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Response to shockey80 (Original post)

Fri May 1, 2020, 09:51 AM

72. I worked for a few years as an auto mechanic.

I didn't like that work, so I found something else to do. However, I did learn a lot by doing that work.

Anyhow, I once bought a 1999 GMC 4WD Jimmy, with 80,000 miles on it from a local GMC dealer. Worst vehicle I have ever owned. Anyhow, at 90,000 miles, one of the front wheel bearings started making noise, so I took it into the same dealer. Since the car was sold new by that dealer, I asked them to check the service record and see if either of the front wheel bearings had been replaced before. No. So, I paid for them to replace both sides. The bill was substantial, but the repair was needed and I didn't want to do it myself in my driveway. So I paid the bill and let them do it.

A month and about 250 miles later, one of the front ball joints on the suspension failed while my wife was driving her mother somewhere. The car had to be towed, and it was towed to that dealer, at my request. Before I signed off on the repair, I said to the dealer, "Now, when you replaced the front wheel bearings on the vehicle, the mechanic was looking right at the ball joints on the suspension. Were they inspected"

The dealer said they weren't. "Why not?" I asked. "Where I worked, that was standard practice when you replaced front wheel bearings, since the ball joints are a wear item with a similar lifespan and are easy to inspect during a wheel bearing replacement." I explained that the ball joint failure put my wife and my mother-in-law at serious risk of injury. I told the service manager that I would be happy to pay for the new ball joints on both sides of the vehicle, but that I would not pay for the labor needed to remove and replace parts that had been removed and replaced during the wheel bearing replacement. I explained that all that work had been paid for when the bearings were replaced, and the ball joints should have been inspected while they were exposed for inspection. Had they been inspected, they would have been replaced.

The service manager tried to argue with me, but I stood my ground. I explained just what their liability would have been had my wife or mother-in-law been injured when the ball joint failed, due to their failure to inspect the ball joints.

I got the ball joints on both sides replaced for the cost of the parts, but minus the labor cost. There was no way I was going to let them charge me twice for work they had done without even inspecting the ball joints, which were worn to the point of failure at the time they replaced the bearings.

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