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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Long recent repair story: Lately l had been hearing a humming noise from the front of my 2011 Sonata on my hour long commute. The pitch varied with speed. (mileage 148,000). From experience with my Subarus I'm thinking wheel bearing. I took it to a local garage in CT near my office that had excellent reviews after calling a Hyundai dealer for a quote ($$).

Side note- after telling the service advisor at the dealership my suspicion due to the Subaru's he told me that he he had no idea how much it would cost as "our" wheel bearings don't go bad and he would have to call me back. So now you know!

I had some difficulty telling if it was the left or right front. I jacked up both sides of the car evenly and put the transmission in neutral. The right front was tough to spin but l'm not sure if my test is legit. I drop the car off and tell him I think the noise might be at the right front and leave it at that. I get a call mid day.

He tells me he heard nothing until he got out on the highway and the car was warmed up. He ended up pulling both spindles as he was uncertain that it was only the right and felt the left sounded even worse. He suggested changing both. Now of course I'm suspicious he's doubling his income but I agree and pay extra for the premium (OE) bearings. Car isn't ready at end of day so they give me a 00's Kia Sportage to drive home. End of next day I pick up the car. On invoice wheel bearings are $132 each which is exactly the quote the local Hyundai dealer parts department gave me. 90 minutes labor per side + 1 hour machine shop labor. They had also replaced the RF hub. (this is where I learned the YF has press in wheel bearings).

I drive it home. It sounds quiet. I go back a week later and ask them to rebalance the wheels which they do without charge so that was nice. Then he says something odd to me as he's handing me the key. "just so you know the axles go bad on these cars. That's just the way it is. Let us know if you want to replace them."

A week later I happened to look at the right front wheel and I see grease on the spokes. Looking inside the rim is lined with grease as is the fender liner and the brake hose. I take off the wheel and can't find the source until I finally catch a spot on the outer boot. I took a photo which is attached.

I showed him the photo. He's not having it. It has nothing to do with their work. He won't budge. I go to the office and realize after a search that I'm buying an axle as there is no replacement boot available. I call small claims court.

Why sure, I can file a case online but court dates are suspended indefinitely due to Covid. I call him back and want to know if he is really unwilling to compromise on this. He says well, times are tough. If I buy the axle he'll put it in for $50. I bought the axle at the auto parts store and he did install it. As I'm leaving I get the story again about how it has nothing to do with their work and this is just a courtesy to me. All future work will be at normal rates. I'm not rushing back.
 

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It looks cut to me...I've had a garage (mechanic) spray grease on the boot and say it was leaking...it wasn't. I wrote them up on Google, Yelp, and their website.
 

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After 148K miles and 9 years axle boots get fragile.
Any work that requires detaching the axles leads to twisting those axles beyond their normal range.
It's like stretching an old rubber band.
This is a bane of older FWD/AWD vehicles.
The mechanic is faced with a dilemma:
Tell the truth, that the boots might not survive the repair work,
offer to replace "while in there", and lose the job to a lower estimate.
Or cross his fingers hope he doesn't break one thing while fixing another.

I had a boot break after a clutch replacement. Had another after struts replaced.
Both Hondas over 100K miles, BTW.
 

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Sucks that your mechanic didnt own up to the issue. On the flip side 9 years out of a Hyundai oem cv is very good. Santa Fe Sport DM had them recalled a year after introduction.

Another reason I spin my own wrenches. Then I know who to yell at when some idiot breaks something while trying to fix something else.

Plus I always get said idiot to fix it!

Sent from my SM-G965U1 using Tapatalk
 

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I showed him the photo. He's not having it. It has nothing to do with their work. He won't budge. I go to the office and realize after a search that I'm buying an axle as there is no replacement boot available. I call small claims court.
You'll lose in court.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Really appreciate all your comments. Just to touch on a few, I can certainly see not winning in small claims court as I wasn't standing there and it is circumstantial evidence. I'm not pursuing it. Good point about fragile boots; that makes sense. What bothers me is his strident denial. He only compromised because I pressed him. What about the next 19 owners who know nothing about this and could have ended up in a bad situation if they kept driving it that way? He was setting me up for another windfall with that comment about axles going bad, turning lemons into lemon-aid. It's just foolish. I'm always looking for a good garage. Now he's lost a customer instead of retaining one. I'm undecided on posting my experience outside this forum (at Google, Yelp, etc.). I understand that these things happen. But it's all in how you handle it. Oh, to top it all off when I removed the valve stem cap at the right front tire I could hearing it hissing loudly. I had to get that taken care of at a tire shop near my house. I'm going to rename them the Bad Luck garage.
 

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Incompetence is what would put an axle with a nicked boot, back in back into a car. Admit that the boot failed and just charge the cost of the part, or more.
 

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I never saw one fail on the outside of the bulge like that. They normally go right at the bottom of the V like any accordion type seals. All of mine were showing spiderweb miniature cracking and signs of looking dull and dried out dried out......just plain old.
Yours on the other hand looks shiny snd supple. Trouble is it just isn’t strong enough to fend off that bigass screwdriver or whatever pry that hit it.


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