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Old 27th November 2008, 13:53   #1
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Default Do's and don't's when you go in for a tyre change/WA/WB

As some of you know, I've been working in my dad' shop for the past 3-4 months. I have observed a few things which I think will be helpful to the community as a whole.

The most important point: DO NOT BE IN A HURRY.

If you are in a hurry, the technician will just rush through the job and mistakes can happen. If you are in a rush, dont go that day at all. Go some other time when you have some time on your hands. Maybe on a SAturday afternoon or something.

Take a book along with you. Most tyre shops or WA/WB centres dont keep magazines/newspapers and if you take a book or something with you, you can keep yourself occupied without looking at the watch every 30 secs and getting frustrated.

A proper WA/WB job takes about 30-40 mins. Keep another half an hour on top of this as waiting time.

Do not go the shop and then start pestering the people working there to give you quick service. All places follow a sort of queue. It is natural to attend to those customers who have come in before you. Dont try to jump the queue. If you are in such a hurry, come back some other time.

Have some consideration for the people working there. The technicians are working constantly from morning till evening. Not the kind of work most of you are used to, but hard physical work. Wheel balancing, tyre changing, etc are not easy to do and these boys do their best. Inspite of them doing their best many customers come and shout at them and pester them to do it quickly. The technician has no special interest in making you wait. However, if he does it too quickly and makes a mistake, he will get blasted from the customer and the management. It is a fine balancing act.

Also remember that if one wheel nut isnt fastened properly, it could come off at high speed and that could lead to the whole wheel coming off. This could be catastrophic. Do not push the technician unnecessarily.

Do not hamper the work. Many customers are interested in seeing the balancing being done or the alignment being done. Most places dont restrict the customer, but do not stand in such a way that the technicians are disturbed.

Since this is T-BHP, there will be a lot of guys who have their own pressure gauges. Take it along with you and check the tyres when it has been removed. It makes it easier to check. If any correction has to be made, get it done immediately.

If you have any queries about the process, feel free to ask. Most people are glad to help the customer gain some more information.

If there is a parking problem in the shop, please be considerate and listen to the technician/watchman directing you. SOme customers just come and park their cars haphazardly and this can inconvenience another customer whose car is ready but is being blocked by one car. Even if it is just for a couple of mins, please make sure you park you car properly. A badly parked car can also lead to traffic movement problems especially on busy roads like J C Road.

Most importantly, be nice to the people working there. Be it the technician or the manager. If you are nice, automatically your car gets personalised service. Dont be arrogant. You may know the owner of the shop, but dont dismiss or walk past a junior employee who comes to ask you what you require. You can always politely say "I need WA/WB" or whatever and then walk inside and meet the owner.
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Old 27th November 2008, 14:10   #2
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Mr Nikhil,

Great

Very nice and informative.

WE have to take care many thing as indicted by you for WB /WA

Your Do and Dont do's will surely help us.

Thanks a lot
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Old 27th November 2008, 16:33   #3
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@ Nikhilb2008: thanks for compiling this. Few of the steps should be followed for other services as well.

Do you want add some points for technicians:

Wheel nut should be tightened by hands for few turns before using machine tool. Threads can get damaged by machine tool if wheel nut is not aligned correctly.

Tyre pressure should be set to manufacturer specifications before balancing.
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Old 27th November 2008, 17:45   #4
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this seems to be aligned more towards an owner's point of view rather than a customer.

tell us something that will be beneficial to our vehicles.after reading it looked as if an owner of a hop is trying to do crowd control.

Of course,your courtesy bytes are good but no much useful as nice people always follow the things you mentioned and bad people will never follow how much we write.

Write things so that people have a better idea about the jobs carried out in WA/WB etc.
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Old 27th November 2008, 18:05   #5
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Quote:
Wheel nut should be tightened by hands for few turns before using machine tool. Threads can get damaged by machine tool if wheel nut is not aligned correctly.
Well said. Infact same damage has happened to one of my wheel bolts when it was done at a WB shop on Ashok Pillar Rd (A1 Car care). This was noticed, when I got it re-checked @ Tyre Professional RV Rd (Madhu's br)
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Old 27th November 2008, 19:26   #6
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You forgot to add " You need to know what you want in terms of tyres and also keep your options handy " .

OT : Is that your tyre shop in Mysore on Hunsur Road ?
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Old 27th November 2008, 19:57   #7
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Nikhil,

In response to
Quote:
Do not go the shop and then start pestering the people working there to give you quick service. All places follow a sort of queue.
:

You're absolutely right - any kind of service shouldnt be attempted to be fast-tracked. But, looking at it from a customer's perspective, having to face infinite ques and no accurate ETAs for their turn, especially when its a capitalist economy, practical difficulty of not having too much leeway in terms of time and it being the customer's money at the end of it, also is not acceptable.

Service providers should ensure that they're in a position to service all customers in a duration of time that is commensurate with the nature of the job.
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Old 27th November 2008, 20:20   #8
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Well written nikhil

Absolutely true and useful to its last alphabet.
Thanks

BTW : OT : How much does a tyre pressure checking machine cost?
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Old 27th November 2008, 21:35   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abhinav.gupta88 View Post
Well written nikhil

Absolutely true and useful to its last alphabet.
Thanks

BTW : OT : How much does a tyre pressure checking machine cost?
You can get them from ebay or any acccesories shop. Will not cost more than 400.
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Old 27th November 2008, 22:17   #10
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Nikhil, nice post there. Would love a more detailed explaination about how it is done. Something technical. Can you tell us about the process ?

What you have said makes sense. I have tried to do this at a place in JP nagar, but have found that the cabbies come and book a slot & then disappear. I have waited close to 3 hours to get a WA/WB/WR job done, but was frustrated with the experience.

This, coupled with a bad job at another JP Nagar garage has made me stop going to outside centers. No - I'm not saying that every place is like those two. Just my experiences in those places.

I now get my WA/WB/WR jobs when I go for regular servicing. Find it simpler, and have never had to complain about the job they have done.
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Old 27th November 2008, 23:29   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sukiwa View Post
@ Nikhilb2008: thanks for compiling this. Few of the steps should be followed for other services as well.

Do you want add some points for technicians:

Wheel nut should be tightened by hands for few turns before using machine tool. Threads can get damaged by machine tool if wheel nut is not aligned correctly.

Tyre pressure should be set to manufacturer specifications before balancing.
That is true. But this is aimed at car owners rather than technicians. I wonder how many technicians would read threads on T-BHP

Quote:
Originally Posted by theMAG View Post
Nikhil,

In response to :

You're absolutely right - any kind of service shouldnt be attempted to be fast-tracked. But, looking at it from a customer's perspective, having to face infinite ques and no accurate ETAs for their turn, especially when its a capitalist economy, practical difficulty of not having too much leeway in terms of time and it being the customer's money at the end of it, also is not acceptable.

Service providers should ensure that they're in a position to service all customers in a duration of time that is commensurate with the nature of the job.
I agree that customers shouldnt be made to wait forever, but even when they are told that the job will take a certain amount of time, they keep pestering the people to get it done quicker.

Quote:
Originally Posted by simply_sunny001 View Post
this seems to be aligned more towards an owner's point of view rather than a customer.

tell us something that will be beneficial to our vehicles.after reading it looked as if an owner of a hop is trying to do crowd control.

Of course,your courtesy bytes are good but no much useful as nice people always follow the things you mentioned and bad people will never follow how much we write.

Write things so that people have a better idea about the jobs carried out in WA/WB etc.
Arey bhai, there is not much to write about what is to be done after WA/WB or how customers can have a better idea. Most people are already aware that if after balancing, they are having wobbling problems or excess vibrations, the balancing job has not been done properly. OR the rim itself is bent.

For alignment, if the car starts dragging to one side, the steering isnt centred, these are signs that the alignment has not been done right.

Though one thing to be kept in mind is if you have got tyres rotated, balanced and then aligned, you might have a pulling problem to one side if you have done cross rotation rather than front to back. This is because tyres develop a certain force called Tyre force.

Another thing is to make sure the air pressures are checked before leaving the place as wrong air pressure can also lead to pulling problems. If you have a left tyre that is under inflated and a right tyre that is over inflated, you will have pulling problems to the left.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rjstyles69 View Post
You forgot to add " You need to know what you want in terms of tyres and also keep your options handy " .

OT : Is that your tyre shop in Mysore on Hunsur Road ?
Yes. That is true. Know what you want but be flexible. Go with more than one option if you are bent upon finishing the work that day. If you are very particular about the size and model of the tyres you want, then be prepared to make repeat trips (even though most tyres and sizes are easily available in the market nowadays). Even better, call up the dealer beforehand to make sure they have the tyres in stock or request them to get them before you get there.

OT: Yes. That is my uncle's. The three brothers all have tyre shops. However, they are all separate. No one interferes with each other.

Quote:
Originally Posted by live2drive View Post
You can get them from ebay or any acccesories shop. Will not cost more than 400.
What sort of quality is it? I''m asking coz a couple of friends want to buy one. How accurate are the ones available in the accessories shop? Any particular brands I should be looking for?
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Old 27th November 2008, 23:38   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjstyles69 View Post
You forgot to add " You need to know what you want in terms of tyres and also keep your options handy " .
Also look around other shops for better deals. I have noticed huge variation in tyre prices from shop to shop in bangalore for the same tyre. Sometimes the difference is more than Rs.300-500 per tyre.

If you go around 3-4 shops then you know all the options and can take your call. Sometimes one shop will tell you that a particular tyre is not available in the size you want but another brand is. Whereas the truth may be that he doesn't have stock and is trying to push another brand. If you shop around you will come to know.
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Old 28th November 2008, 10:31   #13
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Thanks Nikhil for this excellent write up. I think I'll take print outs of some excerpts from this and keep it with my stack of magazines for my customers [I don't figure in the most tyre shops that don;t keep mags ] It'll be helpful while dealing with customers who refuse to wait for a road trial and then come back accusing us of a shoddy job when there is vehicle pulling to either side saying "pehle toh yeh problem nahi tha,aap ke yahan kaam karne ke baad develop hua" !!
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Old 28th November 2008, 11:11   #14
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Nikhil this is a great information, i think it is applicable when you go to accessory shop as well or to your mech. These are very practical thing. I wont take a book or magzine along with as i love to watch them do the job however i will ensure that i do not disturb them with too many questions or disdainful smirk he he he.

I agree with you that interfering in their work can certainly cause disaster, in one of the instances the boy forgot to tighten the nuts properly resulted into broken stud on highway and eventually wheel came off, nothing happened to anyone but lessons learnt.

Thanks again for the great summary
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Old 28th November 2008, 13:01   #15
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Simply Sunny, this part is for you.

As a customer, this is what you must do.

When the technician starts work on your car, make sure that the car is jacked up properly. As Ishan's guide clearly explains, there are certain points on a car where you are supposed to place the jack. Placing the jack at any other weak point could bend the chassis itself.

After that, when the technician is using a pneumatic gun, make sure that the bit is properly seated before he starts unscrewing the bolts. If it isnt properly seated and you have an alloy wheel which doesnt have too much clearance, then the alloy wheel will get scratched. IF it is seated properly, there is no chance of your alloy getting scratched.

Now is the time to tell the technician of any problems you are having. Pulling to one side, wobbling, vibrations, etc...

Pulling problems occur sometimes due to a variation of air pressure from one side to another. So, if you say you are having a pulliung problem, the technician will check the air pressures and make sure that there is no difference there.

When he removes the tyre, make sure he checks air pressure first before balancing.

While balancing, if you have an alloy wheel, always ask for the technician to use sticker weights. There are clamp weights available too for some alloy wheels with a lip. Not recommended.

While putting the sticker weights, make sure he cleans that part of the wheel properly before seating the weight. If that part is dirty, then the weight might easily fall off.

When the wheel is brought down from the balancing machine, make sure the technician taps the weights into place. Usually, the technicians dont stick the weights properly the first time round becauce if they have to remove it, it will be easier. This though is redundant if the place is using a modern balancer. Old balancers sometimes were not very good at repeatablity.

When balancing is done and the tyres are about to be fitted, make sure the direction of the tyre is proper if you have a unidirectional tyre. Most technicians dont make this mistake but if you are also awake, the chances of any mistake happening is even lesser.

While tightening the bolts, make sure the technicians turn it once or twice with their hand first. Otherwise, the threading of the nut and bolt will get screwed. No pun intended

While using the gun, again make sure that the bit is properly seated on the bolt before pressing the trigger.

When your car goes in for alignment, again tell the technician of any problems you are having. Steering not centred, pulling, etc. Always ask for a printed report of your car once the alignment is done as this will show you the work that the technicians have done. What angles were off, what they have corrected, etc...

Once the alignment is done, go for a test drive. This shouldnt be a problem if you follow the first rule i.e Dont be in a hurry. If everything is fine, bye bye! Happy journey.

If something is wrong, come back and explain the problem to the alignment technician.
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