When we swapped out our Winter tires for the Summer ones a week or so ago, we noticed that the inside edges were quite worn. In examining our Summer tires, we noticed that they, too, had a similar wear pattern. The wear was not anywhere as bad as the snow tires, but enough that we decided to get things checked out.
After a bit of online investigation and chatting with Boxster owners on PedrosBoard, we have a better idea of the possible causes and potential solutions to the problem. Some PBers feel that the inside wear on all the tires was normal due to the negative camber of the Boxster. Others felt that the problem was not the camber, but the toe. Those unclear on the various alignment terms (camber, toe, caster, etc) should reference the excellent article posted on the Pelican Parts site. We could have the alignment checked, but would it matter given the current state of the wear? After some deliberation, we decided it was better to start fresh and get a new set of tires instead of trying to squeeze another season out of the Pirelli PZeros.
Our past few tire purchases were made online from Tire Rack. Tire Rack’s price for a full set of Pirelli PZero Nero’s was $446.22 including shipping. We took the tires to our local mechanic and he charged $60 to balance and mount them. The final “on-the-road” price was $506.22. A few months later, one of the tires developed a bubble. We filed a defect claim with Tire Rack and after a bit of back-and-forth, they made good on their replacement guarantee. However, it was quite a hassle as we had to ship the defective tire back to them, wait for the replacement, and then have the new tire mounted. That experience gave us pause when we started looking around for new tires. Tire Rack had some good sales and the prices were reasonable, but were there other options?
When we saw the ads from Town Fair Tire claiming that they will meet or beat the final price of any internet tire deal, we were intrigued. We looked on the site, picked out something around the same price point as the Pirelli and decided to placed the order. The final persuasion for going with Town Fair Tire is that store is just two miles from the office. We dropped the car off on the appointed day and got it back 90-minutes later. Our “out-the-door” price from Town Fair Tire was: $514.34:
- Two 225/50R16W Hankook Ventus V12 evo K110 : $210.00
- Two 205/50R16W Hankook Ventus V12 evo K110 : $202.00
- Balancing: $59.80
- Valve stems: $15.80
- MA sales tax: $26.74
In addition to the above, Town Fair Tire also includes free lifetime flat repair, rotation, and snow tire changeover. Everything considered, Town Fair Tire’s deal was a no-brainer and buying from a brick-and-mortar shop locally was really just as competitive as any online price. The plus-side is that if there is ever a problem with the tires, they are just a few miles away.
Unlike the Pirelli PZero Nero tires, our new Hankook Ventus are not asymmetric. This means, should one side of the tire show more wear than the other, we will be able to flip the tires and even them out. However, to make sure that the wear is not due to an alignment problem (toeing, camber, etc) we will find a shop with a computerized alignment machine and get everything calibrated while the tires are still relatively new. Wonder who has the best alignment system out there?
The Pirelli PZeros still have quite a bit of life left in them and would be perfect for those interested in autocross or some other such weekend/track activities. We told the Town Fair Tire folks that we would like to keep the old tires. When we picked up the car, the old tires were nicely wrapped and ready to go.
All in all, our first Town Fair Tire experience was outstanding. The price was extremely competitive, the work was timely, and the service was excellent. There were no surprises, unexpected charges, or upselling. We would definitely go back to Town Fair Tire for our next tire purchase (we do need new snow tires for the coming Winter).