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Re: Should I be annoyed? - Firestone Alignment [Re: StevieC] #5036325
03/08/19 04:54 PM
03/08/19 04:54 PM
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 9,976
Phoenix
dishdude Online content
dishdude  Online Content

Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 9,976
Phoenix
Originally Posted by StevieC
Originally Posted by bdcardinal
Originally Posted by StevieC
How is he/she not getting paid? He/she is at work and the clock is running. It might not pay as much as something else but he/she is still getting paid. shrug


At Sears we got a really low hourly rate, below minimum wage, and then were paid a commission on each job. Alignments paid either $15 or $20 depending if it was a "difficult" alignment or not.


How is that not getting paid though? Sure the pay sucks, but you are still getting paid.


Sears is a bit of an odd duck, most shops pay flat rate. Techs don't punch a clock but are paid on hours billed. An alignment that's billed is probably 1.1 hours, but the free alignment check is zero.


2018 Challenger SRT 392 PUP 0w-40 Wix 57899XP
2018 GTI
Re: Should I be annoyed? - Firestone Alignment [Re: dishdude] #5036340
03/08/19 05:05 PM
03/08/19 05:05 PM
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 12,835
Santa Barbara, CA
bdcardinal Offline
bdcardinal  Offline

Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 12,835
Santa Barbara, CA
Originally Posted by dishdude
Sears is a bit of an odd duck, most shops pay flat rate. Techs don't punch a clock but are paid on hours billed. An alignment that's billed is probably 1.1 hours, but the free alignment check is zero.


They also kept track of all of your jobs and if you consistently didn't perform, you were out. Sucked for guys who worked mostly late shifts that were dead.


2014 Ford Mustang GT Track Pack
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Ford/Mazda Parts Counter
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Opinions expressed are my own.
Re: Should I be annoyed? - Firestone Alignment [Re: bdcardinal] #5036345
03/08/19 05:08 PM
03/08/19 05:08 PM
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 9,976
Phoenix
dishdude Online content
dishdude  Online Content

Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 9,976
Phoenix
Originally Posted by bdcardinal
Originally Posted by dishdude
Sears is a bit of an odd duck, most shops pay flat rate. Techs don't punch a clock but are paid on hours billed. An alignment that's billed is probably 1.1 hours, but the free alignment check is zero.


They also kept track of all of your jobs and if you consistently didn't perform, you were out. Sucked for guys who worked mostly late shifts that were dead.


I heard they had quotas, like you had to sell 10 brake jobs a week. Of course it's possible you didn't see 10 cars that needed brake jobs, but that didn't matter.


2018 Challenger SRT 392 PUP 0w-40 Wix 57899XP
2018 GTI
Re: Should I be annoyed? - Firestone Alignment [Re: RamFan] #5036347
03/08/19 05:10 PM
03/08/19 05:10 PM
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 3,621
Central Virginia
Silverado12 Offline
Silverado12  Offline

Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 3,621
Central Virginia
Dangit that sucks. You would think they would value their employees more than that, but that explains the need for unions and labor laws.


12 Chevy Silverado ext. cab LS, 2WD 4.3 auto
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Re: Should I be annoyed? - Firestone Alignment [Re: rooflessVW] #5036370
03/08/19 05:27 PM
03/08/19 05:27 PM
Joined: Aug 2017
Posts: 689
Cincinnati, USA
Dave9 Offline
Dave9  Offline

Joined: Aug 2017
Posts: 689
Cincinnati, USA
Originally Posted by rooflessVW
There is no difference between a "full alignment" on a modern car and the "toe and go" of yore.

Tie rods are all you can do on a lot of vehicles these days, and to fix your steering wheel they cracked both.

They did a full alignment.


While you may not find it at the $80 Firestone dealer, a properly trained alignment tech can adjust everything needed to arrive at the correct alignment specs. This includes shimming (adding parts if need), drilling /enlarging holes, straps to pull strut towers back where they should be, etc. Do not accept "we couldn't align because all we can do is toe". Ask before hand because you wasted money if they only do toe and it needs more. Heck, toe you can DIY in 5 minutes. On the other hand "we couldn't align because of worn suspension" may be true.

As far as feeling cheated for only need the steering wheel straightened, you open that can of worms when you ask for them to do what they make money doing. Centered steering wheel IS part of a correctly done alignment so if they find that off, you need one. Ask ahead of time (next time) for them to inform you what they find before they proceed to do billable work.

I've even gone to an alignment shop and was told ahead of time (they'd not looked at the vehicle yet) that they might have to double bill. I had only installed new struts on a vehicle in perfect alignment before that, so there was nothing unusual that would need done. I told them to call me if they decided it needed double billed, strongly implying I would not pay for that and they'd not get the work at all.

Last edited by Dave9; 03/08/19 05:34 PM.
Re: Should I be annoyed? - Firestone Alignment [Re: RamFan] #5036402
03/08/19 05:53 PM
03/08/19 05:53 PM
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 13,092
N.H, U.S.A.
ARCOgraphite Offline
ARCOgraphite  Offline

Joined: May 2009
Posts: 13,092
N.H, U.S.A.
Looks like they did a good job. Your rear toe was way off.

You "straighten the steering wheel" by locking and bracing the steering column on center then adjust front and rear toe so it even L-R. and adjusting or correcting any excessive cross camber or cross caster. Cant do on most net built unibody strut cars without pulling drilling and cutting.

Unless there was a front end collision, you dont unclamp the wheel from the U joint or rack and move it.

Thats 1960s worm and roller steering box kind of repair action.

I know I've been around and done it.


2019 VW Jetta S 6MT OCI#0 5033mi-Castrol Edge Prof? VW508+OE Filter; '17 Subaru Crosstrek CVT OC#7 52665mi-Castrol GTX Magnatec 5W20 + SOA Filter
Re: Should I be annoyed? - Firestone Alignment [Re: RamFan] #5036414
03/08/19 06:03 PM
03/08/19 06:03 PM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 34,664
ME
eljefino Offline
eljefino  Offline

Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 34,664
ME
Aren't you/ weren't you a mechanic?

Why didn't you just loosen your own tie rods and turn one in, and one out, 1/6 turn (one nut flat) to straighten your own wheel? That's free, all day long.

As mentioned above, a "good" alignment may include bending, grinding, or shims. A mediocre one, they'll tell you, that angle isn't adjustable from the factory.

You could have done better research before going in or by asking when you got there.

As for being annoyed, that's your right. smile

Finally, I got a free alignment check I didn't even ask for, because they saw my new tie-rod end. I took their printout and did trig so I knew how much to turn each side.

Re: Should I be annoyed? - Firestone Alignment [Re: Dave9] #5036460
03/08/19 06:39 PM
03/08/19 06:39 PM
Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 9,084
New England
Jarlaxle Offline
Jarlaxle  Offline

Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 9,084
New England
Originally Posted by Dave9
Originally Posted by rooflessVW
There is no difference between a "full alignment" on a modern car and the "toe and go" of yore.

Tie rods are all you can do on a lot of vehicles these days, and to fix your steering wheel they cracked both.

They did a full alignment.


While you may not find it at the $80 Firestone dealer, a properly trained alignment tech can adjust everything needed to arrive at the correct alignment specs. This includes shimming (adding parts if need), drilling /enlarging holes, straps to pull strut towers back where they should be, etc. Do not accept "we couldn't align because all we can do is toe". Ask before hand because you wasted money if they only do toe and it needs more. Heck, toe you can DIY in 5 minutes. On the other hand "we couldn't align because of worn suspension" may be true.

As far as feeling cheated for only need the steering wheel straightened, you open that can of worms when you ask for them to do what they make money doing. Centered steering wheel IS part of a correctly done alignment so if they find that off, you need one. Ask ahead of time (next time) for them to inform you what they find before they proceed to do billable work.

I've even gone to an alignment shop and was told ahead of time (they'd not looked at the vehicle yet) that they might have to double bill. I had only installed new struts on a vehicle in perfect alignment before that, so there was nothing unusual that would need done. I told them to call me if they decided it needed double billed, strongly implying I would not pay for that and they'd not get the work at all.


You realize that many modern cars (and even older ones-first I recall seeing was an 80s Escort) simple have nothing else to adjust, right? The only adjustable aspect is toe, camber & caster are not.


1979 Coupe de Ville, 542 stroker, 15W-40 Super Tech, Delco
2011 Crown Vic P71, 5W-20 Super Tech, Super Tech
2011 Sportster 883, 20W-50 Mobil, HD black
Re: Should I be annoyed? - Firestone Alignment [Re: RamFan] #5036580
03/08/19 08:07 PM
03/08/19 08:07 PM
Joined: Aug 2017
Posts: 689
Cincinnati, USA
Dave9 Offline
Dave9  Offline

Joined: Aug 2017
Posts: 689
Cincinnati, USA
^ Camber and caster ARE adjustable, you just aren't thinking like a trained alignment tech.

You bend back what went out and if holes need enlarged or a plate and redrilled you do that. If there is a damaged suspension component it may need replaced too.

There is no vehicle that can't be aligned for caster and camber back to the factory specs, unless it is so damaged it simply isn't safe to drive. If you don't know how, that is why you're paying someone $150+ to do so, plus parts.

Alignment isn't just about "is there a cam bolt or slotted hole to do that". That's merely one way to adjust alignment for things that most frequently need it. If someone says it can't be aligned, most often it merely means they don't know what they're doing or it's outside of what they're willing/capable of doing. and should not bill for the job if it can't be completed.

Last edited by Dave9; 03/08/19 08:12 PM.
Re: Should I be annoyed? - Firestone Alignment [Re: RamFan] #5036615
03/08/19 08:31 PM
03/08/19 08:31 PM
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 471
Indiana
5AcresAndAFool Offline
5AcresAndAFool  Offline

Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 471
Indiana
I dont see the problem, you brought it in, they checked it, it was off, they fixed it, done. If they would have seen no issues and then charged you I would see a problem in accordance to their policy. I suppose they should have said that the steering wheel was off, do you want it "fixed".

You didn't get ripped off. I have worked in similar places and it gets hectic sometimes and communication is lost. Assuming the vehicle was 25k new the total cost of the alignment was .003 percent of the purchase price. Cheep! The shop is not getting rich doing 85 dollar alignments on a 100k alignment rack setup.

Was the wheel always off? If a vehicle has a steering wheel that goes off center, something is bent or worn enough to cause it.

I have a 09 xb with 120k on it and its hit alot of potholes and bumps, still on center.

An 05 Sienna, 80k miles still on center.

A friend with an 07 civic, over 400k miles, all original components, still on center.

Someone either curbed it or it was not right from the factory.

Last edited by 5AcresAndAFool; 03/08/19 08:41 PM.
Re: Should I be annoyed? - Firestone Alignment [Re: RamFan] #5036640
03/08/19 08:51 PM
03/08/19 08:51 PM
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 471
Indiana
5AcresAndAFool Offline
5AcresAndAFool  Offline

Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 471
Indiana
Looking at the before and after printout, anyone saying that things should have been shimmed, cut and ground to get the specs closer to perfect is crazy. Just saying.

What I am trying to say is I highly doubt that the shop cheated you. I dont think everyone was high fiving each other on the great con job they just pulled off. More likely the tech seen an issue fixed it and its done. They were just doing their job.

FWIW its not hard to straighten a wheel in your driveway if you dont mind a little work. I would rather pay 80 bucks and get the full story though.

If it was the medical field and they did a check using a 100k machine, the charge would be 800 dollars just to hook it up.

Another reason I left the field of Automotive Technician.

Re: Should I be annoyed? - Firestone Alignment [Re: RamFan] #5036840
03/09/19 12:49 AM
03/09/19 12:49 AM
Joined: Aug 2014
Posts: 1,575
Tasmania, Australia
hpb Offline
hpb  Offline

Joined: Aug 2014
Posts: 1,575
Tasmania, Australia
I'm not seeing the problem. They fixed what you were complaining about.


MY16 Mitsubishi Outlander 2.2 diesel, 60,000km - Gulf Western Euro Energy 5w30, Mitsubishi filter
2006 Ford Falcon 4.0, 144,000km - Valvoline Engine Armour 15w40, Ryco filter
Re: Should I be annoyed? - Firestone Alignment [Re: Dave9] #5037836
03/09/19 10:28 PM
03/09/19 10:28 PM
Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 9,084
New England
Jarlaxle Offline
Jarlaxle  Offline

Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 9,084
New England
Originally Posted by Dave9
^ Camber and caster ARE adjustable, you just aren't thinking like a trained alignment tech.

You bend back what went out and if holes need enlarged or a plate and redrilled you do that. If there is a damaged suspension component it may need replaced too.

There is no vehicle that can't be aligned for caster and camber back to the factory specs, unless it is so damaged it simply isn't safe to drive. If you don't know how, that is why you're paying someone $150+ to do so, plus parts.

Alignment isn't just about "is there a cam bolt or slotted hole to do that". That's merely one way to adjust alignment for things that most frequently need it. If someone says it can't be aligned, most often it merely means they don't know what they're doing or it's outside of what they're willing/capable of doing. and should not bill for the job if it can't be completed.


OK...so you, what...remove the steering knuckle, put it in a press, and hope you don't crack it? Because THAT (or adding pricey camber plates) is the only way to adjust camber or caster on some cars! The only way to adjust camber on my wife's Blazer would be bending the axle housing.


1979 Coupe de Ville, 542 stroker, 15W-40 Super Tech, Delco
2011 Crown Vic P71, 5W-20 Super Tech, Super Tech
2011 Sportster 883, 20W-50 Mobil, HD black
Re: Should I be annoyed? - Firestone Alignment [Re: Jarlaxle] #5059086
03/30/19 11:21 PM
03/30/19 11:21 PM
Joined: Aug 2017
Posts: 689
Cincinnati, USA
Dave9 Offline
Dave9  Offline

Joined: Aug 2017
Posts: 689
Cincinnati, USA
Originally Posted by Jarlaxle

OK...so you, what...remove the steering knuckle, put it in a press, and hope you don't crack it? Because THAT (or adding pricey camber plates) is the only way to adjust camber or caster on some cars! The only way to adjust camber on my wife's Blazer would be bending the axle housing.


Clearly you are wrong. Granted there is no such thing as "axle housing" but any part out of spec, can be either returned to spec or replaced. This whole "can't be aligned" is stupidity. It's all about what the tech you encounter, can do.

Do you understand math? If you are dealing with someone incompetent, the clear answer is move on. Don't waste your time on someone who "can't do" more than their limited training allows. You then take it to someone who is a real mechanic instead of some token gesture tech who only fiddles with what their limited training taught them. AKA a real mechanic.

There is no such thing as not being able to realign unless the parts are too rusted to give. If you want to accept lies, it's your vehicle.

Re: Should I be annoyed? - Firestone Alignment [Re: Dave9] #5059299
03/31/19 08:59 AM
03/31/19 08:59 AM
Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 9,084
New England
Jarlaxle Offline
Jarlaxle  Offline

Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 9,084
New England
Originally Posted by Dave9
Originally Posted by Jarlaxle

OK...so you, what...remove the steering knuckle, put it in a press, and hope you don't crack it? Because THAT (or adding pricey camber plates) is the only way to adjust camber or caster on some cars! The only way to adjust camber on my wife's Blazer would be bending the axle housing.


Clearly you are wrong. Granted there is no such thing as "axle housing"...


What would you call this, then?

[Linked Image]

Quote
...but any part out of spec, can be either returned to spec or replaced. This whole "can't be aligned" is stupidity. It's all about what the tech you encounter, can do.


OK, one more time: you, what...remove the steering knuckle, put it in a press, and hope you don't crack it? Because THAT (or adding pricey camber plates) is the only way to adjust camber or caster on some cars! Off the top of my head, there are no camber or caster adjustments on almost everything with MacPherson struts.

Quote
Do you understand math? If you are dealing with someone incompetent, the clear answer is move on. Don't waste your time on someone who "can't do" more than their limited training allows. You then take it to someone who is a real mechanic instead of some token gesture tech who only fiddles with what their limited training taught them. AKA a real mechanic.


Repeating the same incorrect statements does not make them correct. Math is irrelevant...a distraction, not a good one.

Quote
There is no such thing as not being able to realign unless the parts are too rusted to give. If you want to accept lies, it's your vehicle.


Yet again: regurgitating the same incorrect statements does not make them correct. Continuing to regurgitate them is a lie.


1979 Coupe de Ville, 542 stroker, 15W-40 Super Tech, Delco
2011 Crown Vic P71, 5W-20 Super Tech, Super Tech
2011 Sportster 883, 20W-50 Mobil, HD black
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