These days "Walmart tires" is one of the most used web searches when it comes to tire shoppers....
Personally, for buying
tires and getting the specialized service which I think people
need when they are servicing them I don't recommend "big-box"
stores. If you're a saavy tire user, or like to purchase on line
my first choice would be Tire Rack (see Special Offers:).
However, I know that there are some people who feel a need or a
desire to shop at Walmart, so for them, I'd like to offer some
professional reflections about the tires, services and information which you will find dealing
with Walmart. Tires, of course, a big
expense and we want to get the most for our money, so let's see how you
can do this.
As far as the information which
Walmart offers you about tires on their website, I must give them full
marks. Their advice is sound and conforms to good tire
advice. They tell you the same as we do about Tire Rotation, Tire
Balancing, Alignment and Safety Checks.
Walmart has their own brand of tires called Douglas. If you want more information about that specific brand read our article on Douglas Tires. In addition there are a large number of reader's Douglas Tires Reviews.
In some quarters especially, it seem that Walmart bashing is a popular sport. Personally, I don't have anything against getting what you need at a low price. But sometimes, just looking for the lowest price isn't going to get you the best value for your money.
If you visit consumeraffairs.com and do a search on Walmart tires you'll find a long list of complaints -- 34 by my count for the year-to-date when I checked. This might lead some people avoid Walmart at all costs, but when you take into account that this giant has some 2600 locations in North America and probably sells millions of tires a year, this number of complaints doesn't really seem like a major situation.
Even more, when I read those complaints, I'm disappointed that consumeraffairs.com doesn't have any space for replies by the companies or people who have been complained about.
Among those 34 complaints only 15 were tire-related, and of those, it seemed to me that some of the complaints involved situations where the people who complained didn't have a good idea of exactly what was being covered in their warranties or how Walmart expected them to care for their tires. Others reflected personnel who were poorly trained or with a bad attitude.
One of the problems in being a customer of a giant like Walmart, is that you will often be dealing with staff who have little specialized knowledge and may not be able to inform you well about all that you need to know.
This means, when it comes to warranties and service work, you need to:
Understand all the benefits and limitations of the guarantee.
Ask questions before you buy and if you don't get clear answers, keep insisting till you do.
Get receipts and keep them carefully filed for when you need them.
Check service and maintenance reports to make sure dates, times, mileage and other details are correctly recorded.
If it's a busy location be prepared to wait.
Inspect all work or service before you pay your bill, ask the service manager or technician to show/explain what was done, if it isn't obvious to you.
In a chain where you have well over 2000 outlets there are bound to be a lot of different situations. If you can develop a good relationship with key people where you live, you may do OK buying from Walmart.
Tires are a thing which I don't like to scrimp on, but a lot depends, too, on the people who you deal with on a local level. Some of my comments on how to get the most from a dealer may help here, too.
Possibly you might want to shop on line. If so, I'd suggest you consider the manufacturer's promotions available from The Tire Rack's Special Offers: You may find better prices than Walmart's and a greater assortment from people who specialize in tires.
Out of pure self defense, you need
to become more knowledgeable and self-reliant. This is especially true if you want to deal with this type of business. Use this
website to bone-up on the basics and use our monthly Tire Chek to keep
aware of how your tires are performing.
You can either write your review in the box you see
below or, if you feel you have a story to tell but want a little
bit of guidance to make a good review, I've prepared a
special form to help you get started. Follow the easy
steps of this simple form and when you've finished you'll
return here with the box below already completed and most of the work
Please note that we're not interested in receiving rants that
simply say "I think tire XXX is pure crap!", or glowing raves that tell
us nothing more than you love the tires. To be useful we
need more details and specifics ... hopefully even a photo of the tire
you are reviewing. Use the tire review wizard
to help tell your story. Cover most of the points, and you'll do fine.
Your experience can provide a valuable guide to others who are considering buying tires you've used.
Even if you don't consider yourself a great writer, or a demanding driver, what you know can help. As I mentioned above, if you want help in doing a review click on this easy Tire Review Wizard instead of using the form below. When you use it, you'll be brought back here to finish with the box already filled.
Click below to read reviews which other users, like yourself, have posted about their experiences.
Kumho Solus KR
I have a 1993 Suzuki Sidekick 4WD and live at 9200' in the mountains of Colorado. Although I have read less than perfect reviews of the Kumho's ability …
Michelin Defender Not rated yet
Wal-Mart's price of $130 apiece was dang good, found several that were up close to $150. So far, these Michelin Defender 215/60/16 tires are very nice, …
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