76

★★★☆☆
  • 995 Ralston Ave

    Belmont, CA 94002

    Map & Directions
  • 650-593-0230

Automotive

Automotive
More choices in Belmont:
Resultset_next

Woodside Road Shell

582 Woodside Rd Redwood City, CA

Resultset_next

Sdt Holly Shell

500 El Camino Real San Carlos, AZ

3.0 2
Hi! Sign in to let us know how 76 was?
Write a Review
.

We took in a Voyager minivan for plugs, tuneup, transmission clunks, and a general going-over.

After a few hundred dollars of transmission parts that problem remains unchanged. In fairness, he told us he couldn't guarantee that fixing it would fix it, but quoted a high probability. OK, so he guessed wrong about the trans and we had to pay for his guess. It happens. That alone wouldn't cause me to complain.

They also inspected the brakes and adjusted the parking brake. We were told the front pads and rotors needed to be replaced ASAP (for $350), while the rear brakes were just fine. We did not have them do the brakes except adjusting the parking brake. The parking brake adjustment worked fine for a while, then went back to the way it was (won't hold on a moderate hill). That alone wouldn't cause me to complain.

BUT... then... a week or two after we got it back there was a random but HEAVY thump from the back of the vehicle. It felt like running over something. We took it back, and he said it was just a loose spare tire under the back. No charge. No, I said, it was much heavier than that. I wondered if it was backfiring?? Not possible, he said. The thump in the transmission AND the new thump in the back continued.

Front brake pads are no big deal. A $25 purchase at AutoZone plus an hour with dirty hands and a 12mm wrench saved us$325. (The rotors were slightly grooved but definitely NOT worn out.) So maybe he was just being conservative on the rotors. That alone wouldn't cause me to complain.

I pulled off the rear wheels and brake drums. One was clean. One had metal filings all over about 100 miles after they told me the rear brakes were fine!! A clip was LAYING INSIDE THE BRAKE DRUM. It was scraped on one side and blue from heat. This was the source of the metal filings! We described this to the owner, and here is what he said, paraphrased since I didn't have a tape recorder:

OWNER: We didn't take off that wheel. We only inspected the other 3 wheels.

ME: That's shocking. You can't do a brake inspection properly unless you actually look at all the brakes.

OWNER: We never take off all the wheels. We only take off one side.

ME: Then why did you take off three this time?

OWNER: Let's look in the computer.[There was no record of which wheels were removed. Either he has a stunning memory or he noticed the one wheel which I had not put a hubcap back on and denied working on it because he guessed that was where the problem was.]

ME: Three of the wheels had grossly over-tightened lug nuts... and the one wheel which was torqued properly was in the FRONT. Not the rear. The evidence suggests you didn't remove one of the front wheels, but that you DID remove both rear wheels, since both rear wheels were over-torqued and only one of the front ones was.

OWNER: We tighten to the manufacturer spec. You can't know if we got it right if you're doing it by hand. You need a 2 foot wrench [which he showed me] to remove lug nuts. Besides, we can't over-tighten the lugs, we use an impact wrench set at 150 ft-lbs.

ME: The lug wrench that comes with every vehicle is shorter than the one you showed me. I'm a 200-pound guy that had to bounce on the wrench to break the nuts loose. They were galded from friction.

ME: You just told me you tightened them to 150 ft-lbs, not 100 as the shop manual says you should. That supports my argument that they were too tight!

OWNER: Those are steel rims. It doesn't matter how tight you make them.

ME: Really? Let's call the Boardwalk Dodge dealer and ask!

OWNER: I don't care what a dealer says. It doesn't matter.

ME: Look, either you failed to inspect a brake that was bad before it got here, or you caused the problem trying to adjust the parking brake (which only operates on the rear wheels). We've put thousands of miles on this van and it never made this clunk until a week or so after you worked on it.

OWNER: I'm the expert, and YOU cannot tell me what I did wrong!

ME: I'm saying you either failed to do the work you charged us for(inspecting the brakes) and told us they were OK when you had not even looked inside *OR* you caused the problem by dislodging this clip that has been rattling around inside the brake drum scraping off metal filings and causing the rear wheel to thump as it locked up.

OWNER: The brake linings [pads] are metal. The filings are from them. It's normal.

ME: The other rear wheel has no filings. These metal filings are not the same as brake dust. They sparkle. I know the difference between brake dust and metal filings. Let's put it on a lift and see!

OWNER: I did not do anything. Take it somewhere else and they will agree.

This particular business owner doesn't do careful work, lies about using manufacturer specs, and doesn't try to recover from a mistake.

Here are pictures of my damaged brake drum - http://belmont.whsites.net/Union76/index.html

1
★☆☆☆☆

We took in a Voyager minivan for plugs, tuneup, transmission clunks, and a general going-over.

After a few hundred dollars of transmission parts that problem remains unchanged. In fairness, he told us he couldn't guarantee that fixing it would fix it, but quoted a high probability. OK, so he guessed wrong about the trans and we had to pay for his guess. It happens. That alone wouldn't cause me to complain.

They also inspected the brakes and adjusted the parking brake. We were told the front pads and rotors needed to be replaced ASAP (for $350), while the rear brakes were just fine. We did not have them do the brakes except adjusting the parking brake. The parking brake adjustment worked fine for a while, then went back to the way it was (won't hold on a moderate hill). That alone wouldn't cause me to complain.

BUT... then... a week or two after we got it back there was a random but HEAVY thump from the back of the vehicle. It felt like running over something. We took it back, and he said it was just a loose spare tire under the back. No charge. No, I said, it was much heavier than that. I wondered if it was backfiring?? Not possible, he said. The thump in the transmission AND the new thump in the back continued.

Front brake pads are no big deal. A $25 purchase at AutoZone plus an hour with dirty hands and a 12mm wrench saved us$325. (The rotors were slightly grooved but definitely NOT worn out.) So maybe he was just being conservative on the rotors. That alone wouldn't cause me to complain.

I pulled off the rear wheels and brake drums. One was clean. One had metal filings all over about 100 miles after they told me the rear brakes were fine!! A clip was LAYING INSIDE THE BRAKE DRUM. It was scraped on one side and blue from heat. This was the source of the metal filings! We described this to the owner, and here is what he said, paraphrased since I didn't have a tape recorder:

OWNER: We didn't take off that wheel. We only inspected the other 3 wheels.

ME: That's shocking. You can't do a brake inspection properly unless you actually look at all the brakes.

OWNER: We never take off all the wheels. We only take off one side.

ME: Then why did you take off three this time?

OWNER: Let's look in the computer.[There was no record of which wheels were removed. Either he has a stunning memory or he noticed the one wheel which I had not put a hubcap back on and denied working on it because he guessed that was where the problem was.]

ME: Three of the wheels had grossly over-tightened lug nuts... and the one wheel which was torqued properly was in the FRONT. Not the rear. The evidence suggests you didn't remove one of the front wheels, but that you DID remove both rear wheels, since both rear wheels were over-torqued and only one of the front ones was.

OWNER: We tighten to the manufacturer spec. You can't know if we got it right if you're doing it by hand. You need a 2 foot wrench [which he showed me] to remove lug nuts. Besides, we can't over-tighten the lugs, we use an impact wrench set at 150 ft-lbs.

ME: The lug wrench that comes with every vehicle is shorter than the one you showed me. I'm a 200-pound guy that had to bounce on the wrench to break the nuts loose. They were galded from friction.

ME: You just told me you tightened them to 150 ft-lbs, not 100 as the shop manual says you should. That supports my argument that they were too tight!

OWNER: Those are steel rims. It doesn't matter how tight you make them.

ME: Really? Let's call the Boardwalk Dodge dealer and ask!

OWNER: I don't care what a dealer says. It doesn't matter.

ME: Look, either you failed to inspect a brake that was bad before it got here, or you caused the problem trying to adjust the parking brake (which only operates on the rear wheels). We've put thousands of miles on this van and it never made this clunk until a week or so after you worked on it.

OWNER: I'm the expert, and YOU cannot tell me what I did wrong!

ME: I'm saying you either failed to do the work you charged us for(inspecting the brakes) and told us they were OK when you had not even looked inside *OR* you caused the problem by dislodging this clip that has been rattling around inside the brake drum scraping off metal filings and causing the rear wheel to thump as it locked up.

OWNER: The brake linings [pads] are metal. The filings are from them. It's normal.

ME: The other rear wheel has no filings. These metal filings are not the same as brake dust. They sparkle. I know the difference between brake dust and metal filings. Let's put it on a lift and see!

OWNER: I did not do anything. Take it somewhere else and they will agree.

This particular business owner doesn't do careful work, lies about using manufacturer specs, and doesn't try to recover from a mistake.

Here are pictures of my damaged brake drum - http://belmont.whsites.net/Union76/index.html

Was this review helpful to you?
Ratings_icons Ratings_icons

.

The owners of the gas station and auto repair shop care about customers and service. You tel them what you need fixed and they fix it without charging you and arm and leg.

5
★★★★★

The owners of the gas station and auto repair shop care about customers and service. You tel them what you need fixed and they fix it without charging you and arm and leg.

Was this review helpful to you?
Ratings_icons Ratings_icons

 

Wait, you're the expert.

If you've been to or used 76, leave a review.

It's easy, only takes a couple of minutes and you'll help thousands make an informed decision.



Write a Review