When I need an oil change or new tires on my van, I always send my husband. But, today I couldn’t. He was out on a job, I knew I was taking a day trip today. And, I had been so busy I kept forgetting to get two new back tires.
So, first thing it was off to the tire store. I’m a price shopper, and I took the van to the place with the most competitive prices, where we’ve previously bought tires.
I talked to the nice fellow at the front desk, had done my homework, and knew what the price should be. I asked what the “out the door price” for two tires would be. He gave me the price. Great. They would be finished in an hour. Great. And they would do a 21 point inspection for free. Great again.
I left my van, which I know my husband never does. He likes to watch to see what they’re doing.
I got a call in 45 minutes from the nice fellow at the front desk. He told me they had found some problems with my van.
Here it comes, I thought. This is the reason I don’t like to take my vehicle in to these places.
He told me that ‘while we’ve got your van up on the rack, your front tire is starting to show wear so we should go ahead and align your tires.’
And, since I was getting on the road today, I needed to get brakes, today. The computer was indicating they were in the caution/danger zone.
“Where do I need brakes?” ‘On the front.’
“What does it need?” ‘It needs new brake pads and new rotors.’
My van is 3 years old and has less than 35,000 miles on it. I’m no mechanic, but I did grow up around people rebuilding cars, motorcycles, vans, boats, you name it. So, I do know a little something about them. And, I know what bad brakes feel like and I hadn’t heard the brakes chirping or squeaking. When I was much younger, I remember driving cars where we almost had to slam our foot through the floor board, like Fred Flinstone to get the car to stop.
“How much?” I asked. ‘New brakes are $169. New rotors are $79 each.’
“What about labor?” I didn’t let him answer. “I have to make a call and I’ll call you back.”
I called my friend of 35 years with an automotive repair shop. He does all of my automotive work for me (except tires and oil changes). He told me what I suspected, it would be highly unlikely that I would need new rotors at this point. If there was a problem it was likely that the rotors could be re machined at $16 each. He told me to bring the van in and he would take a look at it.
I called the tire place back, and asked the nice fellow, “did you say that I need new rotors?” He didn’t hesitate, ‘Oh, my mistake, I misunderstood the guy in the garage. I couldn’t read his writing. You don’t need rotors.’
“Just put the tires on my van, I’m on my way to pick it up.”
I went in, paid the quoted price for my tires and left.
I wasn’t going to waste my breath trying to argue with a place that does business like that.
I wondered, how many people don’t question these guys when they bring their car in for a set of tires and they walk out with things they don’t need?
It makes me nauseous.
I specialize in Residential, Investment & Relocations.
I buy, sell, rent, own and manage Investment Property.