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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Just curious if anyone uses Firestone for tire maintenance (alignment, balance, rotation) and maybe other maintenance such as engine oil changes? 4-wheel alignments can be anywhere from $100-$150 one time, making Firestone's lifetime alignments at $189 ($209 - $20 coupon) seem like a bargain, but I don't have too much experience with Firestone, the Google ratings in my area are all over the place for Firestone, some locations are rated as low as 1.5 stars and other locations at 4.5 stars (out of 5). Just in case anyone suggests, I stopped using Discount Tire a while ago because they could never balance tires precisely enough for me, my hearing is sensitive so I can hear even the faintest wallowing from the tires (I later discovered their balancing machines are not that precise). Any direct experiences with Firestone would be greatly appreciated, thanks in advance.
 

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I have no experience with Firestone in the last 25 years, but I will point out that with most multi location service operations, especially those with franchise ownership, the quality of the service and attitude varies greatly depending on the owner, manager and tech. Like a weather report, what's true in my location may be very different from yours.

If I am understanding your post, you are seeing widely varying ratings for your local store, and so are asking about elsewhere. Yours are really all that are likely to matter.

But I also look at the nature/specifics of the complaints to judge if the complainer might be unreasonable. And I know that people are many, many times more likely to take the time to complain than to praise.
 

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This has been my experience as well, even in my local area, the closest Firestone dealer is wonderful (even my wife enjoys going there for basic stuff, oil changes, rotations, inspections, etc), and the one just a mile or two further away is terrible, two different owners, and two very different sets of results.

I will point out that with most multi location service operations, especially those with franchise ownership, the quality of the service and attitude varies greatly depending on the owner, manager and tech. Like a weather report, what's true in my location may be very different from yours.

If I am understanding your post, you are seeing widely varying ratings for your local store, and so are asking about elsewhere. Yours are really all that are likely to matter.

But I also look at the nature/specifics of the complaints to judge if the complainer might be unreasonable. And I know that people are may, many times more likely to take the time to complain than to praise.
 

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I wouldn’t use Firestone (or any other of the franchise shops) even to just get directions to the nearest restroom. If I broke down and coasted into their lot, I’d still get a tow somewhere else.
 

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Yeah, have to say I kinda' feel the same about Firestone in general, simply would avoid them at all costs (had a very bad experience years ago.) That said, individual stores can vary, I just won't go there.

On the topic of tire/wheel balance, for a better result look for a shop that does road force balancing. My last car would never balance unless it was road force, and I'd never heard of it until my mechanic made the recommendation because of the troubles I was having.
 

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Just curious if anyone uses Firestone for tire maintenance (alignment, balance, rotation) and maybe other maintenance such as engine oil changes? 4-wheel alignments can be anywhere from $100-$150 one time, making Firestone's lifetime alignments at $189 ($209 - $20 coupon) seem like a bargain, but I don't have too much experience with Firestone, the Google ratings in my area are all over the place for Firestone, some locations are rated as low as 1.5 stars and other locations at 4.5 stars (out of 5). Just in case anyone suggests, I stopped using Discount Tire a while ago because they could never balance tires precisely enough for me, my hearing is sensitive so I can hear even the faintest wallowing from the tires (I later discovered their balancing machines are not that precise). Any direct experiences with Firestone would be greatly appreciated, thanks in advance.
I had trouble with Tires Plus and Firestone tires.
Went to Discount Tire and I'm extremely happy.
Wr switched from Yokohama tires to Contac Continental tires through Discount Tire and have been extremely pleased. Plus at Discount Tire you can make a appointment on line.
 

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Just curious if anyone uses Firestone for tire maintenance (alignment, balance, rotation) and maybe other maintenance such as engine oil changes? 4-wheel alignments can be anywhere from $100-$150 one time, making Firestone's lifetime alignments at $189 ($209 - $20 coupon) seem like a bargain, but I don't have too much experience with Firestone, the Google ratings in my area are all over the place for Firestone, some locations are rated as low as 1.5 stars and other locations at 4.5 stars (out of 5). Just in case anyone suggests, I stopped using Discount Tire a while ago because they could never balance tires precisely enough for me, my hearing is sensitive so I can hear even the faintest wallowing from the tires (I later discovered their balancing machines are not that precise). Any direct experiences with Firestone would be greatly appreciated, thanks in advance.
I have been taking my cars to Firestone for 20 years for tires, wheel alignment, brake repair, and suspension component replacement. I have been very happy in the past with the two different Firestone stores in my town but refuse to go to one of them for the last year since they switched management. Like everything else, the brand name doesn’t necessarily reflect the same at every franchise location. Unfortunately, most of the chain style facilities purge their management every so often. Sometimes you don’t know how bad a repair facility is until you experience what a good facility is like. If you are not happy and don’t get the reasonable satisfaction after complaining, go to another location.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
I had trouble with Tires Plus and Firestone tires.
Went to Discount Tire and I'm extremely happy.
Wr switched from Yokohama tires to Contac Continental tires through Discount Tire and have been extremely pleased. Plus at Discount Tire you can make a appointment on line.
As I mentioned, I've tried many Discount Tire stores in the past, and none could adequately balance tires across multiple vehicle brands I've owned, but back then, I didn't ask which machines they used. I later found out many tire balancing machines are not approved by OEM's, but Hunter is one brand that is. Every time I get my tires serviced at a shop that uses Hunter, sure enough, the tires are precisely balanced and I do not hear the slightest trace of wallowing, and it's not road balanced either, I think just a matter of precision. The problem in general is that most stores don't advertise what machines they use, some do like this one, but like the comments mentioned, not all stores are the same, so you have to pick and choose carefully. I'm looking into Firestone now because of their lifetime alignment, I don't think Discount Tire offers that, and the Firestone store I'm taking my car to next week does use the Hunter Hawkeye.
 

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Just curious if anyone uses Firestone for tire maintenance (alignment, balance, rotation) and maybe other maintenance such as engine oil changes? 4-wheel alignments can be anywhere from $100-$150 one time, making Firestone's lifetime alignments at $189 ($209 - $20 coupon) seem like a bargain, but I don't have too much experience with Firestone, the Google ratings in my area are all over the place for Firestone, some locations are rated as low as 1.5 stars and other locations at 4.5 stars (out of 5). Just in case anyone suggests, I stopped using Discount Tire a while ago because they could never balance tires precisely enough for me, my hearing is sensitive so I can hear even the faintest wallowing from the tires (I later discovered their balancing machines are not that precise). Any direct experiences with Firestone would be greatly appreciated, thanks in advance.
I have an excellent Toyota dealer. I wouldn’t go anywhere else. Just my opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Just came back from Firestone service, they did the balance correctly and precisely (thank you Hunter Hawkeye), they did not scratch up my wheels or lug nuts (I have previous experience with shops that did), they printed out the 4-wheel alignment report, and they did the engine oil and filter change with full synthetic Genuine Toyota Motor oil (at least that's what the invoice said :) ) for $77, which seems reasonable. If you sign up for their credit card which I did, you get an additional $20 off the lifetime alignment, which originally was $209, and dropped to $169 with the online $20 coupon. They took just under 2 hours to complete the work, although I was the first customer at the shop at 7 AM. I don't have any complaints about the service, overall it was a good experience for me.

After the appointment, I went ahead and got a full tank of gas and reset the mileage calculator, and now I surpassed 46 mpg whereas before I would struggle to get past 43 mpg, so maybe the alignment helped with mileage, either that or I’m subconsciously driving lightly. Two of the wheels were out of alignment according to the report.

I also asked the manager if they can beat anyone's price on Bridgestone tires, he said he can beat anyone, including online prices and Costco. We shall see! When it comes time to replace the EL440's, I'll see if they can beat the lowest prices I can find on the Bridgestone QuietTrack.
 

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Brand names mean nothing when it comes to quality of service. Whether it is Firestone, Toyota or anyone else, it really depends on the competence and integrity of the people who do the work and warrantee it. Automotive service technicians are in high demand and low supply because younger folks don't want to do that type of work anymore, and the work requires a higher education and skill set than in years past which a lot of people cannot achieve.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Brand names mean nothing when it comes to quality of service. Whether it is Firestone, Toyota or anyone else, it really depends on the competence and integrity of the people who do the work and warrantee it. Automotive service technicians are in high demand and low supply because younger folks don't want to do that type of work anymore, and the work requires a higher education and skill set than in years past which a lot of people cannot achieve.
People matter, sure. I would add equipment matters too… Hunter Hawkeye, or a similar, precise machine. And price. Firestone’s lifetime 4 wheel alignment at $169 seems like a bargain.
 
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