Belle Tire Blog

Get The Lowest Tire Price, Period!

Tire Reviews and Buying Tires

American tire consumers can easily shop low prices when buying tires and auto care services. The Internet is a great place for consumers to get tire coupons, oil change coupons and automotive part rebates. However, consumers don’t have to trade quality and customer service at the expense of saving money.

The Internet offers consumers impartial community testimonials, tire reviews, product and service reviews to help make the best decision for a vehicle and the needs of consumers. Moreover, the Internet provides consumers with tire reviews from other consumers who have bought tires, automotive products and auto services. The Internet also offers the consumer a way to engage with tire retailers and businesses who are listening. Tire retailers are providing customer service and communicating via more valuable social media tools today than ever before.

The increased listening, communication and accumulation of shared information or “Crowdsourcing” provides consumers with the ability to find trusted information on something like “buying tires” that traditionally came from only a smaller controlled group or an employee at a tire retailer. Instead, it is sourced by a community, who provides contributions based on having already bought the tires they are reviewing.

Niche websites like AskPatty.com have community functions for consumers to find and share information. Business Week reports over 80 percent of the buying decisions in U.S. households today are made by women. Other reports and statements show statistically women buy more passenger tires than men.

Buying tires is generally not an extremely exciting purchase for consumers to talk about. Tires usually come in one color, black. Anyone who owns a vehicle needs tires. However, these consumers want to know about certain attributes, such as ride comfort, handling, traction that consumers are discussing and they are sharing their opinions with other consumers.

The Internet provides a diverse approach for consumers to find viable information today to make the best decision when buying tires from tire retailers. However, the fact that the Internet provides the means for consumers to share this meaningful information with one another is powerful.

Understanding consumer feedback and marketing research both online and offline today is critical, especially in our high tech “mobile” society. All customers have a voice, needs and expectations. These days, tire retailers are listening and reaching out to their customers in better ways to exceed their expectations, thanks to social media.

Tire retailers and local car care centers cater to their diverse audiences and are providing a better customer service experience for all. Whether the customer is buying tires or replacing wiper blades, it is great when the voice of the customer is heard, understood and embraced. The Internet has have developed more comprehensive solutions for engaging, sharing information, advertising and retaining customers. Listening, sharing relevant information and appealing to individual customer needs is critical to provide the best experience for all customers.

Tire retailers and car care centers are adapting with rapidly changing times and listen to their diverse customer base taking the initiative to communicate more effectively. In today’s high tech fast paced world, consumers can feel comfortable when taking their cars in for service or buying tires.

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Tire Reviews and Comparison Tips

Summary: Buying tires is one of the most important purchases for a car. Tires perform quite differently in tests. Here are some things to consider when choosing the right tire on a budget to meet specific needs.

Tires need to be replaced a number of times during the lifetime of a vehicle. Even with advances in tire technology, tread life will vary by vehicle type, tire type such as AWD and 4X4 tires, driving habits, road conditions and weather conditions.

If your need for new tires has been determined after thoroughly inspecting and maintaining tires, identify the best tires for your vehicle and driving demands. Your local tire discounter can help determine this with you but there are some tips on how to choose that you should always consider.

How to Choose New Tires

1. Put safety first. Find tires that do well in braking, handling, hydroplaning resistance testing. Weather conditions should also be considered to learn about the tires traction and performance in snow and ice so that you can keep your passengers safe on the road.

2. Do your research. The Internet provides many great resources for researching tire attributes and tire reviews but the key to find the best prices is comparison shop. Visit your local tire stores when comparison shopping to find the best tire price for your vehicle because prices are not always listed online. Some tire retailers, like Belle Tire, can actually help you online, over the phone or even right in the store to check other tire stores’ prices on your behalf.

Also, independent tire reviews such as from ConsumersReports.com, perform tread life tests on tires that show that a manufacturer’s warranty doesn’t always indicate how a tire will wear. These independent tire reviews are great sources for nonbiased information that can help with your decision buying your next set of tires.

3. Understand what you are getting and avoid “hidden charges.” Once you have researched tire reviews and decided on the tires that suit you and your vehicle the best the technician should detail all charges associated with the tire installation. Many times tire dealers do not include installation fees and tire warranty charges in the tire price quote. Make sure that your comparison shopping gets you out the door with more value, services and protection with every tire installation.
Here is a list of what you should expect with every tire installation:
• Lifetime Alignment Checks – The alignment of your car is important to extending the wear and performance from your tires, and it’s vital to steering performance.
• Nitrogen Tire Inflation – Nitrogen is a safe, more stable alternative to filling your tires with air because it leaks out naturally much more slowly and does not react to changes in outside temperature.
• Lifetime Tire Rotation – The purpose for regular rotation is to achieve more uniform tread wear on all tires on your vehicle.
• Lifetime Spin Balancing – Every time a tire is fitted to a wheel, it should be balanced.
• Lifetime Flat Repairs – Flats happen. If your tire can be repaired, trust a tire retailer who is there for you when you need them with free flat repairs.
• A 36 Month Pro-Rated Road Hazard Warranty – Tire retailers such as Belle Tire offer a warranty to replace a damaged tire on your vehicle when an unexpected event occurs that ruins the tire, such as running over debris or potholes.
• Mounting Tires – Your tires should be professionally mounted by expert tire installers.
• Tire Disposal – Consider the environment and make sure that 100% of the tire is recycled and not put in a landfill.
• Rubber Valve Stems – The rubber valve stem, although a small part of the tire and wheel assembly, it is one of the most important parts.
• Hand Torque of Wheels – Many tire stores rely only on an air wrench to mount your tires and wheel but, by hand-torquing each lug nut to make sure that your tire and wheel assembly are securely fastened your safety is still the top priority.

4. Understand the kind of tire you need. Choose a tire type and size to suit your vehicle and driving conditions. The largest percentage of consumers will be satisfied with regular and high-performance all-season tires, but models for SUVs and other trucks and 4X4 or AWD vehicles are different than those for cars and minivans.

Researching tire reviews and performing your own tire comparison will help get your rolling again.

About Belle Tire
People have trusted Belle Tire for the best value since 1922. Because at Belle Tire we challenge ourselves every day to make sure that you always get the lowest tire price, period. Prove it to yourself. Take the Belle Tire Price Challenge. Challenge us online, over the phone or even challenge us right in the store. Come in to any Belle Tire, and we’ll check other stores’ prices with you, right at the counter, and prove to you that Belle Tire has the lowest tire prices, PERIOD! Plus, at Belle Tire, you’ll always get out the door with more value, services and protection with every tire installation than the competition can offer, at any price! For the Lowest Tire Price, Period and great low prices on Custom Wheels, Alignments, Brakes, Batteries, Oil and Lube, Shocks & Struts, Windshield Repair and Replacement, and more. Visit http://www.belletire.com and also join our online communities: BELLE TIRE CARES BLOG | FACEBOOK | TWITTER

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Common Tire Replacement Tips

Tips to properly maintain tires for a safer, more comfortable ride and a longer tread life during tire replacement.

Understanding tire basics sounds simple. Tires are essentially flexible containers of compressed air or nitrogen. They help support a car’s load and trust it forward when the driver puts it in gear and pushes the gas pedal. Tires also help stop the vehicle when braking and cushions the load from potholes or other hazards in the road.

Today, tires have many advanced components and are engineered for important tasks such as absorbing more bumps, providing better cornering ability and helping the driver with sharp steering responses. Here are some tips to help add some life to your tires when replacing tires.

Mixing Tire Types

The same tire type should be used on all four wheels for the best performance. Different size tires, constructions and stages of tire wear may affect the vehicle handling and stability.

Mixing radial and non-radial tires on a vehicle is not advised too. If mixing tires is not avoidable during tire replacement, never mix radial and non-radial tires on the same axel.

For 4×4 and AWD vehicles following these guidelines is advisable:
• Do not mix tires
• Do not mix radial tires
• Ensure that the outside circumference of all tires are similar
• Do not mix tire tread patterns, such as all-season and all-terrain
• Replace all

Matching 4×4 tires is also extremely important to avoid failure of a 4×4 driveline component that can turn into an avoidable and expensive proposition.

Tire Speed-Rating

Using replacement tires with ratings equal to or greater than original equipment manufacturer (OEM) tires originally installed on the vehicle is recommended to maintain the speed capability of the vehicle. Do not use a tire that has a lower tire speed rating.

The performance and handling may be different depending on the type of vehicle, if replacement tires are not the same speed rating. The vehicles owner manual can help identify any tire speed rating restriction that could impact the operation of the vehicle.

Same Tire Size

Choosing a tire that is the same size is critical. Don’t choose a tire that is smaller or larger in size or has less load-carrying capability than the other tires on the vehicle. Tires should be replaced with the same size designation and approved options as recommended by the vehicle or tire manufacturer. The correct tire size can be found in the owner manual, on the door placard, on the sidewall of the current tires on the vehicle or by seeking the advice of your local tire retailer.

Caring for New Tires

Properly maintained tires will provide longer tire tread life and give a more comfortable ride. Here are a few final tips on proper maintenance:

• Balance tires when they are mounted on the wheels
• Rotate tires every 6,000 to 8,000 miles
• Check alignment when new tires are installed and at the first sign of uneven tire wear
• Check air pressure at least monthly
• Check tires frequently for tire wear, punctures, cuts, slow leaks, or injury
• Clean tires with mild soap and water and a soft rag or brush

Many tips such as these can help lengthen the life of your tires during tire replacement. Consult with your local tire retailer or look for tire reviews with consumer research when selecting new tires.

About Belle Tire
People have trusted Belle Tire for the best value since 1922. Because at Belle Tire we challenge ourselves every day to make sure that you always get the lowest tire price, period. Prove it to yourself. Take the Belle Tire Price Challenge. Challenge us online, over the phone or even challenge us right in the store. Come in to any Belle Tire, and we’ll check other stores’ prices with you, right at the counter, and prove to you that Belle Tire has the lowest tire prices, PERIOD! Plus, at Belle Tire, you’ll always get out the door with more value, services and protection with every tire installation than the competition can offer, at any price! For the Lowest Tire Price, Period and great low prices on Custom Wheels, Alignments, Brakes, Batteries, Oil and Lube, Shocks & Struts, Windshield Repair and Replacement, and more. Visit http://www.belletire.com and also join our online communities: BELLE TIRE CARES BLOG | FACEBOOK | TWITTER

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Belle Tire Contest to Win Two Tickets to Ride in the Goodyear Blimp

Register here to win a pair of tickets to ride in the Goodyear Blimp

Register here to win a pair of tickets to ride in the Goodyear Blimp


Register here to win a pair of tickets to ride in the Goodyear Blimp

About Belle Tire
People have trusted Belle Tire for the best value since 1922. Because at Belle Tire we challenge ourselves every day to make sure that you always get the lowest tire price, period. Prove it to yourself. Take the Belle Tire Price Challenge. Challenge us online, over the phone or even challenge us right in the store. Come in to any Belle Tire, and we’ll check other stores’ prices with you, right at the counter, and prove to you that Belle Tire has the lowest tire prices, PERIOD! Plus, at Belle Tire, you’ll always get out the door with more value, services and protection with every tire installation than the competition can offer, at any price! For the Lowest Tire Price, Period and great low prices on Custom Wheels, Alignments, Brakes, Batteries, Oil and Lube, Shocks & Struts, Windshield Repair and Replacement, and more. Visit http://www.belletire.com and also join our online communities:

BELLE TIRE CARES BLOG | FACEBOOK | TWITTER

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How To Properly Clean Your Custom Wheels


To view more great presentations brought to you by: Belle Tire visit SlideShare

Are you worried about the upkeep of your custom wheels?
Concerned about damaging your chrome rims?

It takes a little effort to maintain that factory finish on custom wheels and it’s important to have the facts before you begin the cleaning process.

Things You’ll Need:

  • Mild Dish Soap
  • Clean, Soft Towels
  • Soft, Nonabrasive Cream Wax

KEEP IT SIMPLE
For all wheels – chrome, polished aluminum, painted or clear coated – a simple hand washing with a mild dish soap and water will clean them up nicely.
Dry thoroughly with a clean towel.
Finish with a soft nonabrasive cream wax to protect the wheel.

NEVER WASH A WHEEL WHEN IT’S HOT
Spraying cold water on your wheels when they’re hot can cause them to rapidly contract, resulting in slight warping as well as stresses between different materials like chrome and underlying steel or aluminum. Over time these shocks to the wheel can cause the chrome to start flaking.

BE MINDFUL OF YOUR CLEANING AGENTS
Avoid abrasive cleaning materials! Bristle brushes and steel wool can permanently scratch your wheels.
Always keep harsh cleaners, including tire cleaners, from coming into to contact with your wheels and damaging the finish.

PERFORM TIMELY CLEANINGS
Washing your custom wheels once a week will keep road grime and brake dust from being ground on. When these accumulate they trap salts and moisture from the air that can react with chrome and aluminum finishes, causing oxidation and pitting.
Wash Wheels!! 

Make sure to carefully check the label before using any wheel brake dust cleaner — many are too acidic to use on chromed wheels.

WHEN IN DOUBT, ASK A PRO
Don’t be shy! They can steer you toward the right products for your particular type of wheel. oftentimes they can even recommend a local car wash that you can trust not to scratch your wheels or use harsh detergents.

ABOUT BELLE TIRE
People have trusted Belle Tire for the best value since 1922. For the lowest tire prices, period, and great low prices on custom wheels, alignments, brakes, batteries, oil and lube, shocks and struts, windshield repair and replacement, and more, visit our website.

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Tire Man Tweetup – Jonas Jerebko

Belle Tire hosted the first ever Tire Man meet and tweet with Detroit Piston player Jonas Jerebko on March 30th, 2010. It was a beautiful day and fans came out to support our Detroit Pistons and had some fun.

Tire Man Tweetup

Tire Man Tweetup

March 30th, 2010

Belle Tire Detroit Piston – Tire Man Tweetup Fans

Visit: http://www.belletire.com

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Care and Cleaning of Custom Wheels

Chrome and polished aluminum wheels look great, but require just a little extra effort to protect that factory finish and shine.  Painted and clear coated custom wheels are more forgiving, but should still be handled with care to protect your investment. For all wheels, a simple hand washing with a mild dish soap and water will clean them up nicely.  Dry thoroughly and finish with a soft nonabrasive cream wax to protect the wheel.  Keep in mind that you should never wash a wheel when it is hot.  Spraying cold water on your wheels when they are very hot can cause rapid contraction resulting in slight warping as well as stresses between different materials like chrome and underlying steel or aluminum. Over time, these shocks to the wheel can cause the chrome to begin flaking. Also avoid abrasive materials like bristle brushes and steel wool that can permanently scratch your wheels. Plus, always keep harsh cleaners including tire cleaners from coming into to contact with your wheels and damaging the finish.

Rules of Thumb
Washing your custom wheels once a week will keep road grime and brake dust from being ground on. When brake dust and other road dirt accumulate they will trap salts and moisture in the air that can react with chrome and aluminum finishes causing oxidation and pitting.

Avoid frequently using commercial car washes whose equipment could scratch your wheels and whose detergents are often very harsh.  Also carefully check the label before using any wheel brake dust cleaner — many are too acidic to use on chromed wheels.

Winter weather and snow should be avoided at all cost. Corrosive salt and abrasive sand will wreak havoc on any finish.  Put your factory wheels on for winter driving and save your custom wheels for the prime cruising weather.

When in doubt as to how to clean and protect your custom wheels, the products you use to clean and protect the body of your car can usually be used safely. But as always, take a minute to read the labels for any warnings.

Handling Minor Scrapes
Damage from curbs and other objects are unsightly, but usually not a real safety concern.  On painted wheels a touch-up may be possible with matching paint ordered from the manufacturer.  Scratches on aluminum may be buffed out if not too deep. But there is no real fix for scratched chrome. If you curb your chrome wheels, immediately apply a clear lacquer, like clear nail polish to reseal the chrome. After that has dried, also apply a light coat of non-abrasive cream wax. This should keep any moisture from getting underneath the chrome and causing it bubble up or peel away from the underlying wheel.

Ask a Pro
These days, most of us live not far from a large local tire retailer who stocks a big selection of custom wheels.  Get to know them. They can steer you toward the right products for your particular type of wheel.  They also talk to hundreds of car customizers every month, so often they can even recommend a local car wash that you can trust not to scratch your wheels or use harsh detergents.

Custom wheels are an investment in the look and character of your vehicle. And like all investments, they need to be protected.

About Belle Tire
People have trusted Belle Tire for the best value since 1922. For the lowest tire prices, period, and great low prices on custom wheels, alignments, brakes, batteries, oil and lube, shocks and struts, windshield repair and replacement, and more, visit www.belletire.com. Also join our online communities: BELLE TIRE CARES BLOG, FACEBOOK, and TWITTER

Greg Roy is an advertising and social media copywriter with over 20 years experience –specializing in creating messages that not only get clients noticed, but also bring them desired results.

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Belle Tire to Host First Tire Man Tweetup with Detroit Pistons

Belle Tire is hosting the first ever Tire Man meet and tweet with Detroit Pistons player Jonas Jerebko March 30, 2010 from  3p.m. to 4:30 p.m.at the Belle Tire at 770 Brown Road in Auburn Hills.

ALLEN PARK, Mich., Mar. 24, 2010 – On Tuesday, March 30, 2010, Belle Tire is hosting the first ever Tire Man Tweetup featuring Detroit Pistons forward Jonas Jerebko.  Belle Tire will host the meet and tweet with this Pistons star, fans and friends at the location at 770 Brown Road in Auburn Hills, Mich. Belle Tire - Detroit Pistons
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Custom Car Wheel And Tire Packages

There is no other single accessory that can so dramatically change the appearance of your vehicle as a set of custom wheels. In the old days, custom or “mag” wheels came from just a few manufacturers like Cragar, AT and American Racing. Now you can find all types of designs to fit any look or attitude from a myriad of makers including Pulse, Avenue, Dub, Enkel, Foose, and of course, American Racing and Cragar Classic.  When talking about custom wheels for street use, “Mag” is actually a misnomer.  In the early ‘60s, “Mag” was a term that racers used to refer to their lightweight, yet strong wheels made of magnesium.  But due to the drawbacks of magnesium wheel care and maintenance, custom wheels engineered for the general public are usually made of more easily cared for chrome plated steel, polished aluminum, or painted aluminum. 

Chrome or Aluminum?

Largely it’s a matter of taste, but there are a few things to consider. First, are these wheels primarily for occasional racing where weight might be an issue?  Or is it for a sometimes off-road or rally application, in which case, durability is an issue. Or is it simply for street cruising or touring where looks are the main issue? 

Painted Steel and Chrome plated steel wheels are heaviest of the three, but also are the most durable and forgiving of damage.  Good chrome plating not only looks great, but also resists corrosion. Painted aluminum is lighter, and virtually maintenance-free but cannot match the sheen of chrome or polished aluminum – which for many customizers is just the look they’re going for. Polished aluminum is light, looks great, but requires just a little more diligence to protect the finish from oxidization or pitting.  

Larger Tire Retail chains have installed thousands of wheel and tire combinations on vehicles over the years and can suggest several options that will work best with your particular vehicle and the look you are trying to achieve. Often they can even show you pictures of previous installations.

A Word On Wheel and Tire Fitment
 
One of the trends in custom wheels today is to install oversize wheels, up to 22” or more.  Keep in mind that any time you install rims that are taller than the tallest wheel that came standard on your vehicle, it requires careful planning. The larger diameter rim, with accompanying tire, must not only fit in the wheel well, but also have enough extra room for full travel of the suspension. Failure to do this properly will result in, at best, an annoying thud when hitting large bumps or, at worst, shredding and blowing out of the tire after just a few miles. The simplest way to accommodate a taller wheel is to switch to a lower profile tire so that the overall height of the wheel and tire package remains the same as before. The penalty for increasingly lower profile tires is increasingly stiffer handling and harsher ride. 

For performance customizers who have installed aftermarket brakes on their vehicles, separate calculations have to be made for backspace and offset, the measurements for how much space there is between the wheel centerline and the body of the car and how offset the centerline of the wheel is from the mounting plate.  Done correctly. This will ensure that the wheel not only has enough space to accommodate for the oversized brakes, but that the entire wheel and tire package will have enough room side-to-side in the wheel well.

Consult a Professional

Trying to buy custom wheels online should only be attempted by those who have had some real experience in this area. For most of us, the best option is a large local tire retailer that stocks a big selection of chrome, painted or polished custom wheels.  Not only can you see and compare actual wheels side-by-side, but you are also assured that the great –looking tire and wheel package you end up with is one that will work properly (read safely) with your vehicle. This is not a time for trial and error!

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Custom Rims Help You Stand Out from the Crowd

About 11.4 million cars, trucks and SUV were sold in the United States last year.  That’s down from 16.6 million just a few years ago. A number of popular mainstream and niche nameplates are also quickly disappearing. GM, for example, recently eliminated their Pontiac, HUMMER, Saab and Saturn brands. As they push to become more streamlined, manufacturers are also offering fewer models, trim levels, options and colors for the vehicles they produce. As a result, more and more of today’s new cars look amazingly alike. Think about it! How many different new Ford F-Series pickups, Honda Accords or Ford Fusions do you really notice on the road today? Do you even notice them at all? And, if you do, what sets them apart from the crowd?

Smart tire retailers offer an amazingly wide selection, custom rims and affordable tire and wheel packages, along with high-performance car care products especially formulated to keep them looking great.

There’s a reason why we call what we own and drive our “wheels.” Nothing connects us more to the American road than our rims and tires. And, nothing sets us apart more dramatically.

The earliest steamers and gasoline-powered horseless carriages had beautifully hand-crafted wooden wheels. Over the years, modern designers and stylists have renewed the importance and visual impact of highly-styled, quality rims and wheels.  Chrysler started it with what they called their “wide, wheels to the corners” stance. Others followed with modern designs that feature wider, more prominent wheel openings often trimmed in eye-catching molding or body-cladding.

A jump on any tire retailers web site will wake you up to a world of beautifully-styled, high-quality custom chrome, polished and painted rims from well-know manufacturers such as Pulse, American Racing, Avenue, Cragar Classic and many others.

With a little computer magic you can click, cut and paste an image of practically any style rim you choose on to a photo of your own vehicle. You’ll be amazed at how the right rim can dramatically change the look and personality of your ride.

Expert sales professionals at most tire retailers can also advise you about the benefits of plus sizing. Installing lower profile tires on wider and larger diameter rims can really enhance the appearance and performance of your car.

They have the knowledge and experience to help you put together an affordable tire and wheel package that fits your needs and makes your car really stand out in a crowd.

And once you choose, tire retailers can also offer advice about metal polishes, special treatments for chrome, clear-coated or painted wheels, and cleaning tips to keep them looking great.

Life’s too short to be just ordinary. Custom chrome, polished or painted rims and affordable wheel and tire packages from your local tire retail can help you and your ride stand out from the crowd.

About the Author

Wally Koster, Freelance Writer, is a retired marketing and advertising executive with over 40 years of automotive industry experience. Belle Tire is working even harder to bring you the best tire price, period! And get you Out-The-Door with More… more value, services and protection the other stores can’t offer at any price! Learn more about Belle Tire at http://www.belletire.com

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