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The Diary of the Phantom Tire Buyer #66:

Posted on

A Web Log about a quote from A Phantom Tire Buyer with a Secret Identity

Dear Diary,

Just the other day I was on my way to volunteer at the local recycling center.  One of Tire Discounters’ competitors has a location along that route, so I usually try to avert my eyes when driving by.  It makes my blood boil when I think of all those poor, unsuspecting customers.

But this time, I couldn’t help but glance their way.  What I saw stopped me in my tracks.  There, in front of their store was this brazen message:  “10% off any Tire Discounters quote”.

Well, I couldn’t help myself, I had to investigate.  I marched into the store and simmered, while I waited for the “sales manager” to get off his phone and acknowledge my presence.  

“What can I do you for?  Nice cape, by the way.”

“I saw your sign outside, my good man.”

“Oh that,” he smirked, “pretty clever on us, huh?”

“I don’t know where to begin.”

“Howsabout we jack your car up and we’ll tell ya what ya need?”

“Do you have the slightest inkling what Tire Discounters does for their customers?”

“Slap on tires, just like us.”

“NO!  I don’t know where to begin, so let’s cut to the chase, as they say.”  


“Do you even have an alignment rack?”

“Nope.  Too expensive.  Plus, you gotta know how to use them.  It’s complicated.”

I struggled to maintain my composure.   “Are you aware of what can happen when you carelessly put new tires on a misaligned vehicle?”

“Yeah, weird tread wear.  You should make sure them wheels are aligned.“  

“That’s why Tire Discounters includes a free 4-wheel alignment with standard 4-tire installation!”

“We can’t do that.”

“I KNOW THAT!  So how can you offer 10% off when you even come close to providing the same service!”

“Well, rubber’s rubber.”

“Let’s move on.  Do you scour the mating surfaces to ensure a perfect seal?”

He gave me a quizzical look and suddenly shouted: “Who’s next!?”

The speed rating of a tire is based on U.S. Government standards for reaching and sustaining a specified speed. Typically, a tire with a higher speed rating results in better handling. Speed ratings apply only to the tire itself, and not to a particular vehicle. Putting a tire rated for a certain speed on a vehicle does not mean that the vehicle can be safely operated at the tire's rated speed.

The load range on a tire helps determine its ability to contain air pressure and its overall strength. Ranges are expressed using a number and the higher the number, the stronger the tire. These measurements are primarily for light trucks and SUV’s.

Tread depth is the distance between the top of the tread rubber to the bottom of the tire's deepest grooves.  In the United States, tread depth is measured in 32nds of an inch.

A tire’s maximum load is the maximum amount of weight the tire is designed to hold. The tire’s load carrying capacity is directly related to the tire’s size and amount of inflation pressure that is actually used. Each load range has a assigned air pressure identified in pounds per square inch (psi) at which the tire's maximum load is rated.

A tire’s maximum inflation pressure (PSI) is the highest "cold" inflation pressure that the tire is designed to contain. When measuring a tire’s max PSI, it is important the tire is "cold," because warmer temperatures can cause the tire pressure to temporarily increase resulting with inaccurate readings. This measurement should only be used when called for on the vehicle’s tire placard or in the vehicle’s owners manual.

The mileage warranty of a tire indicates the number of miles that a tire is estimated to last. If a tire fails to last for the number of miles indicated by the warranty, the customer will be given credit from the tire manufacturer toward a new tire based on how many miles short of the estimate the tire fell. Some restrictions apply. 

The total width of the tire, including any raised features on the sidewall. 

This is how many layers of rubber and other materials are in the tire.  

The represents the smallest and widest size wheels that are recommended by the tire manufacturer for the tire to be mounted on. 



The measurement, in inches, from rim flange to the other rim flange. 

The maximum width of a wheel that a tire can be put onto. 

The minimum width of a wheel that a tire can be put onto.  

A tire's section width (also called "cross section width") is the measurement of the tire's width from its inner sidewall to its outer sidewall (excluding any protective ribs, decorations or raised letters) at the widest point. 

What makes up a tire; each ply, the sidewall, the tread, and bead.  

This number will tell you how well the tire will disperse heat buildup. 

This is how much weight a tire is rated to hold.

Mounting & Balancing  $76

Lifetime Rotation and Balancing $600*

Lifetime Tire Pressure Adjustments $16

Rubber Valve Stems $8

Tire Repair**  $140

TOTAL = $840

*Estimate based on 4-tire purchase of 60,000-mile tires. 

**Excludes: Under 40 series, run-flats, mud tires, trailer tires, off-road vehicles, and any tire over six (6) years old.  Other exclusions may apply.

TD will repair flat tires as long as it can be done safely in accordance with Tire Industry Association (TIA) Guidelines.  Excludes: Under 40 series, run-flats, mud tires, trailer tires, off-road vehicles, and any tire over six (6) years old.  Other exclusions may apply.  See store for details.  

National accounts and local fleet not included.

Free Alignment with 4-Tire Purchase

National accounts not included.  Other exclusions may apply.

Mounting & Balancing  $76

Lifetime Tire Pressure Adjustments $16

Rubber Valve Stems $8

Lifetime Rotation $240

Total = $340

*Estimate based on 4-tire purchase of 60,000 mile tires. 

Our Nationwide Worry Free Guarantee offers FREE unlimited Tire Repairs for the entire life of your tires. If your tire can't be fixed and is over 3/32" tread, no worries, we will give you a replacement tire at any time, up to 3 years. We'll even help get your tire changed by including reimbursement for Roadside Assistance (up to $75) for the first 12 months at no additional cost. Effective: August 24, 2017. For complete details, see our warranty at any Tire Discounters location.

Components of the Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) sensor wears over time.

A TPMS Service Kit is suggested each time a tire/wheel is serviced. If left unchanged, over time, these components of the TPMS may corrode, leak or fail.

Tire/wheel service is defined as when tire is removed from the wheel.