My truck had been pulling to the left, so before I took it to the Indy 500 at the end of May, I brought it to the alignment shop I had used a few times in the past. I dropped it off on the way to work, and scooted from there to work. Picked it up at the end of the day, they said everything was good, and charged me $90.
Catch was, it still pulled to the left, like they had done nothing to it. I called to complain the next day, and they said they could not fit me in before the trip. So, I had to fight the pull on the 450 mile round trip, which was annoying.
The next week, I made an appointment for them to fix it, and they did. It took them an hour and a half and a couple of attempts, but it tracked straight. Great.
A few days later, the day before my family and I were due to depart on vacation in the truck, I starting hearing/feeling a pop in the steering under full lock. I brought it to my buddy Bill’s house. He’s an ASE certified tech and auto shop teacher, who had been on the Indy 500 trip with me. He inspected it and found a very loose upper left ball joint. Loose enough that his eyes popped out and he said, “I can’t believe we took this thing to Indiana.”
The truck was grounded from vacation duty, so Bill lent me his ‘03 Grand Marquis for the trip (my wife didn’t want to take her CX-5). After that trip, I took the truck to my favorite shop. He’s an old school mechanic who runs a 1-man 3-bay shop and takes his job very seriously. I didn’t take it to him for an alignment, because he doesn’t have an alignment rack. This guy I trust completely. He was shocked that the first shop had missed that ball joint.
I then took it to another shop to get it realigned, because now it was aligned with bad parts.
Finally I went back to the first shop to complain. I at least wanted my money back for their alignment, because they had missed a huge safety defect. Of course they denied any wrong doing, insisting that it was magically tight three days before it was very loose.
So, I blasted them on every review site I could think of. And here we are at the end of the saga.
Here’s a completely unrelated picture of my scooter with the toolbox I made my dad for Father’s Day strapped to the back.