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Have I been had? Missed alignment & tread gone on two new tires, incorrect rims were hitting calipers, wheel bearing & hub assembly, changes valve stems

Hey everyone,

I’ll start from the beginning.

This is for a Nissan Versa 2008, standard transmission.

I bought 4 new Michelin tires from mechanic, he changed two rims for rims he had in his shop without charge.

Time came to get my winter tires on and he said “It’s a shame we missed the alignment”. The tread on two Michelin’s was so worn he wouldn’t give the tires back to me.

He also said that the 2 rims he previously (without asking) had installed were not the right size and they were hitting the calipers.

I had a front left wheel bearing and hub replacement - not sure if it’s related to the above.

AND he ordered 3 used rims to put on my car (without asking) and charged me for it.

I had an oil & filter change AND (without asking) Valve stem replacements .

All I went there for was to change the oil/filter and the tires.

The bills is close to $700.

I’m left with 6 tires (including 2 almost new Michelins) and 7 rims.

He said the 2 rims that didn’t fit could be used on the rear next time.

Thoughts?

Run away from these guys and don’t look back.These guys don’t care about their customers.

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Thanks for your response. I’m figuring that I should go back and talk to his wife (who wasn’t there but prepared the bill), as the mechanic has been known to get dirty with people.

I’m looking to confirm that they shouldn’t have charged me for used rims and also should replace my 2 ruined Michelin tires.

Am I wrong to think that balancing and alignment come with doing a tire change? Or do you have to ask for that?!!! He admitted they missed it.

Also, not sure why there would’ve been valve stem replacements?

Or, whether the misfitted rims hitting the calipers did any damage to the wheel bearing.

I have to have the wheels torqued, but I’m not sure I want them touching my car, particularly as I’m intending to dispute the work done.

Get this … not only did they charge for labor, but an extra 10 bucks for shop supplies!

Again, pay the bill and stay away from this place. It sounds like the mechanic is not on the same page with you, and you’d do well to move onto another shop.

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Alignment doesn’t come with tire replacement. Some places include wheel balancing in their tire price and some charge extra. The ones that include it usually have a package that includes tires, mounting and balancing. Some places around here add nitrogen in the tires and lifetime free rotations. A road hazard warranty is another option. The time to ask what is included is before you buy the tires. The places that include these things don’t give them to you for free, it is included in their price for the tires.

That’s not uncommon. Sometimes it’s a hidden fee wrapped into a higher overall labor rate, sometimes it’s a set charge, sometimes it’s itemized

“he changed two rims for rims he had in his shop without charge.”
“He also said that the 2 rims he previously (without asking) had installed were not the right size”
AND he ordered 3 used rims to put on my car (without asking) and charged me for it.
our county recycling center takes scrap metal. they will take bare rims.

Were you aware of the fact that he had changed wheels on you the first time? Did he have an explanation as to why he would do that? Did you ask him to do that?

I do not understand how the too-small wheel could be hitting the caliper without you knowing about it. Metal-to-metal contact on a rotating wheel will make a very apparent noise.

I think it’s more likely that whatever wheels he put on didn’t have the same offset as the factory wheels. Having a wheel with the wrong offset can cause all sorts of problems, including alignment issues and wheel bearing failure.

Were this me, and everything you said is accurate, and I didn’t ask for the new rims…

Well first I’d have told him to put the original rims back on the car and stop stealing my car parts before I accepted the work in the first place. But assuming you found out later, he’d be dealing with me in court, and I’d be going for a full refund plus compensation for fixing what he broke, including replacement of every wheel he swapped with factory originals.

As to the alignment, no, alignments do not typically come as part of a tire install, but the tire dealers should recommend it if there’s evidence (from the old tires) that it’s needed.

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Thank you everybody for responding.

Oldtimer_11, I’ll look into this for tire purchases.

Shadowfax, your answer is the type of answer I’m looking for to go forward with and have a conversation with his wife.

I did not ask for the rims to be changed and the originals were not given back.

Since he admitted to a mistake, I would’ve at least not be expected to pay for “new” used rims without being asked, let alone the shop supply fee. Actually, I’m pretty much in shock at this point.

This is exceedingly shady. He stole your wheels. You need to find out why. I suspect he’s incompetent and damaged them somehow, and rather than own up to it and replace them properly, he just threw a couple of old wheels that happened to have the right bolt pattern on there and hoped you’d go away.

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he put on 2 poor fitting wheels. no good. got 2 more.
and than he said you needed 1 additional.
so, you have 3 new rims and 1 old rim and 3 loose rims
no info on why the 3 wheels needed to be replaced

Don’t go back, cut your losses. Find a good reputable mechanic who will dismount your tires and measure all the wheels. They must match the factory specs for diameter, rim width, bolt pattern, hub diameter and offset. If any don’t match, they must be replaced and documented. Documentation would include the factory specs and the measured specs. Then the wheels should be inspected for damage and any damage documented (pictures).

Once you have matching wheels, get your alignment done.

If there is damage or mismatched wheels fully documented, then you have another choice, do you want to take legal action and potentially recover your losses. You would certainly be due for any mismatched wheels that have to be replaced and for any charges you paid that you did not authorize. That may not be enough to cover the legal costs of the recovery.

But, if your lawyer can prove that some of the unauthorized work actually made you vehicle unsafe to drive and didn’t inform you, then you maybe able to get a substantial recovery. You would have to discuss this with a real lawyer, which I am not. The first session is usually free.

I suspect the wheels were replaced because they were rusted, corroded or bent, not just for fun. I would expect to see the reason on the invoice.

It is unfortunate that the free wheels did not fit, now someone will have to buy replacement wheels.

Why were the original wheels replaced in the first place? Was there a reason for it? Without knowing the entire story it’s difficult to assess blame. I would expect that he would’ve charged you for the used wheels. As for replacing the two tires that are ruined. If they were installed on the incorrect wheels for your car, the mechanic should be liable. But your alignment was off, and the used wheels were correct, then that’s on you. But they are your tires and he should’ve given them back to you. This all sounds very odd.

Not sure how that would necessarily effect tire wear. If you drove the car without incident or noticing any sounds, then they must’ve just barely have been touching the caliper and then only in rare occasions. You would’ve noticed some very noticeable sounds otherwise. Again this is odd.

Quite possible, but your car is of the age where these kind of repairs wouldn’t be unusual at all.

Again, why is he replacing the OEM wheels in the first place? And why is he buying used wheels anyway without consulting you? I wouldn’t pay for them and I would demand an explanation as well.

I wouldn’t pay for that.

Whenever a tire is replaced, you change the valve stem, this is normal.

You just said that he changed the oil & filter without asking. Which is it?

For 6 michelins , 7 wheels, an oil change, and a new wheel bearing/hub, That’s actually more than reasonable.

And you didn’t question this guy?

I’m sure he says a lot of things. Doesn’t mean you should believe him.

Mounting and balancing are usually a separate charge from the tires themselves. But you’ll have to pay it if you want the new tires to be put on your car. Alignments are never included, and will run around $140-$175 for a four wheel alignment at most independent shops. It’s recommended whenever you get a set of new tires, but isn’t a requirement. The customer has to request it.

Whenever you replace a tire, a new valve stem is used.

That’s a possibility, though I would be far more concerned with damage to the brake calipers.

You can use your own torque wrench and torque them down yourself, it’s not rocket science

That’s perfectly normal, a very common practice.

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Thank you so much for all of your responses. I’ll respond more tomorrow morning in more detail.

I do think you need to find another mechanic. This one seems to be taking a lot for granted and doing far too much without keeping you informed beforehand.
Any time I’ve run into unforeseen circumstances I’ve always called the car owner and kept them in the loop as far as approvals and how far to go with something, etc.

This guy sounds a bit discombobulated to me and it’s all at your expense.

I would think that if the wheel rims were hitting the brake calipers you should hear a scraping noise. As for valve stems, they should be replaced if they’re aged to some degree.
The shop supplies charge is quite common so don’t fret over that.

ok4450 worded it well when he stated

“This guy sounds a bit discombobulated to me and it’s all at your expense.”

I don’t see any ill-intentioned behavior, but he’s not a mechanic I’d support.

@FoDaddy

Thanks for taking the time to write.

My 4 all-season Michelins which I was using as my summer tires were bought separately from the mechanic for about (after manufacturer rebate) $650.

The almost $700 bill was for the oil & filter change, winter tire installation, valve stems, bearing & hub, labor and shop supplies AND the 3 used rims.

(By the way, this was the first time I’ve seen valve stem on a bill so I didn’t know it was standard practice for a tire change.)

The car, which is old, did make a few noises but I thought it was due to its age.

The car itself came with 4 studded winter Goodyear tires (which are on now) and 4 original rims.

In my shed sits my 2 Michelins (the other 2 he wouldn’t give back to me) and 3 rims, 2 which are the wrong size as previously mentioned, but can be used for the rear. So, I assume I only have one original rim on the car. When he put the Michelins on previously and changed 2 rims for rims he had in the shop, he said proudly like he was doing me a favor that he did this and wouldn’t charge me. The reason he gave was that he hates “putting now tires on old rims”. I didn’t ask for this and he never returned the 2 original rims. THe 2 rims he used were the incorrect size and hit the calipers.

It has been suggested that the 2 wrong-sized rims that were hitting the calipers could’ve caused the car to go out of alignment. The mechanic said, “It’s too bad we missed this.” Referring to the car being out of alignment.

I didn’t question the mechanic because the car was in the lot when I picked it up and saw only 2 tires and 3 rims in the back. The mechanic has been known to get dirty with people and I preferred to speak to his wife who made up the bill.

The only thing they did for free this time was to keep the car a 3rd day to align it.

The wheels have to be torqued which I’ll do.

Hope that clarifies things further.

Thanks again to everyone who wrote, I’ll be back to reply to comments a little later.

Unless you happen to be hearing impaired, I really don’t believe the wheels were hitting the calipers. That makes a hell of a noise at speed. There’s no way you wouldn’t have noticed long before you could have scrubbed off the inside of the tire due to bad alignment, and it’s not something you’d have chalked up to “the car is old.”

I say again, I’m betting he put wheels with the wrong offset on, which could indeed screw up your alignment and wreck the wheel bearing.

That said, your reactions are also, honestly, somewhat bizarre. You say he swapped rims on you, but you didn’t question it. Then you say that you knew the mechanic gets “dirty” with people, yet you took the car to him anyway. I don’t patronize businesses that employ people I think might try to beat me up, and neither should you.

You should have demanded your old wheels back. The “I hate putting new tires on old rims” line is asinine. Nobody buys new wheels every time they buy new tires. That would be stupid. It’s especially stupid because if he hates putting new tires on old wheels, why did he only swap out 2 wheels?

Something else happened. Either he wrecked your wheels, or he wanted them for some reason. At any rate, you’re in a mess, and if you’re afraid of the guy you’re probably going to have to resort to the court system to get out of it, if for no other reason than that he’s less likely to attack you in front of a judge.

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