April 28, 2007

Inflation and Installing Summer Tires

Inflation (noun): When you pay $20 for the $10 haircut you used to get for $5 when you had hair.
How much does it cost to have your winter tires taken off and replaced with summer tires (all on rims)?

My dealership always charged $48+tax. This time, the price jumped by 42% to $68+tax. That's a huge hike for a simple, routine process repeated twice a year. Well above the rate of inflation.

Recycling Gone Too Far
Also, the snow tires were put back into the same bags the summer tires were in --- not the cleanest after months gathering dust in the garage. Since I have a midsized sedan, two tires were put on the back seat. In the past, they've always used clean bags. Recycling is good, but cleanliness also matters (or so my better half tells me).
I had to stop driving my car for a while ... the tires got dizzy.
--- Steven Wright
I believe in getting service done at the dealership (e.g., they also did a software update under warranty). My lease is up in a year and I'm wondering whether to keep my car (only 29,000 km in 2 years). A big concern is the cost of maintenance and long term reliability. This visit was an eye opener. If the prices shoot 42% for routine service I can get anywhere, what will happen for specialized service when I don't have a choice? Will a $1,000 bill now become $1,420 + tax?

The Result
This visit provided less,cost more and created anxiety about future maintenance costs. A poor combination.

I'm glad I didn't get the wiper blades changed!


Unknown said...

Maybe you need to dump your dealership for day to day work on your car? Finding a reliable mechanic that you can trust is something you might want to look into.

Promod said...

You're probably right, Big Cajun Man. The dilemma is finding a mechanic who is reliable.

It's so difficult to gauge who is trustworthy in any field.

Promod said...

Not one to learn, I went back to get my snow tires installed. I wasn't told the price and I didn't ask. Why ruin the surprise?

This time the price was $50+tax :)

Why the drop? Competition and customer feedback.