Monday, June 11, 2012

The Firestone Experiment

I may have written once before about my one and only trip to "Just Brakes". I had just graduated from college, had very little cash and my pads went out on my car. I could still stop and everything, there was just an annoying grinding noise when I did.

I took my car to Just Brakes. They said I needed new rotors, new pads, do something to the brake line, I can't remember what else. They wanted $300+. I said, "Can you just replace the pads? I've only got $50." After much pressuring concerning the safety of my brakes, they finally acquiesced. Three years later, the breaks started grinding again and I took the car to the now defunct K-Mart. They replaced the pads no questions and asked for $30. I even warned them that I might need new rotors. I've never even considered doing business with Just Brakes again.

As time went by and my pocket book became more bountiful I quit paying so much attention to people trying to oversell me. However, recently, my local Firestone has started the annoying habit of trying to sell me tires every time I walk into the store. It's kind of an ongoing joke between me and my girlfriend. I convinced her to take her car to the same Firestone to get her oil changed and they told her the same thing. But, they are conveniently located within walking distance of my house and a place to stop in for a drink so I tend to take my car there when it needs something so I can either walk home (for the long jobs) or walk to the pub (for the shorter jobs).

About 10 months ago I decided to perform an expensive experiment. I spent about $600 on four new tires, balancing and alignment at the local Firestone. These were all recommended by Firestone (in Flower Mound) for the safety of my vehicle (which was only a 15 months old at the time).

Now, my car is 22 months old and I had to get it inspected. I took it to a new Firestone (one in Irving) to get the inspection. And guess what they told me. Go ahead, guess. I'll wait. They said, and I quote, "Your car just barely passed the inspection. You need new tires and an alignment because you have uneven tire wear. Your tires had just enough tread left to pass inspection, but they won't last much longer."

I'm going to take their little write up about me needing new tires and an alignment to the Firestone in Flower Mound who did the exact same job less than a year ago. It'll be fun. I'm thinking I'm going to have to find a new place to do business. It's too bad. The guys at Firestone are pretty nice. Of course, I think what I need to find is a well qualified narcissistic auto mechanic. Someone who loves repairing cars, but won't sell a glass of water in the desert because he doesn't like the people. Wouldn't that be cool?


  1. Acme on White Settlement.
    Across the street from Angelo's BBQ, next door to Conlon's pub.

    He is honest, smart, and good at his job. He doesn't do oil changes, but does everything else. There is also a guy in the shop that does auto inspections.

    Love him. Tell him Connie and Kim sent you.

  2. Thanks for the tip! Unfortunately that's a bit out of the way for me.

    It is blog fodder for another day though. How far away will you go for a good mechanic? It's kind of an oxymoron.

    I had a "mobile mechanic" from Denton that I used to call. That was quite handy. He'd drive out to my house and work on the car.