Mechanic dispute.. Did they screw up my lug nuts?
February 26, 2007 3:54 PM   Subscribe

Mechanic dispute.. Did they screw up my lug nuts?

I took my car in for new tires. When I came to pick it up, the guy says the lug nut and bold was damaged and told me I needed to get replacement parts at the dealer, bring it back and they'd replace it.

I'd have to buy the parts myself (wouldn't be too expensive) but still, I looked at the nut and I think they were the ones who screwed it up.

So I made my arguement, and eventually he gave in and said okay, they'll order it, pay, and call me and replace it. But I want to know if I was really right. My argument was that the damage to the threading on the nut was near the front. So that means the damage had to occur when the nut was being put ON. It looks like when someone is trying to put a nut on and aligned it wrong, then used the hydraulic wrench and realized it wasn't on straight.

He said it was already damaged as they were trying to take it off. But if that was the case, wouldn't the threading be damaged all the way through the nut, not just at the front?

So what do you think? Any mechanic experts here? Thanks.
posted by 0217174 to Grab Bag (6 answers total)
This happened to me about a month ago! I took my car in, they called me and said the lug nut was damaged...must have been the shop before that had rotated my tires.

You can't really prove anything unless you took pictures before you brought your car in, right?

For me, a new lug nut cost like $8. I chalked it up to the cost of owning and maintaining a car. No matter whose fault it was, in my opinion, $8 is not worth my time. Mistakes happen.
posted by FergieBelle at 4:03 PM on February 26, 2007

The very same thing happened to me years ago. In fact, the shop cross-threaded the lug nuts on two of the wheels. One of the wheels nearly fell off in the middle of nowhere near Lodi, California at about 3:00 in the morning! I had to sue the tire shop in small claims court to get the repairs paid for. (I had the car towed to a Ford dealership in Lodi for the repairs.) It cost several hundred dollars (several of the nuts were cross-threaded on each of the wheels) and several, inconvenient hours for repairs. In short, though, it is unlikely they were damaged in any other way. You are right.
posted by unclejeffy at 4:18 PM on February 26, 2007

Yeah, it's extremely likely that whoever put the lugs on last cross-threaded them. They don't usually get damaged while they're just sitting there (even while you're driving).

A friend of mine had a mechanic cross-thread one lug stud on his honda, and it ended up costing over $150 to fix! (For some retarded reason, you can't change the lug studs on a 2000 Civic without taking apart the entire wheel hub. We couldn't do it ourselves because you need special equipment to put the hub back together.)
posted by knave at 4:57 PM on February 26, 2007

It is very unlikely that the nut was cross-threaded coming off unless there was already problems with the stud threading. I work at a Tire and Service center in Tucson and cross-threaded nuts are not uncommon at all - I have never, ever seen one get cross-threaded going on.
posted by jeffrygardner at 6:07 PM on February 26, 2007

wouldn't the threading be damaged all the way through the nut, not just at the front?

Yes. Absolutely. When folks have been wrenching for a while they can get carried away with the impact guns/wrenches. Imagine that they are pretending to be at NASCAR or the Gran Prix. Hustle, hustle...Oops! Former mech here, and yes, I've done that.
posted by snsranch at 6:44 PM on February 26, 2007

not that i actually work with them, but ... after a while, lugs can also kidna wear out, via crossthread or just other general abuse conditions. any reputible shop would have a bunch in stock, or be able to get the correct ones with minimal effort on their part. having them suggest you out to get them was just wierd.

however, it should be something you should pay. $5-8 per nut isn't unreasonable. but sending you out to get them or charging extra labor to install them is.
posted by lester's sock puppet at 7:15 PM on February 26, 2007

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