Locking Wheel-Nut Problem
Locking Wheel-Nut Problem; It is easy see that the big main dealer garages, have much larger overheads than a small garage like my own, here at Pellon Auto-centre, in Halifax UK. Probably all of us small garage owners have heard horror stories from our customers about the charges that main dealer garages charge their customers.
We have heard of a couple recently? One was a lady customer who was charged £700 for a standard service on her Audi. The garage was, of course, an Audi garage, and she was threatened with the old story of, “if you have your car serviced elsewhere, it would cancel the cars warranty”
We all know that this is not true. Going back to the lady customer, I asked if I could see the garages invoice because we all know that there could have been add-ons, such as other parts. This does sometimes put up the price of a service. But no the bill was for a service and service alone. I did notice that washing the car was extra, and a few other extras totted the bill up-to-the £700 that she paid.
The lady has been one of our customers ever since and all the rest of the family now bring their car problems into us. The most recent price shock came from the BMW garage. A tyre customer of ours asked the BMW garage to change his winter tyres back to his summer tyres. His car was in for some warranty work. He thought that he would ask them “just to change the tyres whilst they had the wheels off “, The BMW garage agreed but later in the morning phoned our customer with a locking wheel nut problem? The locking wheel nut tool was missing and they could not remove the locking wheel nuts.
The shock came when they explained that the job was going to be difficult and it would cost them a whopping £500 to remove the lockers and supply a new set? WOW
The terrified customer rang Deb our depot manager? Deb told her to get the car and we worked out that the job was going to be £54. The BMW came in and Ryan removed the lockers in 10 minutes, with no problem, like many other small garages we have invested in a special tool that helps us to remove the wheel nuts on 90% of vehicles.
Ryan also noticed that one of the summer tyres to be re-fitted had a nail in the shoulder area of the tyre. The Bridgestone tyres were special run-flat tyres that
were specific to this particular BMW X5 model. This BMW comes with the i-Drive System. On this vehicle, the tyres must be of the same tread depth, on the same axle or this interferes with the cars drive system and handling.
The Bridgestone run-flat tyres are marked with a star on the sidewall. This star denotes that these are the correct tyres for this specific BMW car.
The customer paid a total of £640 for the Locking Wheel-Nut Problem solving and two new tyres fitting. There must be a moral in this story somewhere?