New Shoes!

Everyday Adventures

But not for me… sigh…

I’m almost actually jealous of my car, y’all.

So. I knew my front tires were getting pretty worn (the dealership said when I got Phoebe last September that there was PLENTY of wear left in them… I really don’t consider 9 months plenty of wear, but anyway) and the back ones were better, so I was going to do the responsible thing and have them rotated and balanced. Yeah.

So I do a little cursory checking around and decided (even though I know things never go well down this route) to take Phoebe to the Wal-Mart service center for the r&b. I knew it would be a while, so I brought a knitting project to work on while I waited.

An hour and a half later they finally get around to looking at my car and that’s when the first shoe drops:

Tech 1: ‘Ma’am, your front driver’s side tire is separated and needs to be replaced.’

Tech 2: ‘The back one, too, it’s almost as bad.’

Tech 1: ‘What does your car do when you drive it?’

Me: ‘It drives? I haven’t been having problems with the handling or anything.’

Tech 1: ‘Well, you should replace these.’

Me: ‘Okay, so I need two tires?’

Tech 1: ‘Yes, but they’re on the same side and you cannot do that.’

Me: ‘Okay, but the passenger side is fine, right? Can’t you just swap the okay rear one with the new one so that the car is balanced.’

Tech 1: ‘No, we cannot cross them.’

[Now it should be noted that Tech 1 has a very thick Spanish accent so the ‘cross them’ concept took a while for him to explain and for me to grasp.]

So, after a couple of diagrams and the revision of everything I thought I knew about tire rotation and balancing, I was faced with the decision of replacing the one tire that really needed it, or the two tires that should be. The catch being that if I replace the two tires they were suggesting, I would really need 3 tires because only the front passenger tire could be moved back to the rear, leaving that hole up front, and by heavens buying 3 tires is like shoeing only 3 feet of a horse so I might as well buy 4 tires.

Of course, had I known I was going to need a new set of tires I would have really liked to have comparisoned shopped for the best deal. The Tire Kingdom that I almost went to the previous weekend had a sign that said 4 tires for $99. Granted, they might not have had my type of tires for that deal, and all the putting-on charges might have driven it up a bit, but still, I would have liked the option. And then it turns out there was a Sun Tire offering a 3-day vacation with the purchase of 4 tires. So, see, there were options.

But I was faced with the fact that I had waited 90 minutes already. To leave would mean having nothing (except a bit of knitting) to show for that time AND the knowledge that I had research ahead of me AND starting the waiting all over when I went some place else.

In the back of my mind I really wondered if things were as bad as they were presented to be. Two other patrons had come in for one thing or another and were being told they needed one more tire than they thought or two front tires, etc. How much was the truth and how much was a sales racket? And was that really how rotating worked?

But, I knew also that I’d feel better with a new set of tires on the car. And I knew I had someone in front of me willing to do the work right then and there. And the quote was within my budget, if you consider that it comprised all of the not-previously-accounted for monies for the month and that my budget would go from comfortably cush to having to watch my spending again until my overtime check in two weeks.

An hour and 10 minutes later they finish shoeing Phoebe and I get to hand over the money. (ouch)

Tech 1: See, I got you out of here quick.

* blink, blink *

Do you believe this guy???

If I hadn’t just wanted to get out of there and go home to examine exactly what damage I’d done to my bank account I really would have let him have it about how 2 hours and 40 minutes is no where *near* quick and let me talk to a manager *now*. As it was I leveled a glare at him, stated that it was 3:10 and I’d been there since 12:30 and do not consider that quick, took my key and left.

3 thoughts on “New Shoes!

  1. Tell me you got the tire warrenty. All my tires come from WalMart ’cause of the warrenty, and the fact that I travel so much. WalMart is ubiquitous, so I can always find one for a repair or replacement. I have never had them try to sell me something I didn’t want/need. Sorry you had a bad experience.

  2. Short version: They got you.

    Long version: Personally, I would ask to inspect the tires they found damaged or faulty… and I’m certain that the whole “you can’t cross-rotate tires” excuse was simply a ruse pulled on presumedly less-automotively-knowledged women to sell tires. Good tire rotation actually demands “crossing” them!

    Auto mechanics of all sorts do tend to prey on women, based on known behaviors (as well as studies done on the subject).

    Wish I had been there, I’d have something to say to that guy about crossing tires.

  3. The whole cross tire thing is a bit of BS. Tire rotation requires crossing of tires. However if they looked rough (you did look at them right?) then it’s best to replace them. Always get the warrenty for nails in tires and such. Every time I replace my tires i drive over a nail! LOL!

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