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Yikes, price of tires went down

Got an appointment to replace my tires and the price quoted is less than what I paid about five years ago. Nice surprise but I suppose it is due to the price of oil.

That is the kind of suprise I can live with.

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What tires did you buy?

Same as before, General RT or something or other. Appointment is for Friday.

Did the price they quoted you over the phone include mounting and balancing?

In my area the tire market has become more competitive. There are chain tire stores such as Tire Barn competing with the independent stores, Sears and even the new car dealers now sell tires. We had a Big O store that couldn’t complete. It became an NTB and it couldn’t complete either. The building became a mattress outlet store. The Firestone and Goodyear stores are long gone.

Yeah its all out the door. Mounted, balanced, tax, and disposal. Just thought it would be about $100 more than five years ago.

Around here $20/tire is a common mounting/balancing fee. The tires are generally reasonably priced, but the mounting & balancing fee seems a little on the high side to me.

I had tires on the Acura balanced a while back and I know the cost was no more than $40. That’s Minnesota though not Kaliforny.

$10 / tire seems like a more reasonable fee for that service.

A “mounting and balancing” fee can cover a broad spectrum of things that can include things other than just putting the tire on the wheel. From my experience my $20 per tire fee at my preferred shop includes these items that are often overlooked at cheaper tire mills.
1- Road force balancing, instead of simple spin balancing
2- New, high quality, valve stems
3- Bid of rim wire brushed to clean corrosion before new tire mounting
4- Bead sealer applied to prevent air leaks
5- Old tire disposal (often $5 per tire extra at some places)
6- Lifetime flat repairs

I can save maybe a few dollars going someplace “cheaper” but, in the end, it always seems to end up costing me more. Like most things in life, it pays to understand the VALUE of what you are getting for the PRICE you are paying.

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We have had General Altimax RT43 tires on our Olds for a few years and they work very well for us, too.

Does that price include a nitrogen fill?

Sorry, I couldn’t resist. I’m just foolin’ with you. I just got a flyer from a local dealer (a crook with many scams) with a coupon for a nitrogen tire “fillup” for $39.99 for all four wheels. That’s $10/wheel to pump a bit of nitrogen in your tires. It’s fresh on my mind. It’s the modern day con artists’ version of the “change the air in your tires” joke. Who’d have thought it would become an actual offering?

I know we’ve had this discussion before, but there’s less than two protons difference in the weight/size of a nitrogen atom and an oxygen atom. They’re almost exactly the same size and weight. And ambient air is 77% nitrogen anyway. I was just trying to make a joke.

One time I got new tires and they came back installed w/very ugly green valve caps. “Who in their right mind would want green valve caps?” thought I. I got to wondering then if the green valve cap means they filled the tires w/nitrogen rather than plain old air. Anybody know if green valve caps are associated w/a nitrogen fill?

I think they are, but I’m not certain.
I wouldn’t want them. I’d feel like I was driving an advertisement saying “Sucker behind the wheel!”

I often take a neighborhood walk route passing a gas station that offers free air. Every time I walked past that station I’d look for valve caps laying in the area. Pretty soon I had four nice black ones to replace the ugly green ones … lol … I won’t even put the green ones on my bike …

Yeah free tire rotation every 6000 miles and I’m sure they’d change the air then too if I asked.

That’s my understanding-green caps mean they put nitrogen in. I wouldn’t want those ugly things on there either.

I have heard of putting nitrogen in tire’s but never understood why what is the reason behind it?

Well its supposed to be a little more stable in temperature swings, not hold moisture as much, and not seep through the tire as much as regular air. But regular air already has about 78% nitrogen in it so for normal usage who cares? I just wouldn’t pay extra for it and I wouldn’t want green valve caps and I wouldn’t refrain from topping them off with my own compressor.

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I just bought a set of Michelin “X Tour” tires for my Stratus from Costco for $86 per tire. They match the Michelin Defender, I think the Costco tire gets a different name as not to compete in price with the competition. I haven’t bought new tires in the last 10 years because of the elevated prices.

As for nitrogen, we stopped using green caps 5 years ago, green O-rings placed on the valve stem identify that the tires have been inflated with nitrogen, the O-rings cost less. Nitrogen is only used for vehicles in inventory, not offered to the public.