Shop wouldn't give back old rim

I hit a pothole in my car on Easter morning. I had to leave it on the side of the road until today because no where was open. My husband took the whole rim and tire to a tire shop, and they ordered a new rim and tire. The cost was $300! Completely ridiculous, but my husband paid it so we’d have our car back. When I asked the guy for the rim back he said that if i took it there would be a charge…similar to a core charge for a battery. Ive NEVER heard of this, ever. Its the original stock rims that came with the car, they’re alloy, and about 18 years old. I asked him what the charge would be and he said, “about 50 bucks”. Is this legit???

What kind of car do you drive? I assume it was an alloy wheel and not a plain old steel wheel?

A 300 dollar charge on a new tire and wheel rim is not out of line but I’ve never heard of a core charge on a wheel rim before.

An alloy wheel can be repaired. They are sent out to specialty remanufacturing plants, repaired and then put up for sale. A repaired wheel pretty much looks like new at about 1/3 to 1/2 the cost of a new wheel ordered from a car dealership. I don’t think $50 is out of line. That’s likely what the shop would get for providing a wheel to be repaired.

$300 for a matching alloy wheel and a tire mounted and balanced seems very reasonable. A new alloy wheel from a Toyota, Honda, Ford or GM dealer would be $300 just for the wheel.

I haven’t heard of a “core charge” for a wheel before but it’s a common practice in the automotive world. I took delivery of a new vehicle some years ago and did not like the radio that was standard equipment. When my new radio was installed, I asked for the original radio and was told that the dealership never returns the factory radio on an upgrade. They said it was to keep prices down. I was skeptical but I really had no use for the original radio so I just drove away.

I also have never heard of a “core charge” for a bent rim. To me, that’s rediculous. I’d bet lunch that they didn’t send that rim back to the place they bought the replacement from to be repaired and resold as a “rebuilt” rim. They threw it in the bin for the recycler.

Having said that, a bent rim is also not the type of thing they would have held onto to show a customer unless it was requested up front. The customer already knows the rim is bent. They have no need to show him the bad part.

That wheel might have been tossed onto the shops scrap heap and pricing the return discourages the customer from wanting it returned which would require someone climbing into the “temple of doom.”

There are a number of the repair places that now offer core exchanges at a reduced price. For a company selling new wheels, they can discount the price of a new wheel if the “core” is sold to a refurbisher.

Scrap prices are hovering around $1.00/lb for aluminum wheels so that doesn’t account for $50 charge.

$300 for a new wheel AND tire is not ridiculous. Since we do not know what this mystery vehicle is, no one can say for sure but if it were me, I would have gladly paid that amount for any of my vehicles. The tires alone are over $100 and OEM wheels are quite expensive by themselves.

As a consumer, you might have been out $20 for your 18 yr old wheel. But then you’d have to have driven to a scrap yard and back as well as spent the time to do it. Would it have been worth the net gain? Unlikely unless you regularly scrap metal…

Welcome to the NEW NORMAL.
Even the price is ok.

Core charges now on all sorts of items which did not just two years ago including bumper covers.

Core charges for rims have been around since the 90’s. Rims can repaired. I will bet the rim you bought was a repaired rim. Your old rim will be sent back for repair. Same with bumper covers.

Hmmm…I guess I need to get out more. I’ve learned something today. It’s a good day.
Thanks guys.

The core charge should have been explained at the time of purchase, but the purchaser should also request the old parts at time of purchase as well. These are just good business practices that prevent hard feelings later.

Yes, @keith is spot on. It is perfectly reasonable for the shop to offer a discount in return for the old rim – which has recycling value if nothing else. Or charge more if the customer wishes to keep the old rim. But the shop should have made this clear at the time of initial job write-up and provide the customer to either sign on the dotted line, or go somewhere else. The OP does have a valid complaint, but the complaint is about the poor communications from the shop technician rather the shop’s policy of keeping the damaged rims when doing replacements.

I think in the interest of repeat business, the shop should offer to give the customer the old rim – unless this specific rim-exchange policy is mentioned in the work order signed by the customer at the time of initial write-up.

Many times the core charge can be a surprise when the shop sees the invoice from the supplier.
But I have a bigger question.
Why on earth would they even WANT the old rim back ?
To SEE it , yes, as proof of replacement. But after that it’s trash even without a core charge.

I have no idea what a new tire and rim costs, but in today’s world $300 does not seem out of line. I have no idea what the OP intended to do with the old, bent rim. My father-in-law always kept the parts taken off his cars when a replacement was installed. When my wife and I cleared out the estate when her parents went to an assisted care facility, I found three carburetors for Fords made in the 1950s. I gave them to an antique car club hoping there might be someone who needed one to rebuild. I also found an aftermarket radio for a 1941 Chevrolet. My FIL bought a used 1941 Chevrolet when he came back from WWII and had an aftermarket radio installed. He pulled the radio out when he traded the car. The car radio now resides in our garage. It’s free to anyone who wants it, but I don’t think there is much interest in a 6 volt, tube type Western Auto radio that fits 1941-48 Chevrolets.

Tube radios are making a comeback Trideq. I’ll bet you could sell it w/no problem to somebody restoring an old car, or just to an old-radio enthusiast.

@GeorgeSanJose-- Thanks for the tip. I promised Mrs. Triedaq that I would get rid of what she calls “junk” this spring and I’ll list it Craig’s list (or someplace) with other useless items that are floating around in the garage. Another item that she thinks is junk is a dial type pay phone that I bought from an ad in a magazine. I thought it was a unique extension phone we had in the kitchen of the house we lived in some time back. However, when we moved to our present house 23 years ago, she wouldn’t let me install it. (The coin mechanism had been deactivated, but the phone worked. It was fun to have visitors ask to use the phone and then drop money in the slots).

Cool Trideq. I think you phone would be easy to sell, maybe you’d get the best price at a flea market rather than on CL. I have one of those old rotary dial type telephones hooked up myself and it works great. Better sound quality than the newer electronic phones. When people ask why, I say " It really truly isn’t THAT much more difficult to dial a rotory phone than a push button."

My girlfriend, she keeps trying to get me to throw away an old tube-type bakelite-constructed AM radio I have on the shelf, made in the 1930’s that my grandmother used to listen to every day. My grandmother was very interested in politics, and she’d listen to that radio while she cooked in the kitchen and her blood would be boiling after hearing someone on the radio say something she didn’t like! It was fun for me as a kid to listen w/her.

Anyway, I ended up with the radio, and I plan to keep it, for nostalgia sake if nothing else, but a tube is out so all it does is make a buzzing noise. My gf says “why keep a radio when all it does is buzz?”. Good question. Hey, I should order the new tube tomorrow on the internet. Good idea.

Does anybody remember when a tube would go out on the radio or the tv, you’d pull all the tubes and take them to the local grocery store to test them on their tube testing machine, find out which was the bad one, and they’d have all the replacement tubes in stock – right on the shelve in the grocery store, so you’d buy it with your groceries? lol.

@GeorgeSanJose–I remember the tube testers in grocery stores and drug stores and tested a lot of tubes in these machines. Often I could reason out which section of the radio or television had the problem and just test the tube or tubes in this section.

Be careful with that old bakelight radio. Some of the sets didn’t use a transformer to isolate the radio from the a.c. line and one side of the line is attached to the metal chassis. If the plug is in the outlet so that the ungrounded (hot) side of the line is attached to the chassis and you touch the chassis, you will receive a shock.

I recall many years ago trudging to Radio Shack to use their tube tester. I doubt if any of the kids at Radio Shack today have even heard of a tube tester.