GMC vehicle getting an alignment

EdNurg/Adobe Stock @shittytire/TikTok

‘It was just an honest mistake’: Woman told by 2 shops they can’t work on her GMC Denali. She’s been driving with backward parts

“It’s never just an ‘honest mistake’ when the customer is paying $200 or more.”


Braden Bjella


As cars become more complicated, they simultaneously become harder to fix.

In a 2022 piece from WIRED, author Aarian Marshall summarized the current situation, writing, “Fixing complex vehicles requires increasingly expert and expensive knowledge, and tools that are in limited supply.”

As a result of these complications, some shops are finding that it no longer makes financial sense for them to stay open.

“There are now significantly fewer places to get your car fixed in the U.S. than there were just five years ago,” details Marshall. “One industry publication found that for every active service bay inside U.S. auto shops, there were 225 cars and trucks on the road in 2016. Now there are 246 vehicles per bay.”

Stories about these increasingly difficult car repairs have gone viral on multiple occasions. For example, one user claimed she was charged an exorbitant amount for routine service. Another showed the many problems that already exist in a four-year-old Ford vehicle.

However, for all of the complicated problems, there are still some simple things that can go wrong with a car, as recently noted by TikTok user @shittytire.

A rebuild gone wrong

In a video with over 563,000 views as of Friday, the TikToker shows a car being repaired.

According to the TikToker, the woman had entered the shop with her GMC Denali saying that her alignment couldn’t be fixed. The reason for this, she allegedly said, was that she had been in a wreck and had the whole front end rebuilt. She claimed she had been told this information by “a couple different shops.”

After measuring different parts of the vehicle, they began to suspect that the frame was bent. However, upon further examination, they noticed something odd.

“One of my guys noticed that this upper control arm on the driver’s side didn’t look like it was sitting right. It’s got a short side right here towards the front of the vehicle, and a long side towards the back,” the TikToker explains. “Well, that lets us know that the control arms are side-specific. So we pulled it up on O’Reilly’s website here and it looks like it’s the opposite of how they got it.”

“The shop that rebuilt her front end put the control arms on the wrong side, just the uppers,” the TikToker adds later. “Just an honest mistake. They didn’t realize it and the other places she took it didn’t realize it.”

@shittytire #trucks #cars #mechaniclife #cartok #trucksoftiktok #carsoftiktok #tireshop #tireshop #mechanic ♬ original sound – shittytire

Commenters aren’t so forgiving

While the TikToker is quick to characterize the problem as an “honest mistake,” commenters agreed that more care should have been taken to make sure this problem didn’t happen in the first place.

“It’s never just an ‘honest mistake’ when the customer is paying $200 or more an hour shop time,” declared a commenter. “At that price, it becomes negligence.”

“Paying attention to these kinds of details is what separates mechanics from part replacers,” offered another. “Honest mistake like you said, but it should have been done right the first time around.”

“That’s sad can’t depend on anyone to do their job! Lucky that tech noticed!” exclaimed a third.

The Daily Dot reached out to @shittytire via Instagram direct message.

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