Wheel bearings and mechanic horrors
Hi. I have a '96 Sephia. One of my wheel studs snapped off on the front driver-side wheel when I was attempting to rotate tires. I didn't feel comfortable changing it myself, so I took it to a local Goodyear place. They charged $65 to do this, which I felt was reasonable. This included replacing a second stud, which they apparently broke on the passenger front wheel. (Previous shop obviously cross threaded the lug nuts.)
On driving out of the shop's parking lot, I immediately heard a grinding noise in the front. I did not hear this grinding noise before, but from experience on other cars, I thought it would be the bearing. The shop said it was the front bearings and charged me almost $700 to replace them.
Looking in the Kia shop manual, it looks like the wheel hub has to come out to replace the wheel stud, and the wheel hub plugs into the bearing. I discussed this with the manager and he said there was absolutely no way his workers ruined the bearings -- he said they were "ready to go" because the car has 113k miles. He said the mechanic "didn't even touch the bearings." I told him that it didn't make the noise before I brought it in, and it made the noise afterward, but he said he didn't care because he did not test drive the car and it is his word against mine. He refused to budge but to give a 10% discount on labor.
I am thinking about taking the shop to court. Is anyone familiar enough with Kia bearings to speculate on how the shop could have ruined the bearings while replacing wheel studs?
Thanks in advance for any help!