Friday, February 8, 2013

New Tires

Car tires are an amazing value.

$80 each for a typical 16" tire will get you a perfectly formed and balanced glob of high tech rubber, steel and carbon that will smoothly serve you for a minimum of 40,000 miles over terrain rough and smooth, temperatures from 0 kelvin to boil-the-water hot, and survive the odd bit of hooliganism* and fun with never a concern for the tire itself.

Hooray for tires!

Getting tires put on your vehicle, however, has gone from "included with the price" to the following laundry list of surcharges and fees, which are offered in various mixed packages to force you to make a quick decision while you're still trying to understand it all:

9.99 balancing
1.00 state recycling tax
2.00 disposal fee
1.50 shop supplies (??)
3.50 valve stem and cap (could I decline the cap?  I want to re-use the ones on the old stems)
17.99 in fees and bits to get the damned things on the car.  Per tire.** 20 percent. 

Bah, humbug.

 * We've been watching too much Top Gear here lately, and a lot of anglophile phrases are slipping into conversation.  "You ideeeeeot!" is common epithet tossed about*** amongst the little toadrollers.
**Oh, I declined the 12.50 per tire road hazard warranty in which they'd fix a flat, once, or give you pro-rated value towards a replacement.  See the paragraph in which I praise the technology and durability of tires.
*** See what I mean?

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