Posted on | March 14, 2011 | 3 Comments
There is a reason that I hire experts to perform service for me. It doesn’t matter whether it is the doctor, the architect, or the car repair shop, I don’t have the time or the expertise to do those services for myself.
That is why I took my van into Goodyear Tire and Service. They get paid because they are supposed to be experts in their craft. And with that status, there should be a certain expectation of performance.
The problem that I was experiencing was a low frequency humming noise coming from the passenger side tire. The noise was related only to how fast the tire was rotating and was independent of the engine speed. I took my car into Goodyear Tire and Service and reported that exact symptom I have just described. What I did not say was that my suspicion was that the bearing was going out and would need to be replaced. I wanted a proper examination by the experts to determine the exact problem. The mechanic took my keys and promised a phone call with the diagnosis within a few hours.
The phone call came within the hour, and the diagnosis was a plethora of problems with the van. The first thing he said was that the bearing was out. But then the problems mounted. He reported that all the front brake pads and rotors were bad and need to be replaced, the back brake cylinders were bad and needed replacing in addition to an oil and lube. The last thing was the the state safety inspection was due.
The list amounted to work that totaled about $1,000. I already knew about the oil and lube and the state inspection, but something didn’t ring quite right about the brakes since I had personally replaced the pads and rotors myself about a year ago. However, since they confirmed by bearing suspicion, I authorized them to replace it, but not to do any other work.
Later that day, I came to pick up the van. I paid $311; $209 in parts and the rest in labor. Unfortunately, the noise was still there. I could not detect any improvement in my reported symptom. So I walked back inside to report my findings, and the mechanic at the counter said that since I had declined the work on the brakes, that my noise would still be there.
I’ve heard a lot of noise from brakes, that never a consistent low frequency humming sound. But I politely left the shop because I wanted to check the brakes myself.
I pulled the van into my garage at home and took of the front wheels, brake pads and then the rotors. As I suspected, all pads were barely used, and the rotors still look almost new with very little wear.
What about the bearing that they replaced? I never did mention to them that the sound was coming from the passenger side, but they apparently didn’t think about that much because they replaced the drivers side bearing. I have no idea whether that was a real problem or not, and they did not return my old bearing.
I really needed my van fixed at this point, and it was obvious that Goodyear wasn’t going to help. I went down to the parts store, bought a $89 bearing, rented the tool for free, and spent half of my Saturday replacing it. This is what I should have done in the first place because that completely fixed my noise problem. The van runs completely silent now.
Why is Goodyear Tire and Service a lying and cheating company you ask? Because the mechanic that replaced the driver’s side bearing had to removed both brake pads and the rotor in order to replace the bearing. He held a perfectly good rotor in his hand and still told me it needed replacing.
The only other possible explanation is that they are completely incompetent. However, at this point I am rejecting that possibility.
Goodyear will never get another dime from me as long as I live, and I urge you do avoid doing business with this company as well.