Who should pay for this?


#1

I bought a new car about ten days ago.
Last night on my way home it started to make some horrendous grinding noises from the passenger side rear wheel area.
I have taken it back to the dealer for evaluation.
Here is the question:
If only a pebble stuck in the rear break assembly should the diagnosis and the pebble removal will considered a warranty item, and/or repair?
If it is not how much they should charge, or should they charge me at all?
I know breaks are considered wear items, but is this true after ten days and 215 miles?
If something more serious then there is no question warrant should cover it.
Thanks for the replies.


#2

I really don’t see how that could happen since the clearance between the pad and rotor is very minimal, but if thats what actually happened, I think its on your dime. I would sure argue though that the brake caliper must have been faulty though to allow that to happen.


#3

Warranty is for the repair of faulty workmanship or parts; nothing else. A rock can get stuck in a caliper and this is not a warrantable repair if the pebble scenario is correct.
There is no warranty labor operation for removal of a pebble nor should there be.

There are 3 ways this could go.

  1. You will pay for it out of pocket. (Assuming the pebble thing is correct.)
  2. The car manufacturer may do the repair as a good will warranty gesture.
  3. The car dealer may do a repair as a good will gesture.

The latter 2 may lead to the mechanic who does the work getting his pay cut over a warranty repair or may be coerced into doing it free of charge.
Why should a mechanic lose one penny because of a pebble in the caliper? Answer; he shouldn’t.
It’s regrettable that something like this would happen on a new car but things do happen.


#4

Why is it so hard to spell brake?


#5

Oh, give the guy a brake…

It’s entirely possible for a pebble to get stuck between a rotor and the shield around it. I see it from time to time, especially if there’s road construction in the area. If that is in fact the case, you should pay for it out of your pocket. The manufacturer, the dealer, nor the mechanic put the pebble there, they shouldn’t be fixing it for free. Your car, your responsibility.

If you were driving your new car home and a pebble put a chip in your windshield you wouldn’t expect it fixed for free, would you?


#6

I had a small rock get stuck in the right front brake of an old Mercury I used to own. In this case I seem to remember the rock was wedged between the rotor and rotor shield.

A woman had her 2 week old, brand new Nissan towed in to us once. She slid into the ditch due to ice and wiped out the entire right front. She went ballistic when told warranty would not fix it.

A Subaru owner brought his new Subaru in once over a blower motor noise that was determined to be caused by old dried mung beans into the fresh air vent. This owner was also very upset that warranty would not pay for R & R of mung beans.
The owner was told to cut the tree down, trip the branches overhanging the drive, or park elsewhere as being the only options.

None of those options were agreeable to him and he left cursing, stating that he was going to park it right where he always parks; right beneath the tree.


#7

Sorry about the misspelling.
Auto correction must have messed it up.

@asemaster‌
It happened to me and there is a reason why I pay every month for my insurance.
Next time I should just go to Les Schwab for the free brake check.


#8

Having road debris damage something has nothing whatsoever to do with warranty or anything else. Having a piece of road debris get stuck in the brakes is rare, but I have also heard of it, and it has nothing to do with brake wear. It’s just one of those things like getting your windshield chipped or sliding into a ditch (to mention a couple of examples offered).

To me it would be much more reasonable to be asking if you think your insurance would cover it rather than the dealer where you bought the car. I don’t think it would work in either case, but its certainly a lot more like an insurance thing than a warranty thing.


#9

I agree with the others that this would probably not be covered as a warranty item. But if all the dealer shop has to do is remove the rock, I think they would likely do it gratis in the interest of customer relations. You may have to ask to get this treatment though. OP might do a little social engineering to grease the skids, walk around the lot a bit, mention to a salesperson there that you are so impressed with your recent purchase you are interested in maybe buying another car …


#10

I guess there is a consensus here.
I am the stupid one. For 12 years I was giving free advice and consultation for prospective clients.
Maybe I should have asked for a loaner car… :smiley:


#11

Coming to your defense @252525, if I owned a car dealership and someone came back to me within such a short period of time with such a problem I would - as a good will thing (like @ok4450 mentioned) - provide you with a loaner car and probably offer to cover labor if you paid parts - or some other such thing. (After having explained about the randomness of road hazards and showing you exactly what had happened). Good will goes a long way in a business.


#12

@‌ cigroller thank you, this is what I had in mind.
Here is an example: at a jobsite there is a monster sized woodchipper. Can not be moved if service needed somebody has to come out. Something was not right with it so I did a little investigation and got in touch with a dealer repair facility 70 miles away. Just to diagnose the problem would have costed close to a thousand dollars plus at least a half a day downtime.
The head of the repair department was able to give a work around advice for free.
Of course when I needed parts later I called him personally and ordered everything from him even there were places closer and cheaper.


#13

I think that a goodwill service goes a long way as far as customer service is concerned. In fact, last time your situation happened here (a rock stuck in a brake making noise) I didn’t charge the customer anything. He is a regular here and would have paid or bought anything I recommended, and was pleasantly surprised, thinking he was going to need a $300 brake job.

But at a dealership, the mechanics often work on “flat rate.” Meaning that if it’s a warranty issue, the manufacturer pays for his time. If it’s a customer pay job, the customer pays for his time. If it’s a “goodwill” thing, the mechanic is expected to contribute his share of good will and not flag any time on his paycheck. Meaning if the customer doesn’t pay anything he’s not paid either. Goodwill runs out pretty fast that way.


#14

As to who should pay we would need to see the terms of the original sales contract. Also some states have implied warranties tied to dealer transactions when the car meets certain year and mileage criteria.

All states require dealers to state in writing at the time of sale what is covered and what is not covered as far as warranty and implied warranty. Look for a paper labeled “buyers guide” which is supposed to spell it out for you.

If unsure how to interpret your paperwork, ask a different dealer or your motor vehicle department dealers division.


#15

Is this a brand new car or a ‘new to you’ car?


#16

Thank you for all your replies.
The problem got solved today. There was a rock stuck between the rotor and the dust shield.
The dealership come through, they did not charge me for the work. (They had to take it apart anyway to determine if some parts failed or not. If there have been a part failure of a missing bolt, then they would have fixed it under warranty.)
They told me they usually charge for this kind of work but because I just bought it, and barely driven it they were nice enough to let it slide.
@texases yes it is a brand new car, I only put 200 miles on it. I did not even got my license plate yet, still on my first tank of gas and the tires still have the little rubber fuzzies on them…
So thanks again, sometimes common sense does prevail.


#17

I’m glad for you that you got the problem taken care of for free, even though it was an entirely billable repair.

Unfortunately, it’s also entirely possible that the mechanic who inspected your brakes and removed the rock did not get paid a single penny for his time.


#18

Exactly what I was thinking; the mechanic got hosed.

If this is the case it could be that the next person through the door, and maybe even the OP at some point, could end up being the recipient of what could be called payback even though the actual fault lies with “the system”.

If the OP did not get a copy of a repair order then that is even more reason to suspect the mechanic got the short end of the stick.


#19

Well maybe they let it slide because I was not demanding.

Left the car a night before, told them take their time, no hurry. Did not ask for a ride home in the courtesy shuttle, or demanded a loaner car.
Would that been better if I pay a $100 for an hour of labor cost and take a loaner car for two days?

On the other hand I just traded in my older car in very very good condition at the same dealership. Before I did that I washed and cleaned it inside, outside. I had all maintenance receipt on a folder in the glove compartment. When I left my older car behind I pulled off the my seatcover, what I placed on the seats on the day when I got it. Took out my own rubber mats as well. The carpet mats were in pristine condition.
Not a single scratch or a ding on the paint. Now you might ask why I traded it in if it was such a great car?
Simple, because it had a manual transmission and I needed one with automatic. Otherwise I would still driving it today.
The old car is in the lot and the price on it a few thousands more than the trade in value was.

By the way I got the copy of the repair order.

Finally this goodwill work was not even on the same order of magnitude like doing engine work on a 10 year old Subaru with a blown headgasket, that was on this forum a little while ago…


#20

You were nice to them and they returned the favor. That’s the way it should work (but only if the mechanic was paid or needed some good karma in his account.)