Whether you’ve been a Vancouver, Washington, motorist for years or you’ve just started driving, the tire-buying process can be intimidating. Your vehicle needs reliable tires to get from point A to point B, and buying the wrong set of tires could impede your car’s overall performance. With that in mind, it’s wise to be prepared before heading to your tire shop.
To make sure your next visit to Gaynor’s Automotive goes well, it’s a good idea to know what information you need from our ASE-certified mechanics. Here, you’ll find some great questions to ask our Vancouver tire shop mechanics when you’re planning to buy new tires.
Is It Time To Replace My Tires Yet?
A good set of tires will last you quite a few years, but these components won’t last forever. If your tires have 2/32” or less of tread, they’re “legally bald” and unfit to drive on. Even if your tire treads are still in decent shape, older tires can easily fall victim to cracks and bulges. These wheels could have trouble maintaining tire pressure levels, as well.
The exact lifespan of your tires will vary based on multiple factors, such as how frequently you drive and what brand of tires you use. Generally speaking, a set of tires should last between three and five years. That’s assuming you take tire maintenance seriously and drive about 12,000–15,000 miles per year—feel free to adjust this estimate upward or downward to better fit your situation.
While the experts at Gaynor’s Automotive can provide a professional assessment of your tires’ condition, you can get a rough idea on your own by doing the “penny test.” For this test, you’ll need to stick a penny into a tire’s grooves (with the head facing down). Is the hair on the top of Lincoln’s head covered by the tread? If not, your tires need to be replaced as soon as possible.
Do I Need To Replace Multiple Tires?
When only one of your tires is damaged, you might assume you’ll be able to save money by replacing that tire and leaving your other wheels alone. Unfortunately, that’s not always possible. You may still need to replace another tire or even all four of them.
No car tire is meant to operate in a vacuum; these components are intended to work alongside three other tires. Thus, your tires will only reach their full potential when they’re paired with similar wheels. Tires that share a manufacturer, speed rating, tread pattern, and other characteristics should give you the reliable performance you’re looking for.
That shouldn’t completely prohibit you from mixing and matching tires, but it does mean you’ll need to follow a few guidelines while doing so. Crucially, the tires on each of your car’s axles should match in terms of tread type and brand. In addition, older tires need to go on the front axle whenever possible. Putting new tires on the rear axle will give you added grip, keeping you as safe as possible on the road.
What Are the Best Tires in My Price Range?
Unlike some car components, tires are a long-lasting investment that will be responsible for protecting you and your passengers for years. That means you should never try to cut costs by buying off-brand wheels. Instead, ask the mechanics at your local tire store to help you find the highest-quality tires you can reasonably afford.
If you pick the right tire shop in Vancouver, your budget might be more flexible than expected. That’s because reputable garages like Gaynor’s Automotive give their customers opportunities to save money on new tires and tire service. Get started by looking at the online coupons we have available right now!
Which Tires Will Improve My Fuel Economy?
You might not expect your tires to affect your car’s fuel usage significantly, but you’d be surprised by how much tires matter in this regard. Picking the right tires could improve your fuel economy by 15–20 percent.
As a result, it’s a good idea to talk to the people working at your tire shop about how different tires will help—or hinder—your fuel usage. Just remember that you’ll also be responsible for maintaining these benefits over the long term by keeping your tires properly inflated after they’re installed.
What Should I Know About Tire Warranties?
No matter how exceptional your new tires are, they should come with extra protection in the form of a solid warranty. Warranty differences could even be enough to help you decide between complete sets of quality tires, so be sure to do your research!
Are you wondering what you should ask tire store employees about warranties? As a starting point, you may want to inquire about:
- Road Hazard Tire Protection Plan
- Geographical Coverage.
- Maintenance Guarantees.
- Materials/Workmanship Guarantees.
- Length of Coverage.
Can You Handle Tire Rotation and Wheel Alignment?
Tire maintenance may be the last thing on your mind when you’re in the market for new tires. After all, most people would assume their new wheels won’t need maintenance services for at least a few months. But that isn’t quite the case—you should take care of wheel alignment before your car leaves the tire shop.
Wheel alignment is all about making adjustments to your vehicle’s suspension with the goal of repositioning your tires. These wheels are designed to meet the roadway at a precise angle, and wheel alignment is the best way to ensure that’s possible. When you take care of wheel alignment, you’ll improve your fuel economy and allow your tires to wear correctly.
By choosing a tire shop that can work on services like wheel alignment, you can get this job done immediately and maximize the benefits in the process. Still, this isn’t the only tire-related task your full-service tire shop should be ready to handle. It’s also in your best interest to find a garage capable of providing a variety of services, including:
Know What To Look For in a Vancouver Tire Shop
By now, you should know what questions to ask before buying a new set of tires. Still, you’ll need to make sure your tire store is genuinely reliable for this process to go as smoothly as it should. Before choosing a tire shop, make sure it offers the following:
- ASE-certified technicians. When you’re looking for a tire store, your top priority should be finding a shop with mechanics who know what they’re doing. ASE certification is the “gold standard” for mechanics, so double-check that your tire shop of choice employs people with this level of experience.
- Multiple Vancouver locations. You can’t control where you’ll be in Vancouver when you need tire service. However, you can pick a tire store with several convenient locations in multiple parts of the city.
- A wide range of services. Obviously, your tire shop should be able to repair your tires, but tire problems aren’t the only issue your car might encounter. Instead of looking for yet another garage in Vancouver, pick a full-service shop capable of handling other auto repair and maintenance services.
- Meaningful opportunities to save. If you choose a shady repair shop to work on your tires, you’ll probably pay too much for subpar service. On the other hand, truly excellent tire stores offer fair rates and extra savings in the form of coupons.