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"My rear end's leaking" You need to make it right.

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I need some words of wisdom to resolve an issue, or at least thoughts on how to handle this situation.


Long story short (sort of); We installed a used rear end assembly in an 07 Mustang GT due to noise/howl in his - 16 months ago. Chose a used assembly (mistake #1) b/c "rebuilding" his to correct a howl was not a job that I was comfortable doing. (Past personal horror stories prevent me from opening up rear axles!) Yard offered a 6 month warranty which was documented and he was aware of. He authorized, paid and left, I have a long term relationship with this customer, more as an acquaintance than a regular customer, but occasionally we will do something for him. Fast forward more than a year (during which I've seen this car once for another simple service). Calls and says "there's a drip in my garage floor - I think that rear end is leaking." He brings it in and sure enough there is a "seep" from the pinion seal. Again - fearing opening a can of worms and knowing all warranty has expired - I top it off and advise the dealer for what I'm thinking should be a relatively straightforward repair for a Ford tech. (mistake #2) He reluctantly agrees and leaves, not a word said about noise or warranty. Today (two weeks later) he storms into the shop and proceeds to give me a serious tongue lashing, claiming that "Ford says that rear end was junk when you put it in, the pinion bearing is wiped out and that's what caused the leak and that they're going to have to "rebuild" it (whatever that means) - and for less than you charged me to put a used one in! you should have sent me there to begin with!" But now today all of a sudden, he claims that "that rear end was still making noise from the day I picked it up!" (16 months ago) but he never called to tell me, not a word in 16 months, and didn't even mention that it was making noise when he came in with the leak 2 weeks ago-not a word until the dealer "told" him I sold him a "junk" used rear end. He was angry. I listened, I asked why he never brought it to my attention? Especially knowing the warranty was 6 months. I didn't get a logical answer. After he'd vented, I asked "what would you like me to do at this point?"

His answer was "I'm not going to tell you what to do, but you need to make this right! You think about it and call me."


Question to you all....how do I handle this to avoid mistake #3?


Thanks in advance.

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It was a used axle assembly. Meaning, it was used. Parts wear over time, thus becoming used. When a used part is, pardon the pun, used then there is a much higher chance of failure than one that is new or rebuilt. Therefor, only a 6 month warranty was given because they felt that the potential for problems with this used axle is greatly increased after another 6 months of use on a used axle.


He got 16 months on an axle that was used. Sorry, they only warrantied it for that 6 month period.


Ford cant see what happened to that axle 16 months prior, that guy is telling you a story or the stealer is trying to make you look bad.


So, did you charge him more than the axle could be rebuilt for?

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So, did you charge him more than the axle could be rebuilt for?


I don't know. In an effort to try and NOT exacerbate the problem, I listen more than I spoke. Discussing anything logically or rationally at that time was not an option. I don't truly know what they actually did or what it cost.

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I have developed a relationship with a local transmission Shop to refer this type of work to if you don't feel comfortable doing it. Our relationship agreement is that we don't steel work from each other and we discuss issues privately to avoid customer issues. My advise is to tell the customer you want to make it right, but you want to get a second opinion. I would then bring it to shop you trust. A pinion seal and bearing is replaceable. If the repairs are what you feel are justified I would eat the cost. I say this because you felt is was a mistake to do a used rear end. Then write it off as good will. Future advice : refer the job or do a rebuilt differential.


Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk


I do have a relationship like that with a local tranny guy as well. And as far as making it right....I'm just not sure that it was ever wrong! I guess that's the concern. Had he said that he thought I should eat the cost of the leaking seal (even after 16 months) I probably would have agreed, but to say that the entire repair was junk from day one and that I essentially cheated him, but it was never brought to my attention so that I could make it right in a timely fashion is where I struggle. He didn't have a problem until Ford told him he had a problem, but now he says he heard noise from the day he picked it up. I just can't buy that as legit. I don't believe they're telling him the truth. They wanted the work and are making the most of the fact that someone fixed it differently than they would have and will slander without conscience.

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Give him a day or two and call him. I would make sure he is in the right state of mind before the conversation. If he is not and he continues to be irate you need to put your foot down and tell him you are here to help him but you don't deserve to be disrespected.


Explain the situation to him about what the agreement was from the beginning. 6 month warranty, used part. Hopefully you didn't push him to use a used part but even if you did he got 16 months out a used part. Also explain to him that the dealership are not fortune tellers, they can't tell you what condition the rear axle was in 16 months ago. They are throwing you under the bus and you need to make that known. Lastly about price, that is completely subjective. You have no idea what the dealership charges but the majority of services you are going to be less expensive. Explain that your intent was not to snake him into any service and its not your job to price shop for him.


Sorry your in this situation. Learn from these mistakes and if I were you I'd fire this guy as a customer immediately. Nothing good comes out of someone who can't show mutual respect. If he were my customer he would be taken care of and politely fired. I believe you should go the extra 10 miles for your clients always however once they prove not to be a client they need to go.

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Did you drive the car and confirm the repair? Changing a water pump does not mean it still won't over heat. If so, simply explain the facts. You had a warranty period in case of problems. You failed to return during that period a year ago. The warranty was from the supplier and would have been honored a year ago. I really want to help but now it's x amount to repair. You can't go wrong by being honest.

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If I have a car that needs to go to a specialist shop (transmissions) or a dealer shop (programming, etc.), I send it to the other shop myself. I NEVER give my client a chance to hear or see anything from the other shop. Controlling it from start to finish is what I do.

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If I have a car that needs to go to a specialist shop (transmissions) or a dealer shop (programming, etc.), I send it to the other shop myself. I NEVER give my client a chance to hear or see anything from the other shop. Controlling it from start to finish is what I do.

totally agree with this.... having control over the work done is the same thing, any sublets we do, even a simple tire balance, we re-adjust the pressures and do road test!..... quality control is very important and pays off big time in the long run! We also check every cars parking spot after an oil change, to make sure there are no drips!

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unfortunately, I had a similar scenario with a friend's friend 6 months ago, we got blamed for coolant tank expansion hose connector break on a 2003 C230 with 200K miles on it, which the expansion tank looked like never replaced before....guess what, I told him i will put a new one at no charge to him,,, he still didn't calm down...( he was coming from 40 miles away) .. but such a calm person turned into such an idiot... result: i put the new tank, made sure no more leaks...and when done, I parked the car on the driveway, left it running and told him ' it was great meeting you, but I don't think I will be able to help you with your car issues anymore", i immediately turned around and walked into the shop, without looking at him... I wish him good luck with the attitude change he had....anyone else should have kicked him out right away when he used accusative words.... but, he was a friend's friend... so... I let this one go this time :)

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