Ohhh, Pep Boys... NEVER AGAIN! Despite hearing not-so-great things about them in the past, I'd go there frequently simply because the hours are convenient. Last weekend, I took my car there for an oil change and a State Inspection. I also noticed some stiffness in my steering wheel; mostly while backing up, so I had them check that.
Well. They quoted me $1400 and told me I needed a WHOLE NEW RACK AND PINION on a three-year-old car with only 58,000 (that has never been in an accident). They also FAILED my car on the safety inspection and told me this needed to be replaced before they'd pass me. They said it was, "a huge safety issue and I shouldn't be driving my car."
I didn't even know what a rack and pinion was, but I was SO freaked out! Anyway, I definitely didn't have $1400, so I called my car's manufacturer all frantic and upset hoping for SOME sort of help. They told me they needed an official diagnosis from the dealer first, which is completely understandable. My car passed EVERY SINGLE DIAGNOSTIC TEST the dealer ran on the steering system. They found NOTHING wrong with my vehicle--other than my tires desperately needed replacing. I knew I needed new tires, but I didn't realize they were SO bad that THEY were causing the steering tightness! They increased the tire pressure at the dealer which RIGHT AWAY made a huge difference in the steering.
Yesterday, I went to a trusted independent mechanic (recommended by two of my co-workers) who installed four brand new tires and told me--AGAIN--there was absolutely NOTHING WRONG WITH MY RACK AND PINION! He also told me that even if there was, there is NO WAY it would ever cost even close to $1400! (Oh, and by the way, he PASSED my car on the state inspection--which I should have passed in the first place at Pep Boys!) My car is fine now.
I am FURIOUS!! Pep Boys not only caused me three days of stress and money-worrying, but they had me second-guessing my car's manufacturer that I've been loyal to and trusted for many years! Plus I was scared to even drive my car! Not only that, but I dropped $96 on that oil change, the failed inspection, and their diagnostic fee. The oil change I'll pay for, but I WANT MY MONEY BACK on the rest! Shouldn't someone who "knows about cars" simply suggested tires FIRST before going all "rack and pinion" on me?
Moral Of My Story/Lesson Learned = NEVER GOING TO PEP BOYS AGAIN!
Product or Service Mentioned: Pep Boys Tire Rotation.