What was the right thing to do?

So… this has left me a little miffed. Not a LOT miffed. Just a little. I’d really like some feedback from the group.

So… I have a local mechanic… 5 star rated, straight shooters, reliable, all the stuff you want, right? They’re expensive, but as the saying goes, they’re worth it. And besides… who isn’t expensive these days, right?

I bought my tires from Costco. So, yesterday, I take it there to get the tires rotated. They say they can’t get one of the lug nuts off of the left rear tire. Something about someone cross threaded it or it froze etc and they’re gonna have to just break it. I mean, at first I’m going, “Can’t you use some WD-40” but I guess Costco doesn’t do that.

So, they break it off and rotate the tires, tell me to get it fixed ASAP.

I call my mechanic. They can see me in the morning. They’ll get it taken care of.

So, they fix it. But… here’s where it gets weird.

They had recently replaced the seal on the driver’s side, where the axle comes out of the transmission. It was leaking. Turns out… they put in the WRONG seal. it was similar, but not the original. It’s a Suzuki, and it turns out THIS part is a hard one to find. He says it leaked enough that he didn’t want me to drive it.

So, he finally ends up having to search online at all the seal specs, because there’s like one or two of the seals in the whole state of AZ. He comes up with one that’s almost identical… interior dimension is exact, and the outer dimension is a thousandths of an inch bigger than the original. They put it in and warranty it because the work was recent. I’m glad to hear it.

But, then they hand me the bill for the lug nut and stud/bolt… it’s $81.

The guys at Costco said that it was frozen on or somebody put it on wrong. Well… guess who was the last shop to take that tire off. Right. My mechanic, when they did my rear brakes.

When I told them what Costco said, they were trying to deflect blame, like, “you should take this bill to Costco because that’s what we’d have to do if it had been one of our customers.” Something like that.

Well, this mechanic has a loyalty program with a punch card deal, so I actually had $50 worth of loyalty coupons in my wallet and the $81 repair is now only $31.

But the more I think about it, I really think it’s their fault. Costco said the frozen lug nut came to them that way. And the last people to take off that tire was my mechanic.

Odd thing though… if Costco hadn’t broken the bolt and I hadn’t called my mechanic to replace it they wouldn’t have caught the leaking seal.

I dunno. I realize that’s a couple of strikes against them, but I have no reason to suspect they would ever purposely do shoddy work. The guy told me he googled the part number of the Seal and that this is a well known problem. He also said he got three different seals today from three different companies (here in town) and they were all the wrong part (He said that you can get the part from Suzuki in Japan, but there’s an 8 week back order on them).

So… Replacing the seal is $149 and I get that warrantied for free and my $50 in coupons means the lug nut and bolt is only $31.

Oh yeah. And because I’m a loyal customer, they also washed and vacuumed my car. That’s worth a few bucks too.

What would you do?

Nothing…welcome to the real world…



What would I do? I’d be happy I had such a good mechanic. Parts availability is always going to be a problem for a relatively uncommon vehicle as that. If you didn’t want to deal with that problem you’d have purchased a RAV 4 rather than a SX 4. I have a 47 year old truck so am somewhat acquainted with the problem of difficult to find parts. I have had to use gaskets before that weren’t an exact fit b/c the exact fit ones are nowhere to be found. Since you got the stud and nut replaced for $31, I think you have very little room for complaint on that one. It’s possible your shop damaged it during a prior job, but it is also possible it was damaged well before that, and the Costco time is when it completely failed. Or it could have been Costco that damaged it in the first place. Who knows? And $31 … pssshhhh … Not worth spending time worrying about.


Yeah… I am the kind of guy that does let things slide. It’s just that I’m on a limited budget for right now.

Oh yeah… did I mention they also gave me a ride home (and then came and got me again) while they were getting the new part?

So… yeah. I’ll just shut up now. LOL.


Exactly. 10 character rule

Yeah, I have trouble with the notion that a shop honest enough to catch their mistake un-solicited, and then perform warranty work on their mistake, is dishonest enough to screw you over 80 bucks on a stud.

For all you know the guy at Costco was a goober and had his 1,000 ft/lb impact wrench on “tighten” instead of “loosen” and broke the thing himself, then tried to disguise the event by claiming it had to be broken in order to get the wheel off.

I agree (10 characters)