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I know if we're goin' to rant about a business we're not supposed to say who they are, and so I'm going to abide by that rule and not say who it is. Let's just say it's a nationwide chain that carries "tires plus" other things, and if your "wheel works", then you don't have to put your car in the shop. :p

Anyway, I took my '86 Toyota SR5 4x4 truck in for for a free oil change and lube, fluid, tire, and brake inspection on this 'Maintenance Plan' I purchased.

After they do the oil change, inspect everything, and top off the fluids they say I need 2 new tires in the front (I did), and an alignment (I did), and new brakepads in the front, plus the front rotors were worn and couldn't be turned, and the rear brake cylinders needed to be replaced because they were leaking.

OK, I decide, let them do the work since I'm made of money, anyway :p . . . besides, it was easier to pay them than do it myself.

I went to pick it up the next day and . . . while driving home, the brake pedal goes to the floor!! ::

Very scary. Anyway, when I got home I popped the hood and there was brake fluid sprayed all over the inside of the engine compartment . . . all over the engine and hood . . . what a mess!! And I could tell it hadn't just happened, because there were no drips and there was brake fluid all over the outside of the front fender, so it had to have happened while the hood was up! They were also supposed to check and top off all the fluids, but I could tell from the even layer of dusty oil on the PS cap, that they didn't check that fluid, the radiator was still a little low, and, since they wrote on the work order that it's a stick (it's actually an automatic) I know they didn't check that fluid either.

I checked the dipstick, and yes, fresh oil, and a new filter too. But still??!!? WTF??!!?? Then I remember I had recently had the brakes done, and, sure enough, I found a receipt for new rotors and pads only 30,000 miles ago!! ::

So I called them up, and ranted and raved, and they said they would make it right. So I brought the truck in, ranted and raved again, pointed out everything . . . "No problem", they said, "We'll fix it in a jiffy". Three hours later, I finally had to have one of their mechanics give me a ride home . . . truck won't be done until tomorrow!! ::

Well, to make it right, (and none of this cost me a cent), I got the new rotors for free because I had them pull my old ones out of their dumpster and measure them in front of me . . . turns out they were in good shape and could actually be turned one more time, they installed a new master brake cylinder for free (they had broken the old one, don't ask me how), and when I picked up the truck the brakes felt good and firm (except, they didn't clean up their brake fluid mess).

OK, now I'm happy! :) (or so I thought) . . .

After about 1/2 hour of driving, the brakes now heat up to the point of smelling bad and my brake pedal loses all of it's free-play. Apparently, from what I can tell, one of the rear brakes is adjusted too tight, so it drags and heats up. The heat travels up the brakeline, heating the fluid in the line . . . the fluid expands and causes the other three brakes to drag. I can feel a loss of power when I'm driving, I can put it in neutral on a hill and the truck won't roll, and I can smell the brakes overheating.

Can't they get it right???? Should I just back off the rear brake adjustment myself and let it be?? (real easy with a screwdriver, takes 2 minutes) :p

Or, should I go through the hassle of going back to the shop and ranting and raving again???

(BTW, no more routine autowork at this shop for me!!) ::

Thanks for listening . . .

Rick
 

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Right away, Lawsuit he says. Thats exactly why the whole country is going to hell. What are you? A democrat??
They're taking care of it aren't they? First off, they probaby already know this guy aint coming back, and, since they touched it last, they still gotta deal with it.
 

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Don't you just love it? I had to get a new U joint since the parts place I usually go to is not open on Sunday. I go to put it in today and it is the wrong one.

Good thing I checked before I removed the old one which is usually fatal to the old U Joint.

I would go back. Now that they know the "mechanic" who worked on your truck is endangering people and causing long time customers to leave, he may not have a job for long.
 
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At least they didn't leave the oil out of it like a local dealership did when a friend of mine had his car serviced. :(
 
K

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Rick, document everything. Write it in a letter and send it to the HQ of that nationwide outfir. Also state you are afraid to return for fear of mechanical reprisal. State how mad you are and you want an another independent shop to review THEIR work at THEIR expense. Also state if the don't agree you will seek leagl action not only from yourself but also the State's Attorney. Then just wait on a reply. They may call your bluff but then again you may get something out of it.
 

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If you want the hassle and like to rant and rave and get hypertensive, go back. You will never get satisfaction from them or their HQs. Write them off as a bad learning experience. One of many in life.
 

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How much damage did the brake fluid do to the paint? You need to check it. On the brake lockup problem you need to look under the dash and try to adjust the master cyl rod from the pedal, in the correct position any back pressure from the brakes expanding will return to the master cyl reservoir. If the push rod is too far into the master cyl it will not allow the fluid to return and the resulting pressure will cause the brakes to apply. This could be a simple fix.
 

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I thought new brakes were supposed to smell for while? Or was that new catalytic converters?

Anyways...I don't trust any of those types of places. I had one place tell me my 92 Jeep Cherokee with a 5spd tranny needed the automatic tranny flushed. After that, and after finding my oil pan plug 1/4 turn from falling out, I do it myself unless it is too hard, and I take it to a real mechanic, suck it up and pay the money.

Good luck dealing with them.

Slade
 

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A favorite memory of a national chain. Years ago when Sears Automotive Centers were in such trouble for shoddy workmanship my wife had taken our Bronco to them for a brake job. Three days and $700 later she gets the truck back. On the following Saturday morning I walk past the truck in the driveway and notice that there are only four lug nuts on each wheel. They had left off the locking lugs. I jam directly down to Sears and complain. They appologize and tell me that they will replace the locking lugs if I can wait for a couple of hours because they are going to have to send someone out to buy them. I cruise the mall for the balance of Saturday morning and go back to Sears for the Bronco. No problem. All ready. So, I walk out to the truck and see that there are five chromed lug nuts on the left front and five chromed lugs on the left rear. I walk around to the right rear and, sure enough, five plain chromed lugs. I finally get to the right front and there is one chromed lug nut and four locking lugs. I had to explain to these bozos what the purpose of the locking lugs was and how one was supposed to go on each wheel. "Oh!" Needless to say it was our last visit to Sears Automotive Center.

BTW Rick, was your experience with a chain whose name begins with a K? They're usually co-located with the guys who make your "wheels work".
 
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