View Full Version : Dealing with poor repair job

01-18-2007, 10:56 AM
My apologies for the length of the post...

About 4-5 years ago I worked with Curry's on replacing some tires on my old 328i before I had to return it due to lease expiration. They hooked my up well with some pre-owned Dunlops, fixed the rims, and did it all quickly and cheaply.

Based on that experience and the fact that they opened up a new location near me in Reston, I took my '99 740il to them for regular oil change service in February, 2006. During that visit, they checked my brakes and recommended replacing them. Not knowing any better and having no reason to distrust them, I agreed to it.

4-5 days later, my check engine light came on and I took it back to Curry's. They thought there was a problem with the mass air flow sensor and after 2 days of futzing with it, they weren't able to fix it (they adjusted some things and kept having me bring it back in when the light came on). They didn't charge me for this, but I was getting concerned that they couldn't fix it. I ended up bringing it out to Sterling BMW, who confirmed the mass air flow sensor problem -- replaced the sensor, and the problem went away.

I was left with a so-so impression of Curry's -- they didn't seem to overcharge me for anything (in fact, they didn't push replacing the mass airflow sensor due to how much it cost), but they also really couldn't fix the problem.

Fast forward 8 months and I'm getting some vibration in the steering during braking (I thought I had just hit too many potholes), one of the brake light bulbs goes out and I have some other minor repair work that needs to be done -- I'm still lukewarm on Curry's so I bring the car to Sterling BMW.

They tell me that the aftermarket brakes installed by Curry's failed and the caliper clips were never installed. Net result I have to replace the brakes again! This is only 11 months and 8,000 miles after the work at Curry's.

Total cost at Curry's for the brakes in 2/2006 = $600
Total cost at Sterling BMW for the brakes in 1/2007 = $700

I'd like Curry's to recompense me for the new brakes -- any suggestions on how to approach them?

01-18-2007, 11:10 AM
I'm not sure you'd have much of a case after 8 months. And I don't think the lack of clips would have any affect on the life or performance of the brakes. I understand they're just to cut down on vibrations that cause squeal.

It would be useful if you specified whether brake replacement meant pads only, pads and rotors, front only or front and rear. The costs quoted you may not be out of line for a money-making service facility. Do-it-yourselfers pay less than 1/2 normal charges.

01-18-2007, 11:15 AM
What was the "failure" ? Did they use BMW rotors? Or some cheap aftermaket parts? What type of pads?

Sounds like pad deposits or warped rotors.

Most shops warranty their work for a period of time (1 year not being out of the question) have you called them?

01-18-2007, 11:34 AM
Thanks for the responses...

Curry's did both the front and rear, pads and rotors. Total cost = $1,200 (I figure $600 each for the front and back).

Sterling has said that the parts were not BMW and that the rotors were warped.

Curry's standard warranty on work is 6 months / 6,000 miles -- which seems rather short to me. I know it's been a "long" time -- but how else would I have known that their work was bad?

I haven't called them yet -- just trying to get a perspective first...

I appreciate the responses.

1996 328ti
01-18-2007, 01:45 PM
I think most independents will use aftermarket parts from their jobber.
Not to say they are not as good as who BMW is using, but you just don't know.

I've had clips pop off from my installations, but two have both not on, someone forgot to put them on. They are just there to reduce vibration. Regardless, they should be there.

As far as the MAF. I went there with a MAF fault too. Then the code went away. I'm glad we took the wait and see approach. I mean, we could have replaced the MAF and the CEL would have gone off just the same.

01-18-2007, 02:10 PM
My independent shop always uses BMW rotors. No aftermarket on the rotors unless you request. Pads are up to you anything from OEM pads to Cool Willies. My bro just had his rotors and pads changed both front and rear on his E46 and the cost was approx $900.00.

I would always request BMW rotors since in normal use they last and last.
You need to ask and BMW rotors do carry a warranty.

I am not sure how new rotors not used at schools warp in 8mos. There are some good independent shops out near BMW of Sterling who do quality work and none of them named Curry.

Dave Apker and the collies

01-22-2007, 08:10 PM
Sorry to hear you are having problems with your car. I have been going to Curry's (Sterling) on and off for years, and it has not been problem free. But I have been able to get cooperation from them on every complaint I took to them in a reasonable fashion. I strongly suggest you talk only to Cris Coulter (General Manager)or Matt Curry(the Boss), who are usually at the Sterling location, but not always. Be reasonable and explain your concerns.

As noted, some time has gone by, and you are out of their warrenty period, so you are not in a good spot in that regard.

Non-BMW pads and rotors are often used by indy shops for several reasons, often cost is first. In addition, brake dusting is a common complaint that can be minimized with non-BMW pads.

It IS possible to warp rotors on the street, I've done a couple times myself, and I drive gently on the road. Just the right combination of circumstances, often helped along by a water-splash or other unusual event. Rare, but not impossible.

As stated, there are other shops in the Sterling area, RRT comes to mind right away.

Of course, doing your own brakes is easy, and allows you to blame someone really easy to reach! Seriously, I do my own not just due to my track habit, but it allows me to check everything 3x, and I do.
Good Luck,