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I took my rear tires to get balanced at this shop and they didn't have the right "cone" to fit in the hub so when he was taking it back off of the machine he DROPPED the metal cone on my rim and gouged it!! He felt bad an said he would pay for it I said ok but was upset. So I took the tires to another shop to get balanced and guess what. This other guy DROPPED the metal spinner on the other rim!!! AAHHH He didn't even acknowledge that he did it so I looked at it when he took it off of the machine and yep, it's scratched!! I was so mad that I didn't say anything which is probably a good thing cause I might would have said some dirty words. Has anyone else had this happen?
 

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i had a shop break my rim when they were putting a tire on the rim. the rim was a keystone, similiar to a crager ss rim. and when they were putting the tire on, a peice chipped out around the cone. needless to say, they bought me a rim.
 

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Some of these shops hire kids at a cheaper rate so they make more money. Thats fine with the "average" wheel on a daily driver, but what if it was an original Tork thrust, or something not made anymore ?
 

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Well, if you intend to make a damage claim against the second shop, you should have brought it to the attention of the manager the moment you first saw/became aware of it. Now, you will need to contact the manager and take the wheel in and try to get them to own up to it. You can make a number of arguments to the effect it wasn't damaged prior to entering the shop and now it is due to no fault of your own. Once you have both shops owing up to the problem, I would take them to a professional for an estimate on each wheel separatly for repair and ask the shop managers to agree to honor the respective repair invoice(s). This is a good reminder to all of us to check our vehicles or parts before leaving a service shop to make sure no damage has been done. This reminds me of the Honda I took in to have an alarm system installed and the mechanic actually dented the front fender from his weight leaning on the car! Had to take them to small claims court to get a judgment and collect on it. Best of luck, Charlie 69 RS
 

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No one EVER touches my car unless I'm right there, and only the shop manager or lead tech touches it then.

You know that hourly rate sign? Time and a half if you watch, double if you help? I pay it gladly.

Modern tire machines, such as they use in my local Walmart (believe it or not!) clamp the wheel from underneath, while "screwing" both beads down from the top. These thing DO NOT damage rims.
 

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Don't get me started about tire tech's and how they do what they are supposed to getting paid to know how to do right!!

Most don't even know what the colored dots are for that's on the sidewall's of new tires!!!

And the one that did my Bullitt rims and tires did all four and on the last one he redid it and moved the tire like 160 degrees from the dot and valve stem and then added a great big long weight to it where the other three were pretty darn close!!

I figure it's onna the "f-- you" deals is all and he probably didn't have a clue I was watching him AND knew just what he did to me. BUT I gotta LIFETIME balance guarantee on my dash!! He, He!!

Plus, my Daughter had tires put on her Jeep and the DUDE didn't even begin ta screw the caps on!! ALL four of them were about to fall off, but somebody DID get the dots oriented right w/ the valve stems b/c I checked for her..

And I had to get my wife's Alero tire patch patched and I told the guy that he needed to mark it, (and I already had to check him), and then I got it back it was off and I asked him if he marked it AND he rolled it back out of site and marked it wrong!! And gave it to me!!

Luckily I have a cheap hand bead breaker from HFT so I broke it down at home later and spun it to align it up properly and then took it to a pump and aired it up to fix his f-- up!!

NOT HAPPY AT ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

pdq67
 

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pay peanuts...get monkeys...lol...its unfortunate that we have these issues, but america as a whole doesnt want to pay 85 dollars an hour for a dealer level tech to install his or her tires...once in a while, you can find hotrod tire guys that`ll take care of your dubs, but personally, i feel like if you have any worrys about the tech working on your hotrod, than make a real bitch right from go to the mgmt...they will make sure the right guy works on your ride, and force them to let you watch!!!
 

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I started working in the tire & auto service game as the decade turned from the 1980's to the 1990's. I continued until 1998. I worked for corporate Firestone, Goodyear, Large Indepently owned Uniroyal & Kelly Dealers, a new car dealer such as Pontiac and Jeep/Eagle and Hummer.

I agree with Jim and not just because we are both Bears fans. Most shops even back in 1990 had special mag wheel machines. This was needed due to the aluminum 16" rims the IROC-Z was using and later the P275/40/ZR17 & P 315/35/ZR17 the Corvette ZR-1 had. I knew what I was doing. Although with ZR1's I needed help.

pdq, The yellow dots on the tire's are where the valve stem goes in relation to the mark. It's where the high spot and low spot goes on the tire. Even when marking the valve & weights if you patch a tire when it comes to a flat you are removing material and then adding some with a patch. Some tires get a patch/plug. I always recommended a re-balance & most customers said ok. Almost all of these years I was in the business were spent at the service counter as a retail sales manager, service writer, service advisor, or assistant service manager. However I repaired & balanced tires even at new car dealers and I could run circles around their best master certified journeyman technitian. There were some techs at tire delaers that blew me away. That's how good these guys were and I consider myself evry knowledgeable in this area. I've gotten alot of private messages when I chime in on a tire/wheel topic and I'm thankful people respect my opinion and knowlege in this area. Even though I left the automotive game 9 years ago this month.

To all: Before you take your tires to a shop when you see a cone put on your custom wheels, TELL THEM TO STOP!! Like Jim said you need a special mag wheel machines which clamps the wheel from underneath. Then you slip a small plastic protector if you wish over the end and the machine spins your wheel around in a circle. It does not contact the rim. The old school machines were great for 14" steel wheels and tires such as P 195/75/R14 on Buick Regals or P 225/70/R15 steel Corvette Rally's. These sizes are like the dinosaurs. The old machine used forced air and a clamp for the top & bottom. Now if you are really good like one of my old bosses you can get a ZR1 wheel or custom wheel off with one even with these. 99.99% of the techs could not. Hence the mag wheel machine. The change to this systtem for some was like points vs HEI & HEI igntion vs DIS.

The cheapest shop labor rate around here is $65. Goodyear's are at $86 and new car dealers are at $98.

The bottom line: Take it to a reputable tire dealer. Make sure they have the right equipment. And if necessary tell them to use tape on weights on the inside of the wheel. Most idiots don't even remove the weights before they try taking the tire off. Yea I know I'm younger than most of you here. But I'm not that young. After all I bought my first car back in 1989 and that car was a 1969 Camaro!!

P.S. I bet many of you did not know that with early anti-lock brake systems if you changed tires & wheels it could have voided the warranty on your ABS brakes. Why? It would change the revolutions per second on your tire/wheel and therefore the ABS may not engage properly. When I worked for a tire shop we always would try to get the overall tire diameter as close to O.E. as possible. These were not my words but the words of corporate GM, Ford, Chrysler, BMW etc. These manuafacturers also told the kids who wanted to lower the brand new car mommy & daddy bought you that your suspension warranty would be null and void. It's not always the shop. It's the consumer who needs to be educated as well in what will work & what won't. Some would call it the double edged sword.
 

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It all comes down to the bottom line for the store owner/manager. Any time spent on education is money from the Profit line, overhead expenses. Businesses don't want to spend overhead money, except for oak office furniture. Besides, young kids don't stay long, so why train them. Even my BMW dealer scratches wheels.

My neighbor is a shop equipment dealer and to listen to some of his shop repair stories, people just aren't train to operate ther equipment. Point of fact, tire changers at this one dealership, he's there once every two weeks to fix them. I asked how many operators, he replies several. If one person were trained to operate, then down time would be minimalized. But dealer doesn't want to train, spend overhead money to train.

However, it could be the design of the machine at fault also. Granted, the Coates 10-10 was and still is a good steel wheel machine, and as mentioned by Goon, good for those 195R75-14's. But for the 16-20 inch rims, quite the feat. My biggest complaint is: Do the rim clamps have to have cleats? Ever hear of rubber pads?

To add insult to injury, as a customer, I've had my gripes also, the help breaking studs, using an air wrench to tighten OE alum wheels and they become warped, scratches & digs in the wheels, and the over torque of the wheel hardware.

After the store puts on the wheel and Mr Service Writer delivers the car, I ask him to come with me. I open the trunk, get the OE lug wrench out and hand it to Mr. S/W. He can't budge it, I ask what happens if I'm on the road, do I call you? Needless to say, all lugnuts are re-torqued using the OE lug wrench.

Thanks for listening, But I say its due to lack of education.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks guys, I have learned a few things from these posts (yellow dot on tire) I'll have to take a look at mine.
Where I live there aren't any "professional" tire businesses near so I try to take it to the person who is going to take care and be careful with my stuff. Unfortunately accidents happen even when you are being careful. I'm still upset about my rims, guess I'll get over it someday.. yea when I die!!
 

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I'd file a claim. After all, it's your hard-earned cash. And like JimM already mentioned, don't let anyone touch it, unless you're there. I baby-sat my RS when I took it in to the Good Year dealer to have my new Ralley's put on. They did a fantastic job too!
 

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Everett,

I keep a breaker bar and needed socket and 1/2" extension b/c of this sh-t!!

Goon, that's why I mentioned the dots..

And who's old enough here to have changed tires by clamping them down by spinning on the locker, then pushing down on the breaker handle that slid on on top of the clamp, then pulling up on the bottom breaker handle and then hand spin barring them off!!

And when the old tire wouldn't take air you used a big piece a hay rope and a twist bar to cinch it down and had to let loose of the bar real fast as she popped the beads!!

pdq67
 

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On the torqueing issue, the good tire shops around here use a "torque stick" on the impact, it breaks away at around 3/4 of the proper torque.

Then they look up the torque spec for that car on the computer or in a book, and torque it by hand with a real torque wrench.

That type of shop is the only ones that will touch my daily drivers.

For my camaro, I take the tires off the car at home and throw them in the bed of my truck, they don't even get to see it for tires.
 

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You guys all realize he said the centering cone on the balancer, not the tire mount machine, right? That is just stupid and careless.

With aluminum/designer rims, the heavy spot is not always the valve hole. Many OE rims are (were) marked with a colored dot too. But the modern OE aluminum rim, match mounting really means a lot less then it used to with steelies. I'd still match them to the valve if there is no dot on the rim, just so you guys don't get all upset. :)

PDQ, no one who sells more than 2 tires a week still regularly uses an old coates 5050 style machine. If they do, run. Fast.

Jim, those torq sticks rule, maybe the best shop invention since the impact gun. Amazing how our brake vibration comebacks dropped to near zero when we started using them. If I wasn't so cheap, I'd have a set at home.
 

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To pick up where Everett left off, I think it's even more than a lack of education. IMO it's a lack of integrity in the individual and, in a broader sense, a breakdown in the fabric of our culture and society. I wasn't a perfect child by any stretch, but my parents taught me to respect other people and their property. If I did something that wronged someone or their "stuff", I was forced (if necessary) to make it right... no matter what the cost, no matter the embaressment.

I remember when I was 14 years old and I had my own checking account. I bought some used golf balls from a kind old gentleman for $5.00, and the check bounced. When my dad found out he made me pay him back... in spades. I had to go to the man, apologize, and pay him $10.00 back... $5.00 for what I owed him, and another $5.00 for interest / hassle / etc. That was in 1973..... I haven't bounced a check since.

Our ethos is in such a state that children are not taught the baiscs of what makes a society strong. I have certain "key words" I hang on to:
  • "Caring" - Do they care? Do I care? How much more care and concern could I / should I / would I have meeted out?
  • "Awareness" - How much awareness did I have about that situation? If I could have paid more attention wold the outcome have been different?
And on it goes. The problem as I see it in today's economy is that the common denominator for motivation is greed, money and power. I saw it with my own eyes in the last 2 weeks with an employee who has been working for me for almost 2 years. He started with me when he was in high school and is now in his forst year of college. When I was paying him $9.00 an hour to work in the store, go out on an occasional service call, or take care of some database function, it was all I could do to keep on top of him to make sure he was staying productive.... earning his keep. I would have to caonstantly go to him and tell him to do something because, if he didn't have a task in front of him, he would sit and do nothing.

Now I have put him in a position where, if he is productive and accomplishes the maximum jobs per hour he stands to make bonuses that will total up to $16 to $20 an hour. Guess what? I've never seen anything like it! The guy is producing 35% more in a 32 hour work week than his predecessor did in a 40 hour work week... and it's only the 2nd week!

What's my point? I don't have one... I rarely do. I just thought I'd take up some whitespace here on TC and see if i could raise some eyebrows. Thus ends my rant and ramble :)
 

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Bonzo,

I could not agree with you more. You are 100% correct in regards to shop training. Fortunately most places I worked at during the 1990's felt an ounce of prevention was worth a pound of cure. They trained even their tire & lube tech to the best of the trainers knowledge. Why? Because at that time they would rather pay some kid $6 or $8 per hour and pay him overtime than to have a Box truck with 16.5" wheels or a Corvette ZR1 come back with wheels that fell off the guy's car or scratched rims. Yea, the owners were cheap with their pay and so were the corporate stores, but they wanted everyone trained. Lawsuits cost more than training. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of idiots out there today. It's just that I was lucky enough to work in places that cared about customer's cars. That included ZR1's, mint condition muscle cars, Hummers (the old kind) and one place I worked at did all the tire work for Jaguar, Lexus, Mercedes and other high end cars. I guess I was lucky and I learned alot from my peers.

To all: Man I miss those P195/75/R14's. Four of those things could be mounted and balanced and the car aligned within the hour. I guess I was even luckier that I was on the cutting edge of new technology at the time and yet I was old enough to understand old school. Sadly I'm alot closer to 40 now than 30. :(

My job now sucks!!
 

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Bonzo,

My old RR buddy still has onna those old tire changers he use's every so often out by his garage..

And I've changed many a tire on one back in the mid to late '60's as a kid! You know, blow a tire AND buy a used $5.00 one and keep on going sorta deal..

pdq67
 
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