Fraudulent mechanic? How hard to break struts?

colmmoocolmmoo Member Posts: 4
edited March 2014 in Nissan
We bought a used car from my boss today and brought it to a mechanic in her neighborhood. He told us to come back in two hours and let us know whether anything was wrong with the car. So we come back after lunch to hear that the right wheel had fallen off when they raised it on the platform. Of course, my husband and I were alarmed, but the weird thing was that we didn't hear the rumbling sound of the wheel when we drove the car to the mechanic. We were warned that the right wheel could fall off anytime. The mechanic gave us a list of things that needed to be done, including replacement of both struts and mounts, tuneup, etc. as well as estimates.

My boss accused the mechanic of breaking the strut of the right wheel as she claimed that it wasn't broken before we brought it over. So the mechanic began to yell at her denying that he broke it. He didn't look shoddy, was very friendly before this happened. Located in a very decent neighborhood.

Now I'm afraid that the mechanic could've messed up other parts of the car without us knowing. I checked the BBB site and they're not listed.

How easy is it to break struts? I don't know whether to believe my boss or the mechanic.


  • 0patience0patience Oregon CoastMember Posts: 1,712
    Whoa now.
    What, specifically broke??
    Breaking a strut itself by hand is no easy feat.

    Give us some specifics, like;YEAR, MAKE, MODEL and ENGINE and exactly what part is broke.

    I have to tell you right off that with the info you have provided so far, I am leaning on the side of the mechanic.
    Give me more info and I will then explain why.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonMember Posts: 20,338
    It'll be interesting to hear the details.

    Also, buying a car from one's boss just may not be the smartest thing to do!
  • colmmoocolmmoo Member Posts: 4
    The car is a 1994 Nissan Altima. 88,720 miles on it.

    My husband and my boss brought it to Meineke to get a second opinion on the front right strut. Apparently, it was only the strut mount that needed replacing. Would you drive this car on the highway knowing that the first mechanic said that the right wheel could fall off anytime?
  • colmmoocolmmoo Member Posts: 4
    One other thing...the first mechanic jacked up the car and bounced the right wheel up and down. There were small cracks in the round piece that helps hold the wheel in place (I think). Sorry, I can't give a better explanation. It looked like a plastic or rubber ring that was cracked in its edges. The right wheel literally looked loose and when we drove the car off, there was a terrible rumbling sound (we didn't hear this prior to bringing it to the first mechanic).
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Anytime I hear predictions of death horror maiming, etc. from a strange new repair shop I am inclined to believe that these scare tactics are highly suspicious.
  • rea98drea98d Member Posts: 982
    "Also, buying a car from one's boss just may not be the smartest thing to do!"

    Smarter than selling your boss a car!
  • swschradswschrad Member Posts: 2,171
    I would suspect the mechanic clamped a pump pliers onto the exhaust pipe to look for extensive deterioration and punched a hole in it. in the exitement over who-struck-John, he decided he was not going to volunteer anything else. a common technique, it's a little coarse in that if you squeeze hard enough, you can kill a pipe that should have another year or two in it, but for a used-car evaluation for purchase, I'm sorta in favor of it myself.

    if it's the holder for the strut at top... also called a strut tower... they also have a limited life, not always that of the car, and they do need to be fixed.

    I'm not sure I'm going to load up and go hunting for anybody over what I've read so far. not enough detail, no pictures, and it apparently got too argumentative too fast for my taste.
  • alcanalcan Member Posts: 2,550
    The strut tower is the reinforced sheet metal area that the strut attaches to, part of the unibody structure. The "holder" is the strut mount.
  • leadfoot4leadfoot4 Member Posts: 593
    ...that the strut holder had deteriorated. I would think that it's possible for the strut to be held in place while the weight of the car is on it, but when lifted by the rack at the garage, the strut could fall out of place.
    Keep in mind, once unloaded, the spring will push down against the lower control arm, and away from the shock tower.
  • colmmoocolmmoo Member Posts: 4
    ...that the car will fail the inspection test if anything else was broken by the first mechanic.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonMember Posts: 20,338
    The shop was one of the "mass merchants".

    And I would be willing to bet just which one!

    Take it to a dealer or a competent independent!
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