I had my fiance take my 2000 Dodge Ram Van 1500 to Brake Check prior to our trip in this van to Los Angeles for vacation. I had my two children ages 5 and 7 as well as my fianc on board with me. I wanted Brake Check to lube the chassis, inspect and lube the front wheel bearings, align the vehicle, balance the tires, and check the brakes, etc for our long 4,000 mile trip. We had taken the van back twice for the alignment as it was not done correctly either time, but our time to leave for vacation at that point was here, so I decided to live with the pulling to the right which in retrospect may have been the over tightened bearing or poor alignment practices if the alignment I paid for was even done at all.
However with repairs done, the van still pulls the same amount to the right as it did before I paid them to repair that. Near Deming, New Mexico, on a stretch of I-10 where the speed limit was 80 mph, I felt and heard a noise followed by vibration and I immediately pulled from the left lane to the right shoulder only to find my right front wheel on about a 45 degree angle from upright. We had to have the van towed in to town and what they discovered was appalling.
Not only was the axle spindle broken due to over tightening of the wheel bearing (the left side still intact was severely over tightened), but neither of the inner nor outer bearings had fresh grease on them, the right bearing came apart from the pressure and lack of lubrication and that is what broke the axle. Had I not been lightening fast to get the van stopped, we would have lost the wheel and being such a high center of gravity vehicle, it would have rolled and possibly maimed or killed all on board.
Further, the chassis lube we paid for was not done, nor was the vehicle aligned correctly which we took to them twice to get it right although the pulling to the right still exists. Additionally, I had paid them to balance the tires and the same left rear vibration from being out of balance still vibrating during our trip. My right front brake pad was scored by the rotor hitting it from the severe angle of the wheel, but it still operates but there is now brake chatter and I have to get the otherwise good brakes (per Brake Checks inspection) re-done.
The fraud and theft that Brake Check perpetrated in charging for work they did not do is not only immoral and illegal, but they placed our lives in jeopardy by using inexperienced workers who are obviously trained not to do work they are paid to do, and what work they did do was done incorrectly causing the breakdown.
Meanwhile, two days taken from our vacation and over $1200.00+ in repairs and lodging later, we were on our way again without further incident.
It is also worth noting that the stretch of interstate we had to pull over on had very little shoulder and there we sat for over an hour with huge trucks passing us by closely (2 feet) and rocking the van with each truck passing further placing our well being in jeopardy. It was quite harrowing, and all in the name of fraud and theft. I have proof of all I have stated.
I was a bit upset when I took the van back to Brake Check today; July 3, 2007, to meet up with the district manager, Mr. Jerry Coward; when he attempted to place blame on me, I gave him a few choice words and he then told us to get off of his property! We obliged and left. This was not simply someone doing the work incorrectly which is bad enough for a large concern like Brake Check, it was more paying for the work which was not accomplished, thus the few choice words on my part.
Brake Checks motto at www.brakecheck.com: We Do it Right at the Right Price. Nothing could be further from the actual truth. Worth noting are the comments the New Mexico mechanic made on his bill: chassis was not lubed and wheel bearings were not packed.
Please help us to help others to beware of the fraudulent and dangerous practices of Brake Check. We as well as our van and broken parts are here at my address for your inspection and proof that the work paid for was not accomplished.
san antonio, Texas
U.S.A. Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on Brake Check