Mechanics

DO I NEED TO REMOVE WHEELS TO CHECK BRAKES

2004 Pontiac Vibe • 17,500 miles

Hi,
I would really appreciate your feedback on this one!
Could you please tell me if it's possible to measure brake drums, discs, pads, and linings without removing wheels from a vehicle. Can you check out a universal joint without removing a wheel?
We had our vehicle in a shop for a state inspection and to have the front left wheel checked, there was a banging noise coming from that area when we drove the vehicle.
Based on the inspection report; precise measurements were made of the brake assembly parts (listed above) and a notation was made that the left front "Constant Velosity" had failed inspection.
My husband told the garage we could not afford all of the required repairs at that time and he would pick up the car that evening. On his way home from the shop, the front left wheel came off of the car. The shop claims they never removed any of the wheels; they took the measurements and identified the bad universal by looking and taking the calibrations through the spaces in the rims.
Thank you,
Donna Phoebus
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Donphoeb@aol.com
December 20, 2011.




Its possible to measure the rotor thickness with the wheel on but the pads would be hard to measure with the wheel on. As far as measure the rear brake shoe and the inside of the drum diameter with the wheel on I dont dont see how thats possible. When I used to do state inspections I always removed the wheels. So why did your wheel fall off?Because it was loose or because of something broke?

Saturntech9
Dec 20, 2011.
Hi,
Thank you for your rapid response. Apparently, three pins were sheared off the wheel mount and/or the lug nuts were not tightened or were never put back on. After the accident, the body shop noted three of the five pins for that wheel were sheared off. The repair shop stated that as being the reason for the wheel falling off. The body shop further noted 2-3 pins were sheared off each of the other three wheel mounts so the repair shop began claiming the pins were missing from all four rims when the car was brought in for inspection. If the pins were sheared off when the car arrived for inspection, wouldn't the garage have noted that on the vehicle inspection report? We have a photo of the car, taken in late June, showing all lug nuts on all tires. When we bought the car, we were told the lug nuts had to be removed with a special attachment. The attachment was still in a compartment in the car when we picked up the vehicle and didn't appear to have been removed. I'm wondering if the mechanic tried to force the lug nuts off to inspect the brake assembly and ended up shearing the pins. The repair garage also expected us to leave the car for the necessary repairs ($2,700) so probably didn't bother to tighten the lug nuts properly. The lack of any notation about missing lug nuts or pins on the inspection report makes me think they planned to replace the missing pins while the vehicle was in the shop for repair.
Can a universal joint be inspected without removing the tire?
Thank you again,
Donna Phoebus

Tiny
Donphoeb@aol.com
Dec 20, 2011.
Yes you can see if the boot is torn and all that and you can grab it and move it around.I still dont see how they can see the rear brake shoes inside the drums without removing them.I would be contacting your state inspections board about the incident and see what they think of it.
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Saturntech9
Dec 20, 2011.

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