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Old 08-23-2000, 07:24 AM   #1
Bohanan @ work
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 836
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Houston, TX
Angry Big rant about NTB

My new RE71s came in yesterday, and I was "lucky" enough to take it somewhere to have them mounted and balanced.

I picked NTB for two simple reasons. One, they were $30 cheaper than Discount Tire. Second, this particular NTB is a new store in my area and I like to support the local businesses when possible.

I dropped the car off about 6 and picked it up about 10 minutes before they close at 8. The first thing that was noticable was how great the tires handled around some low speed corners. Really nice. I get on the freeway and I start feeling a bad vibration at 60. It gets worse the faster I go.

Ok, two thoughts enter my mind. Either the tires are not balanced right or the tires are out of round. No biggie. I'll just have my wife take the car by today and get it taken care of.

I get home and start checking out the tires to see if I can see any blatant problems. Good thing I took the time to look. They scratched the hell out of every wheel!!!! Grrr... Now I'm pissed. Two wheels look like the clamped the weight on then PUSHED it around the wheel! It took all the finish off down to the metal.

One wheel with the least amount of damage still has scratches all over the area where the original weight was. I even tried washing the wheels to see if some of the stuff would come off. Nada.

I don't know if the little workers bees at NTB were in a hurry to get out of there and get on with there lives or what. I'm so hot over this it's not funny. (And I don't mean hot in a good, c'mere baby kind of way either.) Looks like the store manager and whoever is above him will be getting a little visit and phone call today.

At the very least I'm hoping they'll fess up and pay to have the wheels refinished. If they do, I'll try to get them powder coated (black of course!). If not, the fur is going to fly and all will not be paradise in the land of NTB.

I've used Discount Tire forever and never had a problem with them scratching even the custom wheels on my Civic. It really sucks to think that I might have avoided this if I wasn't worried about saving a few bucks. I know there's no guarantee that it wouldn't have happened there, but sheesh, this is down right incompetent!

Maybe this is a sign that I should have bought the 17" Prodrive 7s and used my stock wheels for racing rubber. Yeah! That's it! That's the ticket! Just wait until I tell my wife I've figured it out. I'm sure she'll just jump at the chance to get them for me.

Sorry for the long post and all the ranting, but this was absolutely pathetic service and workmanship. Doesn't anyone take pride in their job anymore, regardless of what it may be?

Adam - Peeved and Disenchanted In Texas
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Old 08-23-2000, 07:39 AM   #2
Scooby Guru
Member#: 114
Join Date: Jul 1999
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: Wichita, KS and Whoring, OT
'03 Evo, Rice White
'01 Erion CBR 929


I have my tires mounted at REAL local businesses-- not chainstores that happen to be in the area-- who sell a lot of nice wheels every day and have the proper tools and training to not damage rims.

One of them uses a Hunter GPS9700, which is *the ****** for wheel balancers but it's pretty expensive so I usually go to the other shop for mundane balancing.

[This message has been edited by ColinL (edited August 23, 2000).]
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Old 08-23-2000, 07:40 AM   #3
Choke Artist
Member#: 603
Join Date: Dec 1999
Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: Nashua, NH

Good luck. Let us know how it turns out. The NTB near my house actually mounted 215/45/17 Yokohama A520's on my OZ SuperTurismos and didnt scratch them. I was impressed. Although I did let it be known that I was very concerned about them before hand.

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Old 08-23-2000, 01:30 PM   #4
Bohanan @ work
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Member#: 836
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Houston, TX

Colin, you're so right. I should've done more research on what equipment was being used by the various shops. I'll definitely look into it for future reference. You'd think a big chain like NTB that sells custom wheels & tires would have some ability to not screw up a customer's new expensive wheels.

y2k4door, I should've mentioned something about that too. It didn't cross my mind. I must've been too excited about trying those tires out!

So far it looks like they are going to pay to get the wheels refinished. I'm just waiting to hear on the rent car. Unfortunately they say it'll take 3-4 days to get the wheels done. I'll miss the race this Sunday for sure! That sucks.
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Old 08-23-2000, 03:11 PM   #5
Tim K.
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 214
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Sumter, SC
2014 Massey Ferguson


That's what I did. Stock rims for race rubber, aftermarket for street.

Are they using weights which clamp on the outer edge of the rim? A good shop will use the weights that actually stick to the rim and can be mounted on the inside of the wheel (near the center of the rim width). If you are worried about them flying off, a small piece of 300 mph tape over the weight will do nicely.

Good Luck!
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Old 08-23-2000, 05:18 PM   #6
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Member#: 518
Join Date: Nov 1999
Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: Trunkmonkey Racing
762 PGT Impreza L,
Silverado EXT, Yaris


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Old 08-24-2000, 05:49 AM   #7
Bohanan @ work
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 836
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Houston, TX

Tim, yeah they used the clamp on weights. The original ones were like that too. I'll have to make sure they don't use those when I get the wheels fixed.

I'm going by the wheel place at lunch today to have him look at them. Maybe I can persuade him they are too messed up to fix. NTB said they'd buy me a set of wheels if they couldn't be fixed. Yeah, in my dreams. At the very least I'm going to ask about getting them redone in a different color. Anthracite and Black are at the top of the list.

Sean, I read your review. What a nightmare! Glad you finally got it resolved. I'm beginning to feel the same way. My experience with a Sears service center was years ago. I get the car home and try to locate the source of a new noise under the hood. The idiots left tools in the engine bay! Those dorks. Thanks, I needed a new wrench and screwdriver.
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Old 08-24-2000, 06:40 AM   #8
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 1709
Join Date: Jun 2000
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: Cleveland, Oh
1998 Impreza 2.5rs
Black - SOLD


I could post a very long thread with many reasons why I HaTe NTB, but I'll keep it simple. Every experience i've had there, has not been a good one. Maybe it's bad luck or just flat out bad service.

Oh i forgot! ...
I can say one thing they did right. They patched a tire for me

Just my 2

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Old 08-24-2000, 09:04 AM   #9
Matthew Nelson
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 2174
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Overland Park, KS
2000 Impreza 2.5 RS
Blue Ridge Pearl

Thumbs down

I wish you would've asked me regarding my experiences with NTB before you gave them your business.

Not quite two years ago, I asked NTB to mount a new set of tires on my Nissan (the only reason I returned to NTB is because I'd purchased my wheels and tires from them). I was told the entire operation would be complete in two hours, and I'd be called when they were finished.

Two hours passed...no word. I waited another hour for good measure, then decided to find out what was going on. After waiting on hold for a good fifteen minutes, I was asked again, "What's the make and model of your car?" Like they didn't know.

I come to find out NTB "lost" my key to my wheellock set. They stripped the old locks (a very nice set of wheellocks) and told me I'd have to purchase a new set. Of course, I'd be reimbursed, but the set couldn't be over twenty dollars.

I purchased a cheap set of wheellocks (fully functional, but ugly nonetheless), returned to NTB, and waited for another two hours for them to finish the botched job. When I paid for the new tires and labor, I inquired about a discount for my troubles (waiting for my car, running to auto store, buying new locks, returning to NTB, generally wasing time). Not only would they not give me a discount, but I was told I would not be reimbursed for the wheellock set I purchased. No explanation.

Just subsequent to my problems, I wrote a letter to the corporate brass of NTB informing them of my troubles. I didn't complain, just notified them of my disappointment and dissatisfaction with the whole fiasco. No response.

Since that time, I've just about maimed several people for telling me they were going to "check out" NTB because their prices are cheaper. I simply tell them of my experience(s), and let them know they're running the risk of getting screwed unless they take their business elsewhere.
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Old 08-24-2000, 09:23 AM   #10
Warden of NASIOC Timeout
Super Moderator
Member#: 592
Join Date: Dec 1999
Chapter/Region: TXIC
Location: P-Ville, Texas
'08 X3 3.0si 6MT
'09 135i 6MT & '08 STi


I took my OBS to the NTB of FM1960 ONCE. Never again. I had them do a balancing and an alignment. After THREE HOURS, I was told that my tires were "EXTREMELY" out of balance and that they corrected it...and my alignment was way off. Well, well...

When I got on HWY 249, my steering wheel vibrated a /lot/ - the car pulled to the left. I nailed a U-Turn the next day (with a friend sitting in the back) and my rear passenger tire scraped against the top of the wheel well! I didn't think much of it/tried to block it out...the next day, we went to Home Depot to pick up some mulch. We loaded in MAYBE 200-300lbs of mulch...BOTH rear tires were scraping the outside wheel well lips...I had to leave several bags just to be able to make it home.

I took the car to West Houston, who did a proper alignment (which they said was horrible), and a decent balancing. Story doesn't end here though.

I took the car to Trey Cobb's shortly after this, and was told that the way that West Houston (more specifically, the place West Houston has do it) didn't put the wheel weights on properly! No worry, since I was getting the T1 Plusses, but still...gah.

I've yet to find a one-stop place I can trust to get tires balanced and an alignment done. For now, West Houston gets my alignment business...maybe I'll visit Trey every 3k-5k miles for a rebalancing.

NTB - Everything you want, nothing like you'd expect. - That's right. I expected competancy and timely service.

P.S. - NEVER, EVER take your car to ASS (America's Service Station) to have ANYTHING done. They overcharge, do a worse job than ANYONE I've ever seen, and are generally incompetant. Service to swear at, not by.)

[This message has been edited by SabreLion (edited August 24, 2000).]
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Old 08-24-2000, 01:55 PM   #11
Bohanan @ work
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 836
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Houston, TX
Have a Nice Day?

Yowza! I should have posted something before I even went over there! That would have possibly saved me all this trouble.
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Old 08-24-2000, 04:30 PM   #12
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 223
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Ohio
1999 Impreza 2.5RS-T
Aspen White


I, too have had a horrible and time-wasting experience with NTB. They mounted my 17" wheels and tires for me...balanced completely wrong...and did an alignment. The car pulled to the left...even after 3 return trips and the same "factory specs" and "tire to other rims" BS. I finally went to Subaru and got the specs for a REAL alignment and went to a different NTB where I had the guy set it to the specs I wanted. The alignment guy was pissed because it took him forever to get it perfect, but oh well...tough luck! Oh, the original "within specs" alignment had the front toe set so the tires were both pointed left.
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Old 08-25-2000, 01:58 AM   #13
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 1987
Join Date: Jul 2000
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: Southern NJ
2005 Legacy GT Ltd
Obscene #FFFFFF


Bohanan, please post pics if you get them finished in a diff color, thanks. I think its something NTB should do to make up for the damage and lost car-time.
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Old 08-25-2000, 06:09 AM   #14
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 165
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Boston, MA USA

dood, that sux.

how come you didn't have your dealer mount the tires?

when i called ntb for a quote awhile back, it was like 30 bucks a tire....comes out to 120 bucks...

called my dealership...they sed it'd take an hour (at 72 bucks an hour).

way to save 50 bucks...plus if they mess up, they can replace it...
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Old 08-26-2000, 10:01 AM   #15
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 1421
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Long Island, NY USA
1997 OBSuperSport
Arcadia Green


Sears Auto in Nanuet, NY gouged every(all four) 15x7 alloys mounting Dunlop D60A2s.

After presenting the service manager with a receipt for over $800 for New Wheels from Subaru, Sears cut me a check for the $800 and change. He told me to bring the rims in when they are replaced, but who doesn't need good winter rims?

Best of luck getting while getting your wheels replaced or re-finished.


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Old 08-26-2000, 07:12 PM   #16
Scooby Guru
Member#: 1844
Join Date: Jul 2000
Chapter/Region: TXIC
Location: Edna, TX
1970 Scout
Gold, Tan, Rust, Primer


Very soory to hear about your wheels. I have never liked NTB one because I worked at discount for a summer and two because NTB is horrible. They just don't care about peoples stuff. I still have friendds that work at discount and will be getting my wheels at cost. If I can raise the money.
BTW, I have had my car for almost three months and hit 10000 miles today. I drive WAY to much!
Adam, I will not be able to make it to the meeting at D&B on Sat.. Found out that I am going to the Frio for Labor Day this weekend. Hope to get together with you guys some other time.
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Old 08-27-2000, 07:43 AM   #17
Tim K.
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 214
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Sumter, SC
2014 Massey Ferguson


For most of my mounting and balancing needs I head over to a locally owned shop - Norman's Tire Center. He takes care of our truck tires, tractor tires, and both our cars too. I know the owner and mechanics by name. It helps.

Norman doesn't mind that I buy my tires from the Tire Rack. He doesn't carry what I need. He charges me the same for mounting them as if I had bought tires from them.

Heck, we got new tires for my wife's car delivered via UPS. She went down to Norman's and drove out with them mounted and balanced in under an hour.

Its worthwhile to develop a relationship with a shop. It helps.


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Old 08-27-2000, 08:37 AM   #18
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 722
Join Date: Jan 2000
Chapter/Region: TXIC
Location: Spring, TX
04 WRX Wagon/01 Odyssey


Thanks everyone for your comments and concern. I will try to get pics asap.

shuman, I really didn't think about taking it to a dealer. My dealer, at least the one I bought the car from, is over 300 miles away. I'll check with the locals and see what they have to say.

skel, sorry to hear you won't be there. We'll keep you posted of other meetings/events.

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