Firestone Service Centers

Discussion in 'Product Reviews' started by GaryL, Apr 22, 2008.

  1. GaryL

    GaryL Epic Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    Back in the 80's (yes, I'm dating myself), I avoided the Firestone shops because I had heard nothing but bad things about them. Lug nuts left loose on two of my friend's cars and always wanting you to bring your car back to factory fresh condition at their price ($$$$). And of course, the whole Ford Exploder thing (might not have been all Firestone's fault, you know the whole F word thing:rofl:).

    A few years ago, I thought I would give them another chance. My dad bought a Suburban that had Firestone tires on it when he got it. When he needed an oil change and tire rotation, I said let's take it to Firestone and see how it goes. They rotated and balanced the tires and did an oil change and only charged him for the oil change since he had Firestone tires on it. I thought this was a great policy. Buy Firestone tires and they are actually covered for the life of the tires, no matter who owns the truck. I then bought a set of Firestone tires for my wife's Durango and have been please so far.

    I went in a few months ago and tried to get an alignment on my old Chevy truck. They told me it needed upper and lower ball joints before an alignment could be done. They quoted me somewhere around $850 for the ball joints and alignment. I told them I would replace the ball joints myself and bring it back. I took it in this morning, after finishing up the ball joints over the weekend, and they did the alignment (after asking of the balljoints had been replaced, they keep records). $75 out the door and it handled like a dream.

    My father has a 94 K1500 Suburban (hunting vehicle) that I took to the same shop 5-6 months ago for an alignment after some new tires (not Firestone) were put on and the torsion bars were adjusted to fit the bigger tires. They told me that it needed a new pitman arm and idler arm before it could be aligned and wanted around $850 to do it. I told them I would take car of it myself and bring it back for the alignment when I was done. They said that was fine.

    Since this is not a daily driver, it has kind of been on the back burner for me. This week I did some work to the truck to get it ready for a safety inspection that is due and thought I would go ahead and replace the pitman arm and idler arm since I had bought some Moog parts for it a couple of months ago. I tried to install them myself, but where they are located it takes some special tools to remove and install that I just don't have.

    I called the same Firestone that I was at this morning (the manager remembered me) and told them of my delima and asked if they would install the parts for me. They said according to company policy, they could only install parts that they supply. I asked them what brand of parts they use and they told me they could use any brand I prefer. I asked if they could install Moog parts and they said yes, that was their preferred brand. I said I already had the correct NEW parts and that they were Moog, could they install them for me. They said "no", we can't use your parts. I told them I know they buy from O'reilly's and that is where I got mine from. They have never been out of the box, will you put them on for me? They said no. I asked why. The manager told me that they make their money on parts (Firestone's price to me: $350, my cost at O'reilly's: less than $100). I said OK, but I want to pay you to install them for me. He told me they don't make any money on labor. I almost choked, but kept a cool head and told him thanks, but I will now take my business elseware.

    I don't go to a shop very often, but I thought I had found an honest shop that was willing to give a good service for things I couldn't do. Obviously I was mistaken.

    Long story short, for all the DIYer's like myself, Firestone only cares about raping you on parts and labor prices and doesn't care about actually giving you help with things you can't do yourself.

    Sorry for the long rant, but it just irked me off.
  2. 07 redrado

    07 redrado Rockstar

    i work for goodyear, and im not looking for a fight, but our company has the same policy for installing coustmer supplied parts. it is too much of a liability. i used to think the same thing about a auto shops prices being too high, but now that im working for one i understand why they are. For one, the tool boxes that we have, employee purchased, can range from $3000 to $8000+. second the specality tools that we have are very expensive. we need to get paid to help pay for the thousands of dollars in tools that are in our tool boxes. now i dont always agree with some of the pricing and actions that go on, but that shop is there to make a profit, if they dont they will go out of business. im sorry that u fell like ur getting ripped off, and if u lived closer to the shop i work at id say come on down and we will get u on the road. like i said im not looking to satrt a big stink, i just felt like it needed to be said of why some of the prices are the way they are.
  3. GaryL

    GaryL Epic Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    I appreciate your response and side. I understand that you are there to make a living, that is what they pay you for and I am not looking for an argument, just wanted to get a message out. I wish I had 1/4 of the tools you do, but I just can't justify it or afford it for working in my driveway.

    I do alot of work on cars for my friends and family because I don't like what the shops charge and I can't let them spend that money when I know what it actually costs for the parts and have the ability to do the job. I have lost a lot of weekends this way, but maybe what goes around will come around.

    Do you get a cut of the parts price or do you just get a portion of the labor cost. Regardless of where the parts come from, shoudn't the shop want to at least make some labor money as opposed to no money at all, or are they so busy that they can turn down work? The shop I was in this morning had one car in a bay being worked on when I was there. If it is a liability issue, then at least offer installation with no warranty on parts, I have a warranty at the store I bought the parts from. I could live with that, but that was not even an option.

    Again, this is not against you personally or anyone else in your position, just the whole concept of it all.

    I will be taking the truck to a local independent shop in the morning that has no problem installing the parts I supply. They may charge a little more for the labor, but at least I can get it done.
  4. 07 redrado

    07 redrado Rockstar

    i agree with what u say. our company has 9 goodyear franchised stores, so that is where covering our rears come in. no we dont have so much work we can turn it away. we have been really slow. the store makes money off of mark up on parts. labor is what the employees make. it is kind of complicated the way it works but short hand, if u work on a car and the labor total is $400, that goes toward ur pay. my check wouldnt be $400. so at the end of the week each tech will add up all the labor totals for cars that he work on and the pay is based off of that. and the store still makes some profit off of labor also. hope that makes sence.
  5. Pete95Sierra

    Pete95Sierra Epic Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    so you work for goodyear eh? possible GMTC sponsor and possible discount? :great: just a thought
  6. ChevyFan

    ChevyFan The Sheriff Staff Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    The funny thing about this to me is that I had Firestone install a waterpump that I bought and gave to them to put it on, that was around 1995 I think.

    I really don't agree with the concept of dramatic parts mark-up. The same part, from the same supplier costing direct to customer $100 and $350 from the shop is getting into the range of price gouging.

    Now, I agree that we're all in business to make a profit, but to make 350% markup on parts is pretty steep, especially for non-wholesale.

    Then again, it's a large market and you could argue that it's better to make 350% margin on one ticket for parts than it is to make 150% markup on 7 projects that all take the same amount of time per project. If you can get the money, the margin is there. If I were to run a shop, I want to make the highest profit I can, and Firestone has a strong brand ...
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2008
  7. dryfuss10

    dryfuss10 Rockstar 100 Posts

    Well I do that in my Deck Buisness I charge 10%over cost to haul there lumber to the job sites
    I also give them a choice to buy it @ the store so they can save money and get it there themselves
  8. TahoeFever

    TahoeFever Epic Member 5+ Years 500 Posts

    Had an AC problem with the truck took it in for them to get looked at ..two mechanics looked at it took all day and said the issue was that there was no power to the unit. took it to the dealership and they found the system to be empty and the compressor shot. nothing wrong with the power to the unit.

    and they also tried to tell me that the wheel sensors were after market on a 2002 GM truck at the time that I had to have them removed before they would change the tires out for me.

    so the local place here is run buy a buncha jar heads :)
  9. jn6967

    jn6967 New Member

    I got a beef with the local Forestone place also, I was in a similar situation. After a few yearly inspections at the same firestone place I had thought that I had found a decent shop I could trust with the things I cant do myself. The place is about 2 minutes from my house, I called to see if they could do an inspection for me but that I would have to be out of there before 12:30. This was at about 11:30. They said they could and left for the shop.

    I again confirmed with the guy about my time frame. he assured me that it would be about 20minutes. Well 40 minutes later the truck was still on the lift and not a soul in sight. I searched the waiting room, the lobby, I even went around back to the garage doors to see if it was a smoke break. NOBODY!!

    Needless to say I was pissed. 12:30 rolls around and my truck is still on the lift, tires off and the manager has the balls to tell me it wont pass inspection because one of the back up lights didn't work. I lost it and told him to give me my truck and that I was late for work (which I was at this point). He again assured me that it would be right out.

    12:50. 1 hour and 20 minutes after I had arrived I finally got my truck back. No, "sorries", No "we'll do better next time", No "dpnt worry about the fee", NOTHING, no consideration for me, my truck or my time.

    Ok, sorry about that,

    I dont have a problem with paying a shop that can do work for me and as someone said, if you can make the money, go for it. My beef is with the way they treated me, I think it's because they dont make money on the yearly inspections(or not very much money) that we get pushed down the priority scale.

    Ok, enuff of that, I am done.....whew.
  10. Jungle

    Jungle Member

    lifetime alignment just 150.00, but you have to wait 6 hours to get it,,,lol

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