Where to buy tires?

generic tire closeupB emails:

I usually get my tires online but picking them up at the UPS facility in Latham is a pain and I'm happy to spend a few extra dollars to support local businesses. Any suggestions for good local tire shops? Selection and customer service are a plus, but evening/weekend hours are the dealbreaker since I have a 9-5 and dropoff/pickup is extremely inconvenient. Proximity to Albany proper a plus.

Got a suggestion for B? Please share! And, as always, bonus points for a little bit of explanation for why you're suggesting the place.

While we're on the subject: A lot of people are probably thinking about snow tires right now, so if you have a suggestion about where to buy them / get them put back on -- this is a good thread for it.

Comments

Rob at Mavis Tire on Central is super nice and gave me a great deal on tires last year. Plus it's really close to downtown so it's walkable or a cheap taxi ride away.

Kis Kis tire in Latham, right off of Rt. 7. They're a great mechanic shop, too. I've been taking my car there for over a year and always had great service. They also have a good selection, very fast turnaround and are very friendly.

Grand Premier Tire in East Greenbush, just a couple of miles from downtown Albany, has always given us fantastic service. Quicker than any of the chain stores I've tried, and have always made good on their warranties and flat service.

http://www.grandpremiertire.com/

Since moving here I got new tires at Thoma Tire in Nassau on the recommendation of my boss. I didn't shop around so I can't say how they compare on prices but I had great service, was in and out and they are open Saturday mornings.

http://www.thomatire.com/

I'm also looking for a place to get new tires. Specifically, I want to find a Nokian dealer. I put Nokians on my old Civic and could drive that car through anything. I want to get a set for my current car.

Tire Warehouse in CP trips all over themselves to support Republican candidates, so, if that sort of thing would influence you one way or the other...

I personally like good ole reliable (ha!) Craigslist.

Just picked my new snows up from Kiskis Tires today in Latham. They're always nice, quick, and the price was by far the best of the 3 quotes i got. I took a break from them for a while to deal with a shop closer to me, but their pricing drew me back this year.

I also had a good experience at the Mavis on Central Ave, although I have in the past bought better quality tires for a similar price at TireRack.com and then had my local mechanic put them on.

I don't have much to say since I buy all my tires at Tirerack.com. Shipping is indeed expensive and I get the "buying local" request, but customer service doesn't always suck with big names. Even though Tirerack is the leader online (is it?), I found customer service to be great, they are quick and serviceable, so I've ordered from them for the past 10 years. After talking to them a few weeks ago they saved me from ordering the wrong spec on new winter tires. It's valuable to me. And it's difficult to argue with a $200 tire that I've seen $300 locally.

Anyway, apologies for the shameless plug, I'm also selling 4 used winter tires Bridgestone BLIZZAK WS-50 225/50R16 mounted on 4 rims, specs are here.

Other option, maybe ship them to a friend's workplace and pick them up here. You know. That friend.

Val, Grand Premier says they carry Nokians. I'd call and see if they have your size.

Steer clear of Mavis. They mounted my tires wrong and it was a nightmare to get them to fix them. In fact they didn’t.
I instead bought new tires from my mechanic and they’re perfect.

Thanks Carl!

Gil's Garage also carries Nokians.

Warren Tire in East Greenbush/Schodack. It's a bit of a hike, but it is worth it. They are honest and their prices are more than fair. If you only need two, they won't encourage you to buy four. If it turns out you don't need tires at all, but only a rotation, they will not sell you the new tires. I highly recommend them.

I'm all for local business, too, but can't justify paying an extra 20-30% on a costly item. Tirerack and Discountiredirect are the only place I ever get tires and they will drop ship to your local installer, so you don't need to worry about being home for delivery.

If you want the best price local, however, Mavis is local but corporate (franchised?) and in my experience they can typically match (pre-tax) the price from the online retailers -- so you'd only be paying 8% more after tax.

I second Thoma Tire in Nassau. I have been going there for almost twenty years and they have the greatest service!

I'll 2nd Thoma Tire

Yea I'd recommend SimpleTire.com because when you order tires online from their site, your actually supporting the local tire dealer down your street as long as they have them in stock. Really your ordering from the local tire dealer, it's just all aggregated onto one site at good tire prices.

http://simpletire.com

I have gotten Nokian snow tires at Kiskis which was recommended to me by a colleague for their customer service. They have Saturday hours: http://www.kiskistireco.com/index.html. Have also gotten them at Goldstein Subaru: http://goldsteinauto.com/Subaru/serviceCenter.php.

There are few things I hate more than tire shopping in person. At least with mattress shopping (where I also know I am getting screwed) I can see if the mattress feels comfortable. What do I know about tires? NOTHING. So you go into the store and the sales guy pretty much tells you what to get. You pretend to understand the selling points and compare, but lets face it, you are going to buy one of his suggestions. And I assume that is because he is trying to get rid of those old things, or makes extra money on that brand this week, or that that is all he has in stock that will fit my car.
YOU HAVE TO go to tire rack.com. There reps have to go through 3 months of training (3 MONTHS!!! 120 hours! ) before they are allowed to talk to a customer. They are fantastic on the phone and are fair and balanced about your different choices. Or on the internet you can compare prices, Tire rack reviews, and customer ratings across as many tires as you want. And for all that service, you actually pay less in most cases.
For shipping, they will ship to your house, but B, it sounds like maybe you live in the city and don't want them on your doorstep? In that case tirerack has a number of area installers that it will ship to and you can go there where they are waiting for you and have them mounted. The mounting & balancing prices are listed ahead of time on the Tirerack website.
No, I don't own stock in the company...

Grand Premier in East Greenbush is fabulous and quick. However, I typically buy my tires online (usually tirerack.com) and then have them shipped to the house. I don't understand the comment about having to pick them up at the UPS facility - they are always left at my door, and I have done this many times. Then I take them over to Grand Premier and have them installed. Usually they have the car up on jacks before I've fully opened the door and gotten out!

I've always had excellent luck with Adirondack Tire. I've been to the Clifton Park office have heard good things about the other locations, as well. Good service, good plans, helpful employees!

Thanks for all the suggestions! Good stuff to look into.

For those who suggested Warren Tire, I had used them back in the day when I lived in East Greenbush, and it worked for me. Good suggestion.

Albany Landlord, I have tried to get Tirerack to ship to my door but they won't. They require an in person signature unless something has changed recently, and I'm not going to take a day off of work waiting for the UPS truck.

DT, I know Tirerack has partnerships with local installers, but that brings me back to the question, which outlets are worth it? The last two places I tried didn't impress.

Brandon, thanks, you're not the first person to suggest Simpletire actually, so I'll look into it.

Look, I'm not against Tirerack. I am against driving out of my way to pick up tires I then have to drive to get mounted. So let's shorten the question: where do you go to get tires installed and why?

B, Tire rack may say they require a signature, but in my neighborhood UPS almost always just leaves stuff there unless it really really needs a signature. They have left tires here a number of times over the years without a signature. But your situation may differ.

B,

In answer to your question, if you're looking for a proper tire balance as your sole criteria, find a place that uses a Hunter 9700 balance.

http://www.gsp9700.com/search/findgsp9700.cfm

I often use Broadway Auto Clinic. They're very competent, though a little pricy.

Also, to echo Albany Landlord, the last set of tires I ordered from Tirerack to my house, and they were left on my porch -- no signature.

Warren Tire in East Greenbush/Schodack!! I second that!
And they do a whole lot more than just tires.
I think they are very honest and you will not find a cleaner waiting room!!

Local Ford dealers are also price matching on tires.

If price is a consideration and you care about regular tire rotations for even wear, I have found the Tire Warehouse tough to beat. I recently dumped my tire dealer of the past 10 years when the new mgr tried to push me into a brand I didn't want. I compared Mavis and a couple of others and when it came down to the bottom line price including installation and free rotations Tire Warehouse was $20/tire less for the Contis I wanted. I've considered Tire Rack before, but as someone who works out of his car I've found than when I've been in a jam for a quick repair, it pays to actually purchase from someone local. Maybe I'm wrong, but the guy behind the counter seems more responsive to a customer who actually bought tires there than to someone who brought in Tire Rack products and just paid for installation. Just my take.

Hey folks, just a followup. I ended up heading over to Warren Tire in E. Greenbush and they took good care of me with no appointment. The tires were ~$15 more each than a comparable product from tirerack, but I was in and out in about an hour. No surprises or unexpected charges, the price they give you includes everything but tax and disposal. Bonus: they didn't blink an eye when I asked for a non-stock size. They sold me an alignment that I knew I needed, which is better than the shop where I got my last inspection who tried to sell me a few hundred dollars worth of repairs instead.

All in all it was a bit more expensive but worth it (for me) for the walk-in, walk-out convenience. It's worth noting that I put less than 5,000 miles on my vehicle so I'm replacing tires less often than most people, so the extra cost is more easily absorbed. Highly recommend Warren, but I would suggest calling ahead to ask about selection in your tire size.

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