David's Tire

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rhanson1

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Feb 23, 2012
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I know that criticisms of well established businesses are not always appreciated and can sometimes result in accusations of lying or exaggerating or simply being an entitled American who can’t seem to adjust. Nevertheless my experience today was so egregious that I feel an obligation to share it, so here goes.

I have always taken my car to David’s Tire in Sosua for routine service such as oil changes, tire mounting, or battery replacement, and I have always been very satisfied with their work. I have found them to provide excellent service and inexpensive pricing. My experience today was unfortunately very different when I went there for a simple oil change.

Business was slow and I was the only customer in the place. One of the reasons I always liked that place was because I can stand nearby to watch them work. But this time I was instructed to go sit on the coach in front of the office, so I dutifully obeyed. They raised my car up on the lift to drain the oil and immediately after lowering it I noticed the boss man removing my right rear wheel. That wheel was on the blind side of my car opposite from where I was sitting so I could not see what was going on and could not understand why they were removing my wheel for an oil change. The boss man rolled my wheel over to me and said, “I’m sorry but I have some very bad news for you”. He then pointed to a half-inch wide sliver of metal embedded in the tread of my tire. He told me that the tire was old and should probably be replaced. He promised to give me a great price on a new tire. I told him that I was not prepared to buy a new tire today and instructed him to put the wheel back on the car. I told him that that the tire has not been losing any air and that perhaps the metal sliver that was embedded in the tread had not punctured the inner lining of the tire. He offered to remove the metal sliver but I told him not to touch it. He insisted that I should at least let him remove the tire from the wheel to inspect the inside of the tire and repair it. After much back and forth I finally relented.

Within 2 minutes of rolling my wheel over the tire mounting machine, he returned and announced that he had repaired the tire. I have never seen a tire repaired so quickly. I asked if he could balance the wheel before putting it back on my car and he said, “we don’t balance rear wheels – there’s no need to. We only balance front wheels.” I was becoming suspicious of the entire transaction by now, so I just shook my head and said ok.

When the oil change was complete and I was leaving the garage, my car only managed to go about 50 feet before I heard a clunk and the engine would not go above idle speed. At the same time the check engine and other warning lights were lighting up on my dash. I managed to limp back to the garage in reverse and told them that they had done something to my engine. The guy who did the oil change seemed to know immediately what the problem was. He opened my hood and told me stay in my car. But by now I was becoming suspicious of what was going on so I got out of my car just in time to see him removing a big shop rag from inside the tube that connects the air cleaner housing to the throttle body. And then I saw him reach in and remove a 2nd rag. Seeing that I was watching, he simply looked up and said “sorry”.

The guys then assured me that my car was fixed. I protested that the check engine light and other warning lights were still lit on my dash. So they summoned their guy with the diagnostic scanner to read the codes on my car’s computer. The guy showed me the code and advised that my fuel injectors were dirty and needed to be cleaned. I told him that I had never seen a check engine warning light before driving into his shop, so I was skeptical of his diagnosis. So he cleared the codes, and suddenly my car was magically fixed. After I arrived home, I carefully inspected the “repaired” tire and could find no evidence of any plug or other repair. However I did see a ½” wide slice in the tread where the metal sliver had been embedded but it went no deeper than the tread.

Needless to say, I will not be returning to David’s Tire again. Any recommendations for other car service places in the Sosua/Carbarete/Puerto Plata area would be appreciated. I drive a Honda CR-V and I have heard good things about the Nissan dealer in Puerto Plata, so I may try that place next time for service if there are no warnings to stay away or recommendations for other places to go.
 
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josh2203

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Dec 5, 2013
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Always stay on top of what they do, if you are not allowed to, go somewhere else.
Unfortunately you can't let your guard down, always stay alert.

Correct. I have taken our car to three different shops in POP and I don't care what they ask me to do, I'm never more than 5 feet away from the mechanic and there is not one thing I miss them doing... Once I p***ed off the manager of the shop by refusing go to sit to the side so I offered to just leave... He did not bother me after that... That being said, since a while now, I only take the car to a shop when something that I don't have tools for or something with tires needs to be done, all routine maintenance, electric things and things with brakes etc. I do myself... That way I learn to know the vehicle pretty well and know that my family is safe when on the road...

The problem is, they can do anything wrong that they please, but I doubt there will be any kind of warranty if something breaks due their incompetence/ignorance...

Twice I have already been caught someone off guard: First time the mechanic was about to pour incorrect oil into the engine, that I pointed out. The second time I was told that my tire pressure monitoring system light is on because the tire is under pressure. But here are two separate things: there is one light for system failure (sensor broken) and one light for under pressure... So I purchased a new pressure sensor and will have them install it, something I cannot do as tire needs to be removed...
 

josh2203

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Dec 5, 2013
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I noticed the boss man removing my right rear wheel. That wheel was on the blind side of my car opposite from where I was sitting so I could not see what was going on and could not understand why they were removing my wheel for an oil change. The boss man rolled my wheel over to me and said, “I’m sorry but I have some very bad news for you”. He then pointed to a half-inch wide sliver of metal embedded in the tread of my tire. He told me that the tire was old and should probably be replaced.

1. If the car was up in the air, any damage to tire he should have seen and been able to point out to you without removing the tire? With a torch light he should have been able to see both sides of the rear tires?
2. Yes, this has nothing to do with an oil change. I would have stopped him immediately. If he wanted to be genuinely kind, he would have come to say to you that you need to see something and then, the tire being mounted, show it to you. No reason to take the tire off?

If they sell tires as well, of course they are going to recommend replacing tires...

Sorry to hear about your experience... Hope that they did no further damage and the car has many miles to go...
 

rhanson1

Active member
Feb 23, 2012
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1. If the car was up in the air, any damage to tire he should have seen and been able to point out to you without removing the tire? With a torch light he should have been able to see both sides of the rear tires?
2. Yes, this has nothing to do with an oil change. I would have stopped him immediately. If he wanted to be genuinely kind, he would have come to say to you that you need to see something and then, the tire being mounted, show it to you. No reason to take the tire off?

If they sell tires as well, of course they are going to recommend replacing tires...

Sorry to hear about your experience... Hope that they did no further damage and the car has many miles to go...
Yes, of course you are correct. If there was a problem with my tire, he should have called me over to see it BEFORE removing the wheel. But I was caught off guard and I generally tend to give people the benefit of the doubt. But as the evidence mounted, there could be no denying that this gringo was being scammed. And to add insult to injury, they messed up my carpeted floor mat with their greasy and oily shoes. The good news is that I drove into Puerto Plata and back from Sosua this morning and all seems well now.
 

rhanson1

Active member
Feb 23, 2012
253
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Correct. I have taken our car to three different shops in POP and I don't care what they ask me to do, I'm never more than 5 feet away from the mechanic and there is not one thing I miss them doing... Once I p***ed off the manager of the shop by refusing go to sit to the side so I offered to just leave... He did not bother me after that... That being said, since a while now, I only take the car to a shop when something that I don't have tools for or something with tires needs to be done, all routine maintenance, electric things and things with brakes etc. I do myself... That way I learn to know the vehicle pretty well and know that my family is safe when on the road...

The problem is, they can do anything wrong that they please, but I doubt there will be any kind of warranty if something breaks due their incompetence/ignorance...

Twice I have already been caught someone off guard: First time the mechanic was about to pour incorrect oil into the engine, that I pointed out. The second time I was told that my tire pressure monitoring system light is on because the tire is under pressure. But here are two separate things: there is one light for system failure (sensor broken) and one light for under pressure... So I purchased a new pressure sensor and will have them install it, something I cannot do as tire needs to be removed...
Agreed. I'm like you in that regard. Unless it involves tires or requires putting the car up on lift or special equipment, I always fix things myself. If I'm not sure how to diagnose it or repair it, then I simply google it. Problem solved.

Obviously I could change the oil and filter myself if I wanted to, but I figure it just isn't worth the aggravation to save the 300 peso labor charge for such a simple task. I always supply my own materials because I have no confidence in materials that are provided here. I order a filter from the States and purchase my oil here at a big box store so that I know exactly what they are putting into my engine.
 

USA DOC

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Feb 20, 2016
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I always stand next to the guy doing the work... on a oil change, cleaning up the old filter and putting it back in is common...saves then a few bucks but can do damage to your engine..those tire guys have many tricks...best just to find a place you can trust........
 

melphis

Living my Dream
Apr 18, 2013
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Thanks for sharing your experience. I worked in the automotive business most of my life and those are some old school dirty tricks. I know times are tough here but these guys go beyond a small scam. Find a new guy and as someone else said stand by them to watch the work. If they have a problem with that go to the next shop.
 

beeza

Silver
Nov 2, 2006
3,197
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That's a shame you had the experience. I've been using David's for some time now as he seems to know how to treat foreigners, who are the mainstay of his clientele. I hope he realises the value of reputation and doesn't squander it, trying to make a little extra on the side with these little scams. It will cost him dearly.

Thanks for sharing. I will be on my guard next time I visit.
 
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Tom0910

Well-known member
Sep 28, 2015
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I recommend Konstatines repair shop,he is on the highway across from the entrance to Sosua Ocean Village. He used to work for Honda so if you have a Honda CRV he is your man,honest,fast and reasonably priced.
 
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drisforme

Active member
May 28, 2016
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Definitively a shame to go through this. Hoping that it's limited to one experience and it's not the new norm ....

I have being using David's Tire many times : Oil and filter ,repair tire with nail ,changed 4 tires ,changed battery and I have never had an issue. They even came to our house to change the battery which was dead for the price of the battery and a tip.

yes, Apolo in Puerto Plata are very professional .It's where I bought my car and the first 3 years to keep the guaranty running,I have done all my services there.
 
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singletravel

Member
Oct 13, 2003
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I've used David tire shop for years, never a problem and always quick, efficient and helpful. I also bought my car from Apollo and they are also fine but a little expensive. Maybe just a bad day, happens to all of us :)
 

HDR

Member
Nov 21, 2012
291
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I've used David tire shop for years, never a problem and always quick, efficient and helpful. I also bought my car from Apollo and they are also fine but a little expensive. Maybe just a bad day, happens to all of us :)
This is not a bad day... it is a scam. David is a cool guy and I am sure he would like to know about it. That said, to much gringo shop for me in the new employee´s eyes (despite me living here for 20 years,,,) I only go their for alignment/balancing.
 
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josh2203

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Dec 5, 2013
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I noticed the boss man removing my right rear wheel. That wheel was on the blind side of my car opposite from where I was sitting so I could not see what was going on and could not understand why they were removing my wheel for an oil change. The boss man rolled my wheel over to me and said, “I’m sorry but I have some very bad news for you”.

Just commenting on this part: I've seen bad workers in shops, which is understandable, but it sounds concerning that it was someone from management who did this... Just for reference, I know nothing about this business, just seen photos in Google Maps and looks like a nice place...

So I agree, anyone from management doing this, does not sound like a "bad day"... Yes, the owner should know about this... I'm sure any business can have bad management as well, so if this is the case, the owner should definitely have the chance to rectify this...
 
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SKY

Gold
Apr 11, 2004
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The manager has no incentive to do it without the owner's consent. The money goes in the till, and if the manager wants to rob the owner he can just dip a bit every day. I trust no one here..................

Just to add you will never see this hanky panky tried on a Dominican, only gringos........................
 

william webster

Platinum
Jan 16, 2009
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We had a similar report a while ago about Playero - a complaint from a DR1 member

Someone here contacted the owners and they responded - right here on DR1.
Problem was answered..... after being reported.

Maybe this can happen again
 
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