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Old 06-19-2006, 08:33 PM   #1
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Dealer incompetence just dumbfounds me

Travis and I did a brake pad install today - Pagid oranges - on my 987S. My first time doing it, so he was kind enough to show me the ropes - it's quite easy. Anyone who pays a dealer to do it really should see just how easy it is. For me, it makes all the sense in the world to do it myself because I'm changing wheels for the track all the time, so the wheels have to come off either way, might as well put some track pads in.

Anyway, I just picked up the car from the dealer today because of the 2 week long debacle with my power steering. Everything felt fine, so I assumed it was. When I went to take the wheels off, I saw a rather significant problem, one that highlights dealer incompetence in a whole new light.

The front wheels were NOWHERE NEAR 96 ft/lbs of torque on the bolts - 50 ft/lbs max, and BOTH my lock nuts were not even HAND TIGHT but actually free turning! I drove 40 miles on the freeway with these wheels! The rear wheels were about the same, not requiring any form of breaker bar but allowing just about hand loosening by just holding the socket in your hand and turning! How can you miss something so elementally basic to a Porsche??? How can they not have checks for stuff like this? The next time, I guarantee you I will bring my torque wrench and check it right on the spot, yelling at any service person in the general area, spouting off how incompetent they could be for something so basic, putting all those drivers at substantial risk. What would have happened had I not had to change my wheels? How many others are driving around with the trust that their licensed Porsche dealer has the basic competence to tighten wheels on a car???

PCNA will hear from me, but of course they won't care, and I guarantee I will be raising Cain at the dealership tomorrow. It's Hoehn Porsche, for those who want to avoid the same situation. If you do go there, take your torque wrench.

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Old 06-19-2006, 09:00 PM   #2
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I took my wheel to a indepdent shop "supposedly highly recommended" to work on Porsche wheels,I asked them to mount a tire and balance it. I get the damn wheel and tire back and the tire pressure was up to almost 70psi!!!!!!! Needless to say I let the air out the moment I read that.
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Old 06-19-2006, 09:05 PM   #3
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and people said i was reacting too quickly (remember 4 trips to 2 different dealerships in the span of 5 weeks) re: my vibration problem and the decision to dump the car rather than continue to subject myself to dealer imcompetence!

now i can only hope that bmw has some competent folks working for them.
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Old 06-19-2006, 09:51 PM   #4
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Mach,

Never had a problem with the BMW services while the car was under warranty.

Enjoy your ride!

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Old 06-19-2006, 10:17 PM   #5
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Hi,

Economics aside, the horror stories stated here are exactly why I prefer to do my own work - I know it's done right!

Good Job on the Brakes, but I have to say that if you are not experienced, you need to have someone who knows assist you the first time. Also, you need to pay attention to properly lubing the brake hardware to insure a Caliper doesn't stick.

Also measure your rotor thickness to make certain that you're within spec. Typically, these rotors will go through two sets of pads and then they need replacing. This wear is accelerated with the use of more agressive Track or Street/Track pads. Failure to do so will cause the pistons to expand too much and corrode which then acts to prematurely wear the seals requiring rebuild/replacement of the calipers.

Runout should also be checked as well for maximum Braking efficiency and Pad wear. Failure to do these checks can be just as bad as not having the wheels properly torqued. You do it while you're in there because you're not in there every week, month or even year.

Changing Pads, while not Brain Surgery, is still Surgery and a certain amount of know-how is necessary to insure that both you, and the people you share the road with, remain safe...

Happy Motoring!... Jim'99

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Old 06-19-2006, 10:21 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by MNBoxster
Hi,

Economics aside, the horror stories stated here are exactly why I prefer to do my own work - I know it's done right!

Good Job on the Brakes, but I have to say that if you are not experienced, you need to have someone who knows assist you the first time. Also, you need to pay attention to properly lubing the brake hardware to insure a Caliper doesn't stick and also measure your rotor thickness to make certain that you're within spec. Typically, these rotors will go through two sets of pads and then they need replacing. This wear is accelerated with the use of more agressive Track or Street/Track pads. Failure to do so will cause the pistons to expand too much and corrode which then acts to prematurely wear the seals requiring rebuild/replacement of the calipers. Runout should also be checked as well for maximum Braking efficiency and Pad wear. Failure to do these checks can be just as bad as not having the wheels properly torqued.

Changing Pads, while not Brain Surgery, is still Surgery and a certain amount of know-how is necessary to insure that both you, and the people you share the road with, remain safe...

Happy Motoring!... Jim'99

Jim, all good stuff, thanks, and rest assured my car is well inspected. All POC events it has a full inspection by a qualified motorsports technician, as required. I see how easy it is to replace the rotors, also, so I'm looking forward to that, even though it is more money...

Where would you lube the brake hardware and what would you use to lube it?
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Old 06-19-2006, 10:44 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by EPIQTodd
Jim, all good stuff, thanks, and rest assured my car is well inspected. All POC events it has a full inspection by a qualified motorsports technician, as required. I see how easy it is to replace the rotors, also, so I'm looking forward to that, even though it is more money...

Where would you lube the brake hardware and what would you use to lube it?
Hi,

Typically, the Brake grease is part of the Pads fitment kit in the form of a capsule or small tube. Porsche recommends replacement of these parts every time the pads are replaced. From the Dealer Service Manual: "Fit new spreading spring, new holding pin and new retainer (retaining clip) These parts are available as a repair set and must be "renewed" each time the pads are replaced."

Most people believe they can get by with reusing the existing hardware, especially when the cost of new is factored in. The PN# for the Front, non-S Brakes is: 996.351.959.01 - list $24.95 and Rear, non-S Brakes is: 996.352.959.01 - list $35.00. I don't have the 'S' Brakes repair kit PN numbers. Neither Porsche or I recommend reusing this hardware, but if you insist, at least inspect it, clean it up with emery cloth to remove any dust or corrosion and then apply new grease.

You use High Temp Waterproof Brake Grease. Apply sparingly to the contact points where the piston meets the rear metal surface of the pad assembly, and to the holding pins. This grease "lubricates" the opposing vibrating surfaces, and therefore reduces or eliminates the resultant squeal and allows the pads to move freely and smoothly. Additionally, it provides some corrosion protection to the Pins as well. Be careful not to use too much, or get any grease on the friction surfaces, or you won't have any brakes. Brake pad grease can be purchased separately at most any auto supply store. Hope this helps...

Happy Motoring!... Jim'99

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Old 06-20-2006, 06:07 AM   #8
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I guarantee you the tech who forgot to torque you lugs was a newbie.
Sooner or later the young pups are let loose at the dealership and they do these sort of things until someone like you chews someones arse out and they track down Jimmy. He learns a hard lesson and pays more attention.

On my last visit to the Porsha house, The kid (and I mean kid, couldn't have been over 21) who "checked" my soft top relay was obviously right out of Porsche school. My soft top relay was bad according to him. I had to point out to him and the service rep that the relay wasn't bad because I JUST INSTALLED A NEW ONE! Well turns out it was just loose.

My dealership is a very high volume shop. The garage looks like a aircraft hangar I must have counted 15 lifts. They need to hire more people and have one guy who checks all of the new guys works and does a checklist inspection of every car leaving.

which reminds me how much torque should the wheel lugs get?
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Old 06-20-2006, 06:21 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perfectlap
I guarantee you the tech who forgot to torque you lugs was a newbie.
Sooner or later the young pups are let loose at the dealership and they do these sort of things until someone like you chews someones arse out and they track down Jimmy. He learns a hard lesson and pays more attention.

On my last visit to the Porsha house, The kid (and I mean kid, couldn't have been over 21) who "checked" my soft top relay was obviously right out of Porsche school. My soft top relay was bad according to him. I had to point out to him and the service rep that the relay wasn't bad because I JUST INSTALLED A NEW ONE! Well turns out it was just loose.

My dealership is a very high volume shop. The garage looks like a aircraft hangar I must have counted 15 lifts. They need to hire more people and have one guy who checks all of the new guys works and does a checklist inspection of every car leaving.

which reminds me how much torque should the wheel lugs get?
96 ft/lbs, and never tell a non-Porsche mechanic that because they will not believe you. I have gotten in heated arguments with wheel 'experts' who insisted no car can take more than 60 ft/lbs, and the old 'I've been torquing wheels for 47 years' thing.
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Old 06-20-2006, 06:27 AM   #10
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Yeah that's why I can never remember which it is.
THe book says one thing but the drivers tell me another.

36 pounds is a big difference aren't the wheel bearings under too much pressure?
or is that not even affected?
and can they deny a claim because your not going by the book?

Also I have craftsman torque wrench and I don't really trust the accuracy of that little hash mark on the collar. is there a torque gauge (that doesn't cost $300).
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Old 06-20-2006, 06:31 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EPIQTodd
96 ft/lbs, and never tell a non-Porsche mechanic that because they will not believe you. I have gotten in heated arguments with wheel 'experts' who insisted no car can take more than 60 ft/lbs, and the old 'I've been torquing wheels for 47 years' thing.
Hi,

Interesting, get yourself a new set of Experts. The Wheel Lug torque spec on my Honda Passport is 92 ft-lbs., my wife's Jaguar - 96 ft-lbs., my wife's former Lincoln Continental - 92 ft-lbs., and my Lotus Esprit - 94 ft-lbs. It would seem that 90+ ft-lbs. of torque for Wheel Lugs is not only common, but prevelant through a lot of diverse cars...

Happy Motoring!... Jim'99
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Old 06-20-2006, 07:18 AM   #12
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Hi,

Interesting, get yourself a new set of Experts. The Wheel Lug torque spec on my Honda Passport is 92 ft-lbs., my wife's Jaguar - 96 ft-lbs., my wife's former Lincoln Continental - 92 ft-lbs., and my Lotus Esprit - 94 ft-lbs. It would seem that 90+ ft-lbs. of torque for Wheel Lugs is not only common, but prevelant through a lot of diverse cars...

Happy Motoring!... Jim'99
That's why I used the 'experts' moniker in quotations, just as I did here.

By the way, I just contacted Hoehn Porsche and spoke to the service manager about this little incident (by 'little' I mean incredibly significant, and potentially business-ending for them, as an accident on the freeway due to negligence on their part in properly securing the wheels might result in a fatality) and he listened to me complain about how this was so far elementary and basic and that it would be potentially very dangerous. He simply replied with "I agree with everything you are saying", no apology, then I stated that my plan was to contact PCNA due to the severity of the issue and he replied with "do you want their number?" in a snappy voice. Nice. I fear for the lives of all those who are driving around without the knowledge that their wheels could come off at any moment thanks to the negligence of Hoehn Porsche in Carlsbad, CA. Had I not changed the pads last night, I wouldn't know, and how many people pick up their cars from a dealer then go home and change brake pads, thus removing the wheels and checking the bolt tightness? My guess is less than .1%. The other 99.9% are still at risk, but the service manager seems not to care. I would have expected an eat crow attitude, not a 'kiss my a**' attitude in such a situation.

PCNA was quite receptive and apologetic (and they don't need to be - ironic, huh) and will submit a formal complaint on my behalf. Not that I want to go back to Hoehn Porsche now, but I'm quite sure I will be blacklisted there anyway.
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Old 06-20-2006, 07:59 AM   #13
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That's why I used the 'experts' moniker in quotations, just as I did here.

By the way, I just contacted Hoehn Porsche and spoke to the service manager about this little incident (by 'little' I mean incredibly significant, and potentially business-ending for them, as an accident on the freeway due to negligence on their part in properly securing the wheels might result in a fatality) and he listened to me complain about how this was so far elementary and basic and that it would be potentially very dangerous. He simply replied with "I agree with everything you are saying", no apology, then I stated that my plan was to contact PCNA due to the severity of the issue and he replied with "do you want their number?" in a snappy voice. Nice. I fear for the lives of all those who are driving around without the knowledge that their wheels could come off at any moment thanks to the negligence of Hoehn Porsche in Carlsbad, CA. Had I not changed the pads last night, I wouldn't know, and how many people pick up their cars from a dealer then go home and change brake pads, thus removing the wheels and checking the bolt tightness? My guess is less than .1%. The other 99.9% are still at risk, but the service manager seems not to care. I would have expected an eat crow attitude, not a 'kiss my a**' attitude in such a situation.

PCNA was quite receptive and apologetic (and they don't need to be - ironic, huh) and will submit a formal complaint on my behalf. Not that I want to go back to Hoehn Porsche now, but I'm quite sure I will be blacklisted there anyway.
Another glowing example (and unfortunate experience by another Porsche owner) of why I bailed out of my Porsche. Perhaps this is the kind of sh$% that Porsche dealers, techs, service mgrs are trained to give to Boxster owners - afterall, its the low end product in their line up. An interesting experiment would be to track down some with with a $100k + Carrera who had the same problem and brought it to the serv mgr's attention. Would he or she get the 'go f$%k yourself attitude' or would he get the job repaired immediately, a 'beat the hell out the tech' pass and a week of blow jobs from the general mgr's stripper-wife!?

At least, Todd, you got a little more out of PCNA. Anytime I contacted them, they said things were dealer-specific and I should contact the dealer.

I think I've resolved to the fact, at least with ownership of a new or under-warranty Porsche (insert any model) that ideally to be a mildly satisfied owner, the Porsche should be a second vehicle, at a minimum, even if it's intent is daily driver. In other words, you should have at least one other car in your garage to drive on a daily basis, if and when, the Porsche has an issue. Furthermore, and most important in my opinion, your financial position should be one that dealing with either a $50k or $100k car that may both be in the shop on a regular basis and also subject to half-ass service and maintenance from an otherwise supposed and highly reputable product manufacturer, is just not a big deal. In other words, a typical Saturday would entail dropping your Porsche off to be dildo'd around by Jose or Jimmy NewTech and then taking a big pile of your excess cash and just pissing on it and lighting it on fire and laughing diabolically just because your so stupidly wealthy that who gives a flying f%^k that your Porsche never runs right and you just burned up a pile of $ equivalent to NewTech's yearly salary!
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Old 06-20-2006, 08:09 AM   #14
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Jim, what about the metal plate connected to the pistons? Is there any way to replace that, and should it be replaced? That thin plate seems the most worn of all the parts in the system.
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Old 06-20-2006, 08:29 AM   #15
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I hate to say this but...

People buy from Porsche because of their cars.

People who want the competent/customer friendly experience need to go to Lexus.

well at least that what JD Power always say..
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Old 06-20-2006, 09:16 AM   #16
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Mach...tell us how you really feel.

I do find it interesting, that PCNA recently rolled out, their 'Premier Dealer' program, described as follows:

The Porsche Premier Dealer Program identifies the top 25 Porsche Dealers in North America. It recognizes and rewards those Porsche Dealerships that best embrace the ‘Porsche Business Model’ – achieving the highest performance among their peers in Brand utilization, product representation and the development of key ‘Porsche business drivers’; and in doing so, succeed as independent entrepreneurs who routinely exceed the expectations of their Porsche customers.

And which local SoCal dealer is a Premier Dealer? Wait for it....Hoehn.

I think that identifying dealers as 'Premier' is a good thing. It tells me who to avoid because they'll have inflated prices on parts and a disinterested view on providing excellent service. They will have a boatload of inventory though (love'em or hate'em you have to admit that Hoehn has that going for them).

More info on the Premier Dealer program here:

http://hoehn.porschedealer.com/about_us/premier.php

Other Premier Dealers in California

BH Porsche
Carlsen in Redwood City
McKenna in Norwalk
Sonnen in Mill Valley
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Old 06-20-2006, 09:19 AM   #17
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where's the link for the other 24?
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Old 06-20-2006, 09:26 AM   #18
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Do a dealer search by state or zip code at Porsche.com. They mark the results set with 'Premier Dealer'.

In NJ:

Paul Miller in Parsippany and Princeton Porsche in Lawrenceville.
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Old 06-20-2006, 12:02 PM   #19
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Very interesting! I didn't buy from Hoehn simply because the salespeople were very uninterested in taking me seriously since I look so young. Sad to see that their service department is also frustrating.

Pioneer Centres in San Diego has been very good to me, even though my car's been in there a lot for the minor stuff. Funny enough i dropped it off again today for the radio problem. They've swapped radios on me four times and I gave them an ultimatum this time about lemon laws and lawyers. My service rep has been nothing but friendly about everything and is doing the best he can.

Nothing in the Porsche experience so far has dissuaded me from using mine as a daily driver. Lucky, I guess!
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Old 07-11-2006, 11:26 AM   #20
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Smile kudos to Pioneer

My wife and I recently bought our 06 S from Pioneer. Hoehn is only about 3 miles from home, Pioneer is about 25 mi.

The folks at Hoehn were jerks when we were shopping, the folks at Pioneer were great.

Have not dealt with the svc. department at Pioneer yet. Car has been defect free!

I would not consider buying from Hoehn, I would buy again from Pioneer in a heartbeat.

I will post the story of buying the car soon, it's a good one!

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