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Phantom Diary Entry #1 - Road Trip Tips

Phantom Tire Buyer Diary

A Web Log from A Phantom Tire Buyer with a Secret Identity

Road Trip Tips

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Road Trip tip #1: Replenish your vehicle’s vital fluids

Low or dirty oil causes engine wear damage. Low coolant (antifreeze) causes overheating, which is the number one cause of breakdowns and usually results in catastrophic engine damage.  Using your windshield washer fluid pump without fluid will make it wear out quicker, and reduce visibility. The ASE-certified technicians at Tire Discounters can take care of these checks for you so your vehicle isn’t hung out to dry.

Road Trip tip #2: Check your alignment and tread

When traveling long distances with loved ones, it’s especially important that your tires are in the right shape to keep you safe. Misalignment can lead to poor handling or imprecise maneuvering. Worn tire tread might also put you at risk for hydroplaning. If you’re unsure about your alignment or tire tread, stop by your local Tire Discounters store to have this checked.

Road Trip tip #3: Travel with a spare

Not all vehicles have with a spare tire. Talk about leaving you in a pinch. Before your big trip, make sure you’re traveling with a spare and know where its at. Check to make sure to check that it is properly inflated if your vehicle has a spare. It’s also helpful to keep a clear path to it so you can access it quickly. Remember that a spare is only meant for temporary use, most spares are only intended to be used for up to 50 miles.

Road Trip tip #4: Have the right tools for changing a flat

It’s important to have the proper tools for putting that spare tire to good use. Many vehicles already come equipped with tools for lifting the tire, removing and replacing its lug nuts and prying off the wheel cover. Before leaving, make sure you’ve located these items – or purchase them if you don’t have them already.

Road Trip tip #5: Stay safe

We recommend stocking up on a few helpful items to keep you out of harm’s way. An emergency kit that includes a flashlight, jumper cables, a first aid kit, water and a warm blanket will come in handy in the event of an emergency – day and night, no matter the weather.

At Tire Discounters, you can take advantage of seven different free service checks and we offer a free extensive 22-point safety check to help ensure a great road trip.

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The speed rating of a tire is based on U.S. Government standards for reaching and sustaining a specified speed. Typically, a tire with a higher speed rating results in better handling. Speed ratings apply only to the tire itself, and not to a particular vehicle. Putting a tire rated for a certain speed on a vehicle does not mean that the vehicle can be safely operated at the tire's rated speed.

The load range on a tire helps determine its ability to contain air pressure and its overall strength. Ranges are expressed using a number and the higher the number, the stronger the tire. These measurements are primarily for light trucks and SUV’s.

Tread depth is the distance between the top of the tread rubber to the bottom of the tire's deepest grooves.  In the United States, tread depth is measured in 32nds of an inch.

A tire’s maximum load is the maximum amount of weight the tire is designed to hold. The tire’s load carrying capacity is directly related to the tire’s size and amount of inflation pressure that is actually used. Each load range has a assigned air pressure identified in pounds per square inch (psi) at which the tire's maximum load is rated.

A tire’s maximum inflation pressure (PSI) is the highest "cold" inflation pressure that the tire is designed to contain. When measuring a tire’s max PSI, it is important the tire is "cold," because warmer temperatures can cause the tire pressure to temporarily increase resulting with inaccurate readings. This measurement should only be used when called for on the vehicle’s tire placard or in the vehicle’s owners manual.

The mileage warranty of a tire indicates the number of miles that a tire is estimated to last. If a tire fails to last for the number of miles indicated by the warranty, the customer will be given credit from the tire manufacturer toward a new tire based on how many miles short of the estimate the tire fell. Some restrictions apply. 

The total width of the tire, including any raised features on the sidewall. 

This is how many layers of rubber and other materials are in the tire.  

The represents the smallest and widest size wheels that are recommended by the tire manufacturer for the tire to be mounted on. 



The measurement, in inches, from rim flange to the other rim flange. 

The maximum width of a wheel that a tire can be put onto. 

The minimum width of a wheel that a tire can be put onto.  

A tire's section width (also called "cross section width") is the measurement of the tire's width from its inner sidewall to its outer sidewall (excluding any protective ribs, decorations or raised letters) at the widest point. 

What makes up a tire; each ply, the sidewall, the tread, and bead.  

This number will tell you how well the tire will disperse heat buildup. 

This is how much weight a tire is rated to hold.

Mounting and Balancing – up to $159.96 pending wheel diameter

Lifetime Rotation – $299.90 

Lifetime Balancing – $449.90 

Lifetime Tire Pressure Adjustments – $16 

Rubber Valve Stems – $8

Tire Repair** – $140

Total = $1,073.76

*Estimate based on 4-tire purchase of 60,000-mile tires. 

**Excludes: Under 40 series, run-flats, mud tires, trailer tires, off-road vehicles, and any tire over six (6) years old.  Other exclusions may apply.

TD will repair flat tires as long as it can be done safely in accordance with Tire Industry Association (TIA) Guidelines.  Excludes: Under 40 series, run-flats, mud tires, trailer tires, off-road vehicles, and any tire over six (6) years old.  Other exclusions may apply.  See store for details.  

National accounts and local fleet not included.

Free Alignment with 4-Tire Purchase

National accounts not included.  Other exclusions may apply.

Mounting & Balancing  $76

Lifetime Tire Pressure Adjustments $16

Rubber Valve Stems $8

Lifetime Rotation $240

Total = $340

*Estimate based on 4-tire purchase of 60,000 mile tires. 

Our Nationwide Worry Free Guarantee offers FREE unlimited Tire Repairs for the entire life of your tires. If your tire can't be fixed and is over 3/32" tread, no worries, we will give you a replacement tire at any time, up to 3 years. We'll even help get your tire changed by including reimbursement for Roadside Assistance (up to $75) for the first 12 months at no additional cost. Effective: August 24, 2017. For complete details, see our warranty at any Tire Discounters location.

Components of the Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) sensor wears over time.

A TPMS Service Kit is suggested each time a tire/wheel is serviced. If left unchanged, over time, these components of the TPMS may corrode, leak or fail.

Tire/wheel service is defined as when tire is removed from the wheel.