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The Diary of the Phantom Tire Buyer #90

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

Dear Diary,

As you might imagine, when I’m driving down the road in my Phantomobile, I get a good deal of attention.  People will often shout things “hey, you’re that Phantom Tire Buyer!”

“With a secret identity” I often reply.  “Tell me, how’s your alignment?” 

But lately I’ve been getting more attention than ever before.  I wondered why, and then it struck me.  I just had my good friends at Tire Discounters install a new set of wheels!  I can’t tell you what a difference it makes.  And I had an interesting conversation with my friend Mike…

“Hiya, Phantom!”

“Hi Mike.  I’d like to peruse your vast selection of wheels.  I think the Phantomobile needs some sprucing up.”

“Great!  Yeah, we’ve got thousands of wheels in stock:  KMC, Black Rhino, ION, Fuel and tons more…anything on the floor strike your fancy?”

I picked a set I’d had my eye on for some time.

“Okay, now lets do a little web site magic and see how they’ll look on the Phantomobile.”

“Wow!  That’s amazing!  And I must say, I think they really make the Phantomobile look unique!”

“And the price is lower than you might think…you might call it a “wheel deal”!  Get it?”

“I’m sorry, get what?”

“I said wheel deal”.


“It’s like a play on words.  Like instead of saying we have great big deals on wheels, I said it’s a wheel deal.”  

“Indeed.  And Mike, I also know that you and fellow ASE Certified Technicians know just the right fit for my vehicle and driving preferences.” 

“Plus, they look super cool.”

“I hope they don’t make me look like too much of a hep cat.”

“Not to worry Phantom.  Not to worry.”

Phantom 90

The Diary of the Phantom Tire Buyer #73:

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

Dear Diary,

Right now, where I live in Cincinnati, OH (also the home of the greatest tire store in the world) people all over town are rolling down their car windows for the first time since winter set in.  And guess what many of us are hearing?  “Squeee, squeee!”.   That’s not a technical term.  It’s supposed to represent the terrible and annoying squeaks made by brakes that need attention.  

If you’ve been startled by this or a similar noise, I highly recommend that you take your vehicle to the afore-mentioned Tire Discounters.  There, the friendly and expert ASE technicians will perform a free and thorough inspection.  How thorough?  I’m glad you asked!

Every part of your braking system that is subject to wear will be checked.  That includes friction materials like brake pads and shoes, and brake rotors and brake drums.  Then, the hydraulic system gets a good going-over.  In addition to analyzing the brake fluid, the master cylinder, steel brake lines, brake hoses, brake calipers and wheel cylinders are all inspected.  

Then, you see the resulting written documentation.  

For me, the best part is that, because of Chip Wood’s leadership and values, at Tire Discounters the emphasis is never on SELLING you brakes.  They LOVE to tell customers that everything is fine.  But if works needs to be done, you’ll know exactly why.  And you can trust that you’ll be safe in your travels.  

The Diary of the Phantom Tire Buyer #72:

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A Web Log about pothole season from A Phantom Tire Buyer with a Secret Identity

Dear Diary,

Pothole season is coming.  That phrase sends chills down the spine of this Phantom Tire Buyer with a secret identity.  Most people consider the greatest pothole-caused mayhem to be a flat tire or bent rim/wheel that results after a dramatic ka-thunk.  BUT.  For people like me, cursed with an obsession for vehicle safety, the true damage is far more insidious – for it hides itself as it lurks in the vehicle.  

Did you know that even the smallest pothole can throw your vehicle out of alignment?  Fortunately, Tire Discounters, founded and owned by my good friend Chip Wood and his beautiful family, offers a free alignment check!  I urge everyone to take advantage of this free and oh so beneficial service.  Once your vehicle is mis-aligned, your handling will be thrown off; your tires will begin to wear unevenly; and cats will mate with dogs.  (Ha, ha, that last part was just what we in the diarist business call and “attention-getter”. 

I myself felt a rather jarring bump just the other day.  I turned around and went immediately to Tire Discounters.  There, they carefully checked the Phantomobile’s alignment aaaand….I was lucky this time! 

Don’t take chances with the safety of your family and the handling of your car.  Take it to Tire Discounters for a free inspection!

The Diary of the Phantom Tire Buyer #71:

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A Web Log about expensive services from A Phantom Tire Buyer with a Secret Identity

Dear Diary,

I’m often mystified by people who take their cars and trucks back to the dealers for service.  Why?  Why do they pay those dealership service prices?  I decided to stand inconspicuously outside the service entrance the local Ford dealer to find out why.

“Excuse me sir!”


“May I ask you a few questions?”

“Sure.  I’m waiting for service, so I got a LOT of time.”

“Sir, are you aware of the fact that Tire Discounters can perform all your scheduled factory maintenance at a fraction of what the dealer charges?”

“Yeah?  Weeelll, I dunno, these guys work for the people who made my truck.”

“Yes, but Tire Discounters brings all the same expertise to the job.  The ASE Certified technicians at Tire Discounters follow the same MAP guidelines as this dealership and most all reputable shops.”


“Indeed!  And they it all for much less.”  

“Heck I go there all the time for tires.  They’re right down the street from where I live.  Good people.  Like ‘em.”

“So, may I ask what you’re here for?”

“My 75,000 mile check-up.  Figured I’d bring it here.”  

“But, but sir!”


Tire Discounters does all that and more!  That’s what I’m trying to tell you!”

Just then, one of the salespeople came out.  

“Is this man with the cape and glasses bothering you sir?”

“Not as much as you are.  Get me my truck back.  I’m goin’ somewhere else.”

“But sir, we’re the DEALER!”

“I know.  And I’ve seen your bills.  Now fetch me back my truck.”

The Diary of the Phantom Tire Buyer #69:

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

Dear Diary,

I’ll tell you this much about the secret location of my Phantom’s lair:  it’s located in Greater Cincinnati.  And our fair community is soaking wet.  In yesterday’s rush-hour morning traffic there were over 25 wrecks on the roads and highways due to the slick surfaces. 

Why?  My theory is that, because we haven’t yet had any snow to speak of, drivers have decided that their worn treads were “good enough”.  NO!  Did you know that for the average 5-person sedan, the stopping distance on wet roads is TWICE that of dry roads?  Add bad tires and diminished visibility in the rain into the mix, and you have a recipe for, oh, 25 WRECKS in one morning. 

Do yourself and everyone who needs to get somewhere on time a favor.  (or, a “solid” as my hip neighbor would say)   Go to Tire Discounters immediately.  Let their experts tell you whether or not your tires are safe in a rainstorm.  They’ll tell it to you straight – at Tire Discounters they care far more about your safety than a mere tire sale.  And, while you’re at it, pick up some new wiper blades to help with that visibility! 

Cincinnati is Tire Discounters’ hometown.  Please people, we can do better!

The Diary of the Phantom Tire Buyer #68:

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

Dear Diary, 

Wow, just wow.  I was perusing this morning and saw the news.  As I may have mentioned, I am a close personal friend of the founder and chairman, Chip Wood.  I’ve also had the honor of meeting Steven, Chip’s son and his daughter Anna.  They are both intensely involved in the family business.  It’s such a comfort to know that my favorite company is set to prosper for generations to come!  

And what a far-flung affair!  From Chip’s humble beginnings – now customers in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama can all enjoy a free alignment with standard 4-tire installation.  And the web site can be reached from all over the world!   

Speaking of the web site…if you haven’t chatted with an expert from Tire Discounters, you haven’t lived.  They can talk with authority on a full spectrum of topics:  everything from recommending the perfect tire to consulting on what Tire Discounters’ maintenance service you might want to consider.  I would steer clear of movie recommendations, however. Even though I have quite a lively sense of humor, I found the movie “Hangover” to be somewhat sophomoric.  

The Diary of the Phantom Tire Buyer #67:

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

Dear Diary, 

My neighbor Brandon is a rather conservative sort.  He dresses everyday in plaid shirts and khaki trousers.  His house is a non-descript brick colonial with white trim.  He drives a 10-year-old greyish silver Chevy Malibu to his job as a data analyst.  So imagine my surprise when just the other day, I saw Brandon pull into his drab concrete driveway with sparkling new custom wheels!  

“Brandon,” I cried.  Is it really you?

He rolled down his window and smiled.  “Did you notice my cool new wheels?”

“I did indeed, my good friend, is that really you?”

“That’s exactly right Phantom.  This is the real me.”  

“I never pictured you as the type who would customize his car with something so, so…”



“Aw, I gotta tell you, I surprised myself just a little bit.  I was at Tire Discounters and I happened to meet this guy who was so excited he could barely contain himself.”  

“I just got new custom wheels!” he exclaimed.  It’s like, I’m still being me, only it’s like I’m being even more me!”

“Now Phantom, I had to think about that one a little.  Then I got what he was saying.  He wasn’t flashy in any sense – but just a small, tasteful bit of flash on his car suited him to a tee.  That’s when it hit me:  darn it Brandon, you be more you!”

“And you bought these snazzy wheels.  Kudos neighbor, they’re just the thing!”

“Hey Phantom, did you ever notice that the trim on my house might be a bit bland?  It’s just off-white.” 

“Hmmm.  What were you thinking?”

“Oh, I don’t know.  Maybe cream?”

“Exciting!  You keep being more you, my good friend!”

The Diary of the Phantom Tire Buyer #66:

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

Dear Diary,

Just the other day I was on my way to volunteer at the local recycling center.  One of Tire Discounters’ competitors has a location along that route, so I usually try to avert my eyes when driving by.  It makes my blood boil when I think of all those poor, unsuspecting customers.

But this time, I couldn’t help but glance their way.  What I saw stopped me in my tracks.  There, in front of their store was this brazen message:  “10% off any Tire Discounters quote”.

Well, I couldn’t help myself, I had to investigate.  I marched into the store and simmered, while I waited for the “sales manager” to get off his phone and acknowledge my presence.  

“What can I do you for?  Nice cape, by the way.”

“I saw your sign outside, my good man.”

“Oh that,” he smirked, “pretty clever on us, huh?”

“I don’t know where to begin.”

“Howsabout we jack your car up and we’ll tell ya what ya need?”

“Do you have the slightest inkling what Tire Discounters does for their customers?”

“Slap on tires, just like us.”

“NO!  I don’t know where to begin, so let’s cut to the chase, as they say.”  


“Do you even have an alignment rack?”

“Nope.  Too expensive.  Plus, you gotta know how to use them.  It’s complicated.”

I struggled to maintain my composure.   “Are you aware of what can happen when you carelessly put new tires on a misaligned vehicle?”

“Yeah, weird tread wear.  You should make sure them wheels are aligned.“  

“That’s why Tire Discounters includes a free 4-wheel alignment with standard 4-tire installation!”

“We can’t do that.”

“I KNOW THAT!  So how can you offer 10% off when you even come close to providing the same service!”

“Well, rubber’s rubber.”

“Let’s move on.  Do you scour the mating surfaces to ensure a perfect seal?”

He gave me a quizzical look and suddenly shouted: “Who’s next!?”

The Diary of the Phantom Tire Buyer #65:

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

Dear Diary, 

I truly don’t mean to brag, but sometimes when I drive down the street in my Phantomobile, I notice that people often stare.  It’s sometimes more of a slack-jawed gape, actually.  I often wondered why – and it struck me.  Of course!  It’s my custom wheels!

You may think, as did my neighbor Brent, that you’re just not the type to put custom wheels on your car.  Brent was tired of his old Toyota 4-Runner, even though it ran like top.  He was this close to buying a new one.  I sensed this because in a neighborly chat over the fence he said to me:  “Phantom, I’m this close to buying a new one.”

“Brent” I said, “have you ever considered sprucing up your vehicle with a snazzy new set of custom wheels?”

He hemmed and hawed a bit. I was insistent and we drove to our nearest Tire Discounters then and there.  To make a long story short, they had some flat black wheels in stock. They have a huge amount of wheels on hand, and 1000’s more available. Brent thought those might be just the thing for his drab, white 4-Runner.  Well, After Tire Discounters installed those wheels, my friend could not wipe the smile off his face.

He might have spent 10’s of thousands of dollars on a new vehicle that he’d ultimately tire of.  Instead, for a fraction of that, he is now, in his words: “stylin’”.  

The Diary of the Phantom Tire Buyer #64:

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

Dear Diary,

The other day I decided to conduct a poll of people I met on the street.  I’m not sure if my results can be considered “scientific” or not, but I’ll bet I spoke with upwards of 15 different people.  8 of whom continued speaking with me after I identified myself as a Phantom Tire with a secret identity.  I couldn’t have them thinking I was just some random stranger with a cape on.  

Well, the results were overwhelming, and I was dumbstruck once again by how many people are unaware of the fact that Tire Discounters is so much more than a tire store.  

Here are some of my findings:

5 out of 8 people buy all their tires at Tire Discounters.  That’s not nearly enough.

4 out of 8 people “think they do some other kind of work on cars”.  Well come now.  I wouldn’t call over 400,000 alignments and 10,000 brake jobs in the year 2019 alone – “some work”.

Brakes, Alignments, shocks and strutsoil changesfluid exchanges – my friends, Tire Discounters does it all!  They can handle all your vehicles’ scheduled maintenance!  And do I need to remind you that they perform all these services with the same expertise and integrity that is synonymous with the name Tire Discounters?  

Oh, this is also interesting.  1 out of 8 people think I shouldn’t wear a cape in public. 

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

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.

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. 

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

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.

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

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.

The maximum 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. 

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

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

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. 

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.

Free Alignment with 4-Tire Purchase

National accounts not included.  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.

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.

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



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. 

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.