Tell us about your favorite tire shop!
Interesting you use the term “Tire Buying Experience”.
For me that is Costco, Price Service and not waiting in a dingy waiting area, Lots to do while waiting.
I usually shop while I wait.
When they call that it is ready, I get the Frozen stuff and a chicken and check out. Then pick up my car.
We have been using our car dealership. We shop the internet by using Consumer Reports recommendations, find the lowest price on the recommended tires, then take the quote to the dealer who matches the price and installs them and because we purchased through them the rotation is free for the life of the tire which saves hundreds of dollars.
Here in the Northwest (and I know they’re in Texas now, maybe other states) I’ve always used Les Schwab. I doubt they have the cheapest tires (although they’re competitive, in my experience), but their service has always been fantastic. They stand by their products and have always fixed any problems (they also do brakes and some other things).
My first experience with them was getting a flat and stopping by to get it fixed. They immediately took the tire, fixed it, put it back on the car, and put away the spare (after checking the air on all tires). When I asked how much I owed, the tech said, “Nothing. Just think of us the next time you need tires.”
Smart marketing, but the service has always been impeccable.
Last fall I got my car serviced at my Honda dealership (when I bought they gave two years free oil/filter changes) and they said I need new brakes (front and rear) and gave a quote. I went to Schwab, they checked things out, and said, yes, you need new front brakes, but you still have plenty of life on the rear ones. Their quote was better than the dealer (no surprise there, dealers make most of their money on service) and they delivered.
When I’ve bought tires, they’ve never steered me to the most expensive tires, always told me what the range of prices were for different possibilities, and usually said for your car and mileage use, I’d go with the xxx tires, most often the cheapest or next cheapest.
Sometimes the service and sense of honestly dealing with you is worth it.
Last times I have purchased tires at Amazon and then paid for the installation at an economical place close to home. Very good tire deals at Amazon.
I too am a Costco fan when it comes to tires. They’re handy, dependable, and have great service and follow-up balance, rotation and warranty. The only minus I’ve run into is that the warranty is not transferable, (even to another Costco member,) if you sell the car.
Also, I just compared tire prices at Costco for our ICE car vs our EV car and to my surprise, the prices were the same, expensive @ $265 a pop, but the same.
Also: if you have a car that takes different tires for front & rear axles, Costco’s 4-tire deals still apply.
I use a local tire shop because not living near a big box tire store if I had issues with a tire how would I even get there? But I could always get a friend or neighbor to help me get to the tire store if it’s local. My local tire store has been unfailingly customer service focused. My vehicle is very sensitive to changes in tire pressure and there is never a charge to check my tire pressure at my local store. As it’s a smaller town and there is competition I choose to support local business as they are competetive and near by if I need them. If they were outrageously overpriced I might consider a big box store- but this way I help local people and I establish a relationship with the store. That’s something that likely won’t happen at a place like Costco.
:Hi, Please first understand that my family and myself owned a local tire and service business for 54 years. If you purchase your tires from one of the multi-chain dealers or big box stores the dollars that you spend will not stay in your area…they will go out of your area. Most times we were able to match or even beat the prices from the chains, etc. And we had the same rebates as the others. Lastly, we corrected many of the ride problems that were experienced by improper balancing or installation. Also, I saw a number of times where improper tire sizes were installed. And improper speed ratings for cars that were designed for higher speeds. Anyway, my thoughts are to buy from your neighbors, support them and their staff, also neighbors, who are part of your community. Lastly, a neighborhood store should know which brands and types of tires will perform the best in your area. Thanks for the ability to share my thoughts.
I use Discount Tire. The prices were competitive but the biggest reason is that they helped my daughter out plugging a tire and didn’t charge her. Got her in and out in no time. Just super helpful.
Clark missed a new player: SimpleTire. It’s become my first stop when buying tires now, then Amazon.
Four Wheel Parts also has some good deals on truck tires.
The secret to saving money on tires is STAY AWAY from EVERYONE on Clark’s list. They all waste your time and upsell you to death. Buy your own tires online, then find a street in your area that has some Mexican Llanteras (Spanish for Tire Shop). Take our tires to them and you’ll probably pay $15-20 each to have them mounted and balanced. If you need a new TPMS sensor, bring your own and they’ll put it in. I GUARANTEE you will be in and out in less time that it took the cocky black socks and shorts wearing Discount upseller to walk out and look at your tires while figuring out if he can sell his worthless warranty. Oh you want a warranty? With the money you saved buying your own tires and using a llantera, you can buy another tire for a spare and still have plenty of savings, and not be told whatever happened to your tire isn’t covered or it’s expired. Tires are not rocket science, there is nothing special about the major players. I did that job so I know. BTW, last time I took my wife’s Tacoma truck in for tires, we were in and out in 28 minutes at a downtown Chandler Llantera- cost $60. Four Toyo’s $220 each from Simple Tire.
4 new tires for my 03 MACH1 Mustang in Oct 2021 at DISCOUNT TIRE in store in Indiana.
Instalation $20.00 ea.
Environmental fee .25 ea.
Disposal fee $2.75ea.
Total installation $92.00
10% online ordering discount. -46.00
GRAND TOTAL: $535.75
You manufactured and installed tires? And presumably you obtained the rubber from local sources? Bravo!
I’m not sure where the multi-chain dealers and big box stores get their employees where you live. In my town, all the workers at those stores are my neighbors.
No we did not manufacture the tires, we just installed them. Bur I had three of the Hunter roadforce balancers that were over $20,000 each with the proper adapters for 99% of all vehicles/wheels. These made sure that our customers had the best rides available. Understandably, the employees are normally local, but the bulk of profits heads out of town.
No they don’t. Profits go to the owners of the stores, which if they’re publicly traded companies, are all of your neighbors who have 401k accounts. I’m glad you treat your customers right (and I’m thankful for my local shop that takes care of me). The “buy local” argument just doesn’t hold water, though. If it did, you might have bought that $60,000 worth of equipment from a local manufacturer, instead of Hunter.
I’ve done Costco in the past, and have been happy, but they’re so far away it’s a hassle to deal with them for installation, and especially any follow up issues.
We’ve been going to Discount Tire since then. They have stores close to my house and my work, so dealing with them has been easy, and much less time consuming. They’ve treated us well also.
I found a way around the 4-tire requirement at Costco. I was able to take a worn tire off my truck (I had a misaligned front end that wore two tires). I took one tire on the rim into Costco and they put a new tire on. The next day I came in with a worn tire on a rim and they replaced the tire. You should note that these were not exchanges, as I bought a new tire for each rim. I made sure that I had the front end aligned the next day with my two new tires.
I purchase tires at Discount Tires. They are franchises, so locally owned. The one closest to my home has better prices (and service i am told) than one that is a couple of miles further away.
On more than one occasions my son has purchased specialty tires online, then taken them there for mounting at minimal cost. They balance and rotate tires purchased there for free. Prices for tires for my car were less than through our mechanic.
Discount Tire all day, everyday. They’ve plugged numerous flats for free and balance and rotate my tires on any of my new vehicles for free because they know come tire time I’ll be buying them there.
Same thing here - The customer service when I wasn’t buying tires is why I went there when I needed tires. So plugging my kids flat got them $800 worth of tire business from me.