Quality Control

The subject came up the other day regarding a vehicle in our shop that had new tires installed and balanced at another shop. The vehicle came for a shaking at highway speeds and some unrelated service.  While performing a routine Digital Vehicle Inspection of the vehicle the technician noted the unusual location of the wheel weights on the right rear wheel. All 6 weights on one wheel were evenly spaced in a star configuration around the circumference of the wheel. The weight from one side of the wheel was canceling out the weight from the opposite side to some degree. Also, the weights were all different types, which suggested they were from a used batch of weights.

I have been in business for more than 35 years, and I have seen a lot, but I can’t say I’d ever seen anything quite like this. I politely quizzed the customer and learned he had recently had the tires installed by a well-known tire chain store in the area. I am not suggesting that all chain stores are poorly run, or do poor work, but in this case a supervisor or manager should have done some quality control.

In the end we re-balanced the wheels, test drove the vehicle and the shaking the customer complained about was resolved. Perhaps it was an inexperienced tech or perhaps something else. I suppose we will never know.

My advice to any customer who has had work done and feels there is something not-quite-right is this: unless your initial communication was less than stellar, or your gut is telling you not to go back, please allow the shop that did the work at least one opportunity to make it right. Depending on the job that was done, accept that there may be extenuating circumstances contributing to the problem. If there is an obvious concern that the shop either cannot or will not remedy, then it is time to move on.

Most shops are eager and willing to find and fix the problem unless their only concern is volume and sales. Most shops want to retain customers, not just one and done. Most shops, especially those with good reviews and reputations, actually care about the customer. “The customer doesn’t usually Care how much you know, until they know how much you Care”!