The Siren Song Of Walmart Tire & Lube Is Impossible To Resist

We’re not saying you shouldn’t shop at Walmart. We’re not telling you who to give your money to. That’s not what we do here, (although some people think it is, but whatever.) What we are saying is that you should think about to whom you entrust your property. If you have a bad experience, learn from it and don’t give them the opportunity to mess with your stuff again. Reasonable?

Reader Adam writes:

I drive an old crappy Geo Tracker to work (195K Miles!). I took it in to Wal-Mart because I had a flat tire. I get it back and the guy tells me that one of my lugs is stripped and that they only put 4/5 lug nuts back on. I told him I wanted it replaced and he said that it had not been done by Wal-Mart and that the lug was barely on to begin with! Hmmm…5 lug nuts going in to Wal-Mart, 4 going out, seems like their fault to me!! I did not make a big issue out of it because its my beater and I was not that concerned about it. Well not even a week later that same tire is flat!! I take it in to have them fix it again, and the guy tell me that because the manufacturer of the vehicle states there should be 5 lug nuts, and that I only have 4, that he could not take the tire off the car because it was a safety hazard!!! Umm..your the ones that F**ked it up to begin with!! I took it to Monroe Muffler Brake, they fixed it for free, been fine since.

You may think Adam’s learned his lesson and stopped taking his cars to Walmart. Nope. He keeps going back. It’s the siren song of Walmart Tire & Lube.

Adam continues:

On the 7th of March I took my 2004 Olds Alero in to get a rotate and balance at the Geneseo, NY Wal-Mart. Well I get it back and it is pulling something fierce to the right. I take it back in 2 days later on the 9th, tell them it is pulling, and they said they will rotate and balance the tires again back to their original positions and that this could make the pulling stop. Also that I might need an alignment, but screw that. It drove straight before I took it in, and should after I leave. I get it back, this time it pulls something fierce to the left. At this point, I didn’t trust them to even look at my car so my dad and I looked at it, and we switched the tires around until the car would drive semi-straight. Well, for some reason, only going like 15 MPH the car wiggles side to side a little bit now. My dad told me that I probably had a broken belt in one of the tires and to take it back to Monroe Muffler Brake because they were still under warranty.

I take it to Monroe, the Manager was very helpful and told me that he would look at all the tires, and give me a call before any work was done. I get the call and he tells me the tires are fine and I pull out my asshole voice and demand that he replace the tire(s). Half way through he told me that one of my biggest problems was that all the tires were WAY out of balance. I told him this was impossible because I just had them done a month ago right? Wrong. He told me there were 10 mechanics there that would all say those tires had not been balanced in far longer than a month. Feeling like a fool now, I went back to Wal-Mart, and told them I was extremely upset and that the tires should not be this much off balance if they were just done a month ago. If it was even done. So (this is the good part), he looks in the computer and shows the rotate and balance on the 7th, but there is no indication in the system as to what my rotate pattern was (front to back, front to back criss cross, back to front, criss-cross front to back). Hmmm..HOW THE HELL COULD THEY HAVE PUT MY TIRES BACK IN THE RIGHT SPOT ON THE 9TH IF THEY DIDN’T EVEN NOW WHAT THE ORIGINAL TIRE POSITIONS WERE? Oh yeah, and he tells me on the 9th (when I went in to have them rotated back) that they balanced the tires, but did not rotate them!!! WTF? Gee Buddy, thanks for screwing yourself right?

I talk to the STORE manager and he tells me he will put his “best guy” on it and rotate and balance the tires for free. I HAVE FREE LIFETIME ROTATE AND BALANCE, but thanks for taking the price from $0.00, to $0.00! I tell him this and he says that he will also throw in a $25.00 Wal-Mart gift card (which cost them 50 cents probably). So I get compensated…with something I HAVE to use in Wal-Mart. Gee, thanks pal. So, I had the tires rotated and balanced AGAIN, and this time it seemed to be right. Third times a charm I guess. Lesson learned, I’ll never take any vehicle back to that shit hole. Just some FYI or I thought you might post it to convince other readers not to take their cars to Crap-Mart.

Why did Adam go back? Why did he give them access to another, better car? That’s the question baffles us. Find a nice place (or several nice places, even if its a Walmart, find a nice Walmart.) to take your car for maintenance and keep going there. Learn people’s names. Say hello. Be friendly. Your car will thank you, and you’ll save money on gas (from driving back and forth for the same tire rotation) and Excedrin (for the migraine they’re giving you.)—MEGHANN MARCO

(Photo: Pink Moose)

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.