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national tire discounters ripoff for alignment?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by cincy snowdog, Feb 10, 2006.

  1. cincy snowdog

    cincy snowdog Senior Member
    Messages: 262

    i took a 98 chevy 4x4 to a big tire co today to get an alignment on it.they looked at it ,and said i need shocks ( a big whopping 142.00 for front two),i said i would get them fixed ourselves.to my surprise they tell me its 310.00 for the alignment
    they were telling me that the front end has four oval plates on each side they have to remove and reinstall and that it takes a special tool and it would take about three hours.(was born at night but not last night!)
    so then i go back to the our shop to see what these special pieces he stated.
    it is a stamped steel oval(oval washer basically) with a hole in it that is tacked in place .
    to get upper control arm adjustment in or out or forward or backward you have to remove the two bolts and use their special tools(hammer and chisel)to pop 4 washers off frame so it will move to make adjustments.
    takes about two mins with tire on oh such a huge job.
    but before i said no on the shocks the alignment was 69.96

    so i took it to their competitors and guess what we are straight and they didnt have to even touch the washers,by the way they said it would cost about twenty bucks extra.
    so firestone ,i thank you much.
    ]also firestone has a deal where you can buy three aligments for hundred bucks.can use on three dif vehicles too ,usually seventy bucks each
  2. fernalddude

    fernalddude PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,106

    hey cincy what store did you go to? I got some cars that need tires (kids)I will tell them How i found them.
  3. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    Sounds about right. Firestone in Council Bluffs, IA. is where they told me I needed new ball joints on an '83 Camaro with just under 5,000 miles. When I wouldn't get it done, the wife really gave me a bad time, telling me I was putting her and the kids in danger. I quit driving the car with over 100,000 miles still hadn't changed those "very dangerous" ball joints.

    Still have the car, just haven't driven it since '96.

    I haven't been to a Firestone store since.:gunsfiring:
  4. streetsurfin'

    streetsurfin' Senior Member
    Messages: 770

    We got similar hogwash about ball joint work and alignment on an F150, and this was a ford dealership service dept. Parts that don't exist were mentioned, special tools to remove some adjustment cam, yada yada ...had to be done while it was on the alignment rack. The service writer told us these things and it was my conclusion he had no idea what he was talking about. Wife said she thinks they told her the spangler arm was bad, hehe.
  5. MickiRig1

    MickiRig1 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,617

    I had just put all new tie rod ends and a pitman arm on my front end. I took it to the "Yellow and Black Place that starts with a M" They say $95, I say all you have to set is the toe in,they say $95 again. Then he tells me that's good because they will not even attempt to set the camber,$95.
    I had it done for $36 at my normal shop! I was off by a couple of turns of the sleeves.
  6. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 28,362

    Local Dodge dealer told me I had a broken shock in the back end of the truck.

    Turns out it was just the tailpipe had bent into the spring when I backed into a snowbank, which was clanging each time I'd hit a bump in the road.

    Next time I had a horrible grinding noise whenever I put the truck in 4x4 and turned.

    Took the truck in, said all the U-joints were bad in the front end. They replaced them. I picked up the truck, put it in 4x4, turned and the noise was still there.

    I walked back into the service manager, said "did your mechanic drive the vehicle after the repairs were made?"

    Manager "Of course".

    I said "You might want to get a new mechanic" along with some other words...

    Manager "Sorry for all of this, we'll give you gift certificates for 5 free oil changes on your car".

    I said "why my car?? why not the Cummins Turbo Diesel??"

    Manager "Oh, we couldn't do that, that holds 11 quarts of oil."

    I said "so, what you're telling me, is that you're so concerned about keeping me as a customer, even though these times (there are others too) that your mechanics have misdiagnosed my problems, fixed things that didn't need fixing, and you're going to go on the cheap and say that you'll change the oil in my car, but not the Diesel truck, because it holds 6 more quarts of oil???"

    Manager ":eek: "

    It's not just the national guys that do it.

    I kept going back because it was all under warranty. I'll never take a non-warranty truck there.
  7. MickiRig1

    MickiRig1 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,617

    I would think 4X4 grinding would be a spindle(shaft) bearing,diff or the transfer case.
    U joints tend to vibrate or clank when they engage.

    I noticed with my Windstars that have extended warranties. They tend to just replace parts till the noise etc stops. I wonder sometimes how many times customers get raped on simple repairs, because they just throw parts at the problem.
  8. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 28,362

    It was a bad front drive shaft.

    JKOOPERS Senior Member
    Messages: 112

    i purchased a lifetime alignment from firestone for $120 i can take my truck there when ever i want . i had the alginment done everytime they rotate my tires ,that i purchased there .
  10. 04superduty

    04superduty PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,354

    the true sign of a bad mechanic, one who just throws parts at a problem until it is fixed instead of diagnosing it correctly.
  11. groundbreakers

    groundbreakers Senior Member
    Messages: 828

    auto dealerships are the worst with vehicles ..... thats why i have quiet a few chilten manuals for my vehicles ....
  12. streetsurfin'

    streetsurfin' Senior Member
    Messages: 770

    some more complaints...and praises

    What oinks me as much as or more than incompetent repair work at some shops is their neglect of taking care of the rest of your vehicle while it is in their charge. We've had a fender taken out by a porter at a dealership, fender scratched by zippers or jean rivets, during a detail job no less, a fender backed in to by a salter at a service station, belt cover broken on a Probe during a sheduled service, lost the bezel for the retractable antannae on a car when it was in for the lift motor for it (then tried to charge us for one), paint eaten off wheels by during a brake job at firestone, rims on a continental heavily gouged during a tire install. I've got several more but my blood pressure is getting higher so I'll quit now.

    Not every shop is this way of course. There are reputable, honest people around that care for their customers still. When you find one, let them know it. I want to give recognition to one of our members here, that fits this latter definition. They have serviced my plow on a couple occassions and been helpful with parts and advice when it was something I wanted to handle on my own.

    John, you truly are a #1 Plow Tech. Much thanks to you and your family.
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2006
  13. Dupesy

    Dupesy Member
    Messages: 61

    Wow, some nasty stories here. I guess I got lucky with my Chevy dealership. I absolutely love them. Everything from the purchase to general maintenance appointments has been nothing but a dream. The salesman, sales manager, even the service guys took the time to know me and my needs. I walk in for an oil change, I always see the same writer, and he knows who I am and what my schedule is like. Just awesome. Highly recommended.
  14. derekbroerse

    derekbroerse 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,377

    I had my other S15 in for a windshield a few years ago, the didn't bother cleaning up after the new one went in--all the little shreds of the old urethane and dirt/rust from the window channel were all over my seats and dashboard, even in the tape deck! Talk about a total lack of care!

    Same thing dealing with Midas a few weeks ago with the 2nd plow truck. When I bought it, the previous yo-yo owner had installed cherry bombs and boom tubes... keep in mind this is a dump truck. Took the tubes off and put stock-looking turn downs on. Took it to Midas to get their Lifetime Warranty mufflers put on, since they will be seeing lots of salt.

    Rather than taking off the old "adapter pipes" that were there to make the cherry bombs fit, they made more adapter pipes! Each pipe is now made up of about twice as many pieces as it needs to be! Clamps everywhere! Not to mention, they broke a tailpipe hanger off and rather than just putting a new one back in the same place, they moved it about 4" outboard to another hole--now the duals don't line up at all, especially since they also pulled it backwards 4" as well. Since the pipes used to be approximately 18" apart, the extra 4" on one side is really really obvious.

    Now the real kicker is that by pulling the tailpipe over 4", they pulled the whole length over and bent the header so the flange rubs on the front driveshaft now.

    Totally pissed with them. May still call and tell them too.

    Oh not to mention that the burnt all the paint off the new cherry bombs with a torch, then proceeded to cut the pipes off anyways and leave them in the mufflers.. so much for selling them..
  15. Tommy10plows

    Tommy10plows Senior Member
    Messages: 345

    Dealer horror story:
    I got a friend who asked me to drive him down to the M-B dealer so he could get his golf clubs out of the car. He had dropped it off for an oil change and to check the air conditioning as it wasn't really cold. When we got there the car was up on the lift and the transmission was out and on the floor. They told him the car needed rear seals and that it was a dangerous condition. He told them he just returned from Florida and the car didn't use a quart of oil in 3000 miles. They said don't worry, we will take care of it. By the time they got done fixing the air conditioning, (new evaporator core) rear seal on the engine, and a few other things when we went back to get the car the bill was over $7,000.00! All charged to M-B because the car was in the last two weeks of warranty. We laughed because the service writer told him not to worry about it, the company would cover it. Can you imagine owning one of these not under warranty?
  16. elmo1537

    elmo1537 Senior Member
    Messages: 116

    I got one

    Early in the season I had a plow truck go down. I was driving home and then all of a sudden it quit. Had it towed to the shop. They pulled it in and started to diagnose it. First of all when it quit it would still turn over. When they pulled it in they claimed that it wouldnt start. So they put a new battery in it. When that didnt work they took the starter out. Claimed that it had been burned up. Mind you it work an hour before with no problem. Somehow in the middle of all of this they broke something in the slave cylinder. So they replaced that. Come to find out the fuel gauge in the truck had broken and was stuck at half tank when it was really empty. When I went to pick it up they gave me a bill for almost $1000 and expected me to pay for it. They claimed that the truck needed all of these parts. So I took the battery and starter and had both of them tested. Just as I had thought both of them worked perfect. I went back to the dealership and threw a fit:yow!: :yow!: . When I left the dealership they paid the whole bill and now I have an extra starter and battery.
  17. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    Another one:

    About three years ago, I drove my '96 3500 with 6.5TD on my trip to Jerre's and on to Iowa. Now, the 6.5 has a common problem with the pump mounted driver requiring replacement. This had been done the year before. As luck would have it, in the middle of Iowa the truck just died going down the highway. I had it towed to the local GM dealership. They determined that the pump mounted driver was bad. Took three days to fix. I got about 15 miles down the road and it died again. This time I had it towed on to Centerville, where my mother lives and took it to a local shop. The handheld diagostic computer said it was likely in the fuel delivery, so it looked like another pump mounted driver. We made plans to have it towed to a GM dealership. Then he called me and said he'd thought about it and wanted to try pouring fuel directly into the fuel filter. IT STARTED RIGHT OFF so couldn't be the driver. I'd kept saying there was plenty of fuel since the gauge read 1/2. I went to fill it up and the rear tank was full. Kept filling the front tank for the rest of the trip. I got it back to Maine and took it to the local GM dealer I use. They found the problem - broken wire to the transfer pump from back to front tanks. I won't say the dealership in Iowa ripped off GM (it was done under warranty) but I wouldn't swear that it really needed the driver, either. Especially when I remembered a guy carrying a gallon can of fuel and pouring it into the truck's front tank (the truck gets 15 mpg).:rolleyes: Anyway, it cost $25 to get the truck fixed at a GM shop that charges $60/hr labor.
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2006