Do not go to Halfords Auto Centre Beckenham. Just don't do it!!

Hi guys, bit of a rant coming for my first post!

So how long does it take to get 2 new tyres and the tracking done? For Halfords in Beckenham it's 4 weeks and counting.

I needed 2 new front tyres and the tracking done after clipping the kerb. Booked the car in and paid for 2 Goodride tyres and the tracking online. When I arrive I'm told they couldn't source the tyres - thanks for telling me before I arrive. But instead I'm offered a pair of Nankang tyres for no extra cost, which they say are better quality. I chose the Goodrides for the C rated efficiency, whereas the Nankangs are E. I ask what the difference in price is, which they're unable to work out. I ask if I can pay a little extra and choose a different tyre - I'm told these are the only ones in the size they have. With 2 worn tyres on the front I have to agree and get the work done. A managers discount of £80 noted on the bill. Great news!

So I check the difference in price when I get home. It's about a fiver. So they fobbed me off a bit with a nice discount written on the bill. I'm not too bothered.

Well the next day when I set off for work and hit the motorway..start picking up speed and the car is wobbling a bit. Reach 55 and the whole car is shaking. Great, unbalanced wheels. So I have to drive the 125 miles to where I work sitting at 50. I ring and let them know. "Oh our machine is definitely broken then, we've had 3 other complaints. It'll be fixed some time next week." Great.

So if I'm having to go back anyway I tell them I want a different set of tyres. I ask them what sort of discount I can get on a set of Avon ZV5s. Nothing they can do they say, there's no money in tyres. After a bit of negotiating I'm told they'll see what they can do. When they get back to me they say they'll do me two of those for £30 more, but they're having trouble sourcing those. I agree to that, and am told they'll ring me when they're in. A week later and still no news. I ring them up and am told they're still not in. 3 weeks after I first went in they tell me my Avon ZZ5s have arrived..wait that's not what I asked for??? "The ZV5s have been superseded you can't get them any more."

They aren't hard to get - just have a look online.

But I can't be bothered to wait around any more. My dad goes and gets the work done for me the next day. When it's done he's told that the spiggot rings are missing from the front wheels. This has never been mentioned before by 2 other garages who've done the tyres? I had a look myself today, and yes no spiggot rings. I've had the wheels off a fair few times myself and got them back on no problem. Trying to get the wheel back on without the spiggot rings is bloody hard work, so they've definitely disappeared since the last time I did it. I can't say it was Halfords who knocked them off but I wouldn't put it past them.

I'm not going back to complain, I'm just going to sort that myself.

So Halfords reputation it seems is well deserved! You may save yourself £20 by going there but from my experience I would avoid them by a mile. :mad:

Thanks for reading (if anyone got this far:cool:)



Dick Chown Award 2016

That sounds dreadful and totally unacceptable.

By the way, if your wheels were wobbling and vibrating at those speeds the cause is far more likely to be the missing spigot rings. There whole purpose is to centralise the wheel so that when you fit the wheel back on, it doesn't go on off-centre (as it sounds like it has.)

So it probably won't be the balancing anyway. Also wheel balancing is at its worse at around 40 MPH and 80 MPH (roughly) and with wheel balancing, if it is wrong as you accelerate past 40 or so, it should smooth out.

I also have a question about the tyres, when they replaced the two tyres did they fit the new tyres on the back or front? (i.e. if the two front tyres were the ones being replaced, did they swap the backs on to the front and then fit the wheels with the new tyres on the rear?

Any knowledgeable tyre specialist would tell you that if you are putting just two tyres on instead of four, the new ones should be put on the REAR of the car.
I initially argued with the logic used in that, I thought that it would be better to have the best grip on the wheels that steer the car. But after a lot of heated debate< I changed when I heard the explanation.

The reason is that if you are cornering hard and the front wheels break away (skid) you will slide, probably reasonably straight. If your back wheels break away you car can spin as the rears allow the car to "pivot" around the front wheels.
No doubt everyone will have their own views on this but the tye experts seem to be of one voice and say "new on the rear".

I wouldn't mind betting that (based on the bad work they did) they put the new ones on the front!

Steve B
Hi Steve, thanks for the reply.

Yes you're right they only replaced the front two, but the rear tyres are fairly new anyway. Have a couple of Rainsport 3s on there which have been great.

I agree with your reason there for replacing the rears though, I had a scare driving a work van a few weeks ago where the back came out. Taught me not to drive an Astra like an Audi!

I'm looking forward to getting my A2 back this weekend - its been 5 weeks since I noticed it needed the work!



I was stupid enough to go into Halfords and ask if the had any valve grinding paste. He looked at me as if I was from another planet!