A fun day of auto service

A year or so ago I posted here for advice on tire selection. I've noticed higher mileage tires tend not to hold their balance for the life of the tire, and so I wanted a tire service package that included
lifetime balance and rotation. And because I knew I'd be moving I needed to buy from a place with national coverage. So those requirements pointed to Walmart.
So, in my new location, Saturday I went in for an oil change and tire rotate/balance. The service writer was obviously struggling with the computer, but since he was probably new, I didn't complain. (I found out later he was from another department and working as service writer because an injury prevented him from doing his regular job.)
Me: I want an oil change with 10W30 and a tire rotate and balance. The tire work is free because I have the tire protection plan. (Handed him the receipt at this point.)
SW: (after struggling with the computer for a while and apparently being uable to locate me) Have you been here before?
Me: Not this location (note he had my receipt which listed the location)
So he struggled along, finally producing a work order with my old address and phone number, not asking me for my current address and phone
SW: Do you want a warranty on the tire work?
Me: Its warranty, or tire protection plan, whatever you want to call it. I already paid for lifetime rotate and balance.
So he took my keys and off I went to amuse myself.
Then I realized I had also wanted wiper refills, so went back and told the SW to please add that. So he went out and told the mechanic.
After an extending period of time, slightly over two hours, the truck was done (this store has help wanted signs up, and this was the second time I'd been there... the first time there were about 10 people ahead of me and after 20 minutes with the line barely moving I decided to return later).
So, before going over to pay, I went to the truck and checked the oil change sticker to see if it said 10W30. It did. (I had a previous incident where the automotive experts at Walmart couldn't understand that "preferred" didn't mean "required" - the oil filler cap says 5W30 is preferred - and put in 5W30 despite my request. I'm sorry... I've run 5W30 in a snow blower and its so thin it won't stay on the dipstick long enough to read the level... not what I want in the truck.)
There were new wiper refills on the truck and marks on the wheels where old weights had been located. Cool. I went in to pay.
So I got the same SW for checkout, and ahead of me in line was a woman trying to recover her car. They couldn't find the bill.
Me: (to the woman) Y'know if they can't find the bill, its free!
Woman: (laugh) Oh, I'll pay.
Manager: (to SW) Here's the bill. Someone else paid it and so somewhere we have an unpaid bill around.
Me: (to woman, whisper) Tell them you'll pay the lesser of the two bills.
Woman: (laugh) You're funny.
Manager to SW: Here, let me show you how to print another bill.
So finally they got the woman checked out, the manager went back to the shop, and it was my turn.
SW: $59.xx.
Me: That's not my bill.
SW: (reads bill) Oil change, tire service...
Me: (interupting) No, the tire service is free under the tire protection plan. Its an oil change plus wiper refills.
So off he goes to find the manager.
They get the ring up voided, and the manager shows the SW how to scan a new ticket and over ride the tire service prices to zero. Then he leaves.
So they hit me with the bill, which is now $30 and I paid it.
Getting home, I walked around the truck and noticed this was a lazy tire rotation. Wheels with disc brake dust were on both rear locations and the slightly thinner tread tires were both on the right side, meaning this was a simple front to rear rotation when it should have been either circular for someone somewhat less lazy, or an x rotation for someone really paying attention.
Then I looked at the receipt... and saw with happiness they really did figure out the 4.7 is a six quart engine... well at least that's what they charged me for. And, the kicker... in redoing the invoice, they forgot to charge for the wiper refills.
I figure with the long wait and the struggle with the trainee SW, free wiper refills was cheaper for them than a complaint call by me to the big wigs.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Is a cross rotation recommended for your truck? I know it isn't for mine.
Ken
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Don't know. However, in this situation, with more wear on the right side (my fault since I went about 10,000 without a rotation) the x seems appropriate to me.
I hadn't driven the truck at any speed at the time I first posted about this. Got out on the highway later and found out it still has the shake. So either they didn't do a good balance or (supported by, addtionally, a new drift to the left) it has a bad tire. So it looks like I'll have a chance to evaluate their diagnostic skills.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I'm sure that there are others here with more expertise on this area than me, but I don't remember having a vehicle that cross-rotation was recommended on since I've been buying cars with OEM radial tires. The alternate rotation pattern in my truck's owner's manual is front to back on the left side, right rear to spare, spare to the front, and front to the back on the right side.
The diagnostic skills test will be a good indicator of their knowledge and skill levels. Good luck.
Ken
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

I admit I haven't researched the issue. However, when they don't furnish an alloy wheel with the spare, that sort of takes the spare out of the picture, unless there's a lot of extra effort.
I do recall from years ago seeing an x rotation pattern in some book or manual. My view is that without unidirectional tires and with the spare out of the picture, a clockwise rotation pattern is preferred, with the x acceptable in a situation where rotation is a bit overdue and extra right side wear is present.

I don't expect much. I figure I'll have to help them. However, its difficult for a customer to establish with repair people that he knows anything about auto repair.

Thank you. You recognize it will probably be necessary to have some good luck!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.