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Monthly Archives: June 2012

  • Shopping for tires can be a difficult and intimidating process.  Each company takes a different approach to quoting, offers different services, and approaches a sale in different way.  This can make comparison shopping difficult.  In this post, I’ll try to lay out the questions you need to ask to effectively shop for tires and ensure you get the product and services you need.

    Does this tire meet or exceed the load and speed rating requirements of my vehicle?

    Choosing the right tire for your vehicle starts with making sure you have the right size, load index, and speed rating.  While some slight size alterations are allowed, maintaining the original equipment size is almost always preferable.  The load index represents how much weight the tire can hold.  Meeting or exceeding the manufacturer’s recommendation is critical.  Each vehicle also has a recommended speed rating.  This rating correlates to how much heat the tire can sustain and directly affects the handling of the vehicle.  Lowering the speed rating can decrease vehicle responsiveness.

    Does this price include free rotations for the life of the tires?

    Rotating your tires is critical to get the most out of your tires.  In fact, all manufacturers’ mileage warrantees require that you properly maintain your tires to uphold the warrantee!  So if you buy a 60,000 mile tire, it will most likely only see that mileage if you do your tire rotations.  Rotations are recommended every 6,000 miles and are done for free with any tire purchase from Sullivan Tire.

    Will you check the alignment angles for free with the tire purchase?

    Changing tires does not affect your alignment angles, but a misaligned vehicle can affect the way your tires wear.  Premature wear caused by misalignment is another item not covered by the manufacturer’s mileage warranty.  Alignment angles should be checked every six months to one year and performed as needed.  Sullivan Tire will check your alignment angles for free with all tire purchases.  Also, most vehicles require a four wheel or thrust angle alignment if adjustments are needed.  This is because the front angles are based on the rear.  Adjusting only the front without doing the rear first can actually make the alignment worse than it was before.  Be leery of anyone offering a free “Front End” alignment.

    Does the total price include balancing the tires, valve stem service, and disposal of the old tires?

    Don’t confuse “Free Mounting” or “Free Installation” with being everything needed to install tires on your vehicle.  There are three things you always want to make sure are included in your quote:  Balancing, valve service, and disposal of the old tires.

    Wheel Balancing – Balancing is necessary for almost all tires purchased.  Failing to balance tires can cause the vehicle to vibrate at high speeds.  Every time a tire is installed on a rim it should be balanced.  It is also important to note what kind of balancing is done.  Road Force balancing for instance is a unique form of balancing that helps ensure uniformity in the tire and wheel assembly.  This helps reduce high speed disturbances beyond what a standard high speed balancer is capable of.

    Valve Stem Service – All vehicles are equipped with either a rubber valve stem or a metal tire pressure sensor valve.  It is very important to service this every time the tire is removed from the wheel.  For a vehicle equipped with a rubber valve stem this means replacing that valve.  For vehicles equipped with tire pressure sensors this means rebuilding the pressure valve with a new grommet, nut, cap, and core.  This service is important because rubber breaks down over time and can cause pesky slow leaks.  Servicing valves will help to prevent this from happening.

    Disposal – Tires are considered hazardous waste and should be disposed of through the proper channels.  This usually carries a charge.  When trying to compare pricing, always make sure this is included in the price.

    At Sullivan Tire, upfront and honest quoting is a high priority.  You can access all of our tires through our tire search feature.  You can see also see any potential installation charges by clicking on “View Total Price”.  Feel free to utilize the “Help Me Choose” functionality on our site or call our tire experts at 877-855-4826 to help find the right tire for your needs!

    Josh Sweeney
    Sullivan Tire
    TIA Certified Tire Expert

  • Customers and employees of our Newton, Watertown and Boston locations had a special guess visit them on Tuesday June 26th.

    Red Sox 2nd baseman Dustin Pedroia popped in for a visit and shook hands with excited customers in the waiting room. He graciously posed for pictures and listened to true Red Sox fans share their support for our hometown team.

    A customer from the Newton location was thrilled to have the chance to meet Dustin after experiencing unexpected car issues. Paul wrote to us and said “The cost of the repair I needed was somewhat offset by meeting Pedey, PRICELESS!”.  Manager Matt Crane went on to share a little more and said that the customer was a huge sox fan and Pedroia is his favorite player. When the customer was given a ride home he went on to say this was one of the best days he’s had.

    All of our employees took a picture with Dustin as well as a store team picture.  Paul Dixon, manager of our Watertown location, was also surprised to see Dustin stop by for a visit. Each one of his employees took pictures with Dustin as well.  After Newton and Watertown, Dustin stopped by our Boston location just down the road from Fenway and shook hands with manager Rich Lobo and the crew.  The visit to each store was met with smiling faces of those happy to wish Dustin well this season. And he was very genuine in his response with a simple thank you and a smile.

    When asked how he thought the 3 store visits went, Area Supervisor John Miller just responded “All I can say is thank you. I’m speechless”.

  • This Saturday June 23rd, Sullivan Tire in Newport, RI will be hosting its official Grand Opening celebration from 10am – 2pm.

    Stop by for a chance to win a Webber Grill, a Sully Summer Gift Basket and all sorts of other prizes, like Sullivan Tire coupons and discounts.  Refreshments will be provided by A Little Café and Gully of the Newport Gulls will be hanging out from 1 – 2pm.

    We hope to see you there!

  • Sullivan Tire is proud to announce the “Every Hit Helps the WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Telethon” summer promotion!

    Beginning Monday, July 16th and running until Friday, August 10th, Sullivan Tire will donate $500 to the WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Telethon for every hit Dustin Pedroia gets, or, $1,000 for each home run.

    And you have a chance to get in on the action too!

    Correctly guess the number of hits Pedroia will get during July 16th – August 10th and you and five friends could be attending a September game in a Luxury Suite! You can register your guess online, in store, on Facebook, by QR code, and by texting “HITS” to 48121. Click here for the Official Rules and good luck!

  • Shocks and Struts

    Your vehicles suspension system, despite being one of the more important elements, is often the most overlooked during routine inspections.  Typically, you can see or feel if a part of your vehicle is not working properly.  With your suspension system, problems tend to happen gradually, and you may not notice until it becomes a big issue.

    Shocks (shock absorbers) are what keep your wheels in contact with the road, improving your ability to take a corner, brake and overall ride control.  Struts combine your shocks and springs into one unit, and are a structural part of the vehicle.

    Your shocks should be replaced around 30,000 miles, while your struts should be replaced around 50,000.  Of course, there are other variables that may cause wear and tear sooner or later, so to be safe, it’s recommended that your shocks and struts be checked every 12,000 miles.

    Below are some self-testing tips from the Automotive Accessories Connections to help you determine if your vehicle’s system is being worn down:

    Worn shocks and struts not only affect the ride comfort and control of your vehicle, but can affect its braking effectiveness, too. Here is a good self test to check for signs of worn shocks or struts:

    • Do you experience excessive bounce (3 or more bounces) when crossing an intersection or dip?
    • When stopping quickly, does your vehicle rock back and forth several times?
    • While applying your brakes firmly at higher speeds, does your vehicle have a tendency to drift left or right?
    • When changing lanes quickly does your vehicle rock or sway from side to side?
    • On a tight curve like a freeway ramp, does your vehicle lean and sway giving it an uneasy and disconnected feeling?

    For more information on shocks, struts, and other mechanical service your car might need, you’re always welcome to stop in to any one of our 57 retail locations, or chat with our Call Center!