Car repair question

I brought my car in today to get them to mount a tire that they replaced on Monday. (I brought the flat tire in off the car)

When mounting the tire they broke off the bolt . I should not have to pay for this bolt repair , correct? The car had no problems other than a flat tire . They created the broken bolt problem.

It is possible they caused it but more likely your bolt was allready weakened. Not uncommon at all and as far as I know customers are usually billed.

Nothing wrong with the bolt a few days ago when I took off the flat tire and put on the spare. I guess it just happened to go bad when these guys worked on it? Not buying that.

How old is the car? Lug nut studs can break, especially if the previous tech over torqued them. It happens and isn’t indicative of any wrongdoing on their part. I’ve broken them using air guns and using tire irons.

car has 110k miles on it. It’s a 99 Integra. If they make me pay, I will dispute the charge with Visa and I don’t think they want to mess with that. I was the last person to work on the wheel and I did not over torque the nut.

Isn’t this a ~$5 part? Is it worth the stress to dispute the charge?

$5 is not a problem. They better not charge me labor for the repair.

It only takes a minute to replace a broken stud. Everywhere I’ve worked as a mechanic, if we broke a stud, we just put a new one on, and ***maybe ***we’d tell the customer. We’d never charge for it.

If they came in with broken studs, it’s a different story.

If you came in with wheel lock nuts on, but no key anywhere, then the numbers start rolling!

What kind of car is it? One some (e.g., my 2006 Honda Accord), front studs are not to trivial to replace - the hub has to be at least partially pressed out of the wheel bearing to generate clearance to insert the new stud in the hole.

Here is a YouTube video showing a not-quite-factory-authorized method for altering the new stud and the steering knuckle in order to jam it in in situ.

If the lug stud or lug bolt broke on disassembly, I would say it is for sure your issue. You might have left some moisture, or had the threads gall on the last reassembly. If on the other hand it snapped on reassembly, it may or may not be their fault. Without being there and looking at the pieces I really can’t offer an opinion.
I had a good friend bring in her Honda for some new front struts, and on disassembly one stud broke and two others tore the threads off from galling. This is in Southern California where there is no snow or salt. She had to pay for the studs, and new nuts.
She was good with that as she knew it wasn’t our fault.

This is what has been standard practice in the shops I worked in. Even if it takes a whole lot more time then “a few minutes”.

$364 total cost including $250 of labor so I am disputing this.

Forgot the worst part - they thought it was OK for me to drive around with 1 lug nut missing. ( car has 4) They asked me if they should fix the problem.

They also replaced the wheel bearing for some reason.

If you gave them your Visa card to run the charges through and took your car…if I were Visa, I would not accept your dispute.

My understanding is that credit card disputes are about fraudulent charges that were unknown to you, or that you order a blue coat online, and the vendor never sends it to you, yet they charge your account. In this case, the vendor (garage) explained the charges to you, you paid with your Visa, took your car. Bank charge dispute, is not some sort of panel or arbitration to determine if the services you received were valid or not.

I’ve had people do charge backs over issues that had nothing to do with me. I just send the bill to a collection agency.

The OP should understand also that they are burning a bridge, and will not be welcomed back as a customer.

Like I really want to go back there?

IANAMechanic, but their actions do not seem unusual to me. If you are in a small town, be prepared for wherever you go next to know about your chargeback.


Doesn’t sound like you made a good faith effort to resolve the issue with the garage…just paid with your credit card and plan to dispute it.

I agree. If you do not want them to do the work, the response is to drive/tow the car off the premises and take your business elsewhere. If you believe they owe damages, then you sue them. But having them do the work and then stiffing them?

I am going to dispute with the shop first. And I bet they give me money back. I have no problem suing them.

There are only 100 other tire shops around so I don’t care if these people are mad at me.

It’s hard to evaluate the mechanical side of the situation without knowing the submodel of Integra, engine size, and whether it’s a front or rear wheel stud.

While replacing lug studs is a fairly simple procedure on some cars, that’s not the case on all cars. There are some designs where lug studs are not meant to be replaced separately, and are only provided by the car manufacturer as part of the wheel hub, often in a hub and bearing assembly. On these designs it may or may not be possible to just replace a stud, and if possible may or may not be up to standards. Thus it may be that replacing a bearing/hub assembly was the proper way to repair the broken stud.

As to whose responsibility it is to bear the cost of replacing a broken lug stud, it’s not always a simple and clear matter. Certainly if the shop failed to exercise proper care, they should be responsible. But studs are known to sometimes break even with careful workmanship, sometimes without any warning, and often without a reason that can be definitely determined. The seed may have been sown months or years ago by overtorquing, with no satisfactory way to prove that’s the case nor to positively identify who might have done it. In some states the legal responsibility may lie with whoever last had their hands on it, but in most cases it’s not possible to make a compelling case as to what caused the problem.

It’s certainly frustrating to have a new (and expensive) problem arise for no apparent reason, and naturally tempting to figure the blame lies with whoever had the part in hand when it broke. Nevertheless, it may not be the shop’s fault.