find good shops, and I'm not going to write them off for this one mistake.
 

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Unfortunately this seems to be par for the course nearly every time I have someone else work on my vehicle.

When I regeared this summer, they damaged the rear pinion seal so it leaked between the seal and housing. The front started leaking 1000 miles in so I'm guessing they put it on a dry pinion shaft and the rear probably would have followed anyway. They put the bearing retainer plates backward when they changed the d44 axle seals, requiring another set of bearings. They installed the front carrier without installing the axle tube seal I gave them for the CAD delete because it didn't fit (turned out there were 3 tube thicknesses over the years... But a call would have been nice so I could have gotten the right one for them).

All while taking over 6 weeks to regear 2 axles because they had more lucrative work coming in.

They knocked off $150 and put new ball joints in for free labor because of the delay...but because of the issues I had i won't be back.
 

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Mad As Hell! Yes. Very thankful to The Lord in Heaven!! Extremely!! But was this just an oversight or was it deliberate sabotage? This is a question for which you need to find an answer.
 

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there's a reason I do all my own work and don't trust anybody else to work on my vehicles...
 

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I do my own, too but I realize not everyone has the ability.

If it were me and in this situation, I would request that the owner of the business or head mechanic look over the jeep..... Every bolt that was touched and give him a paint pen to mark the bolts torqued to spec. Have him take a video of backlash and gear-tooth contact to show you. Should only take a couple hours of his time and it would satisfy both parties.
 

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This thread reminds me of something I learned of a while back. In my state, there is no licensing requirement of any kind, to perform car repair. Licensing is required to cut hair, but not to work on cars. I could literally decide to open a garage tomorrow, and start taking on repairs large and small, and there's no law against it. I would bet the majority of residents do not know this, and assume when they take their car to a garage, the techs have gone through some kind of licensing.
 

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There aren’t any licensing requirements to be a baby sitter and that has far greater downside if something goes wrong. I’m very much OK with less government and more freedom.
 
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Just had an eerily similar situation. A respected shop I have used several times with my JK recently worked on my brakes (about a month ago). Driving down a dirt road home I hit a pothole at about 20 mph and the ABS light popped on. I investigated and didnt see anything out of the ordinary - and assumed it was one of the wheel sensors. Drove another 30-40 miles after, and then it started to “clunk” at low speed. I pulled over asap and once stopped, she would not budge forward or backward. Turns out the caliper slipped out of position and wedged against the wheel. I had AAA tow it to the shop. I calmly explained what happened - and was told they would tear into the wheel to confirm. They called the next day and took full responsibility without me needing to ask. Full brake job on that wheel and they confirmed the other three are solid. Thats what I expected them to do. However, in the future I will be checking caliper bolts are in place and torqued down!
 

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blow the shop up! prove a point!
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[/sarcasm]
 
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