This is why we can't have nice things...

getawheel

Site Donor 2021
Joined
Oct 30, 2018
Messages
581
Location
Gainesville, FL
Or why I'm shopping for tire equipment.

My shop is in a town of about 1500 people. There is a tire shop (more of a service station) at the corner, has been here since long before I was born. I knew the orignal owner well before he retired. Since we didn't have enough people to support two tire shops, I never invested in tire machines or a balancer. I handle big jobs and they often send me work; they get most of the tire and oil change business.

A while back I had a mishap in the yard, punched a hole in the sidewall of a Hankook on the rear of my Ranger. Had about 6/32" left on it with 60k miles. I took my rear wheels and the spare, threw them in the back of the Dodge and carried them up to the corner. Bought two Kumho Solus TA11s and had the remaining Hankook mounted on the spare. Bill was about $270. Steep, but whatever, it's worth $40 not to drive all the way to Discount Tire in Ocala.

I go home and put the tires on the truck. Take a trip the next morning and one of them is badly out of balance. I return to the service station and ask them to rebalance the rear tires and look them over as one is way off. They balance them and put them back on the truck; I did not watch as I was inside talking crap with a friend who happened to be there. I didn't check the torque as I trusted that they in fact had brains.

Went to rotate the tires today; fronts come off with no problem; I always torque to spec (100 ft-lbs) in sequence. For the LR I had to bump the impact gun up to high. RR three studs snap off. I'll post pics of the carnage once I'm done replacing the studs.
 

GON

$50 Site Donor
Joined
Nov 28, 2014
Messages
1,334
Location
SLC, UT
GAW,

Sorry that happened to you. Getting to the point that one must do their own vehicle service/ repairs / maintenance. Times have changed and trusting others to be competent and caring may be a thing of the past for many trades....
 
Joined
Feb 27, 2009
Messages
6,492
Location
down in the park
When I worked as a bus mechanic, I didn't have access to tire equipment for passenger cars. so I used a local chain to swap my winter tyres on. A week later I wanted to change a lower wishbone so the wheel had to come off. I had a 4 foot breaker bar, I was standing on the end ad the bolts still didn't come lose. Had to jump on it. Mind you I was a bit lighter then, but still 170 lbs, so over 600 ft-lbs...
 
Joined
Jan 14, 2011
Messages
5,827
Location
northern Az where the Antelope play
Incompetence or payback? If this is how they treat someone they have a business relationship with imagine what the general pubic gets. Next time drive to DT?

Last summer I got a nail and rather than drive 25 minutes to DT I took the wheel off and went to an indie tire shop near work hoping to limit the possibility of problems. They scratched the aluminum wheel and of course denied it until I showed the owner pics I took just before I dropped it off then he was PO'd that I didn't trust them. Grudgingly replaced the wheel. Never again.
 
Joined
Jan 28, 2021
Messages
9
Or why I'm shopping for tire equipment.

My shop is in a town of about 1500 people. There is a tire shop (more of a service station) at the corner, has been here since long before I was born. I knew the orignal owner well before he retired. Since we didn't have enough people to support two tire shops, I never invested in tire machines or a balancer. I handle big jobs and they often send me work; they get most of the tire and oil change business.

A while back I had a mishap in the yard, punched a hole in the sidewall of a Hankook on the rear of my Ranger. Had about 6/32" left on it with 60k miles. I took my rear wheels and the spare, threw them in the back of the Dodge and carried them up to the corner. Bought two Kumho Solus TA11s and had the remaining Hankook mounted on the spare. Bill was about $270. Steep, but whatever, it's worth $40 not to drive all the way to Discount Tire in Ocala.

I go home and put the tires on the truck. Take a trip the next morning and one of them is badly out of balance. I return to the service station and ask them to rebalance the rear tires and look them over as one is way off. They balance them and put them back on the truck; I did not watch as I was inside talking crap with a friend who happened to be there. I didn't check the torque as I trusted that they in fact had brains.

Went to rotate the tires today; fronts come off with no problem; I always torque to spec (100 ft-lbs) in sequence. For the LR I had to bump the impact gun up to high. RR three studs snap off. I'll post pics of the carnage once I'm done replacing the studs.
There are a few options for wheel/tire work:

Option 1 (My personal preference for daily driver applications: Remove your wheels, wash if desired and time permits, take date/time-stamped photos, take them to the shop and advise the shop verbally not to scratch the wheels. The downside to Option 1 is if the wheel becomes damaged while at the shop, your mileage may vary with regard to them agreeing to repair or replace it. Option 1 is the absolute minimum you can do to guarantee your safety.

Option 2 (Appearance critical applications). Remove your wheels, wash them spotlessly, take date/time-stamped photos, print the photos and attach them to a written guarantee from shop that they will not be further damaged from the condition in the photos or they will be repaired to original condition or replaced at their expense within (for example, 1 week), or compensation be provided for you to arrange for repair.

Option 3: Buy the equipment yourself. Unfortunately, this is rarely an option due to space or financial constraints, and it is yet another piece of equipment that takes your time to maintain periodically. One day you may not have as much time as you do now to replace wear items on those machines, or you will decide to get into off-road vehicles and the large mud tire does not fit on your existing machine. There are lot of situations where you will wish you would have chosen Option 1 or 2.

Regardless of which option selected, after receiving the wheels back, remove any corrosion on the wheels and hub faying surfaces to ensure zero angularity. Debris often transfers to the wheel mating surface from the balancing machine. Then, tighten the lug nuts [or lug bolts] to the manufacturer specific torque using a torque wrench in a star pattern. I prefer to do this in 2 stages, one at roughly 25 % of the torque, and then a second pass at the full torque. Once done, go around the car and double check each and every bolt in a circular pattern to ensure none were missed.

If you select Option 1 or 2, you can use the time while waiting at the store to update your vehicle log book, or start one. Google docs is a great platform-independent way to do this. And if you do not have a second car to transport your wheels in, if not against store policy or local regulatory agency laws, jack the car and place on 4 jack stands and remove the wheels in a flat area of the parking lot at the store.

Lastly, if you live in Sacramento County, where under many circumstances it is now illegal to work on your car, become engaged and have these laws repealed. I do not and will not live there, however, we owe it to future generations to provide them with a country that encourages research and doing-it-yourself. Research and acting on that research is the heart of the BITG community. Let us not let laws like these that were invoked in Sacramento spread to other parts of the world and destroy our freedoms.

https://code-enforcement.saccounty.net/Programs/pages/autorepair.aspx
 
Joined
Sep 21, 2020
Messages
452
GAW,

Sorry that happened to you. Getting to the point that one must do their own vehicle service/ repairs / maintenance. Times have changed and trusting others to be competent and caring may be a thing of the past for many trades....
It's been past that point for a decade or more now, at least in the USA, there are very few shops that can be trusted or that are competent.
Literally a needle in a haystack when you find that "good one".

I've worked in the business for about 25 years from mid 80s until late 2000s and I've seen things go from marginal to bad to horrible in that time for quality of work, and honesty. Now really I tell some people if you don't absolutely need the work do NOT go to a shop.
 
Joined
Aug 10, 2020
Messages
8,007
Location
Roanoke Virginia
I go to Sam’s Club for tires and they always slather anti seize on my studs and torque them down without reducing them makes me so angry. I asked them not to use it and they said oh it’s policy. I’ve had my studs snap many times because of it. But I can’t find anywhere else in town to do my tires.
 
Joined
Apr 27, 2012
Messages
11,747
Location
MA
Never really had any issues with Costco or large tire chain shops. They usually have lots of high end cars in there like Audi, Mercedes, even my boss takes his Corvette there and tips the guys afterwards. Of course the problem is that there might not be any near you.
 
Joined
Sep 21, 2020
Messages
452
Most mom and pop places imo are douchbags because they don't have corporate to answer to if they get a complaint.
THIS. I've found that over the last couple of decades these folks have gotten arrogant because the conventional wisdom is that the independent small shops are somehow the least evil to deal with in general, this just NOT true today.
 
Joined
Aug 28, 2017
Messages
2,493
Location
Cincinnati, USA
It depends a lot on management. An independent shop has the potential to give you good service, more repair options, at an equal or lower cost, but if the owner or entrusted management sees the customer only as revenue, it's time to find a different shop.

The old saying goes, a good mechanic is worth his weight in gold. An independent shop can often result in a mechanic making the best choice for a particular vehicle and budget, but if you're willing to pay a premium and reduce your odds of a dispute later, yes a larger shop is the way to go, except you may still be screwed by the service manager... seen it happen far too many times, came to expect it, and so besides tires, I don't let shops touch my vehicles except for recall work. You won't find anymore more agreeable and willing to do what you want done, than yourself. ;)

I have had to replace broken off studs, and went the DIY route. The important thing to me is to check torque after someone touches your wheels so you know if it's going to be a problem, then take the vehicle back to them if it's not right so they recognize that their shortcut caused a comeback.
 

Strokenmerc

Site Donor 2021
Joined
Feb 12, 2020
Messages
204
Location
Va
I have had to replace broken off studs, and went the DIY route. The important thing to me is to check torque after someone touches your wheels so you know if it's going to be a problem, then take the vehicle back to them if it's not right so they recognize that their shortcut caused a comeback.
I agree 100% and even take it a step further...I take wheels and tires off of my vehicles and take them to a local shop for mounting/balancing. I usually take a picture of the VIN and mileage for the paperwork. I've had warped rotors and rocker damage from tire shops in the past which led to this 'hands-off' approach. This also gives me a chance to clean the back side of the wheels before getting new tires or re-balancing.
 

getawheel

Site Donor 2021
Thread starter
Joined
Oct 30, 2018
Messages
581
Location
Gainesville, FL
It depends a lot on management. An independent shop has the potential to give you good service, more repair options, at an equal or lower cost, but if the owner or entrusted management sees the customer only as revenue, it's time to find a different shop.

The old saying goes, a good mechanic is worth his weight in gold. An independent shop can often result in a mechanic making the best choice for a particular vehicle and budget, but if you're willing to pay a premium and reduce your odds of a dispute later, yes a larger shop is the way to go, except you may still be screwed by the service manager... seen it happen far too many times, came to expect it, and so besides tires, I don't let shops touch my vehicles except for recall work. You won't find anymore more agreeable and willing to do what you want done, than yourself. ;)

I have had to replace broken off studs, and went the DIY route. The important thing to me is to check torque after someone touches your wheels so you know if it's going to be a problem, then take the vehicle back to them if it's not right so they recognize that their shortcut caused a comeback.
I treat my customers' cars as I do my own, because I take pride in my work and I thoroughly enjoy what I do. Incidentally, in the last decade, I've had exactly one job come back due to an issue, and it was a defective store brand sensor.

Until now I hadn't really seen the value in having tire equipment because of the relatively small scale of my operations and my proximity to a dedicated tire shop. Looks like for ~$3000 I can get a tire machine (fits up to 20" wheels) and a cheap spin balancer. Would be fine for my needs, and I can offer installation services to customers as well. I'll probably go for it. Will look around for a while, I may come across some higher end used equipment somewhere.
 
Joined
Jun 8, 2016
Messages
2,067
Location
Texas, USA
Feeling your pain this week. The body shop (Caliber) that 'fixed' my Focus put my right side lug nuts on with an air wrench. I nearly had to stand on the breaker bar to get them off. As I inspected the bolts, I found one that appeared stretched. When I attempted to re-mount the wheels, I set my torque wrench to 75 ft-lbs, knowing what was going to happen. Sure enough....SNAP. New rear hub: $186.99. Taking the old hub with me when I go visit Caliber's Regional Manager: Priceless.
 
Joined
Sep 21, 2020
Messages
452
Feeling your pain this week. The body shop (Caliber) that 'fixed' my Focus put my right side lug nuts on with an air wrench. I nearly had to stand on the breaker bar to get them off. As I inspected the bolts, I found one that appeared stretched. When I attempted to re-mount the wheels, I set my torque wrench to 75 ft-lbs, knowing what was going to happen. Sure enough....SNAP. New rear hub: $186.99. Taking the old hub with me when I go visit Caliber's Regional Manager: Priceless.
Not surprised at all. Most places just don't give a darn about the work they do. They have NO pride at all in the job they do.
 
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