Oct 062006

A few weeks ago I took my car to be inspected, because I am a responsible citizen and driver and also I don’t like getting pulled over by the police.

The car failed the inspection. Turns out the last time I had the wheels aligned, they did such a bad job of it that now my tires were almost completely worn away on the inner edge. It made me think perhaps I hadn’t got quite the deal I had believed when I purchased the “lifetime free alignments” program at Firestone.

So I took it up to buy new tires. While they were replacing the tires, they told me that the brake pads were very worn and needed replacing as well. I thanked them and said I’d have that done after payday. Actually, I wanted to take it to my regular repair shop so they could verify that I did, in fact, need new brake pads. It’s good having a repair shop you can trust. I also declined to have them align the new tires, because of the afore-mentioned “lifetime free alignments” deal I had with Firestone.

Now here you’re probably thinking the same thing I was thinking. “Wasn’t Firestone the place that mucked up the last alignment so badly that you had to replace the tires?” Well, yes, but I reasoned that every shop is going to have a problem once in a while—it doesn’t mean it’s always going to do a bad job. So I took it back to Firestone and had them align the wheels. Then I took it to be re-inspected (it passed).

Yesterday I left the van at my good, trustworthy repair shop to have the brakes checked. Turns out I did need new brakes, and new rotors.

I also needed the wheels aligned. One of them was visibly leaning in—one of the bolts had come loose—but both the front ones were badly misaligned and needed to be straightened out.

Once might be a mistake, but twice is starting to look like a habit. No more Firestone for my alignments. I asked my shop to go ahead and re-align them; I’d rather pay them to do it right than have to replace the tires again in two years.

 Posted by at 7:34 am

  One Response to “Tire Trouble”

  1. I’d get a report from your reliable shop, and take it to Firestone, and demand some kind of compensation for both the old tires that were prematurely worn out, and for you having to pay for a proper alignment job.

    It could be they have a problem with their equipment, or a problem with one of their techs, and they’d want to know about either. Once is coincidence, as you said. Twice is enemy action – or, in this case, maybe just incompetence.

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