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Jeep Service
Jeep Service, Jeep Owner
Category: Jeep
Satisfied Customers: 4818
Experience:  14 years with AMC/Jeep Specializing with pre-1994 Jeep products.
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I have been using a mechanic for over 5 years and this is

Customer Question

i have been using a mechanic for over 5 years and this is the first time he decides to try to rip me off.there was a noise on the drivers side front axel.
my mechanic says its the wheel bearing and differential gear. he says it leaked gear oil which caused it to damage.
he says he searched in pennsylvania at a junk yard to changed the entire differential axel which i don't believe he did.
b/c the gear case bolts haven't been touched. he said he opened and inspected the gears to make sure the teeth were good.i know he is bullshitting mehow can prove to him that the differential axel is still the factor original.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Jeep
Expert:  Jeep Service replied 10 months ago.

Hello. Welcome to Just Answer. Please allow me to assist you. Please clarify for me if the guy replaced anything, I am not really clear on your request and I do not want to be incorrect. Thanks

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
he replaced the wheel bearing drum. i saw that while i got there.
he replaced it with used junk yard partshe claims he changed the entire differential axel
Expert:  Jeep Service replied 10 months ago.

If the bolts are not damaged, he did not change the differential. Most likely, he changed the entire front end (if he really did what he claims). It is very difficult to just change the carrier, and most mechanics will search out a unit that is correct for the vehicle and replace the whole thing. If this is so, the differential cover bolts will not be disturbed. I would check the other bolts that holds the entire axle housing in place.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
i believe it was only the wheel bearing drum that was the problemreplacing the entire differential axel is a big job and i don't believe he did that b/c my jeep would have been on a lift with both tires off. instead i arrived while he was repairing the wheel bearing.besides the bolts on the differential case looked like they haven't been touchedi want to know if the differential axel has serial number id
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
where are these boltsbut doesn't he have to check if the gear teeth in the differential case are good.
and change the oil tooif he got the part in a junk yard
and would the junk yard take a broken differential axel
Expert:  Jeep Service replied 10 months ago.

There is supposed to be a silver aluminum the on the axle housing. It has the part number and serial number on it, but usually the tag rusts off over time. Without knowing the original numbers, the tag is no help. If he did not have both wheels off he did not change anything at all, other than the wheel bearing.

Expert:  Jeep Service replied 10 months ago.

There are arms that holds the axle assembly to the frame. That is where the bolts are. He SHOULD have checked the teeth and changed the oil. In fact, if the differential gears are incorrect (if they do not match the rear differential gears, the transfer case will break in half when you put it in 4WD.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
i agree the fact that the jeep has one tire off while he was replacing the wheel bearing but he will deny iti need an identification number of the original differential the tag your talking about is inside the gear casing right. is that the only identification
Expert:  Jeep Service replied 10 months ago.

The tag is under one of the differential cover bolts. There is no way to know the original number without the build sheet from the factory. Axle numbers are not part of the vehicle history, as it is a manufacturing item.

Expert:  Jeep Service replied 10 months ago.

There should be clear evidence on all of the bolts (there are at least 10 or 12) that holds the axle assembly to the frame and the front suspension.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
how do prove that he did not change itthe only way i can prove it is by seeing if the oil is new and the bolts that looked like he hasn't been touched on the differential case.also the arm bolts that hold the entire axel to the jeep right. can u easily see if those bolts have been removed
would that be obvious
Expert:  Jeep Service replied 10 months ago.

However, it the axle leaked all of the oil out and ruined the gears, you would have oil residue under the vehicle (on the bottom of the floor pan)

Expert:  Jeep Service replied 10 months ago.

All you have to do is get a strong light and examine the heads of the bolts and the nuts. Bolts and nuts that have just been removed will not be dirty. They will have a shiny appearance on the part where the socket fits. It is easy to tell if a bolt has not been touched. The rust will be disturbed; there would be readily identifiable appearances. Take a picture of some of the big bolts and upload them here if you are not sure. I can tell you./

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
even if i prove that he didn't replace itmost mechanics will just deny it and just tell me to get out of his shop.and there is no guarantee to get the money back from small claims court
he charge me 800 bucks for junk yard parts.
i want 500 bucks refunded
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
i need to google the bolts to the arms that old the axel on the i know where to look and take a picturecan u send me a link of the area where the bolts i need look for
Expert:  Jeep Service replied 10 months ago. Look at the metal arms outline in orange

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
bolts on the differential case are easy to see i know where they are at
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
ok so your confident to say that u can easily see that all the bolts haven't been touchedhow many bolts are there i will go back and prove it that way.
thxhowever the mechanic can still tell me to go to hell and get out of his shop and refuse to give me a refund
what should i do
Expert:  Jeep Service replied 10 months ago.

At least 10. If he gives you grief, get a lawyer.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
lawyers cost money500 dollars is peanuts to fight forlawyers make 500 dollars a day
Expert:  Jeep Service replied 10 months ago.

Without a lawyer, you really are in a bind. Sorry but that is the only way to do it....Perhaps he can lift it up and show you the bolts. If he is honest he will do so in a heartbeat.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
is that common practice to replace entire differential with a junk yard part.he would have to inspect the gears and replace the oil at minimum
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
also another lie is that he said he took the part with him to pennsylvania and left the old part at the junk yard
Expert:  Jeep Service replied 10 months ago.

It is easier and less expensive to change the entire thing. It costs a lot more to set up a differential. And most people cannot do it.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
but can i track the transaction he made at the junk yard networkhe said he took the old differential with him to trade it to the junk yard
which is nonsense
Expert:  Jeep Service replied 10 months ago.

No, not really. The old unit is scrap iron which the junk yard sells to metal recycling places. It is common to trade in the parts. Plus he gets a discount.

Expert:  Jeep Service replied 10 months ago.

The junkyard may or may not confirm they sold him the part. Depends on the laws where you are. SOme states require invoices, some do not.