Another dud mechanic shop

Messages
2,847
Location
Kentucky
I usually do all the repairs and maintenance on my vehicles except when it comes to tires-- I just don't have the equipment to do it, so I always take my car to a local indy outfit to do tire stuff. Last place I used was recommended by family, I had two bad experiences in a row, so I ditched them. First time they installed one of my assymetric-tread tires backwards, so the inside of the tire was facing out. Then they told me it didn't matter how the tire was oriented and that it was for aesthetics only when I called and brought the issue up. They relented after I was firm about it and swapped it free of charge. I gave them another chance a few months later when I needed an alignment because I was too lazy to open Google and find another service center to take the car to. After I got the car back it was fine for what seemed like a week or two, then it started pulling pretty good on the highway which is an issue it had never exhibited before-- I only had an alignment because of some slight uneven tire wear. When I looked under the car, the jam nut was backed off one of the tie rod ends about a half inch and I could spin it by hand. That was the end of me going to that place and they ended up going out of business a few months ago.

Today's adventure was taking the Pacifica in to replace a TPMS sensor and remount a tire that was leaking air at the bead. Found an independent place nearby that does tires and general mechanic work, had excellent reviews online. Sent my wife since I was working all day, appointment was 8:30. Got a frustrated call from the wife at noon saying she's still at the tire store and they're not done yet. She tells me the new sensor isn't working, they're still trying to program it and they have 3 guys working on it. I learned when I was buying the sensor via a quick 30 second Google search that Chryslers of this era don't require programming, you simply install the sensor and take it for a drive and it learns the new sensor. I didn't even think to tell the wife that, I just figured these guys would have installed thousands of these things and it would be a quick in and out. Nobody at that store has Google? I told her to tell them just to install it and that we'd do the "programming" ourselves and sure enough the pressure was registering on the display by the time she drove the few miles home. She's adamant she's not taking the cars in for service anymore 🤬.

I swore off chain outfits years ago, I grew tired of the upselling and having to decline work that wasn't needed. Once I took my truck to have the annual emissions/safety inspection done when I lived in MO, and the chain store (think it was Autotire) failed me on the safety inspection. They said they couldn't pass me because one of the front CV axles was leaking grease and quoted me $350. I'm under my vehicles all the time and would have surely noticed that, so I declined. Got home to look and the boot was simply wet from me dropping some transmission fluid on it from a recent fluid drain/fill.

Hope I'm done with tire issues for awhile and that you guys have better luck with mechanics than I do!
 
Messages
1,789
Location
Ontario, Canada
I don't blame her for not wanting to deal with what seems like a bunch of goofballs. Glad it's working for you now. Not to toot my own horn but, I've been out of the trade for almost 13 years and even I remember that the sensors on those are plug and play.
 
Messages
1,484
Location
USA
Are you not near a Big O, Les Schwab, discount tire? I know they areva large chain but you can go to any of their stores nation wide.
 
Messages
10,743
Location
MA
I've had good luck with my local Costco both for installing tires and also for swapping tires. I get some bent/cracked rims once in a while so I just take it there to get the tires balanced and they tell me if they're bent/cracked. It's just $20 to swap the tire with another rim after getting the bent one fixed or the cracked one replaced. They take appointments too so no waiting around for hours. They pay pretty decently so you get competent people and you see a lot of other high end cars there.
 
I've consistently had bad luck with indie tire shops. Nut cross threaded, (possibly wrong ones) hammered on with the impact, scratched aluminum wheels, poor balance, terrible customer service at the sales desk, high prices. Most recently was a scratched aluminum wheel while doing a patch job for a nail and I even brought them the wheel to minimize their interaction with the car. They denied doing it of course until I showed pics I took just before I dropped it off. The indie was close to work and more convenient than DT. Discount Tire hasn't been perfect but worlds better than the indies.
 
Messages
408
Location
Central NY
It's not easy finding a reputable repair shop these days that know what they're doing. Seeing the employees out there I say 80-90% of the guys are new and/or just doing it for the money. Not necessarily because they like or care about working on cars. They're just laborers.
 
Messages
741
Location
Wisconsin
I was planning on taking my truck tire in to get looked at, tomorrow. 1st I thought I’d look it over closely, my nemesis was a very slow leak. I was adding air every two weeks, maybe more often.

Even though I looked before, upon close inspection there was a nail. It was hard to get out, no head & rings on the shank. I used my new plug supplies, will watch, should be fine.
 

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Messages
335
Location
Kern Co. California
The older I get the more I feel we are loosing the ability to actually do anything. I know my dad would say the same, seems the world is slowly slipping away from being able to perform mechanical work and people understand less about what they are selling. Mike Rowe doesn't get enough attention trying to boost the image of blue collar workers and how important good ones are. I have had many times lately where I have paid for professional service and have had to go back and bring up the work to what I feel is acceptable. I remember I had a little Civic that I bought because a reputable shop that everyone I know goes to and swears by couldn't get a head gasket to live on. It looked like they used a screwdriver to "clean" the old gasket material off with... So I did some careful sanding with a flat block, put in quality gaskets and new bolts, and that car lasted a for a while until some younger "kids" thought it was a race car. I get it, same rant as OP, seems difficult to get what feels should be "normal" service anymore, we don't have experts anymore... What would we do without Google!!!??
 
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