1997 Acura Integra Question about legitimacy of repair

Tiny
WGRACE07
  • MEMBER
  • 1997 ACURA INTEGRA
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • MANUAL
  • 167,900 MILES
Hey everyone! Hopefully someone has had an experience similar to mine and has some advice because I'm between a rock and a hard place here and I don't want to sound like a jerk if this situation is a common occurrence.

I recently had new rotors and brakes installed on my car and our family mechanic who I've known for almost a year basically ruined 2/4 of my struts; or rather, his lift did. The first time I met him he told me a story about how the tire and suspension assembly hanging free from the lift ruined some woman's car that she brought in and how he couldn't do anything about it because "if the struts were fine there wouldn't have been an issue; I don't know how tire and brake shops avoid it". Anyhow, I'm now in the same situation as that anonymous woman and I face having to harass someone who is intertwined with the rest of my family just to get told that it's not his fault.

To clarify, I could take almost any kind of bump (including speed bumps) going as fast as I wanted, and the car wouldn't so much as flinch. I have difficulty believing they were in such bad shape that a bit of hanging would lock them up, and if that was the case--then why didn't it happen to all four of the struts (it's only in the front)? He never has an issue explaining what happened in detail and even showing me the parts after wards, but it's 800 to replace all 4 and I'm afraid if I do just 2 then I risk ruining the front pair all over again if the rear pair ever goes and the suspension has to dangle again.

That being said, is what he's claiming even legal? If there wasn't an issue before I took it in the shop and it came out with one, regardless of how it happened, is he not responsible? It's like if he tapped a windshield by accident and it shattered because it was old and fragile--regardless of it's condition, it was still working prior to bringing it in?
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Sunday, June 7th, 2009 AT 12:39 AM

4 Replies

Tiny
MHPAUTOS
  • EXPERT
Hi there,

with a car on a 2 post hoist with the suspension hanging free will not cause any problems, I have had a 2 post hoist in my work shop for more than 20 years, and have had more cars on it than I have had hot dinners, there is more to this story than you are being told, or not told, I think you better try and get the full story first, this just dose not add up,

Mark (mhpautos)
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Sunday, June 7th, 2009 AT 12:52 AM
Tiny
WGRACE07
  • MEMBER
Thanks for the quick response, that's kind of what I'm thinking. I'm not sure how to get the story out of him though, as it's supposedly one of those things that happens "once in a blue moon" and I'm only the second or third person to have to deal with it. His explanation was that sometimes the seal on the inside of the strut can't handle the kind of 'reverse-pressure' that the hanging puts on it and all of the fluid or whatever gets distributed to the wrong side; or at least that's what I took from it. On a side note, I got a quote from sears and it's 200 cheaper for all four struts--I know you may not be in the U.S, but have you or anyone else heard anything about the quality of their repairs?
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Sunday, June 7th, 2009 AT 1:08 AM
Tiny
MHPAUTOS
  • EXPERT
Hi there,

I am in Australia so I cant really comment on this repairer, I would contact an independent suspension specialist and question them about the strut issue, I am sure that you will get the same reply that there is no reason to believe that hanging struts will cause any problem, I hope that you can get the real answer from your mechanic, any way he should have insurance against problems like this, ask about that.

, ark (mhpautos)
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Sunday, June 7th, 2009 AT 1:20 AM
Tiny
WGRACE07
  • MEMBER
Thanks for the advice, I appreciate it.
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Sunday, June 7th, 2009 AT 1:22 AM

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