Pep-Boys strikes again

Joined
Dec 10, 2018
Messages
261
Location
New York City
So a few days ago, I broke a rim after hitting a huge pothole. The rim was bent, but the tire was fine. The tire never ran completely flat. It only started losing air when the dented part was close to the ground.

Luckily, I have a spare OEM rim. I put the donut on and took my car to the local pep-boys to get the rim swapped.

I get the car back but couldn't drive it until today. When I reached 40MPH on the highway, I felt a HUGE vibration in the steering wheel and around the new rim. This vibration became severe between 40 and 60mph. It got slightly better at 70.

I reached my destination and looked at the rim. There were no weights on the outside of the rim and a long strip of weights on the inside. My other tires have a short strip of weights on the inside and outside. The rim I swapped was previously on the car. I only removed it because some chrome was peeling. But the rim never vibrated before.

I found another Pep-Boys in Long Island and made a late appointment. I asked if they could re-balance the rim under warranty. The Advisor said they couldn't warranty it today because the manager isn't there. So I opted to pay $19 again to get them rebalanced.

Here's what the balancing machine showed when the tech mounted the tire:
PkZivrS.jpg



I watched the screen after the tech removed the weights, and the new unbalanced values were something like 0.75 Inside and 1.25 outside.

The tech rebalances the tire and gives me the car back, I take it on a test drive, and guess what...? SMOOTH AS GLASS. The car drives smoother than before I hit the pothole.

I'm going to call customer service to try and get my money back from the balance. Once again, some chain shops just can't get things right.
 

Nick1994

$100 site donor 2022
Joined
Feb 19, 2013
Messages
15,111
Location
Phoenix, AZ
A defective or out of calibration machine can happen anywhere.

Tire balancers these days are fool-proof for the most part. Grab a random guy off the street, explain it to him for 60 seconds and that's about all there is to know, unless a customer comes back for something more complicated like needing Roadforce done.
 
Joined
May 25, 2005
Messages
14,691
Location
ROCHESTER, NY
I believe that there are some really good tech's out there but over the years I've run into too few which is why I [still] do so much of my own work even as I get older & tired.
The PepBoy's in my area are no better from my experience and others whom I know who say the same thing. What a shame. :(

When it comes to tire installation & balance, I met a guy who is very reliability and only uses a Hunter 9000 RFB(and is getting a 2nd one) and calibrates it regularly.

We have a good relationship and I have introduced my buddies to him. I pay him his going rate and am happy to do so. I never try to negotiate his asking price for his work, which is fair to begin with. He is building himself quite a business and I am happy to be part of his success.

I first met him as a traveling tire installer when the TireRack(thank you) contacted him locally on my behalf when one of their(TireRack's) local recommended installer couldn't balance my tires(I understand why). :cautious: Shame on them too. I had stopped going to this particular tire shop years ago for a variety of reasons but thought I'd give them another chance. BIG MISTAKE! :poop:
I'm not too fussy; the workmanship sucks! 👎
 
Last edited:
Joined
Oct 13, 2008
Messages
15,412
Location
The Old North State
I don't about the balance issue here, cause etc. However, I'm surprised PB is still business. After Carl Ichan took over as boss there was only one direction PB was going, down. Ichan is the embodiment of Gordon Gekko. Just read where he sold the PB HQ .
 
Joined
Nov 12, 2019
Messages
503
Location
Upstate
I believe that there are some really good tech's out there but over the years I've run into too few which is why I [still] do so much of my own work even as I get older & tired.
The PepBoy's in my area are no better from my experience and others whom I know who say the same thing. What a shame. :(

When it comes to tire installation & balance, I met a guy who is very reliability and only uses a Hunter 9000 RFB(and is getting a 2nd one) and calibrates it regularly.

We have a good relationship and I have introduced my buddies to him. I pay him his going rate and am happy to do so. I never try to negotiate his asking price for his work, which is fair to begin with. He is building himself quite a business and I am happy to be part of his success.

I first met him as a traveling tire installer when the TireRack(thank you) contacted him locally on my behalf when one of their(TireRack's) local recommended installer couldn't balance my tires(I understand why). :cautious: Shame on them too. I had stopped going to this particular tire shop years ago for a variety of reasons but thought I'd give them another chance. BIG MISTAKE! :poop:
I'm not too fussy; the workmanship sucks! 👎
CharBaby, who is this person and what/where is his business? I'm in Rochester, too.
Also, where was your Dad's place? It's possible I knew him from making sales calls.
 
Joined
Aug 19, 2010
Messages
10,435
Location
Champlain/Hudson Valley
Avoiding Pep Boys was an easy, obvious decision.
It's a toy store featuring ersatz stereos, lots of floor mats, 'custom' license plate frames and all the potions and snake oils you could imagine.
They advertised to the cheapest of the cheap. The "techs" hired at the one near me seemed unfocused; they wandered about stupidly.
The real kicker was when I took my "Free $5 mailing" (which was a free $5) to the Grand Opening for oil and saw a throng of losers scrapping for position at the service desk. An older lady who had worked all over the county whispered to me that it was the absolute worst place to work. She cited upset customers.

I gave my future $5 coupons to strangers.

Going to a Pep Boys is like going to a fast food restaurant and complaining that your Mom's arugula & lobster salad isn't on the menu.
 
Joined
Jan 3, 2004
Messages
2,521
Location
Illinois
Avoiding Pep Boys was an easy, obvious decision.
It's a toy store featuring ersatz stereos, lots of floor mats, 'custom' license plate frames and all the potions and snake oils you could imagine.
That kind of Pep Boys store is all gone, at least from my area. They're service only. I don't know what they use the former Parts space for.

But yeah, your description was right on the money! I've never seen so much tacky chrome "bling" in one place!
 
Joined
Dec 19, 2019
Messages
3,757
Location
Muncie, Indiana
Pep Boys is the absolute worst.
Bought some oil from their website January last year, they shipped it to me, and to this day they never charged me for it, obviously good for me, but clearly they don't have a clue what they're doing as a business, I'm surprised that even the service centers are still around.
 

A_User55555

Thread starter
Joined
Dec 10, 2018
Messages
261
Location
New York City
Some people in Long Island trust pep boys more than the Dealership
Oh this is 100000% True. The last time I brought my car to a dealer this happened:

And the valve cover gaskets they replaced are leaking again :rolleyes:

And before this, they took a week to replace a caliper and 2 wheel bearings
 

A_User55555

Thread starter
Joined
Dec 10, 2018
Messages
261
Location
New York City
I find it hard to believe hitting a pothole hard enough to bend the rim didn't cause any damage to the tire. Just because you don't see damage doesn't mean there isn't any cord separation or other internal damage. Check in 500 miles for a bulge in the side wall. Tire should have been replaced.

That's what I thought too, but so far everything has been okay. I've driven maybe 800 miles since the incident and no signs of bubbling or new vibrations. So we'll see
 

A_User55555

Thread starter
Joined
Dec 10, 2018
Messages
261
Location
New York City
Small update. I called customer service and asked for a refund. They created a ticket and I waited for a response.

The next day I get a call from the manager of shop 1 and he tells me that shop 2 should've been able to warranty the job. Either way he said to come to the shop so I could get a refund and I did.

I've driven ~800 miles since the incident and so far everything is ok. I thought the tire would develop a bubble or something but that hasn't happened. So we'll see
 
Joined
Jun 26, 2011
Messages
1,097
Location
Florida
I think the tech was trying to do you a 'favor' by only putting the weights on the inside for cosmetic reasons. You can set the machine up to do this for rims that are specifically designed for this, but otherwise it's a glorified static balance (at the risk of over-simplification) As you now know. it doesn't always work out for the best.
 
Joined
Apr 27, 2010
Messages
12,151
Location
Suburban Washington DC
I think the tech was trying to do you a 'favor' by only putting the weights on the inside for cosmetic reasons. You can set the machine up to do this for rims that are specifically designed for this, but otherwise it's a glorified static balance (at the risk of over-simplification) As you now know. it doesn't always work out for the best.
Huh? On aluminum wheels I always put the weights on the inside and they balance just fine even with my 25 year old machine.
 
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