Sears to the rescue

So since we’ve had a bit of a quiet day we wanted to write a post about our experience with Sears as we’ve been really impressed with them on a number of occasions.

On two previous trips to the USA (before the firebus), we had a much more problematic car which always seemed to have a mechanical failure when we were travelling. Once, we hit a pot-hole and bulged a tire which subsequently needed to be replaced. The second time we had a radiator fluid leak all over the place. Both of these unfortunate events occurred on a Sunday. As you can imagine, Sunday is one of the hardest days to find anyone open. No mechanics, no tire places, no one is open. Except Sears.

Aside from being the only place open, they were nothing but helpful and honest . With the radiator problem we were worried we actually punctured the radiator, an expensive repair no doubt. They told us it was just the hose clamp. Our total cost was under 5 dollars (plus some spare fluid), and although didn’t have a spare clamp in stock, they had one rush delivered within 15 minutes – on a Sunday!

When we were researching batteries, we ultimately chose Sears because not only do they have a good product with the DieHard line, but they offer a 3 year warranty. They also have lots of stores across Canada and the US so if we ever had an issue, we don’t have to worry.

What sealed the deal for us though was when we asked about the brakes for the van since our little firebus has been squealing a bit recently. Even with our new found mechanic abilities, we would happily attempt this ourselves, but we’ve also been wanting to do a tire rotation, which we can’t do ourselves, because we only have one jack.

So when we were there getting the battery sorted out, we asked about the costs. The lady who was helping us rattled of a bunch of numbers forinspections, hourly labor and parts – it was rather reminiscent of the other day’s alternator experience, and it added up fast. She was really nice though and also mentioned the possibility of coupons to reduce costs. We looked into it and found we were able to get a free brake inspection ($15 off) and $50 off if we did both front and back breaks.

We sent it in for an inspection and the lady called to let us know we didn’t need a brake change at all – they supposedly looked like new! This was great news. She told us that the squeak is caused by a slight warp in the rotor. All it would need is to be planed down, a service they actually include in their regular brake change. Since the brake change would likely be cheaper than just the planing, we opted to get it fixed when we change the brakes. All in all we didn’t owe a dime with the inspection discount. They were even nice enough to put the tires back on in a different order for us so we got our tires rotated too. This type of thing just makes you feel silly for worrying about getting ripped off.  I mean they could have easily just told us we needed to change the brakes; instead they ensured we would be willing to come back when we did need them changed.

All in all we’ve had a good experience with them, but I would still always advise anyone to do their due diligence as a consumer – continue to be informed and know what is going on with your vehicle.  Ask them to show you what needs to be replaced and get them to explain anything you don’t understand. Any place worth their salt would be willing to do this without much issue.