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Got new tires for my wife's 2011 Hyundai Sonata at Mr. Tire. I asked the kid there to torque the lug nuts to 75 lbs. and inflate the tires to the PSI on the door sticker. He said something like, "Yeh, whatever." I thought I better check them when I got home. Lugs were on so tight I had to use my cross-shaped lug wrench with a breaker bar to get them off and re-torque them. No two tires were the same PSI. The door sticker calls for 33 PSI on all four corners and they were like 47, 46, 52, and 38. So I let them cool off and let out enough air to meet specs.

I called the shop and the guy gave me the run around, finally giving me the 800-Tuff-Crap number. When I called they asked who manager on duty was - don't know, didn't give his name when he answered the phone or when I complained. Store number - how should I know, here's the address - not sure if that worked with their computer system. Name of kid who did the work wrong - the pimply faced one with the bad attitude. So no real satisfaction. Just won't give them my business anymore. Especially not with my precious Subie.

This thread is two things: 1. A rant 2. More importantly, a warning for those who don't already know. Do not trust the tire store to do the right thing. Over tightening the lugs can really screw up your aluminum wheels and warp your rotors. Improperly inflated tires can cause uneven wear, bad mileage, and poor driving.
 

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Got new tires for my wife's 2011 Hyundai Sonata at Mr. Tire. I asked the kid there to torque the lug nuts to 75 lbs. and inflate the tires to the PSI on the door sticker. He said something like, "Yeh, whatever." I thought I better check them when I got home. Lugs were on so tight I had to use my cross-shaped lug wrench with a breaker bar to get them off and re-torque them. No two tires were the same PSI. The door sticker calls for 33 PSI on all four corners and they were like 47, 46, 52, and 38. So I let them cool off and let out enough air to meet specs.

I called the shop and the guy gave me the run around, finally giving me the 800-Tuff-Crap number. When I called they asked who manager on duty was - don't know, didn't give his name when he answered the phone or when I complained. Store number - how should I know, here's the address - not sure if that worked with their computer system. Name of kid who did the work wrong - the pimply faced one with the bad attitude. So no real satisfaction. Just won't give them my business anymore. Especially not with my precious Subie.

This thread is two things: 1. A rant 2. More importantly, a warning for those who don't already know. Do not trust the tire store to do the right thing. Over tightening the lugs can really screw up your aluminum wheels and warp your rotors. Improperly inflated tires can cause uneven wear, bad mileage, and poor driving.
I wish I had the capability to mount and balance my own tires for reasons like this. I have a summer and winter set that have their own rims, though, so when I get Geolandars for next spring, I'll just give them the summer rims to work with--one less thing for them to mess up.
 

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I know of a garage that inflates every tire to the Maximum PSI rated that is imprinted on the tires. If the tire says Maximum - 2600 Pounds at 45 PSI, they think that means all four tires should be set at 45 PSI regardless of what any door stickers may say.

I know someone who frequents them and when I ride in their car, the thing has such hard tires you can feel every pebble in the road. For me, that's bad news as it aggravates my back which is bad enough at low pressures - not to mention at such high pressures.

So, you save some money on gas, but your tires retire early as the center tread is gone way before the edges of the tread.
 

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If I have to use a new tire store I ALWAYS stand outside the bay and watch. I won't hesitate to walk in and interrupt if I see something I either don't understand or I don't like.

My Discount Tire guys do it right. The first time I bought tires there, I was concerned when I saw the tech zipping the nuts down with an impact gun, so I asked. They told me that they use a "torque stick" that limits max torque to below the recommended amount. Then they check the computer for the specs and use a hand torque wrench to finish them off in a star pattern. Cool. I don't know if this practice is mandated by the head office or if it's up to the store managers ... does anyone know?

Torque Sticks, Torque Sockets and Other Discount Tools

Once you find a good shop, keep coming back and tell your friends. We don't want the good ones to go out of business.

BTW, they always ask me what tire pressure I want and they set it right, but it never matches my digital gauge, so I have to tweak it a little the next morning when the tires are cold.

John Davies
Spokane WA USA
 

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I bought my tires at Sears, simply because I got a killer deal on them, installed. I am off at school(well I live here year round now). Before I moved down here I would always go to a shop that a friend of my dads owns. I did all the work myself. I knew I could trust it that way. I was rather satisfied with the quality of work done by Sears, but from others I have heard of bad experiences.
 

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Use this:
Customer Satisfaction - Mr. Tire, Tread Quarters and Autotire
Use the Store Locator and the result based on your area should allow you to find the store number.
If the overall company is any good, they WILL follow up with you, and if its just the location that's bad then this is how they find out and do something about it. If the whole company is crap, you won't get any feedback, or something pathetic, and you'll know - and I bet we'll know too.
 

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Well, said...

If the company actually cares you had a bad experience you will hear back. I was a restaurant manager and I was required to make several attempts to contact any customer that called corporate. Good or bad.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Went to the web site and filled out their customer "satisfaction" survey and tried to submit it with my concerns. The survey would not submit. So, sent an email with my story. I got a "do not reply" email letting me know they got my email and will get back to me. I'll let folks know what they say.
 

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If I have to use a new tire store I ALWAYS stand outside the bay and watch. I won't hesitate to walk in and interrupt if I see something I either don't understand or I don't like.

My Discount Tire guys do it right. The first time I bought tires there, I was concerned when I saw the tech zipping the nuts down with an impact gun, so I asked. They told me that they use a "torque stick" that limits max torque to below the recommended amount. Then they check the computer for the specs and use a hand torque wrench to finish them off in a star pattern. Cool. I don't know if this practice is mandated by the head office or if it's up to the store managers ... does anyone know?

Torque Sticks, Torque Sockets and Other Discount Tools

Once you find a good shop, keep coming back and tell your friends. We don't want the good ones to go out of business.

BTW, they always ask me what tire pressure I want and they set it right, but it never matches my digital gauge, so I have to tweak it a little the next morning when the tires are cold.

John Davies
Spokane WA USA
Thanks for your kind words John. All of our stores mount tires this way to make sure they are torqued to the correct specs.

If you ever have a problem at any of our stores we recommend speaking to the store Manager. We take excellent customer service seriously.
 

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Thanks for your kind words John. All of our stores mount tires this way to make sure they are torques to the correct specs.

If you ever have a problem at any of our stores we recommend speaking to the store Manager. We take excellent customer service seriously.
Thanks for the clarification. I am 59 and have been buying tires from Discount Tire for close to 30 years. I used to call or drive all over town getting quotes but I always ended up buying from DT, so eventually I learned to just go there first. ;) I've never had anything but an excellent experience at every store Ive been to...

I've had average to horrible work done at Les Schwab tire stores, the worst being that if they don't sell a particular tire, they won't touch it! I once brought them four BFG ATs that I had bought on sale elsewhere six months prior. I wanted them to dismount my old tires and install those and they flat out refused! The manager told me it was "store policy". I was floored ..... and never went back, and have never stopped bad mouthing them. I don't care if some pimply Les Schwab tech fresh out of high school runs out to your car to "greet" you before you even get stopped - instead I want good service and a good attitude.

John Davies
Spokane WA USA
 

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Les Schwab has a very unique store manager system different than any other tire shop I know of. You cannot become a Les Schwab Store manager till you have worked for the company for something like 5 or 10yrs can't recall which - and you must hold some type of school cert etc etc. I only know because a co -worker's brother was so excited that he finally was given a store to manage. He moved his family from Washington to Sacramento CA to be the store manager.

Les Schwab - is one of the more expensive shops to have any sort of tire work done I have never been to one because they never carried the tire I wanted and their prices were WAY WAY - not competitive.

I select my tire shops based on my experience when I "Interview them" then I go read local reviews about them - I could care less what store brand they are - it comes down to their tires - pricing and local feedback and performance.
 

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Thanks for the clarification. I am 59 and have been buying tires from Discount Tire for close to 30 years. I used to call or drive all over town getting quotes but I always ended up buying from DT, so eventually I learned to just go there first. ;) I've never had anything but an excellent experience at every store Ive been to...
We appreciate your continued support John! Along with our customer service we also guarantee the lowest out the door price on all the products we carry. If a competitor ever has a cheaper advertised out the door price, we'll beat it :29:
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Rats! The nearest Discount Tire store to my home in Maryland is in North Carolina or Ohio. Though, it is good to know there are decent folks out there still putting the customer first and showing it by doing an excellent job. Still no word from Mr. Tire.
 

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Rats! The nearest Discount Tire store to my home in Maryland is in North Carolina or Ohio. Though, it is good to know there are decent folks out there still putting the customer first and showing it by doing an excellent job. Still no word from Mr. Tire.
We also guarantee the lowest delivered prices via mail order at our on-line store :29:

Home - Discount Tire Direct
 

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Here's a general test for proper pressure regardless of what the sticker in the door says or what is on the tire itself. I do this with oversized offroad tires and it works.

Get a container of talcum powder and find a level parking area where you can move the car forward a few feet at a time. Put all four tires at the exact same pressure, cold. It works best if you max the pressure out when you don't have a pump handy. This way you are only releasing air. Sprinkle the ground in front of the tire with talcum powder, enough some sticks to the tire patch, and roll forward one full rotation. Look at the imprint left by the tire. If its narrow, let some air out. If its heavy on the edges, add pressure. Do this until you have a full imprint of the complete tire patch. That's your pressure. When you load the car, add 5 psi or more depending on the load or trailering.

Every tire manufacturer has their own designs for the tire patch and sidewall. Some tires have a lot of flex in the sidewall, others very little. What you are aiming for is finding the right pressure for the tire in relation to the sidewall flex. You can take a wheel off a heavy car and put it on a light car and you will need to alter the air pressure accordingly, so the tire pressure sticker in the car is really just a guide and is based on the type of tire that was on the vehicle when tested.
 

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I foolishly took my car to get new tires at a local Firestone a number of years ago.

When I picked up the car, I looked at the tires and pointed to the guy who handed my keys that the tires were not put on correctly because they were DIRECTIONAL tires. He saw that they put the tire backwards and was embarrassed.

I can't even begin to think about the lack of care and incompetence it takes to not pay attention to the direction of a tire. Needless to say, I will NEVER go to a Firestone again and tell this story whenever I get a chance.

My new go-to place is America's Tire. They've taken good care of me and I think their employees are top notch.
 

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I had a "fun" conversation with my local Mr. Tire once. I took my car in to get snow tires. After they finished up, I had the following conversation with the clerk when i discovered that the price was over double what I was expecting.

Me: "You gave me the wrong invoice."
Clerk: "No, that one is the right one."
Me: "Yes, you did."
Clerk: "No."
Me: "I do not own a minivan."
Clerk: "What?"
Me: "I own a '05 Elentra, not a '00 Caravan. I also got 2 snow tires, not 4 all-seasons. Need I go on?"

Eventually the manager found the correct invoice. Then I discovered the did a tire alignment on the car, when I specifically told them not to do it. I had to argue that one as well, they dropped that charge, but still found a few creative fees to tack on the tires.

At least I got a (mostly) free alignment out of it, but needless to say, I have never been back and I recommend people against that store.
 

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I had horrible experience with Mr tire years ago. Went in to gt 4 tires installed, they upsold me break pads with lifetime warranty (silly me didnt know that lifetime pads actually grind down rotors and you end up paying more). When I started getting vibration from warping, they told me that the original rotors were too thin to re-surface and i needed new ones. After I called corporate and complained, the only thing they offered me was to sell me new rotors and essentially pay them more money. I actually bit the bullet, went to a reputable shop and had new OEM pads and rotors installed. Cost me an extra penny, and I never ever went back to Mr.Tire, and would never recommend anyone use them. All managers and shop personnel I met were rude and dishonest. This shop was located in Rockville, Maryland.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
cardoc: Your talcum powder method sounds like the perfect technique for a perfectionist (anal-retentive) guy like me. My technique up to now has been to crouch down about 6 feet behind or in front of the car when the tires are cold and see how the tread is sitting. Folks would be surprised how much bulge the tires have on the bottom for the tread to sit flat. Then I do a mix of smooth ride vs. better handling. This is within a few pounds of my original psi. Perhaps tomorrow I can use your technique. My neighbors won't think I am any more crazy than they already do. "There he goes with that digital gauge and damned air pump again." lol
 
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