This is a little personal project designed to teach car guys (and girls, you’re more than welcome here!) a thing or two about their cars, specifically about tires, rims and wheels. (As you can see from the domain name, I’m not the creative type)
Also, this website should help you save a buck or two while buying any of those parts.
Who Am I?
I’m a 29 year old car mechanic from Croatia by the (pen) name of Matt Taylor (my actual last name is the Croatian word for “tailor”). For 9 years I’ve been fixing cars and doing my best to help people.
I daily a Corvette named Ruby, my passion project for many years. Only got her fully functional recently and while she eats up petrol like a thirsty Russian, the sound more than makes up for it.
Why Create This Website?
Other than spending most of my time around cars, I’ve also spent a lot of time online, reading about (among other things) various problems people have with their 4-wheel pets, finding awful advice and cringing about it.
You see, an average person doesn’t know much about cars. 9/10 people that came into the shop say some pretty basic stuff like:
- Do I need to change my tires?
- What are the best tires for my X?
- What do those numbers of a tire mean?
- I found these sweet rims but how do I know if they’ll fit
- How do I jumpstart the battery?
- I’ve got this light in my dashboard but I don’t know what it’s for
Also, when browse through forums or reddit, I find the same type of questions over and over again. Not all of them are as basic as these ones but it got me thinking…
People need to learn more about their car.
I mean it’s something most of us use every day and yet we know so little about them. By learning a thing or two about them, you could save yourself a trip to the mechanic or spare yourself the ripoff at the local dealership.
This include things like learning to read sidewall markings, changing your oil.
And if you’re reading this and thinking “Pff, he’s not talking about me, I know my sh**t”, you wouldn’t be the first guy that’s completely wrong.
Which brings me to the following…
What Really Grinds My Gears
#1 – Used Tires
First of all, I’ll go ahead and say it. I hate used tires (or tyres for you english folk). So much I did a post on that exact topic. But why?
So I had a friend. Let’s call him Carl.
Carl was a real car guy. He modded his VTEC Civic all on his own, bought and installed all the parts himself and the thing ran beautifully. He did a solid tune up. (The way the car looked was another matter, I mean some people called it ricey but I guess it wasn’t THAT bad.)
But, 1 day he decided to replace his overly bald tires. And Carl, wanting to save some money, decided to get used tires. I told him that you need to be careful when buying those but he wasn’t one to listen to reason.
So he goes to the guy, inspects the tires, they look clean as far as he’s concerned and he happily takes them. Goes home, does the swap and decides to test them out on the street. He tests them out a bit too hard and ends up blowing the front tire, crashing into a nearby tree. Hopefully he wasn’t hurt but his car took a beating. All because Carl “knew” that those tires were safe.
This story has, other than a laugh on Carl’s expanse, couple of great lessons to be had:
- Don’t buy used tires
- If you just have to buy them used, bring someone who knows how to inspect them properly
- Don’t buy used tires
Seriously, used tires can be a disaster waiting to happen. Even if they look all clean on the inside, even if you have an “expert” tell you they’re fine…the truth is, you can’t know with absolute certainty. So it’s much better to stay away from them. Sure you may save a couple bucks, but in the list of things you can save on, tires should be at the absolute bottom.
#2 – All Season vs Winter tires
Many people believe that they don’t need winter tires. Which is fine if you have proper all-season tires but most of these people have the absolute worst old “all-season” tires (more like no-season) and think they’re fine. Also, this isn’t a problem in certain climates where snow is a sensation.
What really bothers me is people that think that since they’re called “all-season” this means they combine the best of summer and winter tires.
This is far from the truth. Sure they’ll be good enough most of the time but there are times where it won’t be. The most important thing is for you to understand when is this and what makes those tires “all-season”.
They’re designed to provide solid performance in may different conditions. In order to achieve this, they much sacrifice some summer performance and some winter performance. In a nutshell, they won’t give you the same level of handling and grip as a summer tire. And they won’t be able to handle winter conditions such as driving on ice or plowing through snow.
Think of them like running shoes. Sure they’re comfy and you can wear them pretty much everywhere but in some situations you just can’t use them. If you’re walking through snow, you will be much better off with boots. Likewise, if you’re going to the beach, you will regret not leaving the house in flip flops.
If you’re living in a moderate climate and never experience proper cold, ice and snow, THEN you should be using all-season tires.
#3 – People being like “What does this little light do?”
This is a big one. And it’s not really about the people who don’t know what one of the lights does. It’s far deeper problem…
Most people don’t bother to learn stuff about their car because of the mentality. The usual excuses are “It’s too hard” or “I don’t need it”. The truth of the matter is that is not true at all. You don’t have to become a mechanic and know how to dismantle and then re-assemble your engine but knowing a few basics things goes a long way. WANTING to know these things goes a long way.
The simple things like googling a problem before running off to a mechanic or a “car guy friend”.
People lack the drive to learn things that affect them daily. That’s the biggest problem.
What I’m trying to say is…
If you get one thing from reading this then please let it be the following:
Make an effort to learn more about your car. It doesn’t matter if you don’t even know how to check your tire pressure or if you’re doing your own mods, make sure to learn something new about your car every so often.
It will make your life so much easier trust me.
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