Car alignment

Is Sears a reputable place to take a volvo for a wheel alignment

I wouldn’t take a car to Sears for anything.

There are shops that specialize in wheel alignment. They are the experts. Take your car to one of them.

National chain repair shops are to be avoided.

I can just about guarantee that if you take your car to Sears for wheel alignment, you will be told that you also need (pick one or more) new struts/new tires/replacement of tie rod ends–whether you really do need those things or not. Sears is one of the chain operations that is notorious for attracting customers with sale prices for service procedures and then “upselling” the customer so that the bill is hugely inflated.

Instead of Sears, Midas, Meineke, Monro, AAMCO, Pep Boys, or any other chain operation, you should seek an independent shop that is noted for front-end work. You will be much more likely to get good workmanship and fair pricing at an indy shop that has been in business for many years.

Amen to what’s already been said.

To me it’s not so much a matter of the name of the company; it’s the guy running the alignment rack along with his experience and whether or not he really cares about what he’s doing.

True but Sears and the other chains tend not to have competent employees, or if they do they may not be allowed enough time to do the job right.

Ditto! I would not trust Sears with a garden variety econobox; when they get their hands on your Volvo they will likely do more harm than good and the car may be in worse shape than before you brought it in.

A Volvo should go to a good alignment/front end shop, as suggested, or a competent dealer who can be truasted.

Google “Sears Automotive Clas Action Lawsuits”. Read some of the long list of links. They’re enlightening. Then decide for yourself…

Personally, I’d avoid them like the plague. Some years back I had my pickup up on stands at home, took the front shocks off, took the shocks I’d bought at Sears out of the box…and realized they were a totally different mounting. I brought them back and they gave me another, different pair of shocks…only this time I took them out of the box while still at the Sears counter. They were different, but still incorrect. I got a refund and went to VIP, where I got the right parts the first time.

And I won’t even attempt to tell the lengthy story of how my mom got ripped off by them. They charged her for work they clearly didn’t do.

A few years back, they were even found guilty of selling used batteries as new batteries.
So, for those who say that they avoid Sears for everything except batteries, I say…think again.

I agree with ok on this. In the 80’s, one of the best front end alignment tech’s in VA Beach was at the local Sears, but that was a rare case. If your local Sears has a tech with a good reputation, it might be OK, but otherwise, I’d avoid them.

As Keith noted, unless your local Sears has an alignment and front end tech with a stellar reputation, they are not usually a good place to go for any work. If you do go there, you will probably leave with a lot of new parts on your car which may or may not have needed to be replaced. I worked with some guys once who used to work for Sears. They told me they got paid minimum wage, plus a percentage of sales on upsells. They also got something like $7.50 per alignment on top of their minimum wage. This pay package creates a combination of being paid little enough to encourage potentially unnecessary upsells and not being paid enough to really care too much about quality workmanship. Neither condition is good for the customer.

I had a bad experience with an alignment done by Sears auto service 41 years ago when I was a graduate student. The car drove worse after the alignment job than before. The service writer wrote “Student” on the invoice. I finally found the specialist in town and had the job done over. Sears had the front wheels towing out instead of towing in. I’ve stayed away from mechanical work at Sears centers since that time.
I would either find a speciality alignment shop or an independent tire dealer with an alignment rack if I were in your place.