Monday, April 2, 2012
April Second Opinion
Thinking that my life and the safety of others might be in imminent danger, I stopped by my favorite tire shop this afternoon. The very nice young man said that I have a good 5000+ miles left on my tires. He showed me the wear bars still deep in the tread of the tires. He hated to send me away and did give me the bad news that each tire, when I needed them, were going to be around $159. EACH! I guess they're 17" sport alloy rims or something, and in the tire world, they are kinda fancy. As well as practical, I must add. I have driven through some of the worst winter weather I've ever experienced in my Subaru Outback, and that is, I expect the all wheel drive in combination with great handling and where those four tires connect with the road. He said to come back and see him in a couple months. Since the tires are original equipment, they are now five years old and even though I have lots of remaining tread the upcoming summer heat could expand now hidden surface cracks. And that could be a safety issue should the cracks enlarge and separate. The original impression of danger was planted in my head by the dealership where I purchased my car. The service manager is a nice guy, and I'm certain he has corporate factory issued guidelines to follow and he's just doing his job. On the other hand, I listen to Car Talk on NPR and I'm wary of procedures and premature part replacements that do little more than make the dealership owner's boat payment. To be fair, the dealership's tire estimate was pretty close to the one I got today. But I no longer feel like I'm riding on borrowed tread.