Added on January 9, 2016, by Reviewer609654
Review: I was visiting my mother in Alexandria, and during the 10 hour drive from Atlanta to Alexandria, my car's rear differential broke. Luckily, I was able to make it to my destination. After repairing the leak and refilling it, it was still broken, so I decided to take it to Woodlawn Shell to have it fixed. I paid for the repair and after receiving my car back, it broke on the ride home, within 10 miles of the gas station, leaving me on the highway, with cars quickly driving by. After taking it back to ask for a complete repair, I believe (I am not certain as it was some time ago), that I was told he would not fix it, or he could not guarantee a fix. I then decided to buy a completely new rear end (Ford Nodular HD 9") with a new differential (Detroit Locker), new gears, and new exciter/tone rings pre-installed. This was shipped as a ready-to-assemble package and any mechanic could have fixed it. All it was, was to first install the differential and gears, then, using a gasket, bolt it on and put the pinion seal on, then remove the old axles, unbolt and drop the old rear end, bolt on the new one, install the axles (making sure to properly apply the axle seals), connect the driveshaft to the rear end, and then connect the ABS wiring. A very simple job, however, I didn't have a lift or the tools to do it, so it was necessary to hire a reliable mechanic who could do something fairly simple. I paid him approximately $1000 for this service (which was overpriced, as well). He did a terrible job at installation and I wonder if he used any gasket material at all (it was shipped with the rear end package), as it was leaking upon the time I left (which I noticed sometime during my 10 hour drive back home). It was leaking from the pinion seal, the axles seals, and I believe the from the differential housing as well (from which it is definitely leaking now). Not knowing as much as I do now, I took it to one shop who replaced my drain bolt (courteously, with no charge, thankfully), but that did not solve the problem. Not having the funds to fix it, I had to frequently refill the differential. I could not return it as he was 10 hours away. Over the time since he replaced it, the brand new Detroit Locker has worn out, as well as having the front and rear control arm bushings, tie-rod ends, and ball joints worn out, which has cost quite a bit of money to repair. Keep in mind this car was used gently the entire time and has never been pushed or raced. The damages that have resulted from this shop's improper and dishonest repair has cost approximately $1500, as I had to replace the rear control arms and the front control arms. Also, twice my clutch broke, which may have been to the high amount of jerking the damaged differential ended up causing. In addition, upon receipt of the car, my emergency brake was hardly functioning (which the salesman/mechanic had some excuse for and refused to repair it). Not only were the expenses high, this was also a danger to me as I had to 1) immediately make a 10 hour trip home and 2) use this car as my daily driver. A brand new Detroit Locker costs approximately $500 and the exciter rings were another $99 + tax (with pre-installation). Now, I will either have to rebuild the differential (unreliable), or replace the differential with a new one. This is very costly and is in addition to emergency suspension repair (the front wheels had a dangerous amount of wheel-play, again, likely, from the damage caused by this repair to the rear end, causing the car to buck and jerk frequently).Desired Settlement: I request an 80% refund on the exorbitant labor (I believe the mechanic was trying to take advantage of my situation) and compensation for the highly damaged differential, which will need to be replaced, labor for the next repair, and partial compensation for the damage done to the suspension (which required a total of approximately $1520) as a result of this dishonest and faulty repair. This totals to $800 (80% of faulty labor) + $500 (price of the differential) + $450 (labor for the next repair) + $400 (percentage of approximately $1520 in repairs) = $2150. Also, I would like for that shop to be inspected, to make sure no one gets injured or suffers large fees due to faulty repairs. In addition, if it is not already the policy, I would like this complaint to be sent to Shell Inc., as well as Woodlawn Shell, if that is appropriate.
December 12th, 2013
Dear **. *******;
**, ****** *******, the owner of Woodlawn Shell, located on **** ******** ******** *********** Virginia *****, contacted my office regarding a complaint Woodlawn Shell received through your office,
I have spoken with **, ******* regarding the above customer complaint, but unfortunately, **. ******* does not remember the situation at all. Neither does he have any records from so long ago. Having read the customer complaint you provided, **. **** claims that the service he is complaining about occurred in July of 2006. Even **, **** states that his memory of what happened is not clear because “it was some time ago".
**. ******* feels sorry that a customer had such a bad experience at his business, but he regrettably cannot offer a refund.
Please convey to **. **** that had he brought this incident to **. *******'s attention earlier, before the records were lost and memories faded, he could have been more helpful.
If you have any questions, please contact my office.
[To assist us in bringing this matter to a close, you must give us a reason why you are rejecting the response. If no reason is received your complaint will be closed Administratively Resolved]
I am rejecting this response because:
I believe my car would be rather memorable as I took it there once, then it broke very soon after being fixed, then I took it again, left it there, and when I got the parts, I brought them to him. They were large and heavy and it was on a bright red camaro. Thus, it was an unusual job on a bright red camaro that was left there for a few days at least while the parts shipped, and the new parts were really big and rather heavy, then it was there longer and I was asked to buy new wheel bearings, which I did, then I finally got the car back. It's not easy to forget that. Still, it's vaguely possible it was forgotten, although unlikely, primarily because of how significant (replacing the rear end/axle) and unusual the repair was for a shop like that. However, I appreciate the response.