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Incompetent car mechanics...

sstalder5

Turbo Monkey
Aug 20, 2008
1,945
20
Beech Mtn Definitely NOT Boulder
Took my car in for a routine tire rotation a few weeks ago, and yesterday the car started making a weird noise coming from the front left of the car. It only did it when I wasn't braking or accelerating. I checked around the front left axle, brake, suspension, everything, and could not find anything wrong. So I kept driving thinking I'd have to put the car in the shop to find some obscure, expensive problem. Then today while I was driving today I was thinking about what it could possibly be. I thought about the lug nuts, decided there was no way they could could be loose and forgot about it until I got home then just to rule it out I tried to turn one. It came off in my hand. Same with 3/5 of them and the other 2 were only finger tight. The fvcking idiot mouthbreather who rotated my tires forgot to tighten my lug nuts. Imagine how bad the damage could've been if the wheel came off while I was driving today. How the fvck do you forget that? That could be life or death if it isn't caught in time.

Edit: this came to mind while I was tightening them back down:
 
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eaterofdog

ass grabber
Sep 8, 2006
7,668
809
Central Florida
I hate doing my own repairs, but I hate paying some idiot serious cash to stick his thumb in his ass and make chicken noises (or whatever it is they do back there) even more.
 

legalize

Chimp
May 15, 2012
41
0
NYC
I've been in the same boat as you, but it was only one wheel... Though I did take it to the shop, dealer nonetheless, and it cost me 115 bucks to tighten.
 

kazlx

Patches O'Houlihan
Aug 7, 2006
6,908
1,794
Tustin, CA
Would have been my first guess after having tires rotated...

And that is why I work on my own stuff.
 

Matchew

Monkey
May 26, 2006
511
0
NH / Mass (ugh)
I refuse to pay idiots to screw around and forget to thighten sh1t on my car when I can do it perfectly fine myself. :rofl: Had an odd vibration after changing some brake pads, wheel lugs were hand tight. F me.
 
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buildyourown

Turbo Monkey
Feb 9, 2004
4,837
0
South Seattle
Super common actually. It's not that they forget to tighten them, they are just in a hurry and fail to use a torque wrench and use the impact wrench instead. 99.9% of the time this is fine until the guy next to him uses his at the same time and there is a momentary pressure drop in the line. Then the bolts are way under torque and said mouthbreather has no clue. Herp a derp.

I am actually of the opinion that if you are going to pay somebody, just ball up and go to the dealer. They are way more likely to cover there ass than some crap independent with shoddy insurance. Plus, since they are charging so much they might actually have some extra time.
 

CrabJoe StretchPants

Reincarnated Crab Walking Head Spinning Bruce Dick
Nov 30, 2003
11,647
470
Groton, MA
I ran into loose lug nuts twice in my limited driving life. First was after an inspection where they had my front wheels off (WTF?).......noticed that on the highway and pulled over before it came off.


Second time was last week when I did my front brakes, new tires and new front driveshaft of my Jeep. Luckily I remembered right as I pulled to the end of my driveway to go for a test drive (was in a rush to check if the new DS solved my driveline issues....moron mistake).


Stuff like that is why I generally refuse to work on friend's vehicles. I'm fully confident in my car repair abilities, but I'm not risking something bad happening to a friend due to a momentary lapse in judgment or a brain fart on my part. I want my own body/vehicle damaged as a result of my stupidity.
 
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DirtyMike

Turbo Fluffer
Aug 8, 2005
14,366
944
My own world inside my head
Super common actually. It's not that they forget to tighten them, they are just in a hurry and fail to use a torque wrench and use the impact wrench instead. 99.9% of the time this is fine until the guy next to him uses his at the same time and there is a momentary pressure drop in the line. Then the bolts are way under torque and said mouthbreather has no clue. Herp a derp.

I am actually of the opinion that if you are going to pay somebody, just ball up and go to the dealer. They are way more likely to cover there ass than some crap independent with shoddy insurance. Plus, since they are charging so much they might actually have some extra time.
Its not that common and I really hate when I hear people say that, I have been working in a shop for fifteen years and NEVER have I left a wheel loose, in fact over the last eleven years I have been working for the same company and there has been only a single incident for the entire company, which the action is swift and exact..... PACK YOUR TOOLS. I now run the shop I am at and I stick very strictly to the standing policy... wheel loose, you don't work here.

This is the policy for any respectable repair facility, if you have ever had this happen you should be informing the location and settle for nothing less than the person at fault's termination.








If this many people on the monkey are having this issue, really need to review were your taking your car, I just cannot believe with all the places I have works, advised, and setup their programs that this could be this common of a problem. Maybe Ma and Pop shops that have no enforcement, My shop before you touch a car you spend three weeks training, then tested.





Oh side note, there is absolutely zero superiority in going to the dealer, there is no special magic that makes those guys any better or smarter than anyone else working on cars. They all learn from the same place everyone else does. Sadly I will admit there is WAY too many people working on cars that got their education doing so from under a tree being taught the wrong way in the first place. Gives guys such as myself a really bad image, I settle for nothing less than perfect when I work on your vehicle.
 
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DirtyMike

Turbo Fluffer
Aug 8, 2005
14,366
944
My own world inside my head
Oh one last side note I see that is a Huge issue, and this is more the case of what is really happening, its not that they are forgetting to tighten the lugs, its not that they are using an impact without hand torqueing, its not a drop in air pressure....... Its that they are not getting the wheel flat on the hub when they do tighten it. So what happens is the wheel is slightly cocked on the hub, appears and feels tight, and block down the road it settles. Wheel is loose.



Any idiot out there that uses an impact to tighten wheels without some type of torque limiting device on the impact is not leaving your wheel loose, in fact its overtightened..... i have a full set of torque pros, they limit the torque output, then use a torque wrench...... Without a torque wrench lugs are going to hit 200 plus foot pounds really fast, and most vehicles torque is 80 to 100 foot pounds.
 

CrabJoe StretchPants

Reincarnated Crab Walking Head Spinning Bruce Dick
Nov 30, 2003
11,647
470
Groton, MA
Its not that common and I really hate when I hear people say that, I have been working in a shop for fifteen years and NEVER have I left a wheel loose,

I'm sure the dude that did my inspection thought the same thing. :rolleyes:

I sure as fvck would never go back to a shop that left a wheel loose, not even to bitch them out. I had tires put on my car last summer, and when I tried to rotate them for the first time a severely cross threaded lug sheared the stud in half when trying to remove it. I simply replaced the stud, put the broken stud/lug in an envelope with a note that said "start the lugs by hand" and left it on the doorstep of the tire place before they opened. Short and sweet.

Point is, unless every customer that's been through your shop has called you back after a month to let you know all their wheels are still tight, there's really no way of absolutely knowing they were indeed tight when they left the shop.
 

DirtyMike

Turbo Fluffer
Aug 8, 2005
14,366
944
My own world inside my head
I'm sure the dude that did my inspection thought the same thing. :rolleyes:

I sure as fvck would never go back to a shop that left a wheel loose, not even to bitch them out. I had tires put on my car last summer, and when I tried to rotate them for the first time a severely cross threaded lug sheared the stud in half when trying to remove it. I simply replaced the stud, put the broken stud/lug in an envelope with a note that said "start the lugs by hand" and left it on the doorstep of the tire place before they opened. Short and sweet.

Point is, unless every customer that's been through your shop has called you back after a month to let you know all their wheels are still tight, there's really no way of absolutely knowing they were indeed tight when they left the shop.
My customer is a solid 80 plus percent return customers, and with the name like ours... Goodyear, we hear everything that is wrong. You should absolutly return to let the shop know if your effin wheels were left loose, on a side note your lugnutt was not cross threaded, the threads were pulled, thats is the result of using an impact with limiting it.....


If something is wrong with your car when you get it back, guys dont be pussy's and walk off not saying anything.... Go back and tell them, have them pay for any repairs needed, if nothing is said than the jackass who screws up never knows and ends up killing someone. If you pay someone to work on your bike and they screw the pooch, do you walk away and never say anything?
 

CrabJoe StretchPants

Reincarnated Crab Walking Head Spinning Bruce Dick
Nov 30, 2003
11,647
470
Groton, MA
My customer is a solid 80 plus percent return customers, and with the name like ours... Goodyear, we hear everything that is wrong. You should absolutly return to let the shop know if your effin wheels were left loose, on a side note your lugnutt was not cross threaded, the threads were pulled, thats is the result of using an impact with limiting it.....
Then why was the lug nut crooked and not seated against the rim?
 

DirtyMike

Turbo Fluffer
Aug 8, 2005
14,366
944
My own world inside my head
Then why was the lug nut crooked and not seated against the rim?
It pulled the threads out, and started to twist. If it was cross threaded then when you went to work on it, you would have seen it never going all the way on.

Also something else to think about, lugnuts wear out, studs wear out. Your removing and installing these over and over, I see way too many vehicle with unsafe lugs, If your rotating every 3k or so.... Probably need a new set no more than 75K.....
 

CrabJoe StretchPants

Reincarnated Crab Walking Head Spinning Bruce Dick
Nov 30, 2003
11,647
470
Groton, MA
It pulled the threads out, and started to twist. If it was cross threaded then when you went to work on it, you would have seen it never going all the way on.

Also something else to think about, lugnuts wear out, studs wear out. Your removing and installing these over and over, I see way too many vehicle with unsafe lugs, If your rotating every 3k or so.... Probably need a new set no more than 75K.....

The car had 35k miles, and I rotate every other oil change (10k miles)........I think the lugs were plenty good.
 

buildyourown

Turbo Monkey
Feb 9, 2004
4,837
0
South Seattle
Its not that common.
Apparently it is that common. If more than 2 people who read this thread (160 views) than it's very, very common. Tire shops are the worst offenders. They are making very little on every customer and are under extreme pressure to turn them over. 1/2 the time the customer is in the lobby tapping their foot and eating stale popcorn. The nuts come on and off with an impact and they end up over torqued or under torqued.
If I need a tire changed, I take in loose wheels. Those ****ers won't get near any of my vehicles.
 

Kanye West

220# bag of hacktastic
Aug 31, 2006
3,472
187
If I need a tire changed, I take in loose wheels. Those ****ers won't get near any of my vehicles.
This is how I deal with tires as well. They always wonder why I insist on dealing with the wheel install myself.

Loose lugnuts, rounded out lugnuts, mix-matched lugnuts and cross-threaded lugnuts from shops have put me into that habit.
 

HardtailHack

used an iron once
Jan 20, 2009
2,415
331
DirtyMike- Pretty cool that you guys use torque wrenches on light vehicle stuff, never heard of anyone doing that.

I used to drive a Mini and I'd rip all the wheels off at home because even if you ask them not to use a rattle gun they still do. A friend had a stud snap on his Mini after the shop used a gun on it so he put it through their window later that night, not something I'd do but I found it funny.
 

ultraNoob

Yoshinoya Destroyer
Jan 20, 2007
4,515
1
Hills of Paradise
I've made money in the automotive industry since I was 14. I've had 2 employees forget to torque lugs. Both employees were quickly let go. Both times, the customer HAD THE BALLS to come back and yell at me. I'm glad they did. Had they pussed out and kept it to themselves, those 2 tech's may have worked for me longer and may easily have endangered more lives.

Like Dirty, I too use pre torque bars. When I work mobile, I hand tighten all lugs and ensure a proper hub seat before using a torque wrench. When done properly, sh!t like what the OP went through, should never happen.

When I get my tires done, I request to witness the wheels being installed. Most shops will let you watch from outside the work bay. Only once have I seen the tire monkey gun the lugs on without a pre torque bar. To his credit though, when he went to use a torque wrench, he noticed that they were too tight; and proceeded to loosen the lugs and do it right.
 
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HardtailHack

used an iron once
Jan 20, 2009
2,415
331
I probably wouldn't tell the garage if a wheel they fit came loose, I have however gone back to complain about some rubbish Toyo tyres they recommended.

A place I worked at had set of duals come off a bus at 50MPH, over the next two days we had to torque check ~6000 wheel nuts, not cool.
 

DirtyMike

Turbo Fluffer
Aug 8, 2005
14,366
944
My own world inside my head
Apparently it is that common. If more than 2 people who read this thread (160 views) than it's very, very common. Tire shops are the worst offenders. They are making very little on every customer and are under extreme pressure to turn them over. 1/2 the time the customer is in the lobby tapping their foot and eating stale popcorn. The nuts come on and off with an impact and they end up over torqued or under torqued.
If I need a tire changed, I take in loose wheels. Those ****ers won't get near any of my vehicles.
This is how I deal with tires as well. They always wonder why I insist on dealing with the wheel install myself.

Loose lugnuts, rounded out lugnuts, mix-matched lugnuts and cross-threaded lugnuts from shops have put me into that habit.

Well that really suck that the both of you have had **** happenings like that, I find those mistakes unacceptable 100 percent. as does the entire ITDG group, let me finish with saying that it really sucks to hear this opinion being spoken that it is a very common without any actual stats of it. I hate the image the automotive industry has because people are so quick to already have the image that we are here to rip you off. Bottom line is, I have a skill, it makes me money, pays my bills. There is WAY too much honest money to be made for myself to allow anything less than perfect, and WAY too many competitors to make mistakes and have people not come back.

I probably wouldn't tell the garage if a wheel they fit came loose, I have however gone back to complain about some rubbish Toyo tyres they recommended.

A place I worked at had set of duals come off a bus at 50MPH, over the next two days we had to torque check ~6000 wheel nuts, not cool.
For anyone that thinks we in the auto industry are lucky to have someone comeback and complain, try again....... People love their cars, 99% of our customers are those that do not have the ability to work on their cars, but still have the passion for them like everyone here. Trust me, if something is not perfect with someones car....... they most definitely come back and we hear about it, usually very loudly.

It blows me away that in this thread I would get praise for using a torque wrench to tighten wheels, I have not walked into a shop over the last ten years that did not do this. Part of us being an ITDG member is we go and inspect each others shops. This is standard practice, Companies like ours that are a goodyear third party franchise have to do it this way, if we do not Goodyear pulls our support and product.... Complaints or not if we are caught not doing it right we get into alot of trouble, yes the guys from Gemini sit in the parking lot to make sure that everything is happening like it should, no we do not know when this is happening. I do not deserve to be given props for doing my job correctly
 
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HardtailHack

used an iron once
Jan 20, 2009
2,415
331
It blows me away that in this thread I would get praise for using a torque wrench to tighten wheels, I have not walked into a shop over the last ten years that did not do this. Part of us being an ITDG member is we go and inspect each others shops. This is standard practice, Companies like ours that are a goodyear third party franchise have to do it this way, if we do not Goodyear pulls our support and product.... Complaints or not if we are caught not doing it right we get into alot of trouble, yes the guys from Gemini sit in the parking lot to make sure that everything is happening like it should, no we do not know when this is happening. I do not deserve to be given props for doing my job correctly
True, people shouldn't be praised for "just" doing their job but when there are so many shoddy people out there people tend to appreciate good workshops and employees.


I turned down a job because of dodgy inspection practices, a truck tyre inspection was "kick it if it sounds flat put some air in it". Sure I hate checking the pressure of every tyre and torque of each wheel nut but if that vehicle is in a crash every tyre will be tested so you are covering your arse and the customer assumes you do it so they probably won't check themselves.
 

kickstand

Turbo Monkey
Sep 18, 2009
3,444
392
Fenton, MI
Took my car in for a routine tire rotation a few weeks ago, and yesterday the car started making a weird noise coming from the front left of the car. It only did it when I wasn't braking or accelerating. I checked around the front left axle, brake, suspension, everything, and could not find anything wrong. So I kept driving thinking I'd have to put the car in the shop to find some obscure, expensive problem. Then today while I was driving today I was thinking about what it could possibly be. I thought about the lug nuts, decided there was no way they could could be loose and forgot about it until I got home then just to rule it out I tried to turn one. It came off in my hand. Same with 3/5 of them and the other 2 were only finger tight. The fvcking idiot mouthbreather who rotated my tires forgot to tighten my lug nuts. Imagine how bad the damage could've been if the wheel came off while I was driving today. How the fvck do you forget that? That could be life or death if it isn't caught in time.

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You mean you forgot to re-torque them or head back into the shop to have them retorqued after 50 miles of driving?

Ok got it.
 

binary visions

The voice of reason
Jun 13, 2002
21,695
498
NC
You're kinda doing a disservice to everyone who goes into that shop by not going back and telling them.
 

jimmydean

The Official Meat of Ridemonkey
Sep 10, 2001
30,705
3,722
Portland, OR
I wounder what my car would look like with the tires rotated? :rofl:

My wheels are 17x9.5, but my tires are stock size P255/45ZR17 front and P285/40ZR17 rear. The 285's in the front would be AWESOME.
 

BUFFALO

Vigorous Giver of Reputation
Feb 11, 2005
150
0
Renton, wa
I too am an auto mechanic. I work at a dealer though. Yeah yeah, I know you hate me already! In the 12 years I've been at this dealer, there has been only one case of a wheel left loose. The guy who worked on it found out as he was driving around the block. He got fired. I don't think it is real common to have this happen though. I personally use a torque stick, (torque bar?) on my impact gun set to the lowest setting. Then go around with my torque wrench and set them all to spec. I know some guys just use a torque stick on a higher setting. And I feel that they are lucky if they don't have any issues with doing that.
However, something to think about here;
My friend bought a VW Westy a few years ago. Drove it for 2 or 3 years. Driving home one night, the left front wheel comes off and passes him as he is going down the road at about 40. In all the time he has owned it, he never once had that wheel off. It worked it's way loose somehow on it's own. Luckily he wasn't hurt and the van wasn't too damaged. As a side note to that though, it has wheel spacers and I suspect it had something to do with those. I've never been a fan of those.
So I guess the moral of the story is, personally check your lug nuts once in a while. It's easy, and most cars come with some kind of wrench to use on the lug nuts. You don't need a torque wrench to make sure they are tight.
 

TN

Hey baby, want a hot dog?
Jul 9, 2002
14,257
1,334
Jimtown, CO
Took my car in for a routine tire rotation a few weeks ago, and yesterday the car started making a weird noise coming from the front left of the car. It only did it when I wasn't braking or accelerating. I checked around the front left axle, brake, suspension, everything, and could not find anything wrong. So I kept driving thinking I'd have to put the car in the shop to find some obscure, expensive problem. Then today while I was driving today I was thinking about what it could possibly be. I thought about the lug nuts, decided there was no way they could could be loose and forgot about it until I got home then just to rule it out I tried to turn one. It came off in my hand. Same with 3/5 of them and the other 2 were only finger tight. The fvcking idiot mouthbreather who rotated my tires forgot to tighten my lug nuts. Imagine how bad the damage could've been if the wheel came off while I was driving today. How the fvck do you forget that? That could be life or death if it isn't caught in time.

Edit: this came to mind while I was tightening them back down:
LOL. that happened to us once with L's car. we drove 600 miles to visit family & on the road things werent quite right. pulled over & noticed the lug nuts were super loose. fkn idiots. never went back to that mechanic.
 

mantispf2000

Turbo Monkey
Aug 9, 2001
1,747
194
Nevada, 2 hours from Mammoth
Have a few haha stories about this. First was when I bought a T100 Toyota 2WD truck, took it in for an oil change, was charged for transfer service and second drive shaft lube. Asked the guy where it was located, he hemmed and hahhed, and finally admitted that he made a mistake. Moron. Second was taking my van in to Wal-Mart for an oil change (ok, I was still gun shy from the first, and still wanted to save a couple of dollars). A few weeks later, I noticed oil leaking under the van. Since I was taking in to my regular mechanic, I asked him to check it out. Said the filter "fell off" as he checked it for tightness, that it was only finger tight to begin with. Now, he gets all my business on all my cars, and excellent word-of-mouth advertising from me.

As for tires, I've gone to Costco for all but 1 of my 12-14 sets of tires I've purchased. They've taken care of me beyond appreciation, have always credited me when I don't reach the rated mileage on the tires, and have repaired the few booboo's I've had.