So I got my car inspected this weekend. For those who don’t live in PA that means you have to spend anywhere between $400 and $900. I got off lucky, only about $650. Why so expensive for a measley car inspection, you ask? Because PA sets its policy like an insecure teacher: it benefits them to fail you since state inspections are done by mechanics.
They have a variety of ills they can get you on. Rotors, brake pads, tires, and a wealth of other things. I truly believe they have a centralized database where they can all look up what you were taken for the year before. For me it was tires and rotors. (Last year was a brake yoke or something.)
I needed a battery change so they did that, then told me all the other things I needed. Since the car already failed (something about a new battery and emissions testing they didn’t see the benefit to tell me before…when I would therefore be able to get cheaper tires) so they had to tread (no pun intended) lightly. No to the oil change, fine to the rotors.
Then came the tire alignment question. I hate that question. I mean WTF. Put it on aligned or align it. If it’s that important, align them as part of the deal. How much fricken effort does it take? Oh, save the labor costs. This is PA, one of the bigger nascar states. Step it up and work faster you scum sucking thieves.
So after establishing that yes, tightening the lug nuts is included with the new tires I said no to the alignment. The voice on the other end of the phone gasped a bit. But ma’am (yeah, that so didn’t help) they will be unbalanced and wear unevenly. And? I responded. It’s 2 front tires. They are equally misaligned. Since they’re being changed at the same time, won’t they then, by default, wear unevenly in a balanced way? You could hear the neck tilt in confusion even through the phone.
She regained a thought and went back to her script. But it’s better for the car, it saves on gas mileage, and really, alignment and balance is important. Honey, my car is loaded with empty soda cans and the back seat was chewed by the dog. It has over 160k miles on it. What on this earth made you think I’d be overly concerned about the balance of my tires? Why should my tires achieve balance before I do? That shit’s just not right. I told her screw it, I’m more comfortable unbalanced. I told her I’d buy a crystal and hang it from the rear view and get them to align themselves.
Got the car back. The radio doesn’t work now. The little service chickie’s gonna need a crystal. She should have known not to do that after the discussion of lack of balance.
At least she didn’t ask me about tire rotation. I love answering with the girl answer, “Don’t they do that on their own?” Yeah. Only a girl can get away with saying that!