I always hear people (usually on the left) tell me how terrible America is at building stuff -- how superior their Toyota or BMW is in comparison to a Chevy, Ford or Dodge.
Well, have a look at this!
First up is a $186 Bridgestone Blizzak winter tire, 265/65-18, with about a 1/4" deep divit right on the bead of the tire -- the most critical part of keeping air IN the tire! The asian UPS driver delivered my set (I thought he came straight from Japan!), & I began mounting & balancing them on my winter wheels. 2 tires in, I get this one that the bead refused to seat on. Before I even mounted it, I noticed this divit in the bead & thought,*censored* - that can't be good ....
. And sure enough, it wasn't. I fought with this bastard for at least an hour before finally throwing in the towel & calling Tire Rack. I tried every trick in the book: heat, tie-down straps, bead sealer & finally ether & a match. Once the ether exploded & seated the bead, it immediately went flat again ... and then the ether continued to burn, as it now had oxygen coming in! We wont mention that part to the ' Rack though.
Either way, that divit is obviously a factory defect, as there are no injuries to the surface of the rubber at the divit.
I have to say though - Tire Rack has the *** B E S T *** customer service on the PLANET!
I called them at 4:30PM yesterday, very pissed off & with a slight attitude, to tell them about the *censored* tire they sent. I got annoyed when the young woman on the line asked me if I drove on it ....
How do you ... or better yet ... WHY would you drive on a tire that will not hold air???? Anyway, even with my 'tude, she assured me that I'd have a replacement in my hands Wednesday. Well today at 2PM UPS arrived with the replacement! It's already mounted & balanced, ready to rock for when the snow flies. KICK ASS customer service! Cheapest around as well. + 1 for the ' Rack ....
And -1 for Bilstein. Yes, the fine $80 German built & engineered shocks. I bought a set for the wifey's Marquis & one of them decided to puke every ounce of damping oil out of the seal after 2 weeks of dedicated service. Lifetime warranty though, you say? Yes, but they charged me $14 & change to ship a new one to me, then I had to cough up $10 & change to send it back! So I'm out $25.55 because Bilstein built a pile of *censored*, & I bought it. Nice. Now that is *censored* customer service. I have no pictures of the leaky shock because I was so pissed off ... swapping the shocks out at 9:30PM, laying on the dirt floor of my 46°F barn .. I know how my phone can be sluggish sending pix ... and I would have smashed it.
Lesson learned -- yes, even the Japanese AND the Germans (!) can make mistakes!