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Old 06-27-2016, 07:14 PM   #21
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All these shops are pushing alignments these days. A Hyundai dealer near me even has a policy of checking all incoming cars for repairs/maintenance for wheel alignment. In most cases, it's a scam as most modern era cars have only toe adjustments and you won't need that until you wear out tie rod ends.

And, most cars that leave the assembly plant are aligned and the alignment specifications have fairly generous tolerances to adjust for normal wear. I just rebuilt the front end on my 2003 Jetta and changed ball joints, control arm bushings, struts, stabilizer bar bushings and wheel bearings. The car has 300,000 miles on it and the tires I took off with 80,000 miles on them had normal wear patterns. Firestone did an alignment for me and only toe in/out needed adjustment and that was due to me replacing inner and outer tie rods and ends.

Unless you are banging curbs and bending wheels, front end alignment is not a worry.

You must go to the one I go to.... I fell for the first one as it had been my mother's car and she did hit curbs etc.... but when they wanted to align our other one the same day.... I smelled scam...

Told my sister about this and she took her car in for an oil change... she had an alignment at the body shop after someone hit her, so we knew it was aligned.... but Hyundai found that it was 'out of alignment'...
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Old 06-27-2016, 08:16 PM   #22
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I go to an independent tire shop in Oregon that does a lot of work for the racing crowd - they have been in business for decades, their "waiting room" and "lobby" suck. They also can straighten out fancy BMW wheels and are happy to align to factory specs or for superior handling or for better tire longevity. If they tell me something they can show it to me as well - the shop preaches gospel. The same employees are there year after year. Makes me real happy. Now I've found a retired BMW tech down south with similar honesty - makes me a happy man.
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Old 06-27-2016, 11:39 PM   #23
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The primary reason I buy new is to avoid auto repair shops. Other than routine stuff, I haven't needed a major repair, or had a breakdown worse than a dead battery, in years.

Probably paying extra for depreciation, but I usually get ten years of hassle-free driving in exchange.
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Old 06-28-2016, 05:52 AM   #24
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Oh and just to add, I do firmly believe in having the tires rotated on a regular basis, then the chances of uneven ware are slim unless you have a major issue going on.
Absolutely. Different issue. Rotation is a must.

I think the slick service writer is praying on something... The big tire shops in town do only tires. No other service, not even alignment. His "alignment is bad" BS is part of trying to get customers away from them. They want you to come in every x miles for that rotation. I can go to my tire shop instead where I know they won't upsell me.
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Old 06-28-2016, 08:21 AM   #25
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I had recent service at my dealer, and during checkout, as I was pondering the beautiful plaque on the wall naming my service writer as a "super duper service writer", he started going off on me about how I was driving a rolling accident because "one tire is on its last legs."

Hmmm. Due to a nail, I recently had tire service done by my friendly "tires only" shop. I really like the tire shop, since all they do is tires. Tires have 30k, and I asked him what he thought: "You are good for another 10k at least."

My visual shows the same. Nothing close to the wear bars, and wearing looks even all around.

Now I didn't have time to argue with the service writer. I should have dropped everything and asked him to show me the "bad tire" so we could have an argument. He says I really need an alignment and this is proof.

So, he offered me a package of tires and alignment.

But I could care less about alignment. I'm I crazy? Honestly, I swear alignments typically make things WORSE these days. In the last 20 years, I've had little issue with alignment until I had someone go fiddling.

What do you all do? Barring hitting a curb or having a pulling feeling, do you get routine alignments?

As for my service writer... Well, I'm about to quit this stealership. Just tired of the constant upsell. But that is kind of another issue.
I always get a kick out of service writers trying to be my best friend. What they are is a highly skilled commission salesman--one without any morals or feelings.

Their job is to sell little old ladies $1000 brake jobs--that they could get at their local independent mechanic shop for $300.

Unless the factory is paying for a repair or a recall, no car dealership ever sees me after I initially purchase my car/truck. And in the last 550,000 miles driving cars bought new, I've never had one warranty claim--knock on wood.

My biggest problem is 2 cars with 40 series and 50 series 17"/18" tires. They're hardly lasting 20K miles, no matter which brand. And so many modern cars come with ultra high performance tires--even when they're not high performance cars. I get them aligned when the tires are bought, and they still wear out prematurely. It's the nature of the beast. My Explorer with 60 series tires are lasting 50K miles--good.
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Old 06-28-2016, 08:40 AM   #26
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+1 on service writers. They usually make $ off commission. Every time I go in for my free (or deeply discounted) oil change, I get the list of "urgent action items" that he STRONGLY recommends. They have even started giving me a 4 page color "personalized action list" that shows lots of worst case scenario pictures and lots of red/bold sentences. I bet they get a lot of suckers with these scare tactics.

I can't remember the last time I had ANY of my cars alignment adjusted. My current cars have 90K and 49K miles and have never had an alignment. The highest mileage car I have ever had was a '93 Ford Ranger that had well over 200K on it when I got rid of it...no alignment ever. I think I put 3 sets of tires on it while I had it.

If it's not called for in the manufacturers list of maintenance, I don't have it done.

Oh yeah...I am also loving the "Hey...you will get a survey, if you can't give me a 10, then please don't do it...OK? Is that OK?" Happens every single visit.
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Old 06-28-2016, 12:35 PM   #27
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This is the main reason I am very happy to not even own a car. I am never going to get priced out of transportation. I only own my condo and a few changes of underwear. I would prefer not to own anything but the underwear, but in a dynamic real estate market, renting is a risk that I prefer not to run. I know many are willing to move downmarket if necessary, but I am not.

Incidentally, I think the "sharing economy" my be a real deflationary force for some time. If 20-50 people people can use one Uber car, I would not want to be an auto manufacturer. With self driving cars this will be much stronger. Autos drove the US economy for 100 years, but imo that era is coming to a close. Though suburban living may give it a big extension. Non dangerous and adequate free schools in an upscale suburb are a mighty draw for parents.

Ha
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Old 06-28-2016, 01:36 PM   #28
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Incidentally, I think the "sharing economy" my be a real deflationary force for some time. If 20-50 people people can use one Uber car, I would not want to be an auto manufacturer. With self driving cars this will be much stronger. Autos drove the US economy for 100 years, but imo that era is coming to a close. Though suburban living may give it a big extension. Non dangerous and adequate free schools in an upscale suburb are a mighty draw for parents.

Ha
I won't deny that sharing economy will have an effect. But I can say a lot of us don't necessarily want to share other's bedbugs and slobber. Not everyone is going to sign up, but yeah, the post 2000 generation is currently heavily into it and I cannot deny that.

Another factor with these service writers is that stuff is simply not breaking very much on cars anymore. These guys have to manufacture problems. It is very irritating, and it is only going to get "worse" for the cash cow service bays of the dealers.
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Old 06-28-2016, 01:56 PM   #29
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I won't deny that sharing economy will have an effect. But I can say a lot of us don't necessarily want to share other's bedbugs and slobber. Not everyone is going to sign up, but yeah, the post 2000 generation is currently heavily into it and I cannot deny that.
I know this is a little off topic but I often wonder why we don't *share* more. Everybody on the street has their own trash service @ $22 a month. You could easily share one service between 3 houses. And high speed internet? People pay $100 or more for their "own service" when you could share between 3 or more homes. Yard equipment? No way people share...gotta have my own. So...I don't know that the post 2000 folks really share all that much.

OK...back to your normally scheduled topic.
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Old 06-28-2016, 02:18 PM   #30
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I won't deny that sharing economy will have an effect. But I can say a lot of us don't necessarily want to share other's bedbugs and slobber.
Eloquently stated, But really, when you take a cab or plane do you slobber much?

The sharing economy only gets tricky when you are sharing bed partners, which I am told is not unknown in any case.
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Old 06-28-2016, 02:54 PM   #31
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I know this is a little off topic but I often wonder why we don't *share* more.
I share over 10% of what I make, which is abhorrent to most people here.

But I don't share my lawnmower. Call me crazy.

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Eloquently stated, But really, when you take a cab or plane do you slobber much?
I reserve my slobbering for only when I'm in taxis, Uber cars, and busses in Pacific Northwest cities.
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Old 06-28-2016, 02:58 PM   #32
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I share over 10% of what I make, which is abhorrent to most people here.
wow your tax liability is pretty low
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Old 06-28-2016, 03:05 PM   #33
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I share over 10% of what I make, which is abhorrent to most people here.

But I don't share my lawnmower. Call me crazy.



I reserve my slobbering for only when I'm in taxis, Uber cars, and busses in Pacific Northwest cities.
LOL!
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Old 06-28-2016, 03:17 PM   #34
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I know this is a little off topic but I often wonder why we don't *share* more. Everybody on the street has their own trash service @ $22 a month. You could easily share one service between 3 houses. And high speed internet? People pay $100 or more for their "own service" when you could share between 3 or more homes. Yard equipment? No way people share...gotta have my own. So...I don't know that the post 2000 folks really share all that much.

OK...back to your normally scheduled topic.

One of the thing you mention IS shared... my internet speed depends on if my neighbors are using a lot of bandwidth or not.... if not, my speed is faster than if they are... we share a 'common line' that has only a certain amount of data....

Now, we all have to pay our outrageous price for this.... but that is just the way our economy works...


BTW, I also 'share' lawn equipment as I pay someone to do the yard... one of the problems is that his mower will bring weeds to our yard!!! Some sharing I would like to not have....
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Old 06-28-2016, 03:30 PM   #35
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BTW, I also 'share' lawn equipment as I pay someone to do the yard... one of the problems is that his mower will bring weeds to our yard!!! Some sharing I would like to not have....
Ah, I'll have to remember that if FUEGO asks me to borrow my mower. "You don't want it, unless you want brown spot." (Fescue and brown spot, a whole different matter.)

But this discussion which I innocently started as a dig on service writers has gone in an interesting, and somewhat satifying direction.

You know, when we were kids, our parents complained of the "throw away" society. Now, I'm not saying we still don't have that issue, but you have to admit that a lot of things have changed.

Cars last longer. When was the last time you saw a muffler ready to fall off? LED fixtures promise to last longer. At least in my case -- my HVAC is built better than the previous (YMMV).

That has caused whole disruptions in the economy. And now the prospect of ride sharing and self driving cars brings up a whole different set of disruptions to a portion of the economy that does sustain a lot of families.

I had a family member get out of the auto repair business in the early 80s because he couldn't handle the increasing electronics. That was during a period when there was a service station every corner. They were all converted to convenience centers.

And it continues. It continues now to the point that they have to create problems for us to beg for their business.
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Old 06-28-2016, 03:33 PM   #36
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it's just a paradigm shift - pretty soon all these service advisors will work as financial advisors
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Old 06-28-2016, 05:37 PM   #37
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I've had very uneven wear and an eventual blow out at high speeds on curvy roads (fortunately a slow-ish blow out and I felt the car fishtail immediately after I lost pressure). It was severely out of alignment. Maybe the blowout was due to uneven wear (probably) or maybe the tires reached the end of their life (they looked fine when we left Raleigh; worn through to the cloth and steel less than 1000 miles later in the Adirondacks).

YMMV, and I've only done 2 alignments during the joint maintenance of our 2 Hondas (sold both earlier this year). $70 or so here in Raleigh, which might save me from replacing tires 10-20k miles prematurely (or more if they are brand new). I've never had my tire shop (probably your tire shop and that of at least one other ER Forum member - is across from Costco?) recommend an alignment unless there was uneven wear, and never heard a dealer recommend it (Leith Honda is where I generally took mine if they were cheaper than Tao Auto).

I saw your mower borrowing comment. You definitely don't want to lend me your mower since my yard is mostly weeds. It's green, but its weeds.
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Old 06-28-2016, 05:45 PM   #38
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it's just a paradigm shift - pretty soon all these service advisors will work as financial advisors
Now that's funny, but it may become true.
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Old 06-28-2016, 08:28 PM   #39
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it's just a paradigm shift - pretty soon all these service advisors will work as financial advisors
Now that's funny.

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I've never had my tire shop (probably your tire shop and that of at least one other ER Forum member - is across from Costco?) recommend an alignment unless there was uneven wear, and never heard a dealer recommend it (Leith Honda is where I generally took mine if they were cheaper than Tao Auto).

I saw your mower borrowing comment. You definitely don't want to lend me your mower since my yard is mostly weeds. It's green, but its weeds.
Yep! Same shop.

Nope, don't want your weeds. Now see, we've established everyone should have their own mower. It helps stop the spread of diseases and weeds AND keeps the economy humming.
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Old 06-28-2016, 10:33 PM   #40
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Nope, don't want your weeds. Now see, we've established everyone should have their own mower. It helps stop the spread of diseases and weeds AND keeps the economy humming.
Too funny. We'll have to have a Raleigh ER Forum meetup at the tire shop.

They have the best prices, great quarterly sales (or used to anyway) and the free rotation/balance with any installation is a good deal too. Plus free air and puncture repair if you stop by.
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