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Old 8th July 2013, 13:38   #31
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Arrow Re: Wheel Alignment / Balance : Tyre Empire (HSR Layout, Bangalore)

I was in lookout for new car-shoes for a friend's Santro (7 years old - 84K on ODO - Currently with Bridgestones). Based on numerous reviews, narrowed down to Michelin XM2 Energy (155-70-R13). Freezing on the product first and then getting into price research is always the best approach (as far as my experience goes) and this worked for my Friend's case too. We tried getting online quotes and compared prices with JC Road dealers (Numbers taken from Just Dial).

Quite surprisingly, Tyre Empire gave us a competitive quote for our specification. I always thought they are a little expensive (in my alignment and balancing experiences). Nevertheless, since I have visited them quite some times now and had no issues with their delivery-quality (and mixed experiences on other aspects like delivery delays, sometimes rude / compelling staff, etc.. though), I thought we must give it a try this time.

We reached them at around 2:30 PM and the place was surprisingly empty. This time, Mr. Senthil and Mr. Johnson attended to us and they were quite professional. They thoroughly analyzed all wheels and suggested a change of rims as the existing ones were almost at their end-of-life and might not suite well for Radial shoes. (Old ones were with Tubes).

Options given were: Either to go for new rims (they had no ready-stock though) or new set of Alloys (their stock included GTR, Evo, Neo, Avantis, etc.) or to go for a Tube+Tyre combo with the existing rims. After cross-verifying with my friend's SA at Trident Hyundai, we decided to change the rims and upgrade them to Alloys.

To our luck, there was reasonably less crowd until we finalized on the Alloys; Mr. Senthil and Mr. Johnson were friendly and helpful . Quickly we decided on a Neo 13" Metallic Sports alloys (against their recommended GTR Black Alloys - which we didn't like much) and the pre-decided Michelin XM2 Energy shoes. After a little bit of haggling around, they offered a decent pricing (matched the pricing offered by another local vendor nearby for the same alloys). Topping to the offer, we were handed a Reebok Mens wrist watch complementary (which actually was not on their Standard / defined free-bie list for this season).

Job was neat. No complaints there. Only issue was, after finalizing our deal - it almost started raining cars there and staff had to run around to each other customer. It took almost an additional 1.5 hours to finish the job (fix, balance and align). Billing on the other hand was pretty fast this time. It was 5:30 PM (3 hours for the entire process) when we walked out.

Overall, we liked the deal and the job finish (materials used like the Chrome Bolts, Wheel Balancing weights, Nitrogen precision pumps, etc.. were branded). You can ask Mr. Johnson / Mr. Senthil for a good deal (They at least will try to match their competitor's price); After all - we knew that there are no chances of Fake products or fitments with such branded centers. As I had mentioned in my earlier posts, if they could somehow reduce these waiting times (at least by 50%), I would be a more satisfied customer. Hopefully they improve this aspect in the due course of time.

Cheers!
M

Last edited by Mister_M : 8th July 2013 at 13:39.
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Old 3rd September 2013, 11:20   #32
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Default Re: Wheel Alignment / Balance : Tyre Empire (HSR Layout, Bangalore)

Since Tyre Empire is practically a stones throw away from my place I decided to get my long over due tyre change here. Took quotes from them and the pricing seems competitive enough for me to not venture out of HSR and spend more on fuel and get tyres cheaper

But the reports from the last page are a bit disturbing! But given the rains in the past few days and I need to get new shoes by Thursday, I might mostly end up going to these guys.

Somehow they seem very keen to push the Michelin brand the most.

Last edited by praful : 3rd September 2013 at 11:22.
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Old 23rd November 2013, 14:54   #33
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Default Re: Wheel Alignment / Balance : Tyre Empire (HSR Layout, Bangalore)

Changed my Linea's tyres (205/55/R16) at Tyre Empire, HSR. My Yoko AVS dB v550's completed 53K kms (approx) and I went in for the same set of tyres again, as I was very satisfied with their performance and life. Given their price difference compared to Michelin PLCs and P3STs, the choice was a no-brainer for me.

I started my search for the best quotes early November and these guys gave me the best deal. But they didn't have stock and asked me to wait for 3 weeks. I was ok with it as I was going to be away from Bangalore for the same period. Got back and changed them.

Anthony and Johnson are helpful and knowledgeable. These guys promise short turnaround times (50 mins) which I could sense at the beginning that it was too short to be true. I balance and align my wheels every 5k kms, and I know how much time it takes from the time you walk in, till the time you pay up and get out. So I was prepared for the 'delay'.

Anthony was pushing for roadforce balancing, and I conceded for the same as the difference was 45 bucks per tyre. I've got it done a couple of times previously and I felt that normal balancing works just as good for my car. Not that I have any complaints, but I see no value in the extra diagnosis if the ride and its wheels are in good shape. In the interest of time, the recommendations are not followed to the T with directional tyres, as it requires dismounting and mounting tyres from alloys - if the recommendation suggests a right to left or vice versa change.

Rated them 5/5 on their feedback form.
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Old 18th December 2013, 16:41   #34
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Default Be careful!

I have been a long term customer of Tyre Empire and have got my alloys from there as well as recommended them to several people. I wanted to get the wheels rebalanced and alignment checked as well so I went there today morning.

There were a few cars already there and for the first ten minutes I was not attended to. I went upstairs to their office and asked the gentleman there (Mr X) to get things moving. Only then did I get a job card and when I asked for rates, I was told Rs 400 + tax for alignment and Rs 65 for normal balancing and Rs 100 for the Hunter 3D balancing. I opted for the latter since I had just seen it in use (while I was waiting) and it tells you which tyre has to go where depending on the balancing done.

I waited while the staff attended to the other cars that had come earlier. The work happened a little slowly but it was methodical. When it came to billing I was told by the lady in the office that my bill was Rs 1000+. I was surprised and asked them why it was so high which is when I was told that it was Rs 100 per tyre for balancing. I explained what was told by Mr X that it was Rs 100 for balancing and since he was sitting at the next table attending to another customer, I raised my concern with him but he said it was Rs 400 for balancing i.e. 100 x 4 and walked away.

The lady again tried explaining to me why I need to pay Rs 1000+ but I refused to do so saying I will pay for the alignment and the weights and for the balancing cost of Rs 100 only. We went down to talk to Mr X again and he totally his cool and was very rude. Though I tried to talk to him politely he started raising his voice and said that I dont need to pay anything and that he will pay for it out of his own pocket.

I told him calmly and politely that he had said the price is only Rs 100 for balancing and that was the price we agreed upon. His argument was that I have done wheel balancing and alignment from them a year earlier and that I should have remembered how much it cost then and taken inflation into consideration instead of listening to his quote


Despite him rudely insisting multiple times that I pay for nothing, I insisted that I pay for the alignment and weights and the balancing cost that was told to me i.e. Rs 100 and I paid the amount of Rs 779.

While paying I asked the lady in the office whether this was their common trick - quoting a rate and then saying that it was for only one wheel during billing? Despite asking her the same question politely more than once she did not offer any reply and just handed over the bill.

Its only a matter of an additional 300 bucks, an amount that I would have handed over happily had they told me that the actual charge was Rs 400. But this is a case of Mr X either making a mistake (assuming he had forgotten to mention Rs 100 per tyre but he should have just said Rs 400 for all instead) or a clear case of cheating and I very strongly suspect the latter. Dissapointed with this experience.

Last edited by neil.jericho : 18th December 2013 at 16:42.
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Old 18th December 2013, 18:51   #35
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Default Re: Be careful!

Quote:
Originally Posted by neil.jericho View Post
Its only a matter of an additional 300 bucks, an amount that I would have handed over happily had they told me that the actual charge was Rs 400. But this is a case of Mr X either making a mistake (assuming he had forgotten to mention Rs 100 per tyre but he should have just said Rs 400 for all instead) or a clear case of cheating and I very strongly suspect the latter. Dissapointed with this experience.
It would help if shops display prices, than tell orally. BTW, I am surprised that you believed that he was quoting Rs 100 for four tyres. Rs 100 is too cheap for four tyres. Usually every shop quotes per tyre. They never know whether customers want to balance 4 wheels or all 5.

Last edited by blacksport : 18th December 2013 at 18:54.
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Old 18th December 2013, 20:00   #36
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Default Re: Be careful!

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Originally Posted by blacksport View Post
It would help if shops display prices, than tell orally. BTW, I am surprised that you believed that he was quoting Rs 100 for four tyres. Rs 100 is too cheap for four tyres. Usually every shop quotes per tyre. They never know whether customers want to balance 4 wheels or all 5.
Knowing whether any price is high or low requires a frame of reference which in this case I unfortunately did not have. Your suggestion of a printed rate is a sensible one, hopefully it is something they will implement. The sales guys I had interacted with in the past were very sensible and helpful, let me see if they are there the next time I swing by.


If Mr X had admitted that it was a genuine mistake on his part and he had forgotten to mention it was per tyre, it would have been a much more amicable experience. The thing was he knew he had not mentioned per tyre price and hence he was blaming me for not being able to remember the prices from last time I had got the tyres aligned!
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Old 19th December 2013, 13:38   #37
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Default Re: Be careful!

Quote:
Originally Posted by neil.jericho View Post
Knowing whether any price is high or low requires a frame of reference which in this case I unfortunately did not have. Your suggestion of a printed rate is a sensible one, hopefully it is something they will implement. The sales guys I had interacted with in the past were very sensible and helpful, let me see if they are there the next time I swing by.


If Mr X had admitted that it was a genuine mistake on his part and he had forgotten to mention it was per tyre, it would have been a much more amicable experience. The thing was he knew he had not mentioned per tyre price and hence he was blaming me for not being able to remember the prices from last time I had got the tyres aligned!

For balancing they should have quoted the reference as you said to make the matters clear.Also if Mr X had responded in an amicable way it would have been a pleasant experience instead of giving you gyan about inflation and all . But want to ask you,no offence intended, did you ever get balancing of 4 tyres done @ anything around 100 rupees? I am presuming since you have been doing alignment and balancing for few number of times till now you would remember the pricing of it earlier.

Besides the alignment cost is very high! Its 250Rs @ Madhus and they use the top of the line equipment!
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Old 19th December 2013, 13:50   #38
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Default Re: Be careful!

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Originally Posted by sagarpadaki View Post
For balancing they should have quoted the reference as you said to make the matters clear.Also if Mr X had responded in an amicable way it would have been a pleasant experience instead of giving you gyan about inflation and all . But want to ask you,no offence intended, did you ever get balancing of 4 tyres done @ anything around 100 rupees? I am presuming since you have been doing alignment and balancing for few number of times till now you would remember the pricing of it earlier.

Besides the alignment cost is very high! Its 250Rs @ Madhus and they use the top of the line equipment!
No offence taken mate. Since balancing (and weights which depends on actuals) and alignment are charged together, I did not have a specific price point for balancing only in mind. Which is also why I seem to have paid more for alignment (Rs 400 vs the 250 at Madhus as per your post).


In fact Tyre Empire uses the same equipment as Madhus, the Hunter Road Force Balancer and the Hunter alignment machine. Madhus are the official distributor of these IIRC.
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Old 9th January 2014, 12:53   #39
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Default Re: Be careful -Tyre Empire (HSR Layout, Bangalore)

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Originally Posted by neil.jericho View Post
No offence taken mate. Since balancing (and weights which depends on actuals) and alignment are charged together, I did not have a specific price point for balancing only in mind. Which is also why I seem to have paid more for alignment (Rs 400 vs the 250 at Madhus as per your post).


In fact Tyre Empire uses the same equipment as Madhus, the Hunter Road Force Balancer and the Hunter alignment machine. Madhus are the official distributor of these IIRC.
I too an old customer of Tyre Empire, I got my Wheel rotation and alignment (17-Dec-13). Since it was year-end there was lot of crowd. I waited for ~2 hours to get my work done. But I have was given proper charges and communication was proper didn't face the issue what you faced.
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Old 9th January 2014, 16:50   #40
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Thumbs up Tyre Insurance ->: Tyre Empire (HSR Layout, Bangalore)

I have to add my experience with Tyre Empire:
When I went for alignment on Dec'13, one of the Supervisor (Karthick) came with me for test driver after alignment.

And couple of days before I have changed my Tyres due to side-wall bulge.
This shop has introduced 'Tyre Insurance'. Where I have to pay 10% of cost of the tyre and will get a replacement if there is any buldge / crack due to wear and tear within 2 years of time.

This approach is appreciable and haven't heard of this elsewere, I just got a bill for tyre insurance and tyre cost. No terms and conditions, happy I am

I was forced to change my tyre even with 60% of thread left just because of side-wall bulge. These kind of approach on insurance will help customers.
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Old 10th January 2014, 15:36   #41
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Default Re: Tyre Insurance ->: Tyre Empire (HSR Layout, Bangalore)

Update: A couple of days after I got the balancing and alignment done I had to drive to Kerala and I really had a tough time because the steering wheel started to wobble badly when it reached 100 and it got worse as the speed increased. There was a new found left pull as well which I didnt realise after getting the alignment + balancing done as the driving was all in peak traffic. Both the wobbling and left pull were not there before I went to Tyre Empire.


Anyways after returning to Bangalore I took the car to them one evening and spoke to the lady manager about the problem. She told the guys working there to get the alignment checked while not mentioning that I had come back to get it corrected. While on the test drive, the guy was telling me that since they have adjusted it and the readings are now all ok, there would no longer be any wobble + pull and that these had crept it because I had not done the alignment recently. When he asked me when I last did it, I finally disclosed that it was done at their own center two weeks before and that he himself had test driven it and not found any issue. The poor chap didnt know what to say


There still is a bit of left pull, they say that it is because the camber on the right front side needs to be adjusted this can be done only at the company service center. Plus the bush has apparently worn out as well. Not sure how far this is true because it wasnt there earlier and they couldnt explain why they didnt catch these when I came last time(mid Dec).


They didnt have any answer as to why the wobble problem happened cause even then they had given me a similar printout and said it was all good. I have been able to take it up to 100 kmph only a couple of times since then and the problem seems to be almost gone but it still isn't 100% normal.


I will have to take the car back and ask them to recheck the balancing and the alignment. Hope others have better experiences that me at Tyre Empire.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Black_Beast View Post
I have to add my experience with Tyre Empire:
When I went for alignment on Dec'13, one of the Supervisor (Karthick) came with me for test driver after alignment.

And couple of days before I have changed my Tyres due to side-wall bulge.
This shop has introduced 'Tyre Insurance'. Where I have to pay 10% of cost of the tyre and will get a replacement if there is any buldge / crack due to wear and tear within 2 years of time.

This approach is appreciable and haven't heard of this elsewere, I just got a bill for tyre insurance and tyre cost. No terms and conditions, happy I am

I was forced to change my tyre even with 60% of thread left just because of side-wall bulge. These kind of approach on insurance will help customers.
Glad to hear that you had a much better experience with them buddy. Wrt the tyre insurance that you took, can you shed some light on how this is different from the normal warranty that the company provides (in-built into the cost price) for cracks / bulges that the company would anyways provide? Does it mean that if the tyre gets cut due to some sharp object that the company will cover it under the insurance?
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Old 10th January 2014, 16:25   #42
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Default Re: Tyre Insurance ->: Tyre Empire (HSR Layout, Bangalore)

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Originally Posted by neil.jericho View Post
Glad to hear that you had a much better experience with them buddy. Wrt the tyre insurance that you took, can you shed some light on how this is different from the normal warranty that the company provides (in-built into the cost price) for cracks / bulges that the company would anyways provide? Does it mean that if the tyre gets cut due to some sharp object that the company will cover it under the insurance?
In my understanding and have inquired in few tyre stores, any side-wall bulge or crack is not because of manufacturing fault. And most of the tyres are prone to this buldge. This is not covered by Manufacturer, and if you know persons I heard, we can get some 20% discount on the tyre we are getting for replacement.

But this insurance is from 'Tyre Empire', Costing 10% of the MRP of the tyre.
They said they will replace the tyre for any issue during the insurance period of 2yr. And there is no terms & conditions given to me on the purchase of insurance.

And for the issue you are facing, try checking with Karthick in Tyre Empire.
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Old 18th January 2014, 19:12   #43
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Default Stay Away unless you are part of the target audience identified

Update: I took the car to them mid week & explained to a new gentleman Mr Y about the left pulling and steering wobble problems that they have bestowed upon my car. At first they didnt want to take it in as it was around 7 PM and they close by 7:30 - 8 but Mr Y took a quick test drive (both in duration and speed) and admitted that both issues were definitely present. Off came all the wheels for rebalancing without any fuss.

When I asked him about why this was happening he started telling me that that as the tyre tread starts to slowly wear down (in my case 25k on the stock set) the tyres will start to wobble automatically When I asked him how these came only after balancing and alignment at their store there was no answer.

While rebalancing they found a puncture and given that it was already 8 PM I said its ok Ill come back the next day. By the time they were done it was close to 8:30 and they didnt even check the car to see if it is ok now.

True Colours: Because of the puncture I didnt drive the car to work the next day and came to them before 7 PM to get it fixed and tell them the pulling was reduced but still there. First they said it would take me one hour to fix the puncture and then they said they cant do it and I need to come the next day.

When I mentioned the pull was still there Mr Y said they cant do anything anymore for me and I need to take it to the service centre. I asked him to look at it from my perspective
1. I had paid them money to get everything checked when there really was nothing wrong in the first place
2. They had gifted my car with a strong left pulling and wobbling that I didnt ask for.
3. I had spent multiple hours with them trying to get it fixed and all they could offer was a shrug and tell me to take it elsewhere as if it wasnt their problem.

Mr Y's reply was that he couldnt understand why I couldnt understand their perspective which was
1. Wear and tear of tyres causes left pulling and steering wobble (Note - which somehow is hidden deep within the deepest and darkest bowels of the car before a visit to their store and magically appears when Tyre Empire lays a finger on it....)

2. It is high time I need to buy new tyres ( Note - looks like they are taking the Indian hospitals route - you go in to receive treatment for a cold and they tell you that you need to get admitted immediately for a major surgery)

I was livid but seeing as they have washed their hands off it there is nothing I can do except warn other people to stay away from them. I took my car to the IOCL pump on 24th Main in HSR Layout and the guy who fills air fixed the puncture in less than 3 minutes. As for the other issues, it looks like I will have to send the car to Fiat and get it addressed along with the regular service.

---------------------------------------------------
P.S - During the course of the multiple hours spent waiting patiently at their store, my marketing oriented brain came up with a couple of market segments that they can target to increase their sales

1. Parents gifting a car to their boy racer son / daughter who has just turned 18 - Think about it, parents are worried about their enthusiastic kids with farm fresh licenses in hand speeding on public roads. One visit to Tyre Empire would however put them at ease because the wobble feature that they add will ensure that the car cant be taken above 80 / 90 / 100 kmph. They should charge for each km that they reduce.

2. NASCAR owners - Its a perfect match. All NASCAR drivers do is go round and round with left turns only. Tyre Empire has the Midas touch when it comes to making cars turn to the left without any driver intervention. It would reduce the steering effort and allow NASCAR drivers to focus on shifting gears and modulating the pedals only.
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Old 18th January 2014, 22:06   #44
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Default Re: Stay Away unless you are part of the target audience identified

Quote:
Originally Posted by neil.jericho View Post
As for the other issues, it looks like I will have to send the car to Fiat and get it addressed along with the regular service.
Sorry to hear about your ordeal. However since you are planning to take the car to service centre my view is to get it checked with some other balancing centre.

I was at Madhu's today morning to get a puncture fixed, thought of getting balancing and alignment also done since it was some 8K Kms since it was done.

My car was having a slight pull towards right, which is fixed now. The issue was detected in Hunter balancing machine with Madhu's.
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Old 19th January 2014, 07:58   #45
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Default

Neil, I think your car needs road force balancing. Head over to Madhus and get it done. It will remove the pull to max possible extent
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