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Re: Tire mounting without damage to wheels...

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Hi all. Getting ready for Spring and will get a new set of tires for my summer wheels. They are off the car right now, so I am going to just bring the wheels and the new tires to a shop to have the tires mounted. Thing is, I have what I think are pretty mint multipiece wheels (shown in pic below), and don't want a shop guy to scratch them to smithereens when mounting the tires. Can I trust a local Goodyear or Firestone shop to mount the tires? What do you think? I don't mind a scratch here and there, but don't want a bunch of dings. Lol

Be a nudge and insist on watching the job. And tell them you don't want to hear any bs about insurance regulations. Then watch, but don't be a nudge.
Thanks Laz. Wondering if these places carry Hunter balance machines.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/02/2012 09:31AM by Laz. (view changes)
in your area thru TireRack here: [www.tirerack.com]
Qualifier: Go with one of their TOP installers near you (not just 'other available') and personally I prefer an independently owned shop as opposed to a national chain.

In my experience, most of their installers price-match (as they can buy wholesale at TR too). I like it this way b/c it gives me someone 'local' to work w/ in case there are any issues. Have not had any problems w/ any of their installers re: dings/scratches and found all have Hunter road force balancing machines My local P-dealer, though not listed on TR's site works w/ them too. So, you and FST FWD have a lot of options.

Good luck smiling smiley

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 03/02/2012 09:43AM by Burg Boxster. (view changes)
I share your worries. And unfortunately, it's from experience. My strategy (should I really have to have a strategy, or should I just expect people to do their job correctly, and well?!) has only been marginally successful, but here it is.

1. I buy my tires from the same shop that is going to mount them.
2. I buy from the manager (there are usually 12-20 "managers" per shop, it seems sad smiley)
3. I make clear at tire purchase time that I expect the mounting to be perfect. Then I clarify that I am not unreasonable...I just want my wheels returned in the same condition as before they touched them
4. I am never in a hurry, and ask for the tech with the most high-end wheel, low-profile tire experience. I can wait a week for their best person.
5. I take pictures of each wheel from a few angles before they start. And I do it where the shop personnel can see me do it.
6. I bring in the wheels only, and I review the condition of the wheels with the manager before they start
7. I've never found it helpful to watch the process
8. I inspect the hell out of the wheels before I sign anything

With all of my OCD tendencies noted above, I have to suggest that my steps may help a little, but it's really all up to the tech. I had an awesome person at a local Big-O for a few years, but it seems hard to find "the guy" any more. I must say that having tires done at my local Porsche dealership is a stress-free experience. They know how to do a perfect job and stand behind any mistakes. But you pay for that.

With all of that said, and with some mellowing as I and my car age, I just get my tires at Costco now. smiling smiley
Concerning #2: You might wonder how some of the people "manage" to work there.
And #3: It probably helps to have all parties agree on what "perfect" means.
I can't bring the tires to a Porsche dealer to get them mounted because I'm not going to be putting on N-rated tires (something my dealer told me were the only tires they would mount). For my snow tires/wheels, I just bought the tires separately and then brought the tires and wheels to a Goodyear place to have them mounted, and they did an ok job. Just that I don't really care about my winter wheels so didn't mind, but for my summer wheels I do.
as you hand the keys over to the manager, take that cell phone camera out and be seen walking around the car to all 4 wheels taking pictures of the wheels. "I just don't want their to be any dispute about what the condition of the wheels were when I handed it over to you."
my dealer mounted Kumhos on my Boxster...no issues. That said, I once let the MB dealership (dealer is both MB and Porsche) mount my tires and they ruined my wheels with dings....lesson learned...no before photos. I know the Porsche mechanics take greater care of the P-cars...most own one themselves so they have a great appreciation and care.

Best of luck...

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/02/2012 05:35PM by Kimo. (view changes)
Not as much of an issue as it was a few years ago. Most shops are equipped with the proper equipment since so many cars wear larger wheels with low profile tires. I always ask, "Can you mount tires on my wheels without damaging them?" Get up-front w/mgr right away and tell him that is a concern. I've had good luck with the major shops in my hick town.
When I wanted to buy some new PS-2 N rated Michelins, Costco was about $300 cheaper (they even had me contact Michelin to get the right part number). Naturally, I was worried about anything bad that could possibly happen and I let them know that I was concerned. The installer made sure to call me over two or three times to point out existing scratches before he dismounted my wheels.

Of course, one can't just assume all Costco tire shops will be this caring, but my experience was GREAT. My theory is that these guys see so many "beaters" that they appreciate it when somebody cares, or I just got the car lover wrench working on my car.
Well, as an update, I finally found time to get my new Sumitomo HRTZ IIIs mounted to my summer 18" 3 piece wheels. Took em to a local Firestone located next to a Chevy dealership (figured they would have experience mounting low profile tires on them Vettes. Lol) After talking to the manager, he assured me he had a guy there who was great with low profile tires, and he called him over to look at my wheels. Took one look and said no problem. Well, it was true,...no problem. 40 (front) and 35 (rear) profile tires mounted to the wheels with no scratches. Less than half the price of what the dealer charges to mount the 4 tires. smiling smiley. Thanks to all here that gave me good advice- it was a TireRack recommended tire shop.

Now, I just need more time to get them on the car. Lol

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/24/2012 11:26AM by boxtaboy.
(view changes)
Now, I just need more time to get them on the car. Lol

Love these wheels - hope you have them on in time for TSBL! Glad to see you got the tires mounted with no problem

I've had similar experiences with wheel shops - now I only go to one place, local guy, and he is very good. Never a scratch.
Thx G. I think I'll def have them thrown on before your TSBL day! You got those beautiful Fikses back on the 997?
I purchased four new tires from a Club store and specifically asked the kid behind the desk that I wanted one of their more experienced installers with high end wheels to mount and balance the tires because my wheels were pristine and alloy and I did not want them tweaked. The kid handed the job to a particular guy and the tire dept. manager came out furious and got involved and said no way and lectured me me that ALL their installers were the same and highly trained and qualified to do the job.
I said fine but if my wheels were damaged he would hear about it. When I got the car back sure enough three of the wheels were badly damaged, some with 6-8 inch circular scratches down to the metal from the mounting machine. I got the store manager involved and had him look at it and he agreed to pay for the damage. To their credit they eventually cut me a check for $900.00 to repaint all four wheels (yup that's what it costs to refinish four wheels). Be careful.
They told me that at one time there was a piece of plastic that they placed around the rim to prevent scratching but ceased using it because it took too much time.
is to find an installer in your area that has a tire mounting/dismounting machine that uses rollers that DO NOT touch the rim but only the tire. These are specialty machines that are used to mount low profile tires and especially on 19 or 20 inch wheels. Not all shops have them but they are found at custom wheel tire shops. All other conventional machines use a rotating rod that is hooked onto the tire and then rotated around the wheel rim, it requires the tech to push and use his leverage on the opposite side to keep it from scratching your wheel. Any slip by the tech and your wheel will get scratched around the rim.
So either get a careful tech and hope for no slips or go to a shop that has the "no touch machine" and only then the human element (technician) is taken out of the equation.
John in Denver.
99 3xBlac
Touchless machines must be fairly common. There is a very small chain store near me called Feeney-McIntyre and they have them. I just had a piece of steel removed from the tread on one tire and they used the machine. I am guessing that any store that deals with high-end cars has such machines.

To prove my theory, we have a larger chain in my area called Conrad's (32-stores in NE Ohio), whom I just called and asked about the machines. The employee said that each store has 1-2 touchless machines.

I also called a local Goodyear and was told that "each store should have at least one as that is the modern standard".

Driving a new-to-me '09S in Aqua Blue Metallic. It does .5 past light speed. I made the Kessel run in less than 12-parsecs. Motto: If you have your top up, that storm outside had better have a name! Motto 2: Having the top up on a convertible is an oxymoron. Don't be a (oxy)moron.
Just be careful, many tire stores say they are touchless because in their mind their Tech is prying against the bar or metal lever and keeping it from touching the wheel with his force, thus it is a touchless operation but like I said before one slip by the tech and the metal bar is coming down on your wheel. A true touchless machine uses rollers and when the Tech sets it up he can basically watch it unmount the tire with his hands folded. Here's some youtube video of a true touchless machine, there are many others just search for touchless tire changer.

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