VIP - VIP, Biddeford, ME - 2001 Honda accord buzzing sound in front end - tires not balanced properly

Posted on Sunday, December 28th, 2003 at 12:00am CST by a66de67a

Product: 2001 Honda Accord

Company: VIP

Location: BIDDEFORD, ME, US

Category: Cars, Motorcycles, Boats, Vehicles

VIP anyone? I don't think so!

My ordeal started when my 2001 Honda Accord developed a buzzing sound in the front-end. It was diagnosed as tire noise. I went to VIP in Biddeford, ME to get 4 new Pirelli tires, and an oil change. I paid for the tires and drove home on RT1 at relatively slow speeds. The buzzing sound was still there, so the same day I dropped the car off at the Honda dealership in Saco. They diagnosed the problem as failed front bearings, and promptly replaced them. Honda paid for the parts.

I drove the car home on the turnpike and felt a strong vibration at speeds over 60 MPH. So the next morning I went back to VIP to get the tires rebalanced. There was nothing wrong with the balance according to VIP. I planned to work that day, so I drove the car on the turnpike on my way to New Hampshire. The vibration was still there, so I turned around and went back to the dealership in Saco. They checked the car, rebalanced the tires, and took it for a test drive. Still, there was a vibration.

The Honda mechanic suspected a bad tire, and sent me back to VIP. I picked out another set of tires (Multi Mile), and after an hour I was back on the turnpike. Again, there was a strong vibration in the car, and again, it was back to the dealership in Saco. The Honda mechanic replaced my four rims with rims from a similar Accord and took the car for a test drive. Beautiful, the car drove like a dream. So the problem was diagnosed as either tire or rim problems.

As a last resort I had Honda rebalance the tires. The mechanic laughed, the first tire had not been balanced, and needed a few ounces on either side. The second tire wasn't round, you could clearly see that the thread was wobbling. So I told the mechanic to replace the MultiMile tires with dealer recommended tires. An hour later we took the car for a test drive, and I was delighted to feel no vibration at all. With the four MultiMile tires in the back I went back to VIP to demand my money back.

I had an argument with the mechanic, who supposedly worked on Hondas 'all the time' and he didn't feel anything while test driving the car (at low speeds). The in-charge person didn't have the authorization to return my money, and told me to show up early the next morning and talk to the manager. So, next morning I was back at VIP to talk to the manager.

He had to talk to the tire rep first before being able to refund me for the tires, and due to the holidays that wouldn't be for a few days. I went to work, but within 30 minutes got a call that they would refund the money that day. I went back that afternoon and got a refund for the tires + tax, which still put me in the hole because I paid for tire balancing. There was no apology from the manager, just the words "see the cashier for a refund".

To top it off, VIP did an oil change and used the wrong oil for a Honda Accord. The oil change special includes 10-30 oil, but my Accord takes 5-20, which is written right on the oil fill cap. According to the mechanic that's the only oil that they use, unless the customer asks. If Honda specifies 5-20, I see that as a requirement, so I had them drain the 10-30 oil out and replace with the recommended oil.

I have no idea what tires VIP buys, or what type of mechanics they hire, but I would strongly recommend never setting a foot inside a VIP store.


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