Dean's International Auto Service
Johnston, RI 2919
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1 Review for Dean's International Auto Service
Repair/Service: Tighten Inner Tie Rod
Hourly Rate: $90
Total Cost: $90
After bringing my Cadillac to a well-known Johnston Tire Shop for an alignment, the technician let me know that one of my inner tie rods was loose, and that they couldn't perform the alignment. He recommended Dean's International, which was only about 2 minutes away, and I could safely drive the car there. I was given a warm welcome by Dean, the owner, in the office. I was surprised with the large amount of expensive import cars in the parking lot. I liked how everyone was friendly, not only to me, but each other. After 30 minutes, the car was on the lift, and they tightened the inner tie rod for me. Or so I though. I left and drove the car back to the tire shop to do the alignment again. About a half hour after the car went in, the technician called me over to show me something. Standing under the alignment rack, the alignment tech showed me that the technician at Dean's forgot to tighten the locknut on the outer tie rod after tightening the inner tie rod. They also forgot to tighten the castle nut which holds the outer tie rod to the knuckle, and lastly, didn't install the cotter pin for that nut. The technician grasped the tie rod and moved it up and down a good 2 inches in each direction. It was very loose.
The technician at the tire shop tightened the locknut and castle nut, but didn't have a cotter pin for the nut. He finished the alignment, and I left the shop. I went back to Dean's to talk to the owner, but he wasn't there. A worker told me it was probably the owner's son who worked on the car, and that he'd been known for making mistakes like that. He told me that he'd "yell at him for me." I told him it wasn’t necessary, because I still intended on speaking to the owner. I went back to Dean's a couple days later and Dean was there this time. I spoke to him about the Cadillac and how I was initially surprised at the feel of the place, as it seemed very friendly and welcoming. I then told him how I was disappointed to find out that a simple procedure such as tightening an inner tie rod could've gone wrong. The two bolts on the outer tie rod were loose, and the cotter pin was missing. What if the bolt fell off, and the outer tie rod had separated? I would've lost all steering control... The owner explained that on that day, he had everyone after him, and that he was the one who had personally worked on the car, and that he simply forgot to tighten the bolts up and install the cotter pin. At this point, the office worker chimed in and offered to give me a cotter pin. I asked them what if it was my BMW E38 I brought in for an evaporator core replacement (which requires the entire dashboard and everything around it to be removed, a 12-hour job)... How many bolts would've been missing or loose? How many wires would've been left disconnected? After all, this was only a 15 year old Cadillac they were working on, not a complex car by any means when compared to the high-end imports they appeared to specialize in... The owner told me that he could do nothing more for me than to apologize, and opened the door out of the office. I told him again that I was disappointed with the service after having such a positive experience at first, and how I can’t see bringing my business back or recommending the shop, and he walked out of the office. I didn't expect a refund, but not once did Dean or his manager mention their “100% money back if not completely satisfied (No Hassle Guarantee)" they claim to honor. And this was my very first experience with them! It was a sure way to keep me from returning again or giving recommendations to fellow BMWCCA and Bimmerforum members. I cannot recommend this shop to anyone, even if they are in a dire situation like I was. Save yourself the trouble and have your car towed somewhere else, or you might need to have it towed again after they fix your problem. Otherwise, there are plenty of other capable repair facilities in our small state which won't leave you disappointed.
by Nick L on January 26, 2012