The Audi drives like a new car now… So quiet & smooth…
Two years ago my Audi had a front left wishbone changed (dangly bit that holds the wheel in place).
After that my ABS would vibrate at low speed & the brakes would snatch. The general consensus was a sensor was damaged during the work. As the actual stopping and control of the car was still fine (and passed the MOT), it became something I could live with. It was just a low speed irritation.
Over the next 18 months my auxiliary drive belt (fan belt) started squealing. The Audi had 130,000 miles on the clock so this was put down to shiny & worn pulleys. Some anti squeak spray (yes, really) helped this. Once more it was just a slight irritation and occasional squeal.
The other day the front right wheel bearing… or maybe brake disk… started vibrating. I purchased a replacement bearing & set out to fit it… before finding out I needed a big press tool. I decided to book the car into Regency garage in Cove. A failing wheel bearing is more than an irritation….
As the technician drove it to the ramp he noticed the ABS problem & squeal. His initial though was the same as mine – dislodged sensor & worn pulley wheels. Only once he opened the bonnet did his Polish tech notice why the belt was squealing. If you looked closely you could see the belt tensioner was bent. That could fail & take out the cam belt housing & wreck the engine. Well spotted!
Thing is, to fix that the front of the car has to come off, so as the car now had 160,000 miles on the clock, and 40,000 since the last cam belt change, I opted to get the lot done whilst the front was removed. I also had the water pump done at the same time, as they are prone to fail & doing it now would save time & money later.
This was expense I didn’t need, but the tech was happy enough for me to source my own spares to save additional mark up.
Whilst the car was up on the ramps the Polish guy noticed a bit of a problem with my rear brakes. As he walked past the car his eye caught a mess of seized pads & a wrecked disc. As I hyper-mile & hardly use brakes I had not noticed a problem. Once the wheel was removed I was shocked at the mess…. The Audi was scrap if left like this. Unsafe, undrive-able.
A new calliper was needed on one side, new pads & luckily the bearing carrying discs were repairable. Less customer orientated places would gave fitted new parts, but these guys figured it was worth a try overhauling them (as new parts to fix this mess would be upward of £200 a side….).
Luckily they managed to skim & fix the discs. This it turns out was also the cause of that ABS vibration…. which one unscrupulous garage wanted to charge me £1500 for a new ABS pump & fitting!
So an £80 job to fix a wheel bearing turned into £700 (including parts) to fix the rear brakes, cam belt, aux belt tensioner, water pump and wheel bearing. Regency did all they could to help me and to keep the cost down and did a bloody good job.
They talked over the work with me, showed me the problems, gave me the options. Not once did they try to pull a fast one or milk the job out. I heartily recommend them.
The Audi now feels a lot better… and is a lot quieter…. and the ABS doesn’t vibrate any more!
If you thought reading this tedious blog was painful, I’m the one who had to pay for all of this….