San Antonio, Texas
Not resolved
Customer service
Price Affordability
Value for money

Let me explain myself first. I am an L1 certified master technician and have been in the automotive repair business for 25 years.

I took my daughters truck into the Pep Boys at 6200 San Pedro Ave in San Antonio, Texas. I asked for one tire replaced, all four balanced, and a wheel alignment. I would have taken care of this at the shop I work at except we are closed on weekends, this was a Sunday, and my daughter had to be back home to work Monday. I checked the front end of the truck before I took it in.

There was a little play in the idler arm but it was within tolerance. The service writer had to be the slowest I have ever seen, but I thought, maybe he is a technician and hasn't worked up front much. I left the truck with them. The service writer called me a while later and proved that I was mistaken about him being a technician.

He told me that the upper and lower tie rod ends were bad on her truck. Now this was definitely a problem. Mainly because I have been in this business for years and all I have ever seen on any vehicle were inner and outer tie rod ends. There are no upper and lower tie rod ends.

This worried me so I went back and told them to show me the bad parts. They took me out to the shop and proceeded to show me the bad tie rod ends by wiggling the tires. There was absolutely no movement in the tie rod ends. there was the little bit of movement in the idler arm and I had to point that out to them.

Then he told me that the left front tire had caster wear and they could not do the alignment. This is another serious problem considering caster does not and can not cause tire wear. the tire wear was from camber out of adjustment. I could be wrong, but, from my experience, caster, camber, and toe are the whole reasons you do an alignment.

I told him that, with an S-10 pickup and inner tire wear, all you have to do is remove the shims until it is within specs. The technician looked at me like I was a Russian crossword puzzle. i told him to drop the truck down and I would show him how it is done. I explained where the shims were and how to remove them to adjust the alignment.

After this happened, I walked over to the service writer and told him to only balance the tires and replace the bad one. I told him, "if I have to train your guys on how to do an alignment, then I do not trust that they can do it properly". I talked my daughter into staying another night and I took it to work with me and did the alignment myself. Be very careful.

These guys didn't get away with it on my daughter truck, but only because of my experience. Most people do not have the knowledge that I do and that is what they are counting on. I got a LOT of mean looks from employees that day.

I told one of the managers that if he would pay me, I would go back there and train all of his guys on how to do a proper alignment. He just walked away from me and didn't say a single word.

Reason of review: Poor customer service.

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I don't think they were trying to rip you off,they just simply don't know how to check a front end.First off they don't even get paid minimum wage,they are paid flat rate with no guaranteed hours.Pep Boys is allways getting sued over this and claim in court that it is not a flat rate pay system but rather a commission based pay plan that exempts them from paying minimum wage or overtime.You can google Pep Boys is quite entertaining.Now this only attracts young Honda owners that have installed a cold air kit and a sub box with the wires routed outside the car and along side the seats on they're cars.Doing so they are now ready for a career as an automotive technician and get hired by Pep Boys because no one else will do to they're lack of experience.Pep Boys has no requirements for hiring technician other then filling out an application and passing a drug test.Now they are checking your car with the experience they have from working on they're own car and information they have gathered from friends which is more along the lines of urban mythes.You had mentioned that there was play in the idler arm.well keep in mind that Hondas don't have idler arms.So armed with they're knowledge,if you have side to side play it must be tie rods but which tie rod?Well knowing that there are 4 tie rods then if they replace all 4 then they will have hit the nail on the head.Oh and i'm pretty sure that when you pointed out that was play in the idler arm the thought of WHAT'S AN IDLER ARM went through they're heads.This and the whole shim thing which was too much for them to even compute would explain the looks they were giving you. Pep Boys is a training center for individuals entering the automotive field and is funded by patrons such as yourself.Asking to get paid to train these individual is an insult on the highest level to them.Pep Boys is a self education facility where as you learn from your mistakes on a trial and error basis.

to anonymous San Antonio, Texas, United States #886855

I agree with most of what you said, however I did not say that I thought they were trying to rip me off. My statement was about their total lack of knowledge in simple automotive 101.

I also understand flat rate pay. Almost all of the automotive industry is flat rate pay. I have worked at many shops, including Pep Boys and I almost always got paid flat rate, and still do.

The only exception was when I was Shop Foreman at a local automotive shop about 4 years ago. I was paid salary then.

to sagrzmnky #886873

Being a master and L1 technician myself for 32 years.we are perceived as thieves because of instances like the one you had and the unethical practices of others.We are allways protecting our integrity and proving our worthiness,it has become second nature.Pep Boys has added to our perception as thieves with they're incompetence being mistaken by the public as outright theft.Pep Boys has been and is a staring point for many qualified people in this industry that may not have had an opportunity without.When i first started there were no Pep Boys and it was very hard to get into this industry,no one would hire you because you had no experience and you couldn't get experience because no one would hire you.Somehow Pep Boys has learned to survive on incompetence and they are not going away anytime soon.Reading some of these complaints leads me to believe that people just love to complain and keep going back so that they can continue to complain.By all rites Pep Boys should have been out of business many years ago.

to anonymous San Antonio, Texas, United States #886860

About being ripped off. Although I didn't come right out and say it, I guess I did lead the reader to draw that conclusion.

I use to work for Pep Boys many years ago. The upper management loves to push certain items to sell. It may be hoses and belts one week or shocks and struts the next. It all depends on which product is not moving off of the shelves fast enough.

this happens at many shops.

These are some of the reasons I do not work there anymore. I could tell you stories about some big name brake shops that will squirt brake fluid on wheel cylinders and calipers and take the customer out and show them where they are "leaking".

Denver, Colorado, United States #882940

Total *** If you were really are a "master tech" then you would have known that pep boys hire hacks! They are as much a "tech" as the guys at the quickie oil change places.

pep boys hire the people that good shops don't should know that Mr. L1 master tech :(

to dan San Antonio, Texas, United States #886850

Actually, I use to work for Pep Boys many years ago so I know all about them. I know the people they hire and I know how they get paid.

Obviously you didn't read the whole story. I stated that it was on a Sunday and it was my daughters truck. She had to get back home. There were no other places open on Sunday after 6pm except Pep Boys so I didn't have a lot of choices.

There was actually at least one experienced tech working there. He just wasn't working on my vehicle. You sound a little pissed off. Maybe you couldn't pass the L1 test.

I don't know what your problem is, but you calling what I posted, or my qualifications total B.S.

doesn't mean a *** thing to me. I know what happened, I know why it happened, I know what my qualifications are, and I didn't ask for your approval Dan...

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