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.