Return of the Guarantee

Friday morning.  Brilliant sunshine.  Birds tweeting in the air.  And I’m off for my morning commute downtown – and as I approach my parked 2005 Saturn Ion, I notice that my car’s left front tire is low on air.

Yep.  The same left front tire that got punctured last month.  <looking for a wall to bash my head against>

Back then, AAA patched the tire and filled it with air.  Once the tire was repaired and I could drive on it, I motored the car over to Mavis Discount Tire, just to confirm that the patch was solid and that I didn’t need my tire completely replaced.

Well, judging from the fact that this morning, the tire looks rather soft… I’m not thinking that patch survived.

Time to drive the car over to Mavis.  I went to the closest Mavis Discount Tire to me, which was in Troy.  Dennis, the manager of that Mavis branch, looked at my tire.  “Yeah, it definitely looks soft,” he said.  “Let me check the computer – yep, you’ve got the warranty on those tires – let’s get your car up on the blocks and we’ll see what’s wrong.”

Oh well… up goes Cardachrome on the hydraulic jacks.

A few minutes later, Dennis gave me the news.

“That patch wasn’t put in properly,” he said.  “We’re going to put a liquid compound on the tire, it will bond to the tire and your car will be fine.”

Good.  At least I don’t have to buy new tires.  That’s a plus.

“Oh, but there’s one thing we need to show you,” he said.  He brought me back to the garage.  Cardachrome was still up on the hydraulic jacks, and all four tires were removed so that the Mavis mechanics could check my car’s brakes.

“Are my brakes fine?” I asked.

“They’re fine,” he said.  “But these two rear shocks are done.”

I looked.  He was right.  Both rear shocks were coated in rust and dried oil.

He quoted me a price for replacing the shocks – a price that was within my budget.  They had to get some shocks from the warehouse, but once the shocks arrived, installation would take less than half an hour.  And the parts were guaranteed for life.

Okay.  So this means my tires and my new shocks will be guaranteed by Mavis Discount Tire.  What’s that, 10% of my Saturn Ion?

Meanwhile, one of the maintenance workers started removing the old shocks.  “Hey,” I asked him.  “I gotta know – can you tell how old these shocks were? I’ve only had this car for two years.”

The worker brought me one of the shocks.  “These were put on your car when the car was built,” he said.  I could see clouds of rust dust floating off the shock mounts.

“You’re sure?”

“Yes sir.  Factory equipment won’t have a brand name sticker on it.  Don’t worry, we’ve got some new shocks for you, they’re on their way from the parts warehouse.”

A few minutes later, the shocks arrived.  So now Cardachrome has a pair of Monroe Sensa-Trac shock absorbers in its rear.  And at a reasonable price.

As for my left front tire, it was re-patched, double-checked and re-installed on the car.  Mavis even checked and adjusted my brakes at no additional cost.  Gotta love that.

Maybe I had a delay to my Friday, but it’s good to know that if you can find a service place that fits your needs – for me it’s Mavis for tires, Valvoline for fluids, Ernie’s in Green Island for engine work, H&V for collision – keep going to those companies and make sure that they know you’re a valued and loyal customer.  If nothing else, it means that they’re not only interested in taking care of your car – but are also interested in maintaining the lifespan of that car.

And trust me.  At 114,000 miles, Cardachrome still has some life left in it.

All it has to do now is pass 153,000 miles.

FTC Internet Neutrality Disclaimer: The following is an unsolicited testimonial.  At no time did I receive or request any special discounts or compensation from Mavis Discount Tire or from any other company in exchange for mentioning them in this blog.