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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2013 GV3 and have installed bash plates to enhance it's off road capability, which they certainly have done.
I just had the 30,000k service and vehicle came back sounding like the gearbox and transfer case were about to self destruct.
Not having had time to investigate myself, I followed the garages advice and organised to send the car back on a tow truck so as to stop any possible further damage to the transmission.
The pick up was planned for the next morning so before the truck came I took of the bash plates but didn't drive the car. My idea was that I would make it easier to access the transmission and transfer case to find the transmission fault.

After the car was checked by the dealer they reported no noise and transmission and transfer case all OK. They were right no noise, all nice and quiet and no problems with the auto or transfer case.

Discovered that the bolts on the bash plates had been mixed up when they were refitted after the service - one or more of the longer bolts supplied were fitted into the spots where previously short bolts had been fitted and these longer bolts were therefore touching a moving part sending a terrible vibration through the whole car and giving the impression that the transfer case was about to self destruct.

So if you fit bash plates make sure that the bolts are the right length, that the plates cannot rub, touch or connect to any moving or rubber mounted parts.
An expensive lesson for me as I ended up picking up the bill for the Tow Truck - $285 out of pocket that was not the garages fault as the bolts supplied with the bash plates were a mixed lot of which some were unnecessarily long.

16,365 Posts
I'll ask the question...

How was this not the garage's fault - based solely on the fact that the car was not making any noise when left with them, and was noisy when returned?

Who removed the bash plates and refitted them - was it not the garage?
Who removed the bolts and replaced them incorrectly - was it not the garage?

You've already learned that a simple thing like the length of a bolt can make a difference, a competent mechanic or technician should be able to observe when a bolt that he removes is different, and should be able to put that longer bolt back in the location from which he removed it.

You were probably lucky in that a noisy vehicle was the only problem resulting from the garage's mistake - but it could have been a lot worse - a long bolt inserted in a location where it bottoms in a casting can break the casting when it is torqued, it can also result in the part being secured being loose - a short bolt correctly torqued, but having too few threads engaged can fail because it is incorrectly stressed.

This is not limited to bolts securing accessories - vehicle manufacturers also use bolts of different lengths - one place you'll usually find this is the bell housing attachment bolts.

Just my opinion, but, having mixed up the bolts, the garage is responsible - for labor, for any damaged parts, and also the cost of the tow, especially since they recommended it.
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