Midas Vs. Firestone: Which Auto Service Chain Is Better For Car? (2024)

When it’s time for routine maintenance or repairs on your vehicle, you want to take it somewhere you can trust to do quality work at a fair price. Two of the biggest names in auto service are Midas and Firestone. But which one is better for your needs?

Here’s an in-depth look at the pros and cons of Midas and Firestone to help you decide.

A Brief Comparison Table

AspectsMidasFirestone
Shop Locations2,000+ nationwide2,000+ nationwide
OwnershipIndependent franchisesOwned by Bridgestone
Core ServicesBrakes, maintenanceTires, maintenance
PricingMid-rangeMid-range
Warranties12 mo/12K miles, up to lifetime12 mo/12K miles, lifetime alignments/suspension
ReputationMixed, good brakesMixed, great tires
Oil Changes$40-50 conventional$40-50 conventional
BrakesPad replacements from $150Pad replacements from $150
SuspensionShocks/struts from $400Shocks/struts from $400
TiresAll major brandsWide selection as tire specialist
AmenitiesKids play, lounge, wifiKids play, lounge, wifi

Overview of Midas

Midas Vs. Firestone: Which Auto Service Chain Is Better For Car? (1)

Midas is an international chain of auto service centers with over 2,000 locations across North America.

They specialize in brakes, mufflers, shocks, struts, and routine maintenance like oil changes and tire rotations.

Midas centers are independently owned and operated as franchises.

Prices and quality can vary between locations. But in general, Midas strives to provide trustworthy service at affordable rates. Their technicians are ASE-certified to work on all makes and models.

Some of the key benefits of using Midas include:

  • Nationwide chain:With locations everywhere, you’re likely to find a Midas near where you live and work.
  • Mid-range prices:Midas tends to be moderately priced, providing a good value compared to dealerships and independent shops.
  • Warranties:Parts and services come with 12-month/12,000 mile warranties to give you peace of mind.
  • Brand recognition:Midas is a widely recognized brand name in auto repair that inspires confidence in many consumers.

Potential downsides of Midas include:

  • Inconsistent quality:Since each location is independently run, the customer experience can vary.
  • Upselling:Some Midas shops aggressively push unnecessary services.
  • Corporate feel:They lack the personal touch of smaller independent repair shops.

Overview of Firestone

Firestone is another major player in the auto service industry with over 2,000 locations across the U.S. They are owned by Bridgestone and are best known for their tires. But Firestone also provides brake, alignment, and suspension services plus routine maintenance.

Firestone stores are also independently owned franchises. So quality and prices can be inconsistent. But Firestone techs are certified by ASE for expertise across makes and models.

Here are some of the notable advantages of Firestone:

  • Trusted tire brand:Firestone is synonymous with tires, inspiring confidence in customers.
  • Store ubiquity:With ample locations nationwide, you’re never far from a Firestone.
  • Bundled deals:Firestone dealers often offer bundle deals on tires, brakes, alignments, and other services.
  • Manufacturer warranties:Suspension parts come with limited lifetime warranties for extra peace of mind.

However, Firestone has some potential drawbacks including:

  • Aggressive sales tactics:Some locations have pushy salespeople steering you into unnecessary services. Do your research before major repairs.
  • Mixed reviews:Feedback on pricing and quality is more mixed compared to Midas.
  • Lacking personalized service:As a big corporate chain, Firestone can feel impersonal.

Key Differences Between Midas And Firestone Auto Services

Now that we’ve covered the basics on each brand, let’s do a detailed comparison of Midas and Firestone’s key offerings.

Oil Changes

Routine oil changes are the most common service customers get at both Midas and Firestone. This periodic maintenance helps prolong your engine’s life by keeping it properly lubricated and clean.

Most modern vehicles need oil changes every 5,000-10,000 miles or about once a year. Conventional oil changes include:

  • Draining old oil
  • Replacing oil filter
  • Adding new oil (usually 5-6 quarts)
  • Checking other fluids
Midas Vs. Firestone: Which Auto Service Chain Is Better For Car? (2)

Both Midas and Firestone offer standard oil changes starting around $40-50 based on vehicle type and oil used.

Synthetic blends and full synthetics cost $15-20 more for the higher grade oil.

The convenience factor of the big chains is their sheer number of locations to choose from.

But independent shops are likely to offer lower prices for basic oil changes.

Dealerships charge the most for factory scheduled maintenance. But they use OEM parts designed specifically for your make and model.

When comparing Midas and Firestone oil changes, Midas tends to be slightly more affordable on average. However, there are excellent shops and terrible shops in both chains. So shop around and read reviews to find the best service.

Neither company has a strong edge on oil changes. Just focus on finding an honest shop that doesn’t push unnecessary add-ons.

Brake Services

One of the most safety-critical systems on your vehicle are the brakes. It’s crucial to have them serviced regularly by qualified technicians.

Brake services include:

  • Brake inspections
  • Brake pad replacement
  • Brake rotor resurfacing or replacement
  • Brake fluid flush and replacement
  • Other brake repairs

Midas positions themselves as brake experts. Most locations have specialized brake technicians and equipment for all makes and models. They’ll inspect your brakes for wear and let you know if pads, rotors, or other components need to be replaced.

Firestone also does a full range of brake services. Their technicians have access to factory authorized parts to match OEM specifications.

For simple brake pad swaps, you can often save money at independent shops. But for major brake overhauls, the chains offer solid value.

Expect to pay $150-250 for basic brake pad replacement at Midas and Firestone depending on vehicle type. Complete brake jobs with rotors and hardware can run $400-800.

Both companies back their brake work with 12-month warranties. Midas may have a slight edge in brake service reputation. But quality comes down to the individual shop and techs.

Overall for brakes, Midas and Firestone are on par with each other. Focus more on finding a shop you’re comfortable with.

Suspension Services

Your suspension is what gives you a smooth, comfortable ride. It includes shocks, struts, ball joints, tie rods, and alignment.

Signs you may need suspension service include:

  • Vibration in steering wheel
  • Unstable handling
  • Uneven tire wear
  • Noises when going over bumps

Midas and Firestone both have suspension certified technicians to handle any repairs or upgrades. Services include:

  • Shocks and struts replacement
  • Alignment checks and adjustments
  • Worn ball joint and tie rod ends
  • Coil springs

For simple alignments, you can often get a better rate from independent alignment shops. But for suspension overhauls, the chains are competitively priced.

Expect to pay $400-800 for a full set of shocks or struts at Midas and Firestone. Alignments run $70-150 based on vehicle type. The big advantage is both companies include warranties.

Firestone may have a small edge in suspension service reputation. But both chains are solid options. The quality of work again depends most on the specific shop.

Tire Services

Of course, the most obvious service you can get at Firestone is new tires. As America’s largest tire retailer, they offer just about every brand and tire type you could need.

Beyond just sales, Firestone provides:

  • Tire mounting, balancing, and TPMS reset
  • Tire rotations
  • Flat repairs
  • Custom wheel installation
  • Alignment checks after new tires

Midas also sells major tire brands and provides full tire services. But tires are Firestone’s specialty and main business.

The convenience of getting new tires installed where you get an oil change or suspension work is nice. But independent tire shops often have better tire prices.

You can save 20-40% on tires by shopping around. Costco, Discount Tire, and independent dealers offer very competitive tire pricing.

Firestone does often run rebates and package deals on tires with alignments or other services. This can help offset their higher base prices.

For just tire sales, go with an independent dealer on price. But the chains are fine options for a total package of tires plus install and service.

Additional Maintenance Services

Beyond the major services covered, Midas and Firestone handle a full range of routine maintenance needs including:

Fluid services

  • Coolant flush
  • Transmission flush
  • Power steering flush

Filters

  • Air filters
  • Cabin air filters
  • Fuel filters

Engine services

  • Belts
  • Hoses
  • Spark plugs
  • Battery testing/replacement

Multi-point Inspections

Both shops offer free multi-point inspections to check everything under your hood and chassis. This is a great way to spot minor issues before they become major repairs.

For these minor services, Midas and Firestone are very competitively priced with independent shops. Quotes are usually reasonable.

The convenience of doing multiple services in one visit makes the chains appealing. You can knock out an entire maintenance checklist in a single trip.

Nationwide Warranties

A major advantage of the auto service chains is their nationwide warranties. This provides peace of mind when traveling.

Key warranty terms:

Midas

  • 12 month/12,000 miles parts and labor
  • 24 month/24,000 miles brake pads & shoes
  • 36 month/36,000 miles mufflers
  • Lifetime warranties on some suspension parts

Firestone

  • 12 month/12,000 miles parts and labor
  • Lifetime alignment and suspension parts
  • Road hazard coverage on new tires

The warranties are honored at any franchise location across North America. So if you’re on a road trip and need a warranty repair, you can swing into the nearest shop.

Local independent shops generally only warranty their own work. The nationwide coverage provided by the chains is a nice benefit.

Shop Environment & Amenities

Beyond just repairs, you want an auto shop that’s clean, comfortable, and provides great service. Here are some of the amenities Midas and Firestone offer:

  • Kid’s play areas
  • Free Wi-Fi & TVs
  • Shuttle services for local rides
  • Online & app payment options
  • Open weekends and evenings
  • Car wash discounts
  • Waiting lounges with coffee & snacks

These conveniences aim to make your service visit as smooth and pleasant as possible. Both Midas and Firestone understand the importance of customer service alongside technical expertise.

However, keep in mind that specific location amenities can vary. Some shops go above and beyond, while others just provide the basics.

How To Choose Between Midas & Firestone?

So when it comes down to Midas vs Firestone, which chain is better? Here are some key factors to help you choose:

Midas Vs. Firestone: Which Auto Service Chain Is Better For Car? (3)

  • Location & availability:Pick whichever has a more convenient shop near where you live and work.
  • Pricing:Get quotes from both on any major repairs to compare pricing.
  • Reputations:Search online reviews to see which local shops have higher customer satisfaction.
  • Warranties:Review warranty terms to see if one provides better coverage for your needs.
  • Services needed:Firestone has the edge for tires, while Midas is known for brakes.
  • Shop ambiance:Visit in-person to get a feel for the shop’s cleanliness, amenities, and customer service.
  • Factory scheduled maintenance:For this, dealerships may provide optimal service, but will be pricier.

While they have brand recognition, neither Firestone or Midas is inherently better across the board.

The quality comes down to local ownership and technicians at each franchise shop. Do your homework to find the best option in your area.

Also Read: Comparison of Summit And Jegs For High-Performance Auto Parts.

Alternatives To Midas & Firestone

Beyond the two auto service giants, you have alternatives including:

  • Independent shops – Lower prices but quality varies greatly; no chain to fall back on if issues arise
  • Dealerships – Most expensive but factory training on your specific make; best if still under warranty
  • Tire shops – Like Discount Tire or Costco for lowest tire prices with installation
  • Mobile mechanics – Offer at home service saving you a trip to the shop
  • DIY repairs – Cheapest option if you have the skills, time and tools

Mixing DIY repairs with a trusted local mechanic or chain shop can be a good combination to save money. Evaluate each service needed to decide the best option.

The Bottom Line

When weighing Midas and Firestone side by side, they stack up fairly evenly. Both chains have thousands of locations, offer similar maintenance and repairs, and provide nationwide warranties.

There is no universal winner. Quality comes down to the reputations of each individually owned shop. It pays to shop around and get quotes from different options in your area.

Find technicians you trust to provide honest recommendations tailored specifically to your vehicle’s needs. Avoid shops that try to sell you on unnecessary work.

With some due diligence to find a great local shop, both Midas and Firestone are solid choices for your auto maintenance and repair needs. Take into account pricing, convenience, warranties, and customer service as you make your decision.

Midas Vs. Firestone: Which Auto Service Chain Is Better For Car? (2024)
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