Often we see cars come into the shop that have previously been somewhere else for a repair or installation. Once in a while, we find things that have been installed incorrectly, or that a lack of attention was used when working on the vehicle.
At RPI, our technicians pride themselves on doing it right the first time. If it takes longer, that’s because it’s done the right way. Today, we had the pleasure of installing a new suspension on a customers VW Jetta. However, what we found during the install would make any enthusiast think twice about who they leave their car with.
The first thing we noticed was that the wheels are all bolted on with mis matched wheel bolts.
In this particular instance, the customer is using 8mm wheel spacers on the rear, but the wheel bolts are still factory length. That’s a big no-no. With the wheel bolts that came off the car, the rear wheels were secured by 2 threads of the bolt. If that’s the amount of care one puts into doing something as simple as bolting wheels on, you might start to wonder if the wheel bolts were even properly torqued on.
During the removal of the front strut, Travis noticed that the ball joints were secured with mismatched hardware.
One side still has the OEM nuts (right) but the other side is using some nyloc nuts and washers (left). I guess they lost one set of nuts and grabbed the next best thing…
When it came to taking out the upper strut mount hardware we noticed one of the bolts kept spinning and spinning. That’s not suppose to happen because the strut mounts have threaded inserts.
Well, I suppose when the threads got stripped out it was easier to replace it with a nut and bolt than to replace the broken strut mount. I guess Home Depot doesn’t sell VW strut mounts.
The icing on the cake was the previous spring install. This is something that is fairly straight forward and something that any technician that’s been on the job longer than 30 seconds should know. The strut has a spring seat where the end of the spring sits. This is to prevent the spring from rotating/binding when turning and also ensures you have the proper ride height when you have the car all bolted together. The rear springs were installed upside down.
This spring install was most likely performed in a rush and the amount of attention required to properly do the install just wasn’t used.
Since we take pride in our work we will be fixing these little issues. The next time this car has to be worked on, you won’t hear a technician losing his mind at how careless the last person who touched the car must have been.
So the next time you’re comparing labour pricing, consider where you are taking it and if they will take as much pride in their work as RPI has since the 80′s.
Do it right. Do it once.