The quality of mechanics that work on your vehicles and the quality of their work is a crapshoot now days.

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Pittsburgh,PA U.S.A.
I took my 2016 Honda CR-V for inspection on the 15th of last month, and the place I took it to is known for doing brake work (about 80 % of their business), and exhaust, inspections, and they also rent U-Haul trucks and trailers. I booked the apointment more than a month ahead, and told him that it would not need brakes, and I had taken apart the fronts and cleaned and lubed it and flushed brake fluid, but did not get around to taking apart the backs and wanted him to take them apart and clean and lube them. I also said I would supply new metal spring clips.

I put my torque-wrench in the front seat area with it set to the proper wheel lug torque of 80 Lb ft and a stubby extension and 19mm 6 point socket on it. And I asked him to please not overtighten the lug-nuts with the air gun but to please tighten them to the proper torque with my torque-wrench.

This brake shop has been in business in the Pittsburgh south hills area for as long as I can remember, and is in general thought of as doing top quality brake work.

Last week I stopped for a hogie at a local shop, and had to wait for it to be made. So I decided to pull the torque-wrench out of the spare tire area and check all the lugs to be sure none have come loose a little after 2 weeks of driving.

The first wheel I checked was the back drivers and ALL FIVE were very loose. It took more than a 1/4 turn for all 5 of them to get the touque-wrench to click. The other 3 wheels checked out OK with only one lug on the front passenger's moving a very small amount before the wrench clicked.

But all the lugs on one wheel being too loose is unexcusable, and downright dangerous. That wheel could of come off, and if it had who knows what could of happened. That could have resulted in a major accident. I was totally POed about this.

It was too late in the day to call that shop, but I called the next day. The mechanic that did the brakes answered, and was very apologetic. He did say that the other guy was the one who tighten the lugs. And that he might have been distracted when he was doing that job. But this really is totally unexcusable. A simple mistake like this could have cost somebody their life.

Just like a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, an auto repair place is only as good as its worst mechanic. And some of the clowns they have working at these places nowadays aren't worth their salt.

I know that if you want something done right you have to do it yourself but nowadays you can't even trust an inspection station to tighten the lug nuts properly when they inspect your vehicle.

I know there's some real nuts out there they're only concerned about getting enough money to buy their booze and that might be the kind of people that these places are hiring.

From now on if I ever get a car inspected I'm going to check the torque of the lug nuts before I drive it off their lot.

I had put 245 miles on my vehicle since inspection, and some of that was highway miles.

I had to pull the wheel on the opposite side and use that as a reference as to the proper size of the holes in the rim. And then pull off of the side that the lugs were loose and inspect those holes to be sure there was no damage. And also inspect the studs. Fortunately everything is OK and there is no extra wear on the wheel or studs.

Mechanics like this need a few lessons with a baseball bat in a dark alley. Some jobs that these nuts are doing can endanger people's lives if they are not done properly. And if they can't do the job properly they do not belong in that business.
 
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A Barrier Island
I have known the mechanic that works on my vehicles for seems like forever. He is married to my wife. Trustworthy and very reasonable. Works for food.

Reasonable facsimile

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Joined
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Pennsylvania
The fact that one wheel was loose makes me wonder if you didnt get "lug nut challenged" https://www.google.com/search?q=tik...i30j0i22i30.7508j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8 The craze certainly isnt as big as it was a few months back but every once in a while we are having random vehicles come in with loose wheels, some of them in the last 6 months being vehicles we serviced that I know for a fact were torqued to spec when before the car left, others cars I had never seen before. Shop owner friends in pittsburgh were the ones that told me about the "challenge" when they got inundated with loose wheels. At this point there is no way to know for sure obviously.

That said, while you have every right to expect wheels to be torqued to spec, expecting a shop to use your wrench IMO is unreasonable and would not happen in my shop for 2 reasons. First is that I have absolutely no clue how accurate your wrench is or when it was calibrated last. We have our wrenches calibrated every 6 months and check them in between on a torque wrench comparator. I trust my wrench. Second is that it breaks my routine for making sure that exactly the issue you had does not happen. Before I loosen a lug, I look up the torque spec and write it on my note sheet for the car. When I get the socket out of my toolbox I grab my torque wrench and set it on top of my tool box. It sitting there is a visual reminder that something needs to be torqued. After I install the wheels I move the socket from my impact wrench to my torque wrench and after the wheels are torqued the socket and wrench are put away. I also start at the same wheel and work in the same direction every time. If there isnt a torque wrench on top of my toolbox the car can be moved, otherwise I know I need to torque them.

Also, making a comment of "it doesnt need brakes" is one of the most useless comments you can make when booking an inspection. It doesnt matter what you think or what you say I inspect every car the same way including my own.
 

AZjeff

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Agree with your rant about shoddy dangerous work, BUT, you were concerned enough about the quality of their work to provide them a torque wrench and yet didn't check the lug nuts when you got home?

Turns out your initial concerns were unwarranted, they didn't overtighten them. Where will you take your cars now?
 
Joined
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Detroit
I am the only person that touches any of my cars. I'll even remove the wheels from the car when getting new tires so they can't screw anything up on the car.
Yes!

I wish I had realized even getting tires swapped could equal a damaged car! I took my 1991 Toyota Previa to a Discount Tire, and the techie did not know where to Jack the van. This vehicle is not meant to be jacked on the pinch welds. He tried to, and the body was deformed permanently! I haven't made a big fuss about it since it is an old, inexpensive vehicle, but darn it, even the small jobs can end up with a damaged vehicle.

I now do the same things as you. Even if tires are swapped, I'm taken them off the car myself and taking them there!
 
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JimPghPA

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The fact that one wheel was loose makes me wonder if you didnt get "lug nut challenged" https://www.google.com/search?q=tik...i30j0i22i30.7508j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8 The craze certainly isnt as big as it was a few months back but every once in a while we are having random vehicles come in with loose wheels, some of them in the last 6 months being vehicles we serviced that I know for a fact were torqued to spec when before the car left, others cars I had never seen before. Shop owner friends in pittsburgh were the ones that told me about the "challenge" when they got inundated with loose wheels. At this point there is no way to know for sure obviously.

That said, while you have every right to expect wheels to be torqued to spec, expecting a shop to use your wrench IMO is unreasonable and would not happen in my shop for 2 reasons. First is that I have absolutely no clue how accurate your wrench is or when it was calibrated last. We have our wrenches calibrated every 6 months and check them in between on a torque wrench comparator. I trust my wrench. Second is that it breaks my routine for making sure that exactly the issue you had does not happen. Before I loosen a lug, I look up the torque spec and write it on my note sheet for the car. When I get the socket out of my toolbox I grab my torque wrench and set it on top of my tool box. It sitting there is a visual reminder that something needs to be torqued. After I install the wheels I move the socket from my impact wrench to my torque wrench and after the wheels are torqued the socket and wrench are put away. I also start at the same wheel and work in the same direction every time. If there isnt a torque wrench on top of my toolbox the car can be moved, otherwise I know I need to torque them.

Also, making a comment of "it doesnt need brakes" is one of the most useless comments you can make when booking an inspection. It doesnt matter what you think or what you say I inspect every car the same way including my own.
The shop I used does not have any torque-wrench. They ONLY have air impact lugnut guns. And we all know that they overtighten lugs, especially on a vehicle that is only rated for 80 lb ft. I mean it is not a truck with 150 lb ft lug nut rating.
 

JimPghPA

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Agree with your rant about shoddy dangerous work, BUT, you were concerned enough about the quality of their work to provide them a torque wrench and yet didn't check the lug nuts when you got home?

Turns out your initial concerns were unwarranted, they didn't overtighten them. Where will you take your cars now?
If I had not provided my torque-wrench they would of overtightened every one of them with there air gun.
 

dishdude

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The shop I used does not have any torque-wrench. They ONLY have air impact lugnut guns. And we all know that they overtighten lugs, especially on a vehicle that is only rated for 80 lb ft. I mean it is not a truck with 150 lb ft lug nut rating.

Have you tried Brunner's on the southside? 15th St and E Carson.
 

JimPghPA

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Have you tried Brunner's on the southside? 15th St and E Carson.
Thanks for the suggestion.
The fact that one wheel was loose makes me wonder if you didnt get "lug nut challenged" https://www.google.com/search?q=tik...i30j0i22i30.7508j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8 The craze certainly isnt as big as it was a few months back but every once in a while we are having random vehicles come in with loose wheels, some of them in the last 6 months being vehicles we serviced that I know for a fact were torqued to spec when before the car left, others cars I had never seen before. Shop owner friends in pittsburgh were the ones that told me about the "challenge" when they got inundated with loose wheels. At this point there is no way to know for sure obviously.

That said, while you have every right to expect wheels to be torqued to spec, expecting a shop to use your wrench IMO is unreasonable and would not happen in my shop for 2 reasons. First is that I have absolutely no clue how accurate your wrench is or when it was calibrated last. We have our wrenches calibrated every 6 months and check them in between on a torque wrench comparator. I trust my wrench. Second is that it breaks my routine for making sure that exactly the issue you had does not happen. Before I loosen a lug, I look up the torque spec and write it on my note sheet for the car. When I get the socket out of my toolbox I grab my torque wrench and set it on top of my tool box. It sitting there is a visual reminder that something needs to be torqued. After I install the wheels I move the socket from my impact wrench to my torque wrench and after the wheels are torqued the socket and wrench are put away. I also start at the same wheel and work in the same direction every time. If there isnt a torque wrench on top of my toolbox the car can be moved, otherwise I know I need to torque them.

Also, making a comment of "it doesnt need brakes" is one of the most useless comments you can make when booking an inspection. It doesnt matter what you think or what you say I inspect every car the same way including my own.
I expect them to inspect it. I was just trying to give him an idea of how much of his shop time my vehicle would require. The brakes have less than 10,000 miles on them. And the pads have a lot left on them.
 
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ROCHESTER, NY
I agree. My lug nuts are usually put on way too tight with the shop gun even when I mention not to use it by itself. I can see/feel them just blow me off while walking away. Which is why I still continue to work on my vehicles myself.

I still have to bring my vehicles in for state inspections where they remove all 4 wheels(that I've already torqued) or new tires, and the shop puts them back on with the torque all over the place.

But, it's not just tires/wheels/lug nuts. It's everything that I can stand about how unethical so many shops & techs are.
 

OVERKILL

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Typically you are supposed to re-check the lug-nuts after 150km. I've done that on my own vehicles, after torquing all the wheels myself with my torque wrench, and have had lug nuts that would tighten down further on some wheels, and other wheels, everything was perfect. My dealer specifically tells you to bring it back in after 150km to have the wheels checked too, and they have someone run out with a torque wrench and check them all.
 
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I have all my tire work done at my local Les Schwab, great group of guys, same group everytime I go in, not all new faces every visit, waiting room has a big window to watch all the work done on your car. ;)
 
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