Dealership Responsibility - North American Motoring

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Dealership Responsibility

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Old 02-19-2019, 07:55 AM
indianajonesy
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Angry Dealership Responsibility

So I have an issue and I'd appreciate some opinions/suggestions on how to handle it. Last summer, the dealership replaced my front strut mounts and struts. Shortly thereafter, I had new tires put on at Costco.

Fast forward to last weekend. I've put on ~7k miles on these tires. I was doing some work on the Mini (oil change, valve cover gasket, and rear sway bar end links and bushings) and had it on 4 stands, so I decided to rotate the tires since it was close and I didn't feel like driving over to Costco in the near future. When doing this, I noticed that the outer edges of both front tires have severe premature (and uneven) wear. I'll admit that I probably should have checked on this sooner and noticed it, but I haven't had to fill the tires since October or November, and I didn't notice it then. Now the obvious likely culprit is that when those suspension components were replaced, no alignment was performed. The dealership did not suggest that I have one performed, either. I had had an alignment performed about 4k miles prior to the replacement, so it should have been in decent alignment prior to this work, but it is my understanding and assumption that when changing suspension components, an alignment is typically necessary and should have been performed at the dealership for the exorbitant sum they charged me. Should the dealership be liable for not doing so? Thoughts? I appreciate any comments...I usually try not to be a **** about such things, but I'm frustrated.
 
  #2  
Old 02-19-2019, 08:33 AM
02fanatic
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I'd have the alignment checked for sure. After restoring my 1976 BMW 2002 I noticed an issue right away, and after only driving it a few times the front tires were "shot"! It doesn't take very much being out of alignment to eat up the tires.
 
  #3  
Old 02-19-2019, 05:50 PM
RockC
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Originally Posted by indianajonesy View Post
So I have an issue and I'd appreciate some opinions/suggestions on how to handle it. Last summer, the dealership replaced my front strut mounts and struts. Shortly thereafter, I had new tires put on at Costco.

Fast forward to last weekend. I've put on ~7k miles on these tires. I was doing some work on the Mini (oil change, valve cover gasket, and rear sway bar end links and bushings) and had it on 4 stands, so I decided to rotate the tires since it was close and I didn't feel like driving over to Costco in the near future. When doing this, I noticed that the outer edges of both front tires have severe premature (and uneven) wear. I'll admit that I probably should have checked on this sooner and noticed it, but I haven't had to fill the tires since October or November, and I didn't notice it then. Now the obvious likely culprit is that when those suspension components were replaced, no alignment was performed. The dealership did not suggest that I have one performed, either. I had had an alignment performed about 4k miles prior to the replacement, so it should have been in decent alignment prior to this work, but it is my understanding and assumption that when changing suspension components, an alignment is typically necessary and should have been performed at the dealership for the exorbitant sum they charged me. Should the dealership be liable for not doing so? Thoughts? I appreciate any comments...I usually try not to be a **** about such things, but I'm frustrated.
What suspension work did you have done? Changing rear sway bar links and bushings should not affect alignment unless to get at these requires other suspension components be removed.

If just the sway bar links and bushings replaced the dealer was (probably) right in not suggesting you have an alignment.

Alignment can go off. No experience with my JCW (and I hope I never get this experience) but with another car just a brush if the sidewall of a rear tire against a curb had the toe off for that wheel. I suspected as much but since the rear tires were close to needing replacement I decided to wait and have the alignment checked/set when I had new tires fitted.

And with another car late at night and real tired I pulled into a hotel parking lot parking space and was not paying attention and pulled too far into the space and both front tires bumped up against the edge of the sidewalk. The sidewalk edge was not even up at full curb height. And both tires felt like the contacted the edge simultaneously. So I kind of forgot about it especially after the next day when the car felt ok no signs of any alignment issues.

But in just a few hundred highway miles after I left the hotel the car developed a howl at 75+ mph that had me suspecting a bad wheel bearing (or worse). I got the car in at a dealer and the tech told me the noise was not bearings or the front diff or anything mechanical but front wheel alignment. He showed me the tire wear and sure enough I could see the tire wear was not normal and I could really feel the feathering and roughness.

I asked about an alignment and the dealer couldn't get to it right away but the tech said it would not harm the tires to drive the car even the nearly 2K miles home. So I pointed the car towards home and trying to hold my speed under 75mph to keep the noise down -- got home with no drama and ASAP had the car aligned and sure enough the front toe was out. After a few hundred miles to give the tires a chance to scrub in and adopt to the new and correct alignment the noise was gone. And thankfully the 2K miles did not materially affect front tire life.

My point is if you make it a habit of cutting turns too sharp and run a wheel/tire or two over a curb or even just rub a front (or rear) tire against a curb, pull too far in or back too far in to a parking space and feel your way with the car's tires this can result in misalignment and the tire wear you found.

You sure the car was not aligned -- even if just toe was "set" -- when you had the tires installed? I had new tires installed on another car -- at a indy tire shop -- and let the shop talk me into an alignment. Since I was there to get new front tires after blowing the right front tire out due to hitting a large (softball) sized rock and ruining the sidewall (but no wheel damage) I felt an alignment check was warranted. But I found out in about 8K miles the alignment was crap as the new front tires showed excessive wear at the edges. After having yet another set of new front tires installed and this time a proper alignment done at a dealer the tire wear was once again normal.
 
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Old 02-19-2019, 06:02 PM
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Have someone call the dealership and ask for a quote on new front struts as you had. Ask them if an alignment is required. That would be my first attempt for better info.
 
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Old 02-20-2019, 04:41 AM
indianajonesy
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Originally Posted by RockC View Post
What suspension work did you have done? Changing rear sway bar links and bushings should not affect alignment unless to get at these requires other suspension components be removed.
Both front struts and strut mounts as I said in the original post.

Originally Posted by RockC View Post
You sure the car was not aligned -- even if just toe was "set" -- when you had the tires installed? I had new tires installed on another car -- at a indy tire shop -- and let the shop talk me into an alignment. Since I was there to get new front tires after blowing the right front tire out due to hitting a large (softball) sized rock and ruining the sidewall (but no wheel damage) I felt an alignment check was warranted. But I found out in about 8K miles the alignment was crap as the new front tires showed excessive wear at the edges. After having yet another set of new front tires installed and this time a proper alignment done at a dealer the tire wear was once again normal.
Can I guarantee it? No, but Costco doesn't perform alignments, so if someone was screwing with toe, it was on their own initiative. I'm not really questioning that it needs an alignment here. That's the obvious culprit. My question is more if the dealership was negligent in not performing or informing me so.

Originally Posted by Minnie.the.Moocher View Post
Have someone call the dealership and ask for a quote on new front struts as you had. Ask them if an alignment is required. That would be my first attempt for better info.
Good idea, thanks.
 
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Old 03-04-2019, 09:43 PM
grussell
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If the dealer did not charge you for an alignment and you have 7,000 miles on the car since the work was done you can't hold the dealer responsible at this point. I had both struts out of our 2012 Countryman replacing the clutch. I didn't get an alignment and 20,000 miles later the tires are wearing evenly.
 
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Old 03-07-2019, 06:31 PM
RockC
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Oh my. I totally missed the struts and strut mounts were replaced.

With struts and strut mounts being replaced I would be very surprised then an alignment was not called for.
 
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Old 03-07-2019, 08:43 PM
Noonzio
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Originally Posted by RockC View Post
Oh my. I totally missed the struts and strut mounts were replaced.

With struts and strut mounts being replaced I would be very surprised then an alignment was not called for.
An alignment may have been called for, but there is no guarantee it was performed, nor was the dealership obliged to do so. Every time I have major suspension work done (i.e. replace something thats of a difference spec to the original, or replace something that has 'worn') I have an alignment done.

This is totally on you, and unless the dealership charged you for an alignment (and didn't do one), they are not responsible for your worn tires.
 
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Old 03-08-2019, 06:17 AM
Minidogger
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Theoretically, if the tech puts the new strut adjustment exactly where the old one was, then the alignment should be same as it was before. The risk here is that the alignment was incorrect from before the repair, due to other worn parts.

I would have the suspension checked over well before doing alignment.
 
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Old 03-12-2019, 05:42 PM
RockC
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Originally Posted by Noonzio View Post
An alignment may have been called for, but there is no guarantee it was performed, nor was the dealership obliged to do so. Every time I have major suspension work done (i.e. replace something thats of a difference spec to the original, or replace something that has 'worn') I have an alignment done.

This is totally on you, and unless the dealership charged you for an alignment (and didn't do one), they are not responsible for your worn tires.
Oh, I agree. The dealer is under no obligation to align the car after the new suspension hardware was installed. I would hope though when this suspension R&R was being discussed with the customer, the OP, it was mentioned an alignment was probably called for, but maybe the SA didn't bother or perhaps even know.
 
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