So you have just bought your shiny new, or, at least new to you vehicle from dealer “X”. You got a great deal on it, there’s a warranty anywhere from a few months to a couple of years, and they even offer free state inspections, for life! Sounds fantastic doesn’t it? However, there’s always a catch as was experienced by one of our frequent customers.
He stopped in one evening, shortly before closing. He was very concerned because he needed an alignment before his trip to D.C. We pulled his information and saw where he had an alignment in December. I asked him to take a breath and explain why he felt he needed another alignment. Come to find out, he recently had his vehicle in for the free state inspection from his dealer. While his vehicle passed the inspection, he was told his front tires needed to be replaced because they were worn out and the dealer told him it was due to a bad alignment. They also made it sound like, to the customer anyway, that he needed to have this done immediately or he could risk wrecking his vehicle due to a blow out.
Upon further inspection, we discovered that both the front and rear tires were worn out on both the inside and outside edges. This was not indicative of a bad alignment, but, rather showed that the tires were wearing due to improper inflation. We also let him know that, while he did need to consider replacing all four tires, he was in no immediate safety threat as there was still a good bit of tread on the edges and the center treads were still fine.
The owner pondered why his dealer service writer would have presented these issues to him now and in such a manner as to instill a slight sense of panic in the owner when he was having this particular vehicle serviced by them at regular intervals. Then he realized that they may have done this since his vehicle was now out of the factory warranty. While very little was ever found wrong with the vehicle before, he now felt there was a strong possibility he could no longer trust them to present the truth about the health of his vehicle to him.
The owner ended up getting a set of new tires put on the front of his vehicle that evening and coming back to see us the following morning to have a front alignment done. While we did need to set his steering wheel straight, the vehicle itself was well within alignment. We’ll be seeing a lot more of this customer’s vehicle and the dealer will be seeing a lot less of it and him.
Bottom line, the perks you can receive from factory dealers with the purchase of your vehicle are well worth embracing. However, at the end of the day, do not hesitate to treat your vehicle like you would your own body. If you aren’t comfortable with the diagnosis from one person, do not hesitate to get a second opinion. Especially from a facility you know you can trust to tell you the truth about what is happening.
“A” AUTO BODY
10305 Hull Street Rd.
Midlothian, VA 23112
Phone: (804) 674-1173
Feel free to call or email us to schedule your next appointment.
Monday - Friday
7:00AM - 6:00PM
Saturday - Sunday