DIY - only way to get it right

Jim3inVirginia

1st Gear Poster
Birdcats Supporter
Joined
Sep 27, 2023
Messages
45
Location
Alexandria, VA
Vehicle Details
1995 LX 4.6
Country flag
Rotated the tires on my wife's 2023 Sonata today. (Why I traded in my low mileage 2020 F-150 regular cab longbed for it is another story, related to Dearborn suckheads the Ford stealership up the street) Brought the Sonata in (the place in Springfield) for first service a couple months ago -- oil change and tire rotation. I checked the TPMS sensors and recorded the sensor IDs before bringing it in. After, yup, same positions, tires not rotated. Invoice says they were. No cost, guess because no service. At least the oil on the dipstick looked new. Not going to waste time trying to get them to do it right. So I did it myself. I have trust issues? I have control issues? Of course, the only way for things to get done right is for me to do them. As it relates to my Thunderbird... if I couldn't fix it myself I probably wouldn't have it, I wouldn't let a shop mess with it and then it's no longer reliable. [end of rant]

If you don't do it yourself and you found someone you can trust, not only to get it right but not rip you off, good for you.
 
Could not agree more. Having been both a service writer and a technician, I know messages don't always get relayed from counter to shop. But I also have a very low tolerance for blatant stupidity.

Last time I had the tires on the Thunderbird rotated under the free lifetime R&B, I told both the service writer and the technician that the wheels were directional and to only rotate front to back without crossing them. I also asked for them not to apply tire shine.

When they brought the car back out, all four wheels were backwards and the tires were slathered in goopy tire shine. When I told them to fix it, they balked and said it wasn't a big deal because the tires weren't directional. So I cancelled the order for four 245/55-19 Michelins for my Edge that I had placed the day before with them. They immediately fixed the Thunderbird wheels thinking I'd reinstate my order. Still went elsewhere for the Edge.
 
So do you have a relearn tool or is there a procedure ??

I've never rotated a tire in my life. Waste of time. 🤣
 
So do you have a relearn tool or is there a procedure ??

I've never rotated a tire in my life. Waste of time. 🤣

1699411339507.png


I hate TMPS sensors with a passion. I'd like to find a DIY way to disable them without the error message in the Focus, I love everything else about the simplicity of that car but those dumb things for dump people
 
I always coded them out on my VWs. Just went into the CAN module and unchecked the TPMS byte. Problem solved.

Our 2011 used the ABS sensors for TPMS by counting wheel rotations so I left that on. Set the tires to the correct pressure and press the learn button. No sensors in the wheels.
 
I think most of us here know how terrible the brakes on MN12s are; not the least of which is the fact that rotors warp at the drop of a hat! One of the biggest reasons rotors warp is uneven torque (or overtorqued) lugs.

I stopped letting shops who take the tires off for any reason fully reinstall them. All the shops I've been to NEVER use a torque wrench, despite assertions from lazy and careless service employees. I tell them to snug them, then I will torque them myself prior to driving off. No more 200 ft-lb torqued lug nuts for me.

Another reason for me to do my own oil changes - oil change places overtighten the snot out of the oil pan drain plug all the time! :zbash: :zbash: :zbash:
 
Oil changes - Have always done them myself. I still have a vivid memory back before I could drive of some lazy bums at a local gas station garage working on my dad's car in the '90s. They failed to tighten the new oil filter, so when they started up the car, oil spewed everywhere.

Tires - Used to go to Discount Tire from 2002-19 or so. They were fine and maybe even good back in the aughts, then the service gradually got worse throughout the '10s. Eventually realized that the free balances and rotations weren't worth it. The last straw was when they managed to lose the center cap to one of my Fondmetal wheels. It was pretty easy to find a used replacement on eBay, and I am going to sell off the wheels in the not-too-distant future, but that was ridiculous. There's more they've screwed up that I may get into in a future post.

Conveniently, that day was also the day they had a hiring sign out front of that particular storefront. Wage? Like $13 an hour or something comically low. No, I'd rather take my cars to someplace where the workers are compensated decently enough to be competent and attentive, meaning that they don't lose things like center caps and hubcentric rings.

Now I have two local run shops that I trust, although one is so far out of the way that I wouldn't realistically go there unless I had to.
 
Tires - Used to go to Discount Tire from 2002-19 or so. They were fine and maybe even good back in the aughts, then the service gradually got worse throughout the '10s. Eventually realized that the free balances and rotations weren't worth it. The last straw was when they managed to lose the center cap to one of my Fondmetal wheels. It was pretty easy to find a used replacement on eBay, and I am going to sell off the wheels in the not-too-distant future, but that was ridiculous. There's more they've screwed up that I may get into in a future post.
Same here. Their merger with Tire Rack was the nail in the coffin.
 
I only trust one shop with my cars anymore - same deal - locally run, not a chain. A little pricier, but you get what you pay for!
 
I think most of us here know how terrible the brakes on MN12s are; not the least of which is the fact that rotors warp at the drop of a hat! One of the biggest reasons rotors warp is uneven torque (or overtorqued) lugs.

I stopped letting shops who take the tires off for any reason fully reinstall them. All the shops I've been to NEVER use a torque wrench, despite assertions from lazy and careless service employees. I tell them to snug them, then I will torque them myself prior to driving off. No more 200 ft-lb torqued lug nuts for me.

Another reason for me to do my own oil changes - oil change places overtighten the snot out of the oil pan drain plug all the time! :zbash: :zbash: :zbash:

At least you have solid lugnuts. It’s a real joy when they zip them on at 200ftlbs and your focus has the shitty two piece lugnuts Ford insists on using, I didn’t know who to shout expletives at more as I was chiseling and hammering hammering on sockets to extract them.
 
Amazingly enough, the besttire shop in town is Wal-mart. :) I used to do business at a small shop, but the people had all changed the last time I was there. I needed an alignment, so I took the settings from the article; I also needed a set of tires. After finally getting the guy to look up the tires I wanted, he wanted $650 for the tires. I knew from looking at tirerack, that I could get them for about $450 shipped, so I didn't buy tires. Dude mentions it's 35 each to mount and balance them if you buy them elsewhere. :) Dude also refused to set the alignment the way I've ran it on 3 cars for 20 years, lol. So, I went to the shop I use now, and they don't give me any hassle. Walmart did the wheels for 15 each, so I ended up at just over $500 for the tires installed. Not only did I save a bunch of cash, but They do free rotations if they mount/balance them. Even better, I put directional wheels and tires on, and they got it correct the first time. I wish they did alignments, lol.
 
I got my first two oil changes free at the Chevy dealership .. they put 6 quarts on the invoice and I had to ask the service writer if they in fact put 8 quarts; the car needs 8 quarts. They put in all 8 but I still had to double check the dipstick to be 100% sure. After that I do all my own oil changes .. better to not have to ask that question again.
 
So do you have a relearn tool or is there a procedure ??
I bought a transmitter for my '14 Fusion, but I think for virtually all cars now its just a matter of a couple trips for the computer to recognize everything is in its place.
 

Attachments

  • 20231108_145622.jpg
    20231108_145622.jpg
    2 MB · Views: 2
One thing I will say that Discount Tire did right over the years was using a torque wrench on lug nuts with the proper amount of torque. I've never experienced such reckless incompetence of a shop impacting the damn things on like they were getting paid per brrrrrrrrrrrrt.
 
Last edited:
I'm in the same boat as XR7-4.6 when it comes to those crappy ford lugnuts., like on my Fusion, another reason I DIY. One time I installed a set of lugnuts that I peeled off the outer shiny that had been beaten up so bad, when I brought in the car for service so they wouldn't molest my good nuts with their impact wrenches.
 
I always drop off loose wheels without center caps and valve caps for mounting and balancing. I also hate the oil change places.
Last week I changed someones oil who had been done by mr lube last time, the filter was all but impossible to remove and the drain bolt was so tight that first I stripped the head off the bolt, then when I hammered a socket on it, I had to use my torque wrench for enough leverage to remove it.
 
Same here. Their merger with Tire Rack was the nail in the coffin.
I didn't even realize that happened because I stopped going to DT before the merger. At least the Tire Rack's tire rating comparison pages still seem to be useful. To consumers, that's the most valuable aspect of their entire business.
 
I was taking my company work truck to Jiffy Lube for oil changes ( they charge almost $90, on the company credit card of course ) .. last time I went there; I told them two things. Check the air in the tires, and change the oil. That's it. Don't do anything else. Next thing you know, some asshole is windexing my windows and another asshole plops my dirty air filter on the counter.

So now I do my own oil changes on the company truck; oil and filter is $30 at autozone and I put 30 minutes on my time card. It's the same amount of money either way but at least I don't have to sit in their lobby wasting 45 minutes with other people I don't want to be around.
 
My favorite thing in the world to laugh at is when they plop the dirty air filter or cabin filter on the counter and then have the audacity to tell me changing it will include a fee for the labor when they're already pulling and installing a filter either way.

So that's my filter?

"Yep."

And the new one is $24.99?

"Yep, plus a $10 labor charge to install it."

So if I decline and don't pay the $10, you won't put my old one back in?

"Well no, we'll reinstall it."

But you won't charge me the $10 to reinstall it unless I buy a new filter.

"Correct."

You see why this is stupid, right?

"Well we've got to pay the technician."

Seems like he's doing free work by removing and reinstalling my filter.

"[crickets chirping]"

I'll just buy the filter at the parts counter and install it myself.

"[crickets still chirping]"
 
I should also note that when I was a technician, I never pulled air filters for this reason and I told my techs the same thing when I was a writer. I would look up the vehicle history and if they hadn't replaced it in the last 12 months, I'd recommend it on the basis of it being over a year since their last filter change. There was no point in pulling a filter just to make a point. If they weren't going to buy one after I told them it was a year old, they still wouldn't buy one if I showed them it was dirty.

I found that asking them, "do you know when you last changed your air filter was because I am not seeing it in our records" was just as effective as showing them the filter. Sometimes they'd ask us to check it, to which I happily obliged. But most of the time, they'd say to just go ahead and do it.

For the cabin filters, I'd do the same thing and then remind them that allergy season is coming/going and they need to get a new filter that isn't saturated with pollen. Also effective.
 

Similar threads

Back
Top