From the I Couldn’t Make This Up dept. comes this true story today . . . But first, some background info to set it up.
A few years ago, I bought a secondhand 2013 Jeep Patriot from the Honda dealer in St. Jérôme, Quebec. It only had 56,000 kilometres on it. The Honda dealer put new all-season (summer) tires on it, and talked me into buying winter tires on separate rims.
All good. I had the vehicle serviced at the Honda garage until last September when I had the winter tires installed and was informed that it needed a lot of routine maintenance along with a brake change and some other work. So, hoping to save some money, I took the Jeep to the local Canadian Tire auto centre in St. Jérôme, where the service was excellent and I saved a fair bit of cash. To make it even sweeter, they gave me 24 months to pay the bill ($2,300) interest-free using one of their credit cards, along with $200 worth of Canadian Tire money.
They won me over. I decided they would do all the future work on the Jeep. And I sang the garage’s praises to colleagues and friends.
This past spring after the virus lockdown was lifted, I took it back there to have the tires changed again, and they did a brake-cleaning job at the same time.
And then today happened.
I figured I would have the winter tires put on early because of the potential of a second coronavirus wave putting us all in lockdown mode again. I had made an appointment by phone, wrestled with the tires to get them into the Jeep and arrived at the garage in time for my appointment.
They took the Jeep in, and about 20 minutes later informed me that they wouldn’t put the winter tires on.
No, not because it’s too early — lots of people didn’t even remove their winter tires last spring when everyone was confined.
The problem, a service counter guy told me, is that the winter tires and rims are too big for the vehicle.
Say what, I asked him, explaining I’ve used them for three winters so far and that a qualified garage had installed them. Like, what do I know about tires? I trusted the garage that sold them to me.
No matter, he said. That Canadian Tire auto centre won’t install tires that are more than 3 percent larger than what the automaker recommends, and my tires are 5 percent larger, he claimed.
I pleaded with him. I’m the customer. Please, just put them on. I mean, their garage service reps never mentioned they were too big to me before, and they had removed them last year when they did all the major work on the vehicle and put them back on.
He shrugged. He didn’t care. He wouldn’t allow them to install the tires now.
I asked him if they might cause any problems for the Jeep.
He answered: They could damage the transmission or drive train, he said, oblivious to the fact that if they actually did cause damage, Canadian Tire would have repaired it and made more money from me — which I didn’t mention to him.
I told him the store — not just the garage — would lose my business and that of my partner, and that I would complain to management.
He was not kind. He wouldn’t budge. And he practically threw me out of the place.
So, I immediately took the Jeep to the Honda dealer, and they changed the tires for me. The service rep there, a former mechanic now working behind the counter, told me there was no problem with those tires on the Jeep. Yes, they are a little bigger than the summer tires, but that’s typical for this kind of vehicle in the winter, when you want more clearance from the snow. It’s a truck, after all. People put much larger tires on those vehicles.
And I haven’t had any transmission or drive train issues with it since I bought it.
When I got home, I contacted Canadian Tire’s head office in Toronto and filed a complaint. The woman on the other end of the phone said she had never heard such a thing, and that she would pass the complaint on to the owner of the outlet in St. Jérôme. She agreed that it seemed odd they had never mentioned the tire issue to me in previous visits.
Regardless of whether the store contacts me to discuss this or not, I won’t be going back. I won’t be buying the generator I was eyeing in the store today — something I’ve been planning to purchase for quite a while given I live in a remote area and the power goes out fairly often here.
And I won’t be buying a snowblower there, or anything else. They lost thousands of dollars in potential sales to me and my partner today over two percentage points in tire size, and they got a bad one-star review on google to boot.
I’m not entirely sure there wasn’t something else at play in my encounter with this particular service rep. He wasn’t nice to me, and he upset me. I felt like he was on some sort of power trip or worse.
I dunno. Maybe he was just having a bad day.
But he left me sad and disappointed.
I’ll get over it, of course. Honda will service the Jeep going forward, and for any major work, I’ll take it to the Jeep dealer.
It might cost me a little more, but the service reps at both of those garages are more professional. And that’s worth paying a little extra for, I figure.
No COMMENT. But, if IT will make you feel any better, I P’d my pants. Don’t worry though, my dear, we are ALL in the SAME boat. And, IT’s sinking(End of Days) 😏 😝😅
For all my motoring life I have NEVER trusted Canadian Tire to service my car. And that includes changing the tires.
But you still BUY there for the SPECIALS. Don’t worry, they F anyway. We like to be F 😏
I land up there maybe twice a year.
I used to feel that way about Canadian Tire. But I really thought this outlet was different. Live and learn, eh?
Maybe you should report this to the APA(apa.ca). Not that it will do any good, because the Cdn. Tire has also got them locked up. ah, the power of a mighty Corp. This argument sounds like the rants against the big Telcos and Banks. Like I mentioned, we like to get F %(
A friend/reader on Twitter consulted someone about this and sent me this message privately (thank you, Bill):
“The rep at Canadian Tire is an asshole, haha. It is true that that more than 3% is not recommended on Vehicles and if there is a problem with the transmission or drivetrain of the vehicle the dealer will most likely blame it on the oversize tires, but 5% instead of 3% on a jeep will make little or no difference to the drivetrain. The biggest reason for not going above the 3% recommended difference is because it will also change the speed-o-meter reading by the same 5% or 10% or what ever the difference is. It will also change the air/ fuel mixture and the shifting of the gears by the same %. The vehicle’s computer measures these by the circumference of the tire which is based on the overall diameter of the tire. If you change this the computer does not know and will not be able to adjust things properly. Also, if you go too big it will touch the inside fender and damage the vehicle. The tires should have been installed, but the customer should have been advised and a note should have been put in their file for future reference.
“I do not like Canadian Tire because they always try to up-sell. They push thing that are not needed and try to scare the customer into buying something they do not need.
“I hope this was helpful.”
It’s quite possible that the service guy was being unusually anal about the letter of the law. In the U.S., at least, (it varies from state to state) it is a violation to put tires on the vehicle that are more than 5% of the diameter of the original equipment.
It has nothing to do with maintenance issues, it is because the speedometer will be wrong. If your speedometer says you are going 50 km/h with normal tires, with a 5% larger tire your true speed will be 52.5 km/h.
The US federal regulation on speedometer accuracy reads: Each bus, truck, and truck-tractor must be equipped with a speedometer indicating vehicle speed in miles per hour and/or kilometers per hour. The speedometer must be accurate to within plus or minus 8 km/hr (5 mph) at a speed of 80 km/hr (50 mph).
HOWEVER, regulations on this in the UK say that vehicles absolutely cannot allow you to go faster than your speedometer is reading. To ensure this regulation is met the UK allows 1-6 mph to be added to a car’s displayed speed on it’s speedometer.
And this is why most other tire shops will change your tires as you requested. the laws only apply to the manufacturer.
That all makes sense, Steve. It was a Honda dealer that selected the winter tire size for the Jeep. I have been dealing with that garage for about 15 years, and their mechanics are first-rate. I have to trust their judgement because I know little about tire sizes and all the other stuff I am now learning about.
When I went back to Honda with the Jeep yesterday, the service rep who was a mechanic for many years there assured me that the tires were just fine.
I only bought the Jeep as a second vehicle to use during the winter when the snow is deep. When I am on the highway with it, I seldom get up to the speed limit.
I am going to post a picture of the Jeep in the next post here, in which we can all talk about our vehicles etc. in more general way.
Another Consumer p*ssed story. A few days ago I ordered from a Harvey’s(another big Cdn. Corp), not that I do the junk food thing often, and now we have to(from all junkie stores) using their App(that do not accept Interac/Debit, only VISA.) When I arrived, the laugh is that no one was respecting the “arrows” and lines in the store, no enforcement, and we were lined up cheek-by-jowl in front of the pick-up stall, some with masks or not. It is so hard not to be cynical. k, winter’s coming, so we get on with it. I must say, I do understand “cabin fever” better now. Have a good one my dear %*%;%%O PS. let’s not discuss about trying to get into your local Bank branch. You may freeze or during the summer die from heat-stroke %|
If no one complains to management, nothing will change.
I wrote a letter to the president of a local supermarket chain (Market Basket) telling him flatly that we were doing our shopping at Donelans (a four-store chain) because at Donelan’s we get the feeling that they give a shit about our health. About half of the employees at Market Basket were not wearing masks properly- under the nose, under the chin and one, I kid you not, on his forehead.
Neighbors report that they are much better about masks now.
Generally, complaints to management/owners do get results, I think. But not always what you might expect. In the case of my latest misadventure with Canadian Tire, I called the complaints dept. at corporate head office yesterday, and today I received an automated survey asking me to rate the performance of the person who took my complaint and asked me if I would recommend people shop at their stores based on her performance. But I’ve heard nothing from the actual store I was complaining about. lol. I also did a negative google review and Canadian Tire corporate head office responded by asking me to call a toll-free number to talk about it. I called, and was met by an automated menu that gave me no indication of which selection to make to talk about it. I won’t pursue the matter with the store anymore.
Yep, now you know why I p**sed my pants. Covid-19 effects everything, including automated Complaint menus. So, i think your
idea about not pursuing it further is Warranted; otherwise dry rot may occur %D
Normally, I would make some cynical comment about how car places treat women. (Many female friends have told me horror stories.) But more or less the same thing happened to me. It was during the lockdown, such as we had here in our red state. I had a leaky tire. My tire store was closed. So I went to the closest place I found open. “Can you plug this tire?” — “No your tires have ‘dry rot’. You can’t drive on them.” I was very surprised to hear that I had wooden tires, much less, bacteria-infested wooden tires. Couldn’t believe it. I took a risk being in the idiot’s space and that’s what he did. If you’re ever in South Florida with a flat tire, I can tell you where not go……..
OMG! Dry rot, huh. Lordie . . .