Monday, July 31, 2006

How hard is it to fix a tire?

How hard is it to fix a tire? Pretty hard here in the OC. Why? Because the only repair shops that have front end alignment machines are either ridiculously high in price or crooked.

I just spent an hour making phone calls trying to wrangle a front end alignment for my mother's car from one place so I could get tires from one of the few places that I trust here. There are only three of them, none of which have alignment machines.

The reason behind all of this is because of living in a small town. We know the guy the owns and runs the biggest auto repair/tire shop in the OC. Unfortunately, his prices are so high that you would think they are using solid gold tools and silk oil rags.

So now I have to get a front end alignment from them at 8 a.m. for 50 bucks, if I'm lucky. I just found out that the tires at the place I trust aren't going to be here until 2 p.m. tomorrow, but I guess it's not a big deal since it's going to get done.

You know, you see Dateline and other news outlets do stories on auto repair shops putting the screws to their customers, but they are always in big cities. But it is just as bad here in a small town. There are only two full service auto repair shops here that I trust and only one place that I trust for exhaust work and tires. It's insane.

Besides the shop with the terribly high prices, the other big repair shop literally tried to rob me blind of over $300. They said they needed parts and two and half hours of labor to fix a problem that my buddies at the one exhaust shop I trust fixed for FREE!

And I'm not saying they fixed it for free as in they had the parts layin' around and did me a big favor. They took about three inches of hose, snipped it in half, got under my Jeep and three minutes later it was fixed.

It always sucks when you have to get work done on your vehicle, but it really sucks when it's hard to find an honest mechanic.


Travis said...

Honest mechanics hide in the same place that honest politicians do.

You know (I can anticipate your response to this) you can get tires, alignment, and balancing done at Wal Mart.

I'm probably in a much, much different financial situation than your mother is in, but I can't afford to get screwed over by a mechanic. So when we need tires, we got o Wal-Mart. I hate it because I'm not a Wal-Mart fan. But sometimes it just comes down to money and what you can afford.

BRATCH said...

I'm sure you did expect this answer. I can't go to Wal-Mart. Not because I don't expect good service from punks kids making eight bucks an hour, but because I know the service is terrible up there.

Problems such as wheels falling off because they didn't check the lug nuts to tires being put on and not balanced are a common occurance at our precious Wal-Mart.

I'm not talking about them forgetting to balance A tire, I'm talking ALL of them not being balanced.

But we all expected that kind of service and, of course, Wal-Mart delivered on the incompetence that we know and love.

Another reason why I don't go to Wal-Mart is because while I paid almost twice as much for my tires on my truck as dad paid for Wal-Mart's no-name tires, he's working on his second set and mine still look new.

Orelinde_03 said...

No matter where in the country you live or what you need done to your car, they rake you over the coals.

A few years ago, I went to FireStone (do you guys have them down by you?) to have my front brakes changed. Well upon leaving felt the car was worse than ever. Turns out 'they changed the pads, but the mechanic got confussed and put the bad ones back in'.

Yeah, that was the last time I went there! Good luck with your situation....I'm rooting for you.

Travis said...

Firestone is outrageously expensive. But my worst experience was in a Midas. They were supposed to change my brakes in the front and when I picked up the car they wanted over $500. They changed the brakes, the rotors and the drum brakes in the back. I was naive enough to pay them.

I also had a bad experience with a local outfit here in Bowling Green charging me $90 for a piece that was literally $14 from the dealer. That's from the dealer, i.e. the most expensive place to purchase an auto part.

Yep, stinks all over.

BRATCH said...

Brake stuff is crazy. I had my buddies at the local muffler joint do my brakes and replaced everything there was to replace on the front end except one caliper and it cost $100 with labor.

The good news is that here I have everything covered except for alignments. However, I think I heard of a place that has an alignment machine that I forgot about. So I might be OK on everything now.