I pondered writing this rant for a couple of weeks, but in the interest of maybe helping someone else avoid these pitfalls, I decided to tell my story. In a earlier post I told how I bought New tires online for my Motor Home. The problem was getting them installed along with Borg Dually Valves and Balancing Beads. I went to a big O store a couple of miles from where I live. I had used this store in the past to install tires that were bought online. This time when I went there to make a appointment To dismount and mount new tires. Install Dually Valves, Balancing Beads in the rear duals, and spin balance the new front tires. I found that they had a new manager and a completely different crew. Before making the appointment I questioned the salesman and asked if he and the workers had ever installed Dually Valves which require a certain procedure to do it correctly. The procedure needs to be followed to the letter and the same for the balancing beads. I set up an appointment after being assured that they knew how to do everything correctly. I arrived at 7:00 am for my appointment the following Monday and here is what happened.
I removed the wheel covers before leaving home so that they would not damage them trying to use a impact wrench to remove the wheel cover bolts. I have had wheel covers on motor homes damaged by people who did not know how to remove them. (it was a good thing I removed them before hand). I took the new tires in the motor home along with the new Dually Valves and the balancing beads. I also had copied a full set of instructions along with pictures that I took with me just in case. Now the fun begins.
The first problem was they did not know how to jack up the motor home. It took 4 (Tire Monkeys) guys and 3 jacks and an hour later they finally had the rear wheels jacked up. They could brake the Tire beads with their machine, but could not dismount the tires from the rims. I told them you will have to do it manually with tire irons. They tried to do it with a couple of 12 inch tire irons, after 30 minutes I told them to get a couple of 30 inch tire irons. They finally got the tires dismounted. I showed them the instructions and pictures of how to install the dually valves as they have to be centered. Before mounting the tires. One rim on top of the other. This they did not do and they would not listen to what I had to say.
When installing the dually valves I had to correct them 4 times as they were doing it wrong. I asked one of the guys if they had ever installed dually Valves and he said no. These guys had never installed dually valves nor had they ever dismounted and mounted 19.5 heavy 16 ply tires. I told them to be careful with the tire goop and not to get any inside because of the balancing beads. The inside of the tire has to be clean and free of moisture. Each tire requires 10 OZ packet of balancing beads and a special valve core so my TPMS doesn’t get plugged. The first thing that happened was they opened the packet and spilled beads all over the Rim and Tire bead losing some of the beads. I made them clean the tire bead and watched as they installed the rest of the balancing beads.
You can see in the picture the special Valve Cores
While they were filling one of the tires I noticed water dripping out of the air chuck and running down the valve stem. What the Hell Don’t they drain their air compressor or filter the air. When I stopped them from filling the tire he called another man over who took the air hose outside and water shot out of the air hose for a couple of minutes. What a lousy deal. I wonder how many customer tires are half full of water. I wonder if all Big O tire stores are the same. The Asst Manager came out and asked me to leave the shop area and stay in the waiting room. I told him no and that these guys did not know what they were doing and they had never installed dually Valves or 19.5 tires. I said who is going to pay if they mess up the valves. They cost $120 – $140 a set. I said if a tire leaks and is ruined because of the valves being installed wrong are you going to pay. He said they guarantee the job. I went to the waiting room and a while later they came and said that they could not balance the front tires because of the rim size their machine could not do it. They sent me to another store 7 miles away to get the front tires balanced. I went there and after an hour was informed they could not do it with their machine. I sad I already paid for this so they sent me to Jacks Tires a commercial tire dealer who did a excellent job in 30 minutes. I told them to bill Big O who had called them. When I finally got home at 3:00 PM All day shot for a 2 hour job Because the people at Big O did not know what they were doing and they lied to me. I found one of the special Valve cores was still in the box and not installed. Never again will I set foot in a Big O Store. or any other store not set up to do commercial tires. I learned a lesson. Most of these kind of stores either don’t know or can’t do the job on a motor home. This is a critical issue and the motoring public safety and peoples lives depend on them doing the job right.