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Where the Rubber Meets the Road

I just ordered new tires for the Mazda3. It was a temultuous saga for me that has spanned several weeks now of research and stress. I’m the kind of guy that will research a product to death and still be concerned that I’m not getting the best value for my dollar. Normally, I’ve always just gone to a tire shop and hoped for them to have the tires that I read about somewhere. It was a pretty half-assed way to tackle such a major purchase. We just bought tires for Amy’s Element not too long ago and it was very expensive (for my standards). I talked to some friends and found out about the world of online tire sales. I was always hesitant about this before because I couldn’t imagine myself hauling in tires to a tire shop and asking them to put them on for me. However, I’ve done the exact same thing to automotive repair places and no one balked at it. As I investigated my options, I found that many of the online tire warehouses give you a list of local tire shops where you can have your purchase drop-shipped and installed for a guaranteed price. I talked with some of these local places and was given the approval of this practice, so I’m over the concern. Having placed the order with tirerack.com, I was called within 5 minutes by a representative from the company. It was awesome! He talked about some installation issues I needed to know about with the tires I had chosen. We discussed it further and narrowed down exactly what I was looking for and found a tire that was a better fit for the application. Their website was very helpful, but the call from customer service was above and beyond. I’m certainly hooked on tirerack.com’s customer service and selection. I did notice some other places on the web with cheaper prices, but nothing can beat my experience so far. The tires should be in within the week and I can get off baldies I’m spinning on now.

For anyone interested, I had originally picked Kuhmo’s ECSTA ASX @ 205/50/17. After further research, I discovered that I could modify tire sizes and found that I could go with a much sought-after tire, General’s Extreme UHP @ 215/45/17. After the conversation I had with the customer service representative, I ended up with Fuzion HRi’s @ 215/50/17. This was a better fit because I wanted longer tire wear, low road noise, and good hydroplaning resistance. My education on tires is up about 1,000% from where I was, which by no means is the ceiling. I think they’re a little more complex than need be. However, tirerack.com and some friends were able to guide me to a more sound decision and I feel good about it.


Reader Comments

  1. Hi Olaf-

    Wow. What wonderful words to read on a dreaded Monday morning. I am the lucky guy who caught your order, and gave you a call. My former boss, who is now in charge of the website business, brought your article to my attention. It is simply very good to hear that you enjoyed your experience with us. Selfishly important to me is that it is always encouraging to learn I have done something to help some one directly. You have given me a smile for my entire day, and I thank you for that.

    If you need anything else, don’t hesitate to give me a call.

    With the best,

    Wes from the Rack

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