Your tires are arguably the most important parts on your vehicle. They keep you rolling and without them, you're going nowhere. When it comes to acquiring service, the tire shop you choose can either make or break your experience as a consumer.
A good tire shop knows their stuff. They will go out of their way to help you find the best rubber for your money while keeping safety and performance in mind. Unfortuantely, not all businesses are on the up and up. It takes sizing up the good and the bad to understand what tire shops truly bring to the table.
Few things are scarier and more frustrating than a flat tire. Whether it happens while you're driving or before you even get in the car, a flat usually means you're stranded. Repair is a basic service at most shops. This service generally includes dismounting, mounting, balancing, and repair by professionals who are trained to fix your tires and get you back on the road. Some shops even offer warranties that guarantee those repairs over the lifespan of your tires.
The winter can be brutal on your vehicle. Heavy snow leaves potholes in the road and those monstrous craters are the biggest contributors of alignment problems at the wheel level. When your wheels are misaligned, you run the risk of ruining and losing your tires to rapid treadwear. A proper wheel alignment will improve safey while giving you better control, increasing fuel efficiency and allowing you to get the most from your tires.
Tire rotation is a simple, yet critical procedure that should not be overlooked. Keeping your tires rotated on a regular basis encourages even treadwear and can increase their lifespan in the process. Moreover, it will improve fuel economy and optimize performance, contributing to a ride that is more comfortable and smoother all around. Rotation is typically free with the purchase of tires or other services.
The importance proper tire inflation plays in fuel economy is well documented. However, properly inflated tires are also esssential to handling, traction, and longevity. Under or overinflated tires cause uneven treadwear, which ultimately shortens the lifespan of your tires. Staying on top of inflation will help maximize longevity while keeping you and your passengers safe. Tire pressure monitoring is another service normally offered free at most reputable shops.
The moment you step through those doors is an opportune moment for the shop to “try” to sell you on additional services. While the aforementioned services are extremely important to a degree, whether you actually need them at the time is up for debate. As a consumer you should be aware of the tricks tire shops have been known to pull out of their arsenal to sway you to spend more money.
Once you get a feel for the good and the bad of tire shops, you're ready to find one to service your needs. Here are some factors to ponder:
- Budget. One of the first things you should do is determine how much you can afford to spend by allocating a budget. This will help you identify discount tire shops and eliminate pricier competitors that are out of your budget range.
- Type of tires. Not all tire shops carry even remotely the same inventory. Some specialize in all-season tires while others stock a little of everything. Do some research and save yourself a little time by exclusively scouting locations that deal in the type of tires you need.