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A general car rant!


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Took the wife’s SLK to get some new tyres today and the entire experience just reminded me why I detest all tyre fitting emporiums. 

For starters I have never, ever had new tyres fitted where they clean off the muck and greasy marks they put on the wheel whilst fitting the tyre. The wheels on the car were all spotlessly clean beforehand but now are greasy and covered in the lube used to fit the tyre. 

Next thing, I checked the pressures and bolt torque when I got home and both were out by a huge margin. Tyre pressures were all 8psi too high and the bolts far too tight. As usual, I had to adjust both to manufacturers spec at home. 

How bloody hard can it be to 1) clean the wheels before fitting back to the car, 2) inflate to the correct pressures and 3) torque the bolts to the correct tightness?

I hate it when people can’t get the very simplest of tasks right, especially when some folk rely on them to get it right.  I know tyre fitters aren’t necessarily the brightest of individuals but FFS, how hard can it be? 🤬

And breathe………😃

 

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1 hour ago, eeyoreish said:

Trained monkeys.

I'm not sure they are trained.

 

 

I go to an old-established independent tyre station run by the owner, he has one fitter at a time, and over the last 30yr that I've known, I think he's on his 3rd fitter. They know that if they look after their customers we keep coming back.

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Knew you wouldn't be able to resist a rant in the title 😜

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hindsight: the science that is never wrong

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Had this happen,as normal, to a 2 year old immaculate VW cc, told the bloke who asked for £400ish, that I wanted to view The car BEFORE I paid, yep the bright silver wheels were covered in their shit, insisted that they were cleaned properly otherwise take the tyres off and I would go elsewhere, some fool done his best to wash them with dirty water, vowed never to go the again and told them this, do they care?? No....  they only work there..

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Just had a similarly poor experience with newly fitted tyres on my Zafira. The pressures were wrong and the bolts over torqued; so tight my gun wouldn't shift them. I needed to change the rear disks and pads on my Zafira along with the tyres as they were advisories on my recent MOT. Only 1 bolt came out and I soon discovered that the thread was totally destroyed on it. 

They promised me that they hand tighten every nut and then torque up so it must have been me that ruined the bolt. After some further discussion, they checked their video footage of the work and could clearly see the guy using the air gun to refit the bolts. 

It ended up costing them for a replacement rear hub. 

It was the assistant manager who did the damage and I do expect a tyre fitting company to do a proper job with the requisite care. :) 

It's getting there......

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1 hour ago, Spinney said:

Took the wife’s SLK

Entitled snob?  Surely not, hehe

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I have never known a tyre fitter to torque the wheel nuts, they just hit them with the impact gun. Which almost always means way too tight, and impossible for most owners to loosen with the standard lug wrench!

As for pressures, given the tight schedule the fitters in most chains need to stick to, you can't really expect them to look up the correct pressures for every car that comes in. Poor service, yes, but you get what you pay for. I put most of my tyres on myself, expect for the Esprit. Those I get done at a reputable local place as they have far better balancing machines and their service is excellent. Last time I was pleasantly surprised the pressures were spot on. I don't take the Esprit in, just drop off the wheels and to pick up later, so they can take their time to do a proper job. But they do know what car it's for. Or they had a lucky guess. 🙂 

Filip

I have made many mistakes in my life. Buying a multiple Lotus is not one of them.

 

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I served people properly and politely when I worked on an ice-cream van as a youngling.  It’s not all about the pay rate.

The trouble is that you are one of probably less than 1% of the population who GAF what their tyre pressure or bolt torques are. Most folks wouldn’t recognise steering feel, won’t notice a slightly harder ride from an overinflated tyre, and the only person that will be aware the bolts are over tightened are the next mechanic or tyre fitter. So they work to please the majority - who just want fast and cheap. HappyTyreLingLong Ditchfinder 3000 sir? £3.50 cheaper than a Michelin sir. Yes don’t worry - we have them in stock.

FWIW I have until recently only used one place over the last 15 odd years to fit my tyres (that I buy online). We chat throughout the process and they do a good job.

More recently used BlackCircles for rear MPS4S as they had a deal on. Garage owner fitted them - real car bloke - and he did use a torque wrench on the bolts.

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Halfords use torque wrenches. They bought tyres on the drive. Have used them 4 times since then and whilst they won’t to clean the wheels 3 times they have been excellent. 
 

Thd other time they footed a £3000 bill to repair my sons Mini Cooper S. 
 

Had to have all 4 (newly refurbished) split rims refurbished again and one of the floor plans replaced where they stuck their airbag on the middle, not on the jacking points. 
 

no excuse for actual damage, but there is a lot of truth in what @C8RKH has said. We expect one hell of a lot from minimum wage employees that we come in contact with. 

Blessed with the competence to be a slave to the incapable.

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3 hours ago, Spinney said:

The wheels on the car were all spotlessly clean beforehand but now are greasy and covered in the lube used to fit the tyre. 

Lucky you stayed with the car - had you left it then you might well have found lube all over the passenger seat.

Only here once

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Recently, I had all four tyres changed on my daily drive (diesel mondeo), at a local large independent, as used by my tame mechanic.  A few days later, whilst driving on a fast Welsh mountain road I suddenly had a serious vibration/wobble on the NSF.  I pulled in and found that one wheel stud had sheared, two were missing, including  the locking one, and the other two were easily tightened with a socket wrench.  On further inspection, every stud on the other three wheels was loose. I didn't touch the locking studs.  I removed one stud from each rear wheel to replace the missing ones on the front  I tightened them all up, apart from the lockers, so that when I took it back to the fitters, they would be the first to check them, and I was confident that these would be loose as well.

Take car back to the tyre place. "Oh no, sir. We have eight torque wrenches here, all calibrated. Impossible."  Have demonstration of one of such torque wrenches on my wheel studs, all tight, surprise, surprise.  "Okay. " says I, "Here's the locking nut. I haven't touched them. Let's see how you get on with them."

A quarter and then an eighth turn to tightness.  "Someone has tried to pinch your wheels, sir."                                               " Impossible."                                                   "You can buy locking nuts on the internet these days!"                                                     "Since I was last here, when not being driven, this car is kept in a secure place both night and day."                                        "Well, even though it's not our fault, you'll have to leave it here so we can sort out that front hub"

Leave car, cancel next day's appointments.  Arrive to collect car, young f'wit drives it round to front of premises and hands over keys.  Exit car park, ABS light comes on.  Take car back. "Well, it was alright when we test drove it, sir.  But, even though it's not our fault,  you'll have to leave it here so we can sort out that ABS sensor."

Leave car, cancel next day's appointments.  Collect car.  Vow to never, ever go to that place again and spread the word accordingly. 

Thank you Delamere Motors of Telford.

 

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1 hour ago, C8RKH said:

Like most things these days it's  about margins is it not? Most people shop around to get the absolute cheapest deal, then expect to have the best possible service. Yeah, good look with that!  They don't have time to check the torque, the pressures or clean off the crud as they need to get on to the next job as they (in the franchises) are paid shit and rely on their bonus to make a half decent living. So that means hitting the revenue targets and pushing the jobs through. Hardly their fault.

Tell you what, you guys moaning and calling them untrained monkeys try doing what they have to do for what they earn for doing it, and see how long your customer focused smile and willingness to go the extra mile lasts eh? I bet you wouldn't last the day! They may be untrained monkeys but your comments make you sound like entitled snobs! In fact some of you might even be the Finance Managers or Controllers who set the revenue and profit targets that have produced this kind of "service".

Of course, there are independents who differentiate on customer service and people will repeat go there and pay a little extra and no doubt everyone is happy.

By contrast, I went to my local Kwik Fit in Dundee for four new Michelin MSPSPSPSPS4's or whatever they call them now. Got a great price and the guys who did the work where really careful with my Evora and no issues, problems or damage and a job well done. 2 of the young lads trying to earn a living even asked if they could take photo's of the car. polite monkeys too. Could be worse, they could be two young lads who couldn't be arsed to get up early to get to WORK and could instead just choose to be dead beat doleys selling drugs and shit.

 

Can’t entirely agree with you there Andy. Yes, I don’t doubt they are probably on little more than minimum wages but that shouldn’t be an excuse for shoddy work. I don’t blame the fitters either, it is entirely down to management, poor/non existent training and a poor awareness of customer service. 

How often do you hear advice to keep your tyres correctly inflated at all times? But if you can’t even rely on a tyre fitting shop to do the job properly in the first place, then I’m pretty certain at least 90% of the general driving public sure as hell won’t or probably can’t check them either. 

It’s not beyond the wit of man for a foreman to issue a simple job sheet to his fitter telling him what tyres to fit, what the correct pressures are and the torque of the wheelnuts for the specific car. It would even be possible to design a software package where all you need do is type in the reg and up comes the relevant information. 

As for the greasy paw prints, how about a clean pair of latex gloves for every new job started? A quick wipe around the wheel rim with a cloth to remove the lube gunk after fitting the tyre and job done. 
I’d definitely use again and recommend to others, tyre fitters that go that extra mile, even if they aren’t necessarily the cheapest. 

When I was running my company, we always trained the employees properly and drummed into them the importance for all our jobs, in having a happy customer. We weren’t the cheapest but made sure we were the best and you know what? Customers came back time and time again because they knew they could rely on us to treat them properly and give a good service. Some of my factory employees were on little more than minimum wages to start with but treat them with respect, train them well and you can instil a good work ethic and the pride that comes from a job well done. 

I just can’t abide piss poor work with no effort to please. 

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13 minutes ago, Spinney said:

When I was running my company, we always trained the employees properly and drummed into them the importance for all our jobs, in having a happy customer. We weren’t the cheapest but made sure we were the best and you know what? Customers came back time and time again because they knew they could rely on us to treat them properly and give a good service

Sadly in today’s world - where volume is key - price is the biggest consumer driver.

There’s simply not enough folks whom go into the typical tyre shop and appreciate high quality customer service to make it worth doing any different.
 

low volume service areas can and do exist solely on customer experience and there’s folks whom will pay. I’d never wish to be the cheapest tradesman - it’s just a race to the bottom - where frankly it’s not worth the effort. 

Only here once

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Recently I've taken to buying tyres online & having them delivered to the house. Then I get a mobile tyre fitter to come & fit them. I tell him when to come so I'm not hanging around in a drafty shed, what pressure I want in them & the required wheel nut torque. Because these guys are normally self employed, working for a franchise, they've all been good & I've had no complaints.

I can choose the tyres I want, not what the retailer has in stock & the price of the tyres online plus the fitting charge is normally cheaper than the local tyre retailers. :thumbup:

Cheers,

John W

http://jonwatkins.co.uk

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10 hours ago, Spinney said:

I don’t doubt they are probably on little more than minimum wages but that shouldn’t be an excuse for shoddy work.

It isn't and I wasn't it saying it was. I was showing empathy to the poor guys being paid peanuts and "driven" to do as many jobs as possible in as short a time as possible!  It's not their fault was my point, it is the system, which in turn is driven by fookwit finance controllers at Head Office with spreadsheets and CONSUMERS who seem to want to pay the least for the best job as @Barrykearley and @Colin P attested.

Like Colin, I have had good service from my Local kwik Fit and with the Evora's I have had each time they have asked me if I knew the correct Torque setting as it was not on their system. So unless these guys are truly the exception, there's some biased bullshit being spouted by some as well as the name calling! Indeed, after my last purchase of the four MP4SSSPPSSPS4 tyres I even went back later that day and dropped off a dozen Krispy Kreme donuts to them to say thanks for a good job!  Bet i get the same great service next time I am in, even if it is with the wife's shitbox car! :)

The point of my response was really to point out that these "untrained monkeys" as they were referred to are working hard, for not much, and anyone who has dealt with the general public will know that people in their position, generally in the service industry, are often treated worse than shit on shoes by some members of the public who are "customers".

As I said, go and do their job for a day, for the same pay, to the same volume demands, and see how spritely and chipper you feel in the evening.

@Barrykearley is spot on - customers/public want cheapest price possible in general, want the best possible service thrown in, and revel in treating the service provider like shit. What a great society we have.  The exception is the people who have money and are quite happy to "pay" vastly over inflated prices for stuff because of the "name", or how superior they feel when being serviced in the luxury surroundings. But this is the top 1, 2% of earners wealth owners. The other 98/99% want it cheap as chips but best quality.

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Alcohol. Sex. Tobacco. Drugs. Chocolate.  Meh! NOTHING in this world is as addictive as an Evora +0. It's not for babies!    

The first guy to ride a bull for fun, was a true hero. The second man to follow him was truly nuts!   

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Champagne dreams and lemonade budget - it’s very often the same @C8RKH. Being self employed you find them everywhere. Best avoided down the bottom of the pond - swim at the top and only take the best bits 👍

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Agree @C8RKH definitely an issue in our society where paying the bare minimum leads to poor service generally. Unfortunately not enough people who are prepared to pay for service to make it viable to pay better, which means that the business owners are reliant upon underpaid and overworked staff to deliver a service. On the other hand, seemingly a lot of people willing to pay a huge amount of money to get the right logo on things - because everyone can see that. Perhaps if tyres came with Mulberry or Prada branding.

Context: My wife works retail, only part time since the kids were born as the demands on management (where she was) are unreal and barely pays more. (Just about covers her clothes addiction ;)).  She has just left a well known Northern supermarket after 9 years. Paid by the hour, but expect 2 hours work for every hour paid, customers treat them like crap (has actually had scratches down the back of her arms and hands from the vultures trying to snatch reductions out of her hands), not to mention verbal abuse and generally disrespectful/abusive behaviour) management paid poorly too, so you end up with brain dead pillocks on a power trip because they have "manager" in their title who are often as bad as some of the customers. Even her demeanour slips at times.

Moved to the small local independent department store (think Grace Brothers) this week whose stated aim to differentiate is "superlative customer service" and is staffed with this in mind. Issue is - I've been looking at the finances and I think it is fair to say that this service approach doesn't lead to "superlative" profitability.

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Blessed with the competence to be a slave to the incapable.

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1 hour ago, Colin P said:

On the other hand, seemingly a lot of people willing to pay a huge amount of money to get the right logo on things - because everyone can see that. Perhaps if tyres came with Mulberry or Prada branding.

BUT!  most of these "logo" items you sake are fakes!  I am sure 90% of the people I see out and about with Pooey Putton, Vulgari, Shitnel and Dilberry bags and stuff are as fake as anything.  To the extent that it actually puts me off buying anything from these "brands" for myself or my loved ones as I just assume everyone would think I was a cheapstake wannabe who had bought fake!

 

Alcohol. Sex. Tobacco. Drugs. Chocolate.  Meh! NOTHING in this world is as addictive as an Evora +0. It's not for babies!    

The first guy to ride a bull for fun, was a true hero. The second man to follow him was truly nuts!   

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Much worse than fakes @C8RKH Range Rovers on a lease being "filled up" with £10 of petrol :rolleyes:

 

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Blessed with the competence to be a slave to the incapable.

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13 minutes ago, Colin P said:

Much worse than fakes @C8RKH Range Rovers on a lease being "filled up" with £10 of petrol :rolleyes:

 

Yes, locally up here it is referred to as "all fur coat and cannae afford knickers"!

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Alcohol. Sex. Tobacco. Drugs. Chocolate.  Meh! NOTHING in this world is as addictive as an Evora +0. It's not for babies!    

The first guy to ride a bull for fun, was a true hero. The second man to follow him was truly nuts!   

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I bought a couple of tyres for my wife's 107 from Kwik Fit. They didn't have them in stock, so had to order them. Called in the morning (a day or so later) to let me know that they had been delivered. Took the car in at lunchtime, only to find that they had sold them to another customer. Guess where I don't go anymore.

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This is another reason why I'm sticking with Michelins.  As well as being great tyres, they seem to last longer, which means less visits to the fitters 😀

That said, the ones I use are actually very good. I always tell them the pressure I want and all I ask is that they balance them properly and don't damage the wheels.  I'm happy to wash off the muck myself and would rather do this anyway.

I wouldn't even know the correct torque settings, but do always double check a few weeks later to ensure the bolts are still tight.

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