Alignment story

Rbade12 at Rbade12 at
Sat Jan 21 12:12:56 EST 2006

Got the shocks/springs, etc. in, therefore needed an alignment.  I called a 
couple nearby import places, one couldn't do it because  their machine was 
broken, the other wouldn't because, in your best German auto  mechanic accent, 
"what you did is illegal and if the state found out we'd lose  our license". That 
guy was seriously messed up, he actually got angry with me  for asking and 
said I didn't need one anyway, as nothing will change after doing  what I did. 
Jensen Imports in Greenfield, Wi, to be avoided! So, I bit the  bullet and 
called a place I knew would do it, O'Reillys, downtown Milwaukee.  They have good 
reputation, a friend with a highly modified 5 series BMW uses  them and owner 
has owned 2 200q20v's. They are, however, expensive and a  bit of a drive for 
me. They agreed to do the alignment and the lowered situation  would be 
addressed as well as it could be. I dropped the car off with $170 as  the price, 
they said the car would be done in an hour or so. 4 hours later they  called, 
said the car was done. I go in, the price has gone up to $250  because of the 
"extra" things the tech had to do. They show me the printout  and explain the 
reason the front camber numbers didn't change[-1.5 and -1.7  pre and post] was 
because I needed camber plates. I thought it odd, but once  again, as with Blau, 
I thought, these folks must know what they're doing. I get  home and start 
thinking, look at the strut mounts, which haven't been moved, I  have slot left 
for elimination of some neg camber and decide to go back the  next day. This 
is a tough thing for me to do, go tell a high end import  place that I think 
they did their alignment incorrectly. The printouts, pre and  post were 51 
minutes apart, so the 4 hours and "extras" puzzled me  also. I went back the next 
day and spend 15 minutes trying to get the service  writers and the tech that 
did my alignment to understand what I was talking  about. They didn't seem to 
get it, and basically argued with me, finally, the  tech reluctantly agrees to 
"try" moving the mounts to improve the camber  situation. The owner is there 
and I talk to him, expressing concern that this  tech doesn't know what he's 
doing [by now I was sure I was completely correct  and these guys had their 
heads up their asses, so I wasn't mincing words], he  said he does know his 
business and he made "assumptions" about my car. I  said assumptions, what do you 
mean? He said the service writer should have  told him I wanted the neg camber 
removed as the tech thought I wanted it  left that way. Now I'm getting double 
talk from the owner, a 20v owner, I  expected so much more!! I had to make 
another appointment and come  back 2 days later. 3 hours later the cars not done, 
but I'm in battle mode and  go back and "hang out". The tech finally does my 
car, gets camber to respectable  numbers [-0.9 both sides, I will slot the 
towers when winter goes away, should  have done it while replacing 
shocks/springs]. I talk alot while I'm there,  trying to get an explanation about "extras," 
the cost going up, and how the car  could have left the rack without 
addressing camber. No one can explain, so,  they gave me a detailing coupon worth $75, 
boy-oh-boy did that make me feel  better! Of note, the most heinous part of 
this whole deal didn't even happen to  me. While I was waiting a lot boy brought 
a nice S6 into the garage and  parked near the service desk, where I'm 
standing. A few seconds after he parks,  the smell of a seroiusly toasted clutch 
fills the area. The service writters  start laughing and say something to the 
effect, "What'd you do" to the guy, he  shrugs and says "Did I hurt it". I chime 
in with "Hell yea you hurt it!" which  gets everyones attention. The service 
writters say, "Don't worry about it" to  him. I say "Don't worry about it, what 
the hell?!" and proceed to put  my name in O'Reilly's file of customers that 
have gone off on them. I vent for a  while, leave with my car, never to 
return. So, O'Reilly's o'really sucks, avoid  them!
In the past I have done alignments myself, mainly because I never felt  
satisfied with store bought versions, looks like that continues.

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