Just a rant from the shop side of things


#1

Today’s barrel of fun was a 2005 Jaguar towed in. It seems the lady had someone put front brakes on her car 2 weeks ago. The next day she started hearing a clicking sound, which then progressed to a knocking sound, then added to the mix was a funny feeling when driving the car, and today the left front wheel fell off while driving. Why on earth someone would drive for weeks with a car in this condition is beyond me.

Her custom bling 20 inch aftermarket wheel with 35 series tire is now ruined, the tuner lug nuts are gone, and 4 out of 5 wheel studs are no good. After some searching I find that her wheel is no longer being made, the wheel studs are only available through Jaguar, and in all this is going to cost her about $900 and take a week to get all the parts. She requests that we just put on the spare since she doesn’t have nearly that much money to spend on the car, especially after just fixing the brakes. I remind her that her factory spare is nowhere near the same size as her bling wheels and even if it was there’s now way to install it on 4 broken studs. So now the thing sits on a jack stand outside cluttering up my lot while this woman tries to figure out what to do about her poor choices in transportation.

Trying to eat prime rib on a cheeseburger budget.

On a related side note, while I was at the local tire and wheel shop trying to match up her wheel there was a woman at the counter in front of me, telling the service writer how she had bought a used tire there a few months ago and now it’s going flat. The SW explained to her that used tires are sold as-is with no warranty of any kind, but that they would be glad to check it out and repair it for the regular fee. The woman responded “I don’t have any money but I need my tire fixed.”


#2

If everyone made good rational decisions, took care of their stuff, and had the ability to understand some pretty simple mechanical functions, you would have less headaches and maybe less income. The cluelessness of the public provides job security for you, but of course you have to be careful not to deal with customers with no money. Not so easy, I’m sure.


#3

there should be plenty of jags in the junk yard with wheels and tires still in good shape, since they mostly sat in repair shops their whole lives. :slight_smile:


#4

even tho she doesn t seem too savvy, I would think the brake installer would still be responsible


#5

But really how could someone ignore something like on that Jag? We had new tires put on our VW Rabbit and started hearing a strange noise coming from one of the wheels, went right back and it turned out that one of the clips that hold the hubcaps in place had fallen off. Thankfully that was all that was wrong.


#6

Well I will confess as a reasonably intelligent, mechanically inclined and experienced person but not a mechanic, that sometimes noises are hard to identify unless you have been there before. Not condoning bling wheels or anything, but I understand the noise issue.

Story: Grampa lived 200 miles away and son was going to be shadowing the local doc for a week to see how he liked it and staying with Grampa. We were also there when he pulled up in his car on Sunday afternoon and complained about a wheel noise. We rolled it back and forth in the driveway and looked it over pretty good but could not find a problem. I did notice the front tires did not look good and didn’t want him driving 200 miles back again in a week. So I said I’ll pick up a couple new tires at home and run them out to have them put on Monday.

So I get the tires, drive the 200 miles to have them put on and pick the car up at the hospital to drive it the 10 blocks to the service station to put the tires on. Holy molly, whats that noise now. Much worse than Sunday. Time I got to the station it was obvious the nuts were loose and a stud was broken and wouldn’t have been too much before the wheel came off.

The guys fixed it up no problem and none of the other studs were loose, just the one. Routinely checked them after that and never a problem again. Have no idea how it happened and maybe even it was a vandal. Point is it escaped me and just lucky that I decided he needed new tires before his trip home. First thing I do now after someone works on my car is retorque the studs but I don’t know anyone else that does that besides you folks.


#7

“Trying to eat prime rib on a cheeseburger budget.”

+1

Whenever I see things like oversized aftermarket wheels and extremely low profile tires, I often wonder whether the car’s owner chose those…questionable…items rather paying for more mundane, practical, and necessary items. Clearly, this woman falls into that category.

Her statement about not having $900 for the needed repairs tells me that she doesn’t have a credit card, which would allow her to defer the payment for at least 30 days–or longer if she didn’t mind paying interest.

IMHO, someone who can’t qualify for a credit card should be driving something more practical than a Jaguar, and should be saving their money for things much more important than bling-bling wheels and ultra low profile tires.


#8

My sister once drove her car shaking like crazy until the left front wheel fell off. She damaged the fender, wrecked the wheel studs and brake rotor. She was lucky not to have caused herself or someone else serious injury. She was 20 years old, graduated 3rd in her high school class, had 2 engineers and a hydraulics technician in the family to ask, had no money of her own but Dad paid for everything and has zero common sense.

Education didn’t work, resources didn’t work and money didn’t work. She is the exactly the type @asemaster describes above. The world is filled with them.


#9

All I took from this whole thread was cheeseburgers and prime rib…mmm


#10

Ive never understood why some people drive cars that they cant afford to fix.They must know that their car IS going to break down at some point and need repairs.
considering how important a car is for most people it seems like a huge gamble to own a car that you can`t afford to repair.


#11

Style over substance can be pretty much the norm anymore. Give that the lady the choice of bling wheels or free engine oil/trans fluid changes for life and guess which one she will take…

@asemaster, you might consider having her sign a disclaimer once done with the job and here’s the reason why. It also provides some insight to skewed thinking on the part of judges.
I don’t care for TV court shows at all but one time a few years ago I came home one day and the wife was watching a re-run of The People’s Court I think it was. I heard “car” so I had to watch…

Some guy had bought a set of used bling 20s and had them installed by the seller. Apparently the seller used some 1/4" wheel spacers also. Shortly afterwards the car started developing a knock and vibration from a wheel coming loose. The car owner took it to a different shop where some damaged wheel studs and lugs were replaced. They then sent the guy on his way.

Several weeks after that another wheel came loose and fell off; creating damage on the body.
So who does the car owner sue? Not the guy who sold him the wheels but the shop owner who did the repairs on the faulty studs on the wheel that did not fall off.

The judge’s logic (word used loosely) was that the shop owner was the guy with the expertise and assumed all responsibility for the car by working on a car with wheel spacers. The judge said in so many words that “you should know better” in spite of the second shop owner telling the guy the wheels were unsafe when the repair was done.


#12

“Ive never understood why some people drive cars that they cant afford to fix”

I agree 100% with you, tardrex, but I have a theory–based on my years as a counselor.
I think that these are most likely some of the people who never seem to be able to organize or plan things for themselves–including many other things that are totally predictable.

Those who think things through will realize that things like a car–and especially a luxury car–will need repairs periodically, but those who only live and think one day at a time usually don’t plan for anything–including events that are predictable.

This woman probably saw a car that looked good to her, and decided to buy it–without thinking ahead to all of the ensuing steps. And then, she saw flashy wheels on display and opted to buy them, instead of putting that money aside for the inevitable repairs.

Most likely, she is also surprised each year when her income taxes come due on April 15th.


#13

“Ive never understood why some people drive cars that they cant afford to fix”

I guess for the same reason some people lease cars they can’t afford to buy.
Vanity.

However, today’s landscape is littered with people who could comfortably afford what they bought at the time, but now find themselves struggling financially due to unemployment, divorce, a sharp jump in medical expenses, and various other modern-day crisis. I feel deeply for those people. In my case, I could comfortably afford my car when I bought it, but things are a lot tighter now. I’ve been very fortunate in that I own my car outright and it’s stayed in excellent shape and reliable.


#14

and…I’ve always cautioned every poster here who asked us about buying used cars…
THe supposedly cheap appearing luxury brands will always be a money pit come repair time…always.

In the past two months we’ve had TWO Lincoln Navigators in here. Both of which were clearly purchased used and now hte owner is …somehow …taken aback at the repair cost ?

One wanted an aftermarket stereo put in…in to the fanciest sytem Lincoln had at the time ; Rear roof DVD integrated to the stereo with wireless headphones / Rear stereo / cd controls / steering wheel radio controls / 6 disc changer / satellte / blue tooth phone link / aux input / ! ! !
It was truly cheaper to buy the o.e. cd changer / radio than to rip out all the o.e. to make an aftermarket work right.
Even the local stereo/sound shop gave it back to us to tell the custome to just go o.e. to fix.

Second one is in the shop for sugar in the gas tank. Yep…bigazz chrome rims and all.
Bought used from a lot who ordered its radio/cd player but never got them from us. So I put the parts on this customer’s ticket . ‘‘these are vin match ordered for that truck’’
“but”
“but”
"but…I can’t afford THAT ! "

‘’ but , but, but…you bought a LINCOLN ! What did you think would happen ? ‘’


#15

VDCdriver I would suspect she has 4 or 5 credit cards all of them maxed out. She probably charged the bling wheels. These people will never take responsibility for their bad decisions and will continue making them. This reminds me somewhat of the $500 cars with a $5,000 stereo system.


#16

These car owners thought they would be eating prime rib

But in the end they were eating crow


#17

ken, you aren t seriously charging a customer for something some one else ordered?


#18

wesw ,
As a step 1 in getting those parts on to the truck they were ordered for.
The customer bought the truck full well knowing it was a work in progress. The used car lot told us so.
They know what wrong with it.
They know where the parts are.
They know how much to fix it.

Just have to make the point and keep pressure on . I will not bill them unless the parts leave my counter.

hopefully they’ll transfer the pressure to John’s Used Cars to finish prepping the vehicle as I am stuck with these vin matched parts and can not return them to Ford.

Step 2 , send the bill to John’s Used Cars.


#19

they agreed to a price with the seller. period. unless it was in the agreement they are in no way responsible for the sellers agreement with you.

step two is correct. your agreement was with the party who requested the parts.

right?


#20

a used car salesman told me so . lol