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Author Topic: Batterys/Camp WalMart, change of tune  (Read 2815 times)
jjrbus
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« on: September 16, 2007, 09:31:54 AM »

I've always hyped the advantages of buying tires and battery's at WalMart. They are like chickenman, they are every where.
 About 3 1/2 years ago I was 99.5% sure I needed a new battery, went to Wal Mart on Niagara Falls Blvd in Tonawanda NY was told the battery was good they would not replace it! I was sure it was the battery and became very demanding, they relented and gave me a new battery. No more problems with toad!
 I have recently had a couple of starting problems with toad not starting. I checked and am 90% sure it is the battery had it checked twice and same thing Battery test s good we will not replace it, even getting belligerent and demanding they will not give in. That is here at the Wallys in Cape Coral FL.
 Go out last Sunday morning, van will not start. Normally I will replace a starting battery at the first sing of a problem, but I am thinking of replacing toad and do not want to spend the money. But enough is enough!! I cant possible be that cheap, can I?
 So I go across the street to the generic auto parts place and buy a battery. it's Sunday I cant go to NAPA. Its been a week, no more problems.
 So anyway, I take back anything good I have said about the advantages of buying battery's at Wally's!!!!!
 I'm not replacing toad after all turns out $4000 Worth of transmission and emissions work as determined by dealer and independent transmission shop was fixed with a $4 elbow and transmission fluid change!
 So now I need to replace tires, I hate to shoot myself in the foot, but I don't want to buy the tires from Wallys!!! The only other national store I can think of is Sears.
 
 
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« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2007, 09:40:56 AM »

We refuse to buy tires at Wal-Mart.  The last time we did, the tire wasn't so great and the service was terrible.  They weren't that busy but after waiting 2 hrs I went back and asked about my car.  They asked me to go into the bay with them and pick out my keys.  Everything about their attitude was terrible.  I got mad and stated that they had lost my keys.  They said they didn't loose them, they just didn't know where they were.  Then we had to wait another 30 min for them to put on the new tire.  They knew we were in the store waiting but didn't bother to page me to inform me that they had "forgotten" where they put my keys.  After all that, the charge was higher than what they told me it would be and  never even apologized for the higher fee, or the time wasted while they were looking for my keys.  I would only buy from Wal-Mart again if it was an absolute emergency.  Cat
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« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2007, 09:58:15 AM »

Want some cheese with that? Grin

3 1/2 years on a battery is a good thing. Most daily use vehicles that travel only short distances tend to abuse batteries. I usually try to get the maximum life out a battery but sometimes stuff happens and they just go weak. 2 Years is about average for an abused battery.

The second and third part of the problem is: NY & FL Wal-Marts. Not that they are a real problem but sometimes getting warranties to work from store to store is a problem mainly due to different suppliers in different regions.

Let's say that Walmart in Your section of Florida sells batteries. They may or may not be private labeled. They may be made by a small facility local to the store. Or by one of the better people like Interstate. However. Even brand names have different local suppliers
and they are the ones that have to eat the losses from defective products back through the supply chain. Walmart is only a dealer. Dealers have to send stuff back to the supplier at their expense or write off the item(s) totally.

Chances are if they are anything like K-Mart used to be with their automotive department you are dealing with a series of subcontractors. I suspect this is the case and each store may have a different subcontractor and generally makes things difficult for them to absorb losses.

We as the consumer want things done and honored by the dealer. You have to be very careful just who you are really dealing with. Even NAPA stores are mostly a branded operation that uses franchises with local owners. They are less willing to honor warranties from other "franchise dealers" than the company stores.

AutoZone, Advanced/Discount Auto Parts, O'Reilly's and other BIG brand stores are somewhat different, Their products are generally covered if their name is on it much better than some of the big box places.

Everyone gets treated differently depending on where you go and your attitude...

Life is funny that way.....
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« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2007, 10:13:51 AM »

Rather than buying from one specific store, buy a national brand of tires-like Michelin, Bridgestone, Firestone, Goodyear, Yokohama, etc and buy national brand of batteries like Interstate, Exide, Trojan, etc so you can go to a multitude of outlets for warranty work instead of buying the El Cheapo no brand that makes you a slave to whatever store that was bought from.  Good Luck, TomC
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« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2007, 10:16:43 AM »

What Tom said!
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« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2007, 11:06:24 AM »

In the southwest, southeast, and some areas of the northern midwest, I recommend Discount Tire for car tires.

Inexpensive, lots of options from off-brands to brand names, usually quite quick, and in our experience they stand behind their service and warrantee, no questions asked. Put a nail in it? They fix it no charge. I've seen them replace an entire set of tires with less than 50% life left at no charge because there was a question as to whether the problem was caused by a defect.

They said they could even get me bus/truck tires, but their shops don't have the facilities for mounting them.
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« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2007, 12:33:04 PM »

Facilities consist of one guy, pickup truck, air compressor, 1" impact wrench with sockets, 2-tire spoons, couple blocks of wood, tire cage if available,
air chuck, valvestem tool, 20 or 44 ton rolling bottle jack. Oh and a helper bar....

That is normal, The same guy that changes them on the side of the road is the facility....

These guys toss those tires and rims around like they are weightless......( Ow!!! )....

He prefers a solid spot to do the work too.... concrete preferred...

As to places with balancers, shapers and automated mounting equipment about the only places that I have seen those are companies that do fleets and lots of trucks.

Want balancing? The guy throws a bag of powder in the tire before he inflates it and sets the bead.... Real Rocket science....
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« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2007, 12:52:00 PM »

Wally's has impressed me with only the boundless depth they can descend to in the persuit of a penny.
That's not a good thing.

I only shop at Wally's when there aren't any alternatives.

As simple as mounting a tire is, I've had the bigger local tire stores damage rims on numerous occasions.

When I go to a tire store, I ask if they can handle my rims (Stock alloy), & each time I was assured that they would be no problem. - Well the yahoos that did the work messed the rims up & the store pointed to a small print disclaimer that said they weren't responsible for alloy rims! go figure Angry

Anyways, I've found a small shop that is carefull in their work & even eats the cost of fixing his oops if he were to damage something. Cool A shop like that gets ALL the business I can send his way!
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« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2007, 02:05:33 PM »

Hey Moderators,
What has happened to the rule posted at the begining of the BB that states: "No bad mouthing of any business or individual is permitted"? I remember thay recently onemule had a comment about MAK and it was deleted, and rightly so, very quickly, Why are threads like this one any different? In general you moderators do an excellent job and I know how difficult it is to keep the board on the straight and narrow.
Thanks for your good work, Sam 4106
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« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2007, 02:53:29 PM »

My dismal personal experience is that any business in Fla will not treat you fairly if you are from out of state and that includes SEARS.  Note: I did say that this is my personal experience so I am relating history and not "Bad mouthing" anyone.  I sure have enough good to say about a lot of folks and I have never been chastized for that so lets get over the double standard and missrepresentations.


Still, I love ya all,

John
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« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2007, 03:02:24 PM »

John,

Its not the True Floridians doing that to ya!

Its all those Damn Northerners who came to visit and then wouldn't leave!   Grin  Grin

Oh yeah, we love your money   you too!  LOL

Cliff
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« Reply #11 on: September 16, 2007, 05:12:35 PM »

Hey Moderators,
What has happened to the rule posted at the begining of the BB that states: "No bad mouthing of any business or individual is permitted"? I remember thay recently onemule had a comment about MAK and it was deleted, and rightly so, very quickly, Why are threads like this one any different? In general you moderators do an excellent job and I know how difficult it is to keep the board on the straight and narrow.
Thanks for your good work, Sam 4106

Hi Sam,
I haven't seen any slander or bad mouthing about the business talked about above yet. No one has "yet" told us not to go to that store or
bring any suite against them on this BB. They have just told of non detrimental instances on policy's and warranty's.
Let me know if they do!

Regards
Nick-
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jjrbus
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« Reply #12 on: September 16, 2007, 06:01:55 PM »

I was not badmouthing, I simply withdrew my endorsement. Nor was I whining, as a red blooded Yankee it is my God given right to whine, I'll do it anyplace and time that I like. But this time I was not whining. Simply pointing out Wally's change in corporate policy. I am starting to get a bad taste in my mouth about FL business's and may start whining about that!
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« Reply #13 on: September 16, 2007, 06:08:24 PM »

 Grin Grin Grin
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« Reply #14 on: September 16, 2007, 06:10:27 PM »

I'm no particullar fan of WM's treatment of employees but in my small town there is very little choice.

After saying that I will say that I've never had any problem with either battery or tire adjustments. No questions asked and I've probably returned a dozen batteries over the past 20 years and I do buy a lot of batteries since I have over 20 vehicles/tractors etc.

My most recent battery return the WM auto manager said it tested ok but I could have a new one if I wanted. I told him the battery didn't test good on my tester and I would take a new one. No problem at all.

Just because I'm an Arkie doesn't mean I love WM but I sure like having so many battery and tire outlets around the country.
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« Reply #15 on: September 16, 2007, 06:26:10 PM »

I've had one good battery from wally world,  Awsome battery, took lots of abuse,  it was a sealed battery with the green eye.  I can't find them anywhere anymore.  That battery suffered thru may light leaving ons, bad alt on Horse Pasture Road,  idle times when car not driven, was a boat battery when the wally boat batteries didn't last,  was a genny start battery, put back in car and sold it with car.  Eye would be black, and just put it on charger & would be fine.


Have had good luck on car tire s at sears,  life time balance and rotate.  use it to park up front during holiday season if the dreaded mall must be attended.  Hadn't purchased bus tires yet.
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« Reply #16 on: September 16, 2007, 06:51:03 PM »

I purchased 2 group 31 batteries at a Walmart last October in NC because my other batteries were failing and out of warrantee. 2 1/2 weeks later one of the new batteries fail in South GA. I tested it with a load tester and it showed "BAD". I took the battery and my tester into the local WalMart and told the lady the battery was bad. She said "we have to test it". I said "I can test it right here". I put the load tester on it and it showed "BAD". She said "I cannot replace it with the same battery because that is a "North" battery and all we have are "South"  battery. Same battery model number with an N or S after the number. Same price but less cranking amps.  I have not purchased a battery from WalMart since then.  As anther mentioned, I go with a national brand like Interstate, Exude, Trojan, etc.  Jack
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« Reply #17 on: September 16, 2007, 08:24:39 PM »

I was not badmouthing, I simply withdrew my endorsement. Nor was I whining, as a red blooded Yankee it is my God given right to whine, I'll do it anyplace and time that I like. But this time I was not whining. Simply pointing out Wally's change in corporate policy. I am starting to get a bad taste in my mouth about FL business's and may start whining about that!

Jim,

Balh...Blah...Blah...Blah...Blah... Are you whinning again?  Lol
If theese big company's keep changing their policys, we might see fire comming from your ears too.
Just for fun!
Nick-

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« Reply #18 on: September 17, 2007, 03:48:22 AM »

Hi jjrbus,
Now that I know that you were not 'bad mouthing" I apologize for thinking that you were.
Now, to help me evaluate whether Wal-Mart treated you fairly or not, I need to know the terms of the warranty and how long you used the original battery that was replaced in NY. But, since you said that you used the free replacement battery for three and a half years, under the terms of the battery warranties that I am familiar with you wouldn't be eligible for a new battery anyway, even if the original battery had been replaced in the first week. Battery warranties normally only provide free replacement for the first year and coverage is pro-rated after that.
Let me use an example of a battery that has a five year warranty and it fails on the 364th day. I take it in and get a new one free. Now, here is where it could get confusing. With the replacement battery I only have four years remaining on the warranty, since I have already used one year of coverage with the original. So, if the replacement battery lasts four more years, the two batteries have lasted a total of five years and I have no warranty remaining
If your two batteries lasted a total of whatever your warranty period was, Wal-Mart was correct in refusing to give you any settlement at all. I suspect that is the case. But, even if your warranty period hadn't fully expired, they would only be obligated to adjust the cost of a new battery on a pro-rated basis. since you had at least three and a half years of use of the two batteries. IF Wal-Mart uses the common warranty.
If, I am wrong about any of my theory, I apologize again.
Good luck, Sam 4106
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« Reply #19 on: September 17, 2007, 04:08:56 AM »

 The original battery had a 7 year warrenty and went bad within a few months, so I was in the pro rated part of the warrenty.
 
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« Reply #20 on: September 17, 2007, 05:41:55 AM »

I think part of the problem is how WalMart test the battery.  I took a battery in to our local Walmart a couple years ago because if our truck sat for 2-3 days, it would not start. (the battery was self discharging). WalMart said "leave the battery and we will test it"  I asked why I had to leave the battery for them to test it? They said "first we have to put it on a charger to make sure it is charged, then we will test it"  I asked the young man "what about the surface charge that will show when you do this?" All I got was a puzzled look.  I do not how they test batteries today, this was several years ago. I think one reason they have clamped down on replacing batteries is too many people would buy a battery, then return it a couple days before the warrantee expired, to get a new one.  Jack
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« Reply #21 on: September 18, 2007, 09:39:54 AM »

Hi Jack,
The person at Wal-Mart was correct in his testing method. If you load test a discharged battery, what do you think the result will be? You guessed it, BAD, so to accurately load test a battery it has to be fully charged. The puzzled look the young man gave you just showed that he was inexperienced and had never heard the term surface charge before. If a bad battery is load tested immediatly after being charged the surface charge goes away very fast, if a load tester of adaquate size is used. You may have experianced this yourself if you have tried to start an engine with a bad battery after just charging the battery. I have. The engine may try to turn over but then the solonoid just clicks after the surface charge is depleted. Something that may show that a battery is good when in fact it isn't, is not leaving it on long enough or using a load tester that is too small for the battery being tested. A hand held load tester appropriate for a group 24 battery will not be large enough for an 8D battery and may not be large enough for a group 31.
Good luck, Sam 4106
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« Reply #22 on: September 19, 2007, 11:10:53 AM »

Hi Jack,
I recieved the September issue of "National Bus Trader" magazine today and there is an article about load testing batteries in it on pages 36 and 37. If you don't subscribe to that magazine I would be happy to make a copy of the article and send it to you.
Thanks, Sam 4106
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« Reply #23 on: September 19, 2007, 11:41:09 AM »

Sam,
   
We do the same with our large commercial banks of UPS batteries   

The maintenace chargers will put a static charge on a bad battery, the equipment monitors the group voltage and will not show a fault on a single battery, but once under load they will fail.

We always put a battery under a full individual charge before we load test it.

Many times I have seen your untrained store battery jockey say a battery is still good after a charge, even though it shows marginal to weak voltage reading under a load test, multiple load tests over a short period will usually prove that it is bad. 

A good battery will recover and show good.

Cliff

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« Reply #24 on: September 19, 2007, 01:23:46 PM »

Hi Jack,
I recieved the September issue of "National Bus Trader" magazine today and there is an article about load testing batteries in it on pages 36 and 37. If you don't subscribe to that magazine I would be happy to make a copy of the article and send it to you.
Thanks, Sam 4106

Sam,
    I do not subscribe to NBT anymore, but I would appreciate the article.  Thanks, Jack
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