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Tires Plus, More Like Tires Minus, Terrible Service!

Tires Plus, East Wichita, What A Massive Fail

Out of the last seven days, my car has spent three days in the shop at Tires Plus, N Rock Rd, Wichita, KS. What’s the big deal you might ask? it’s not unusual for a car to spend three days in a repair shop, and normally I would say, no it’s not. But, in this case, they tried to fix the issue cheap and dirty style, while not presenting me with a complete fix option, this led to a reoccurrence of the issue, only worse.

Let’s start from the beginning, Christmas morning, I woke to find that my front passenger side tire was flat, I tried to put some air in the tire using my emergency 12v compressor, which failed to inflate the tire even slightly. We took our second car to visit family on Christmas day, and I put the spare ‘donut’ on the car the next day, before leaving for my appointment with Tires Plus on the 26th of December.

I went to my Tires Plus appointment as planned with a view to having the oil changed, getting the puncture fixed and having them look at the issue of my Handbrake not fully releasing. While the car was sat in the parking lot, the handbrake completely locked up both rear wheels, according to the Tires Plus representative, which I accepted as fact as this happened to me about this time last year.

After about 3 hours, I was told that the car was ready and the handbrake was working fine. I pay the $110.75 for the service, walked to my car, got in, starting the engine, noting that the handbrake was in the release position and drove off. Upon arriving at my mother-in-law’s, I pull the handbrake as her drive is on an incline, at first it doesn’t move, I think that it’s just a little tight after adjustment and I pull a little harder and I hear a loud PING, the handbrake lever goes slack, once again locking the rear wheels.

I called Tires Plus and they basically said, it was my responsibility to get the car back to their shop. Luckily I have a premium AAA membership, so the tow didn’t cost me anything, however, if I didn’t have AAA, that would have cost me hundreds of dollars to have the car towed. As you can imagine, I was not in the best of moods, somehow I kept my cool while handing my car key to them for the second time in five hours.

Fast forward about 21 hours, I get a call from Tires Plus just before 5pm, only to be told that they hadn’t had time to look at my car, asking if they can keep my car for another day. Obviously, I was not happy with this situation, but what can I do? I can’t drive the car, my only other option would be to call AAA and have it towed to another shop, so I begrudgingly agreed to let them keep the car for another day.

Day 3, I got a call saying that my right rear brake caliper was damaged causing the problem. Previously, the left rear brake was dragging, so I thought it was odd that the right rear caliper was the issue. I’m not a mechanic, so I took their word for it and had them fix the issue at a cost of $340.68. So, again, I pick up the car, handing over more hard-earned cash. I tested the handbrake was working in their parking lot and it was; however, this evening, I cannot move the handbrake lever, and I don’t want to force it!

When I picked up the car on Thursday evening, their rep admitted that initially, they tried to fix it ‘cheap and dirty’ and that didn’t fix it. Their rep said ‘most Kansans don’t use their handbrake’, recommending that I not use my handbrake. Continuing he said ‘if I continue to use the handbrake, the other rear caliper would fail as it’s the same age as the one that failed’. Knowing this, why did they not recommend that both calipers be replaced at the same time? I would have been happy to pay to maintain a safe car.

I had been a loyal customer for five years, spending around about $3,500 for tires and oil changes. That has now come to an end, I feel like my family’s safety has been compromised by Tire Plus’ actions.

I just went out and tested it again, 3 hours later and it seems to be working again, although I only engaged the handbrake one click for fear of locking up the wheels again. Frankly, I don’t feel like the handbrake, AKA emergency brake is reliable, I want to know that it will work 100% of the time, just in case an emergency braking situation arises as I use this car to transport precious cargo, i.e. my family.

I will never tell anyone to not use a service or shop at a specific store, but I will express and explain my displeasure when I receive poor service, I believe that we, as consumers should spread our experiences, especially, bad experiences to warn others of potential issues with services and shops.

Update [Jan, 2 2018, 12:10]: I just noticed that Tires Plus didn’t replace my windscreen wipers as requested and charged. Not only did they fail as described above, they also straight up robbed me of the $23 it cost to replace my wipers. I’m definitely done with this company, absolutely disgraceful.

Update [Mar, 6 2018, 16:41]: There’s more incompetence to report from Tires Plus, I have just got my car back from the body shop after a collision two weeks ago and I asked them to have a look at why my ambient interior lighting was not working and they said that someone had removed the center console panel next to the hand brake and pulled out the connector which linked the cup holder to the foot well illumination, this would tally with the time I noticed the ambient lighting stopped working.

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