Watch out for charges and workmanship when having tires replaced
A friend had the Michelin Ice winter tires, with about 4/32" tread depth left, replaced at a local CTC. I consider those tires an ice tire more so than a snow tire and not what I would buy. The inside edges were worn as well. Anyway, back on track.
Pros and cons:
- was able to get an appointment fairly quickly. (+)
- tires (General Altimax Artic) were a good deal, 4 for the price of 3 bringing them in at $150.00 plus tax, etc. for 215/55R-16. Reviews are good on those tires. (+)
- tire installation and regular road hazard insurance included per tire. (+)
- charged her for extra road hazard insurance (protection plan), ie replace tire instead of doing only a tread wear adjustment which wasn't asked for or discussed ($7.00 per tire). I would have recommended that in her situation. Sometimes I get the extra insurance (Jeep), sometimes I don't (2002 GC). (-/+)
- balancing at $13.00 per tire. (+)
- charged her for nitrogen which she didn't ask for and which wasn't discussed ($4.00 per tire). A waste. (-)
- charged her $4.66 for shop supplies, a rip off but some shops charge more. If a higher price, ask for a detailed breakdown of those shop supplies and if you don't get one, don't pay for it. (-)
- charged a $3.00 per tire environmental fee (normal charge).
- torqued lug nuts to something less than 65 ft.lb., somewhere between 60 and 65 (80 ft.lbs. is called for). (-)
Considering that the busy season hasn't even started yet, they appear to be well on their way to making money and providing sloppy service. They used torque sticks but must have used the wrong one. An experienced technician would know the difference in torque between a 60 and an 80 torque, so I'm assuming somebody new at the job did the work.
Watch out for these tactics and poor workmanship at any (not just CTC has this problem) tire change shop you go to during the busy season. It's not uncommon for wheels to fall off due to not taking/having enough time to do a proper job. Get yourself a torque wrench if you don't have one.
Tip: If you torque a lug nut up to say 90 ft.lbs. and let it sit for 10 minutes or so, you can recheck it at 95 ft. lbs.and the wrench will click out as if it had been torqued to 95 ft. lbs. to begin with.