Sears Complaint - VW Wheel bearing failure at 60 MPH
BOISE, IDAHO -- I own a 69 VW bug that I keep in top mechanical shape because I haul my 2 and 3 year old in it daily. I broke my foot and was unable to bleed the brakes myself so I took it to Sears because they said they could do it while I waited, ready in an hour. They had to do a brake system evaluation before they could bleed the system even though I said it is unnessesary because I know it is in good shape. They found no problems and put my brakes back together and my front hubs. Three hours later I got the car back and thought it was fine. three weeks and 600 miles later coming down Horseshoe Bend Hill at 60 miles an hour the front of my car started screeching for about two seconds and then the front wheel started wobbling and I eased the car to the side of the road. I very nearly lost control of it with my kids in the back stranded on a 95 degree day 25 miles from home. I had it towed back to Sears and they said that the outer wheel bearings had been overtightened and crushed. I asked how that happened and the service manager told me it must have been the shop who replaced them before ( a year and a half ago ). I told him that I drive it 14 miles a day on the freeway and check the play in the wheel bearing every oil change, on a VW that is every 1500 miles because it has NO oil filter, and haven't had a problem until they did the wheel bearing adjustment. The service Manager said it couldn't be their fault because they torque them to spec. I said that they need to be properly adjusted instead of torqued to spec. They were unwilling to fix their mess but would replace the outerbearings and seals for $136 for outer wheel bearings and seals. I checked with the parts store and they wanted $26 plus tax for the inner and outer bearings and seals. YOU GOTTA BE KIDDING ME WE ARE FIGHTING OVER AN HOURS WORK AND $30 IN PARTS WTF!!! I said I would pick up the car and fix it myself. My wife was not satisfied and called the store director. She described the problem and symptoms and he remarked that she seamed pretty knowledgeable about the car, she should be, she helped me build it, and he would look into it. He called back and said that his tech explained that you can't possibly install and setup wheel bearings improperly and it must be due to high mileage. These are the same people who told me they were over tightened and crushed, I like how the story changes and what does 142000 miles on the car have to do with bearings replaced a year and a half ago. I have since tore down the front of my car to find that they were going to replace only half of the damaged parts in their $136 quote, the inner bearings are also damaged and the adjuster nuts were installed backwards, machined face was facing out and not against the thrust washer. They still deny any responsibility and after finding the VW manuals procedure for setting up the front hubs the store director refuses to answer my calls.