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So, I took my car to get an alignment done.........

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Chris A, Dec 31, 2003.

  1. Chris A

    Chris A Chemo sucks!

    Feb 25, 2000
    Manchester NH
    and I get the thing back and all the radio stations are gone, and the clock is not right either. Why do they have to disconnect the battery to do an alignment?

    I really hate having anything done to my car, because they always "recommend" more work than is necessary, and try to scare you into getting it done. Sometimes I wonder if they actually do anywork on my car at all. Now the car pulls to the left whereas it used to pull to the right, so I guess they did something.

    Chris A.:rolleyes: :bassist:
  2. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    they were too fat to find your alarm button to turn off the alarm???
  3. canopener


    Sep 15, 2003
    Isle of Lucy
    Take it back, make 'em do it right, put a tiny hidden cam in to see if they're doing anything else to it...
  4. Chris A

    Chris A Chemo sucks!

    Feb 25, 2000
    Manchester NH
    Yeah, right. This is the real world. I wish I had the time to sit there and watch them do it.

    Chris A.:rolleyes: :bassist:
  5. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    Listen, I am a car mechanic. Disconnecting the battery is precautionary. If someone were to accidentally touch a tool to the positive terminal in the starter and the body at the same time, it could damage everything electronic in your car. Now would you rather have everything fried? Just be a little more patient with arbitrary things like that. As far as the alignment goes, I would take that back. If your car has been misaligned for a while, the tires will have worn into that state. Putting it straight could make that interfere with the ride of the car, even though all of the mechanicals are completely within specs. You just have to get that checked out. Oh, and the reccomending other work, it's a double edged sword. Some do it to screw you, some actually want to make sure your car is running right so that he doesn't have you jumping down his throat when it doesn't work perfectly. It'll have to be your judgement on that.
  6. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2001
    Spencerport, New York
    I've been wrenching for 20+ years and can't remember the last time I disconnected the battery during an alignment. For certain underhood jobs I'll disconnect it, and when I do I use a "memory saver" so the presets/clock etc won't get erased( a "memory saver" is a 9 volt battery plugged into the cig lighter). Imo a little thing like that goes a long way in terms of customer satisfaction.

    As far as the alignment, did they give you a printout showing before and after specs? Can you post it here so I can see it? What kind of car?

    They also may have swapped the front tires side-to-side to see if the pull went away or changed sides. Ime I've seen more pulling due to tires than the alignment itself.
  7. Plus, what kind of car is it?

    If it's something really burly and heavy, having the tread worn down to a certain shape isn't going to be too safe.

    Also, if your car needs binary and morse code to change the time and radio stations and stuff, I say make the alignment people do it.
  8. Call Click and Clack on Car Talk on NPR, this sounds like one they could have fun with.
  9. Chris A

    Chris A Chemo sucks!

    Feb 25, 2000
    Manchester NH

    It's nothing special, it's a Nissan Maxima. The previous time I brought it in to a different "national chain" brakes and muffler place, and when I picked up the car I needed to have it jump started. They had drained the battery so much that I need a new battery (I have no idea how old the battery was, but I had no starting issues previous to leaving it with them). Now this time at a different chain store I have to reset the clock and radio stations. When they called to tell me about the alignment and suggest the tire rotation, the guy told me that they couldn't get the car started and that the alarm was still going off. I told him to put the key in the door lock and lock and unlock it, that would turn the alarm off. (makes me wonder how long they've been in this business)

    The alignment is better than it was, and I suspect that the tires have been worn in an unusual manner and that's why they are pulling to the opposite direction. I was more concerned about the battery issues. Next time I think I'll record the mileage and level of gas in the tank.

    Chris A.:rolleyes: :bassist:
  10. Chris A

    Chris A Chemo sucks!

    Feb 25, 2000
    Manchester NH
    Yeah, I used to have a local guy when I lived at home with my parents. But I live 2.5 hours away now. It sucks having to schedule this stuff around work. I hate being without my car. Hopefully I don't need anything else done 'til June when it has to pass inspection.

    Chris A.:rolleyes: :bassist:
  11. I've got an old Ford keycode stereo in my car, so not only do the presets get wiped when the battery's disconnected, but you have to key in a code to get it to work at all-
    and after 10 times you have to reprogramme it at the factory (supposedly). I think it's got 3 or 4 times left.
    it is rubbish, though (and so's the car too :oops: )
  12. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    Mike that's excellent attitude. You're the type of guy that people come back to time and time again.

    Wether it be mechanics, doctors, or even music stores, it pays to find one run by good guys - then stick with them!!!!!!!