The writers at Torque News are the car people in our families. I take care of five vehicles with a total of 28 tires, not counting spares. Keeping those vehicles and tires in working order as the seasons change and the tires age and become damaged is time consuming. A new service in our area called the Tread Connection may be exactly the salvation we were hoping for.
One of our vehicles with seasonal tires offers a great example of how challenging it can be to keep tires in service. When we needed winter tires for a Honda Accord that was making many long-distance trips regardless of weather, we turned to our trusted local tire shop. That shop was overwhelmed last fall and had no appointments. In fact, we couldn’t even get a return call to pre-order the tires.
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We turned to Town Fair Tire, a local chain, and set up an appointment. Upon arriving, we learned that despite having an appointment to have tires mounted, we would have to wait over 2 hours before our turn on the lift came up. We left and eventually found winter tires in stock and made an appointment at Direct Tire, another local chain.
The tire prices were great and they took us in when we arrived at our appointment. All was well until we drove the car with the newly purchased tires on the highway and found the tires unbalanced. Back we went, wasting more valuable time. This spring, when we had this retailer swap the 3-season tires back on (for a fee) they were again unbalanced when we drove the car.
As fate would have it, we recently learned of the Tread Connection through Facebook. This mobile tire service serves the Boston Metro area and we made an appointment. We had many questions about what a mobile tire service could offer and many of the answers surprised us.
For example, we wondered how a single van could have the modern machines needed to properly mount and balance a tire. It turns out that the Tread Connection uses modern “no-touch” technology that ensures that expensive rims are not scored during tire service. The balancing is high-tech and we were even offered video and electronic reports of the tires’ health.
The technician arrived on time and worked on the car at our home. The tires were balanced and the technician explained to us why the folks at Direct Tire were having trouble. He told us, “The tire shop that did the balancing didn’t remove the old weights from previous balancings. Instead, they were just adding more and more weights to the freshly mounted tires.” This is the wrong way to balance a tire.
Before we called Tread Connection, the tires vibrated so much on the highway we felt it was actually dangerous to drive the vehicle. After Tread Connection finished the work, the car drove smoothly on the highway. Best of all, we never had to travel, never had any wait time, and our workday was uninterrupted. Time is valuable for families in which every adult works.
Coincidental to our appointment, the owner of Tread Connection was interviewed on the Car Doctor’s local radio show in our area. You can listen to the podcast here.
The Tread Connection charged us an even $100 for the 4-tire re-balance job. More typical seasonal changeovers are $120 including dismounting and mounting. We paid more at Direct Tire to have it done wrong. Given the good work done, and the convenience of having the technician come to us, we feel the Tread Connection offers a very high level of value.
The Tread Connection offers flat repair, new tires, and most of the services any homeowner will need related to tires. To find out more, check out the company’s website. And please note, that this company is the one we used, but given the advantages, we would recommend that anyone try a mobile tire service. If you have used a mobile tire service please tell us about it in the comments under this story.
Note: Torque News and the author received no special discounts, no free services or products, and have not been paid in any way by the companies mentioned in this story.
John Goreham is a life-long car nut and recovering engineer. John's focus areas are technology, safety, and green vehicles. In the 1990s, he was part of a team that built a solar-electric vehicle from scratch. His was the role of battery thermal control designer. For 20 years he applied his engineering and sales talents in the high tech world and published numerous articles in technical journals such as Chemical Processing Magazine. In 2008 he retired from that career to chase his dream of being an auto writer. In addition to Torque News, John's work has appeared in print in dozens of American newspapers and he provides reviews to many vehicle shopping sites. You can follow John on Twitter, and view his credentials at Linkedin.
Image showing Accord by Ean Goreham. The rest courtesy of the Tread Connection media support.