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Did I get fucked in the ass by the auto repair shop?


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So I got my car registered and inspected at the end of March.

I brought my car in a little early because it was making a whirring sound. Low at 40 mph, then high pitched at 55 mph. Otherwise no sound at all. I figured it might be a wheel bearing but wasn't sure.

I told them about this, and said I wanted it looked at and then have the car inspected.

Well, according to them, it was my brakes. They said when they listened to the car all they heard were the brakes. So I had to spend $1900 for new brakes so it could pass inspection. The receipt/diagnostic form said specifically "the noise was not a wheel bearing. The noise was coming from the brakes."

So I pick up my car, and just to test things out I immediately run it up the hill to 55. The noise is still there. So I take it back and tell them the noise is still there. A tech takes it for a drive, says he can't hear anything. So I take him up the hill and at this point I'm fucking pissed and get it to 55 and say "You here it now?"

He said the tires might be "scalloped". Now I am not an expert on cars, but that is the first time I had heard that term before. I bring it back, they "feel" the tires and say "yeah they're scalloped that's what is making that noise". 

Again, I don't know much about cars and these guys know that. They have a very good reputation in town, in fact they have the highest yelp rating with plenty of reviews. But could they have fucked me over?

They said they fixed the noise issue, but they didn't. Do brakes make sounds like that when you're driving and aren't using them? I heard no brake squealing before this.

I now know they are fucking stupid and they've lost my trust. But did they fuck me over on this one? The car still drives fine and I'm getting 4 new tires this Tuesday, but the noise is still there.

Edited by tdawg87
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Sounds like you did.  

First time I've heard brakes would make noise when not in use.  As for scalloping, here is a site I found.  Personally, IMO they should have been able to see your tires were scalloped just on inspection.  It may be possible that your rotors were causing the scalloping issue.  But at $4k, I would have traded that fucker in and passed the problem off to the dealer.  

http://casestudies.atlanticmotorcar.com/tire-wear-tire-cupping-causes-and-correction/

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There are no $4,500 brake jobs for standard passenger cars. Hell, my Mercedes SLK cost $1,300 and they give you a free loaner car. I don't really know how you allowed these assholes to rip you off but from now on get three estimates and never pay for repair work that doesn't fix the problem.

They missdiagnose and run up a bill that doesn't solve the problem, that is at their expense. Get a refund for the brake job and go get some Costco tires and an alignment. 

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3 minutes ago, tdawg87 said:

Hold on, I'm mixing up the brakes with my clutch that got replaced.

It was $1700. 

That's a relief to hear but as others have mentioned, that's still a LOT for brakes. 

This is a mechanic, right? You're not taking it to be serviced by the dealership, right? 

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If the brake replacement did not solve the noise issue and they admit it was caused by tire cupping you are entitled to a refund. It was their mistaken diagnosis and the end result is they were negligent in finding the obvious problem that was visible without any required disassembly of parts. 

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41 minutes ago, tdawg87 said:

$1926 including $50 for the inspection.

It's been 5 months and about 8K miles. Anything I can do? I'm getting new tires Tuesday and if they say it's a rotor issue or a wheel bearing I'm going to fucking lose my shit. 

What? Dammit, man, the point of your first post was to provide details so we can help and advise but the story changes by the minute. No, five months later you don't have anything to go back to the repair shop and file a complaint for. You drove off and kept going without returning it and getting the problem solved in a reasonable time frame. This is a Thursday repair and too busy to get it resolved by the weekend kind of problem. Not a Rip Van Winkle trying to get a refund on a bus ticket that you slept through. 

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Ouch.

Just had my brakes done with a high end after market race set and it maybe came out to $1500….$1200, but we did end up replacing two calipers and realigning it twice.

I started to have the same sound you did, I assume, if it is like mine and the pads are dust the metal on metal makes that sounds while driving. But the new brakes should have taken care of that. It’s possible you may still have a caliper issue and the rubbing could be the sound.

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$1,700 for brakes is still too much. I drive a car that isn't super common and only has OEM parts available, and it's around $1,000 to get the front and back brakes done with all the parts around it.

I'd look on Yelp for an independent mechanic with really good reviews.

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