10 Questions for a Tire Expert
We've all been there. On the freeway, in gridlock, and your tire pressure monitor light flashes on before your suddenly aggravated eyes. Is a flat coming thanks to a stray nail, or even worse, a blowout? Who knows.
Paul and Ryan Ozar know. Their family has been running Davis Brothers Tire Pros since 1937 in Culver City, California. In three quarters of a century, they've sold over 500,000 tires to many-a-satisfied customer -- including me.
They know the service experience can go one of two ways. At best, you're treated with honesty, dignity and leave with the problem solved. At worst, you end up at the wrong shop, with the wrong part and shady techs who take advantage of your lack of tire know-how.
Ryan Ozar spoke with us about what a customer needs to know about tires and how to have the best possible service experience.
10 Questions For a Tire Expert
- What's the single most asked question you get at the shop? What's the answer?
- Ryan: Do I need tires and that is easily answered. I like to go out to the customer's car and first give an overall visual inspection of the tread and sidewall condition. Next, I like to look at the date the tires were manufactured and then take a tread depth to determine if it's time to buy.
- How long has your tire shop been in business? What's the key to longevity?
- Ryan: We have been family owned and operated for the last 75 years. The key to our success and longevity is our exceptional service. The second step is finding out our customer needs and exceeding them.
- What's the main difference between a cheap tire and an expensive one?
- Ryan: A cheaper tire will never give you the ride quality or longevity that a more expensive tire will give you. More expensive tires balance better and wear more evenly. Cheaper tires are hard to get the manufacturer to stand behind.
- What advents in tire technology are you most excited about?
- Ryan: There haven't been many major advances in tire technology lately, but I tend to get excited about the new crop of low rolling resistance tires. These tires are designed to have reduced weight and get better gas mileage due to the lower drag they create.
- What's the biggest mistake people make when it comes to shopping for tires?
- Ryan: The biggest mistake is buying the wrong tire because the price was better. I find that consumers tend to buy what they want to pay for, rather than what they really want in terms of quality and safety.
- What's the biggest misconception about run flat tires?
- Ryan: The biggest misconception is that they are indestructible and you don't need to check your air. We see many failed run-flat tires because drivers fail to properly maintain them.
- What the best way for people to save money on tires?
- Ryan: Align your car yearly, rotate your tires every 5,000-7,000 miles (which we do for free) and check your air monthly (which we also do for free).
- How big of a factor is weather in tire wear?
- Ryan: I feel weather has a very minimal effect on tire wear. Tires are manufactured to withstand different climates and tend to adapt very well. A high performance summer tire probably wouldn't do well in Chicago in December.
- What's been the biggest change in the tire industry in the last 5 years?
- Ryan: The biggest change in the tire industry has been the huge price increases. Someone that bought a tire 2 years ago can probably expect to pay 25% more for the same tire. All the raw material that go into tires have increased significantly and oil is the #1 cause.
- What's the best reason you can give someone to buy auto parts through an independent shop versus a dealership?
- Ryan: We are here to serve the neighborhood and build long lasting relationships with the community and our customers. Our prices are a lot better and our personal service is second to none.