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Poorly fitted gearbox


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First thing i would like to point out is that i am a self employed long distnace taxi driver and i have no income since the 17th December. Two months ago my car had new gear box fitted, since then i have driven 20,000 miles. A few days ago i had to be rescued by the rac and the mechanic told me the drive shaft had come away from the gear box, the bolts now missing. He said this was the fault of the gear box fitted as the bolts should never work loose. the dilema i have is the original garage is closed until the 4th jan and i am unsure as to whether i should get the repairs done so i can return to work or wait until i can speak to them but loose upto £2000 income. If i get the repairs done by a third party can i still return to the first garage and expect them to recompense the costs? many thanks Del

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Hi and welcome to CAG.

 

You're in a bit of a dilema here by the looks of it. Most reputable garages should of been be open on the 17th December and closed perhaps on the 23rd until tomorrow up to New Year's eve so it sounds to me that the garage isn't a big one or a dealer and as such, my alarm bells are alleady ringing. In any event, you havn't mentioned what (if any) warranty was provided for the work you had done. Or whether the gear box was actually new or a re-conditioned one. SOGA does state (for used products) that any fault which develops within the first 6 months of ownership, it is assumed that the fault existed at the point of sale. The seller of such goods is to be given the opportuinity to inspect and suitably rectify thed fault. This applies to used goods sold by a trader. So we need to establish if in fact the gear box is new or re-conditioned, the make. model and mileage of the car and if there is a warranty involved, does it cover this type of use? Was the garage aware of your occupation? 20,000 miles in 2 months is above average mileage I would suggest so however you answer my questions, you will need proof that the fault is a result of poor fitting in the form of an independant engineer's report to make any sucessfull claim.

 

What you should of done so far is to have contacted the garage as soon as the fault developed or send them an email asking them to inspect the vehicle within the next 7 days. If you didn't get any joy, then I would suggest that you would of been within you rights to have gone ahead and got the repairs done yourself. BUT before doing so, you would have to obtain an independant transmission-specialist report confirming what you have been told. Please exapnd on the issues I have mentioned so we can possibly advise you further.

 

Please Note

 

 

The advice I offer will be based on the information given by the person needing it. All my advice is based on my experiences and knowledge gained in working in the motor and passenger transport industries in various capacities. Although my advice will always be sincere, it should be used as guidence only.

 

 

I would always urge to seek professional advice for clarification prior to taking any action.

 

 

Please click my reputation 'star' button at the bottom of my profile window on the left if you found my advice useful.

Please Note

 

The advice I offer will be based on the information given by the person needing it. All my advice is based on my experiences and knowledge gained in working in the motor and passenger transport industries in various capacities. Although my advice will always be sincere, it should be used as guidence only.

 

I would always urge to seek face to face professional advice for clarification prior to taking any action.

 

Please click my reputation 'star' button at the bottom of my profile window on the left if you found my advice useful.

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Hi Sam, thanks for the quick reply. It is a brand new gearbox that cost me £4,400 and the garage is one of the few that specializes in gearbox and transmission work. The garage was aware of my occupation and the mileage that i do, plus they serviced my vehicle not so long ago. I tried to contact them the day that the car came back, which was the 21st. Only to find out that they are closed until the 4th January. It seems that the gearbox is not damaged, just the driveshaft that was not fitted correctly. The mechanic that can do the work is willing to take pictures and compile a report to back up what he has diagnosed. But the problem is that the garage is closed and i need the car back on the road so i can start working. I have already lost a lot of money through not been able to drive. Am i within my rights to get the work carried out. Again, thank yo - Del.

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Sounds like a rear wheel drive car to me and the prop shaft bolts have failed. Just get them replaced and back on the road. Garage should have replaced them with new as they are usually a one fit only part. You can get away with it a few times though not like before. If it's a front wheel drive car then I think you need to give a bit more info as these have no bolts usually, just nuts.

Can you clarify the mileage as well as 20K in 2 months probably means no come back. Taxis are unfortunately in a difficult position as technically you are a commercial vehicle so general consumer rules don't always apply. At the end of the day, just put some new bolts in which will be your only come back on the garage as i see it and then difficult as there is no fault with the box.

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The car is a Seat Alhambra, must admit don't know if its front or rear wheel drive. Plus i can't remember if the mechanic that looked it at said nuts or bolts. He could have quite easily just fitted a new drive shaft and not said a word. But to his credit, he said "how long have you had that gearbox on". When i told him, his words "if you had just brought that back to me after i had fitted it, my a*** would have nipped". He felt that the nuts/ bolts should have not have come away after 2 months and was down to poor installation.

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Ah so,! The bolts are one use only and should have been replaced and could easily have happened to the chap who thinks his posteria would have been nipped especially after 20 k miles. It's a common mistake to make and happens all too frequently unfortunately. Many fixings now are one use only and it's done for a reason..........they come loose if used again! Your car is front wheel drive by the way.

 

A word to the wise perhaps, many nuts and bolts used today are by design for use only once. This means that if you have a suspension arm changed, perhaps a wheel bearing or a ball joint, you cannot normally use the same fixings. Unfortunately, the aftermarket has yet to latch on to this but they have access to the latest service requirements from manufactuers so in reality there is no excuse for the OP's problem.

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What has been found is to be expected and is a classic example of what happens when bolts come loose. Fortunately it's an easy fix either by retapping or replacing the output flange with new bolts. They might offer to helicoil as well and unless they use the stainless steel versions I'd steer clear on this joint. Get the others changed as well. Proving the original garage was at fault will be difficult after 20K miles though.

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