Does anyone else think that if the mechanic broke the lug when taking it off, then he should have to pay for the repairs, not the customer?
If it was a normal lug nut and not a stripped one with a key, yes. It might have already been damaged before the mechanic got his hands on the car.
It might have already been damaged before the mechanic got his hands on the car.
I’d listen to Whitey on this one. It definitely happens.
The only time the mechanic should pay for breaking off a lug nut is if he had the air gun set in the wrong direction. Then he should just replace the stud himself. It used to happen a lot more often when some cars had left hand threads on the left side.
I can’t imagine that this is something that is worth to trouble to spend any time on.
Ok - so I just went and actually looked at it (it wasn’t actually clear to me that this was a reference to a specific Q&A - http://www.cartalk.com/content/columns/latest.html)
Four yr old car? With a chronically problematic style of lug nut? I’d not be inclined to say this is the mechanic’s problem (even though it can be caused by carelessness etc.) In that case I’d say that the problem was that they didn’t notify the customer and explain in advance.
I went and read the Tom and Ray column and after doing that I think I’ll remove the “locking lug nut” from my '01 Toyota Sequoia wheels. After this many years if someone wants the wheels that bad they’d find a way to get them. These locking lug nuts must deteriorate with use and they sound like more trouble than they are worth.
Ok, well lets suppose that it wasn’t damaged before he dropped it off. If I dropped my car off at a mechanic to have the tires rotates, and the mechanic called me to say that the locking nut stripped and he’d going to have to torch it off to the tune of $150, I would not be pleased. If you were, however, asked to sign something when you dropped the car off that they’re not liable for damages caused by non-standard (locking) lug-nuts, then fine, but without that agreement, the mechanic should pay for the damages.
As long as you can prove the locking nut was torqued to the proper specification, you can blame your mechanic. If anyone else tightened the locking lug nut, it might have been over-torqued by the last person to tighten it.
That’s a good idea.
I think the problem with locking lug nuts (at least the ones I have seen), is that the interface between the key and the nut isn’t as robust as a normal socket or lug wrench and a normal lug nut. You could say they are poorly designed, but if they were easy to remove, they would not serve their purpose.
Even if you had them replaced at A tire place and they didn’t torque it to the correct spec. they would tell you to pound sand if you asked them to replace the lugnut. It’s an unfortunate sutiation for the mechanic, and if he charged me the $150 for the fix that wasn’t broken before I came in and he was “at the wheel” when it broke, that would be the last $150 he would get from me.
If you took a watch to a repair ship for a spring replacement, and they stripped the screw holding it on in the process, and charged you to replace and retap the screw along with the spring, you would be ok with that?
When you start comparing a locking lug nut to a watch, it makes me wonder. For one thing, watch repairmen are not in the same class as the guy who rotates your tires. For another thing, your wheels are going to be removed and remounted many many times during the life of the car. I find it hard to believe you get your watch repaired that often in its service life.
Therefore, my answer is no, I would not be okay with a watch repair shop stripping a screw and charging me for it, but I would be okay if my trusted mechanic said,“that locking lug nut was so over-torqued I couldn’t get it off.” If he was the last person to torque the lug nuts, I would expect him to pay. If he wasn’t the last person to torque the lug nuts, I would have to fork over the cash.
Having worked in retail and customer service, I am sympathetic to the idea that I don’t want to stick my mechanic with expenses for which he is not to blame. Perhaps you and I are simply two different kinds of customers. I like to listen, take circumstances into account, and when appropriate, I like to leave a large tip. You, on the other hand, seem quick to blame the first guy you see, whether or not he caused your problem.
The last time I had exhaust work done on my car, the part was more expensive than the shop owner had expected. I could have stuck to my guns and forced him to lose money on the job, but would that really be fair? The only reason for the price discrepancy was that he was trying to do me a favor and find an inexpensive part, which, even with the additional cost, was cheaper than the alternatives.
I think a large part of this equation depends on whether your mechanic is a trusted consummate professional or a hack. If I was dealing with a hack, I would be suspicious, but since I like and trust my mechanic, and he doesn’t set off my BS radar, I would be likely to believe him.
Honestly, if my mechanic broke one of my lug bolts and quoted me $150 to fix it, I would probably drive it home with a lug nut missing and repair it myself.
I don’t blame the first guy I see, I blame the last person to touch it. If they can provide sufficient evidence that it was not their transgression that caused the breakage, then fine, I will persue others. If not, then it’s not my dime. Simple as that.
If I screw up, I pay for it. If others screw up, then I expect them to pay for it.
If he broke the lug taking it off, then the one who put it on is at fault. These just dont break during removal unless they were improperly installed in the first place.
I’ll tell you my story, a flat on the rural roads of MN, I broke a lug nut/bolt off with a 4 way, then called AAA, he broke 2 more and we got towed to a service station. It was a saturday night and luckily the service station found the parts and was able to get us on our way the next day. My opinion was the nuts had rusted to the bolts and an impact wrench could have done the job, but stuff happens.
“I think the problem with locking lug nuts (at least the ones I have seen), is that the interface between the key and the nut isn’t as robust as a normal socket or lug wrench”
Agreed. I’ve broken several of the “keys” for locking lug nuts. OTOH, they will stop SOME, but not all, wheel thieves.
I don’t blame the first guy I see, I blame the last person to touch it.
If they can provide sufficient evidence that it was not their
transgression that caused the breakage, then fine, I will persue others.
If not, then it’s not my dime. Simple as that.
If I screw up, I pay for it. If others screw up, then I expect them to
pay for it.
You asked a valid question in your opening post. A number of experienced contributors gave you input. You seem to be ignoring that input. Is there a reason?
In the same vein,Mechanics routinely ruined the Hubcaps on my 2000 Ford Focus and never even acknowledged or apologized for doing it.Even had the Chassis damaged on a Volvo I had .It was on a lift,the service manager said this tech was usually very careful(apparently didnt care about my car)the servce manager straightened the flange out with pliers(sans the undercoating and paint-they are out of business now)the point is I will meet you halfway,good clients need to cared for-Kevin
This thread reminds me of a customer in the gas station I worked at in high school.
We mounted snow tires for a customer. The vehicle was something like a 1963 Dodge passenger car. The guy calls us up on a Sunday morning yelling at us for putting the lug nuts on too tight. He went to fix a flat and snapped 3 lug nuts trying to take them off.
We politely asked him: “Do you know which way to turn the wrench?” That made the guy even more furious, yelling harder and now swearing at us.
As soon as we could get a word in, we explained to him the left side of the car had left-hand threaded lug nuts.
About an hour later he drove into the gas station apologizing for the way he yelled at us.
I’m not ignoring the input, I just don’t agree with it. If this forum is just for the “experts” to decree the correct answer with no room for discussion, then fine, and I will leave it at that. As you quoted me in my last post,
If I screw up, I pay for it. If others screw up, then I expect them to pay for it, whomever it was that screwed up.
If I screw up, I pay for it. If others screw up, then I expect them to
pay for it, whomever it was that screwed up.
I don’t disagree. But in this case you’ll need to find the person who last put the lug nuts on the car, because that’s almost certain when the damage was done. The next guy who takes them off (just to see them break) is an innocent victim.