Thursday, October 18, 2012

Managing God's Money--Car Maintenance

On Tuesday, I blogged about managing God's money and getting out of debt. Another facet of managing God's money comes in taking care of the material things He has blessed us with. One material thing that is causing us to stop and think right now is our car. We've known for a few months that we need to buy new tires and get an alignment before it starts to snow.  I've heard that we're supposed to have a particularly bad winter this year, so as the daily high drops, my anxiety about bad tires goes up.

We think we may be nearing a place where we'll be able to buy new tires and an alignment for our car soon, so I thought yesterday, a surprise day off from work, would be a great opportunity to do some research about where we should get our tires and alignment done.

Our car is a 2002 Ford Taurus LS sedan. The tires we need are P215/16R60. Our budget is roughly $500, including the cost of the alignment.

I called eight different businesses yesterday afternoon, looking for the best deal. As you would expect, the cost per mile went DOWN as the number of miles the tire is good for went UP.  In other words, 100,000 mile tires are cheaper per mile than 40,000 mile tires, even though the 40,000 mile tires' price is lower.

I won't bore you with ALL the numbers.  Here are the tires we can actually entertain the idea of buying.  These aren't necessarily the best deals I came across, just the ones in our price range.

The cheapest option in our price range is 50,000 mile tires from USA Brake and Auto Repair for $487.15, including a free alignment for being first time customers.  However, my friend Heidi responded to my Facebook comment about that, and said that they were not impressed with the tires they got there a few years ago, so I'm not sure we're going to go that route after all.  I wasn't overly impressed with their customer service anyway.

The next option is to get 40,000 mile tires from Discount Tire (Pasco), and an alignment from Custom Alignment (Kennewick). This should run about $491.00. I was pretty impressed with the customer service from both Discount Tire (Pasco) and Custom Alignment. A friend's husband works at Discount Tire in Richland, so of course, she gave Discount Tire a glowing review.

The third option is to get 40,000 mile tires and an alignment from Big O Tires in Kennewick for $529.93. I wasn't extremely impressed with their customer service, but their price is pretty competitive, which is a good thing for us right now. However, I think they were the only ones who quoted me the alignment price including tax.

The fourth option is 50,000 mile tires from Discount Tire (Pasco) and an alignment from Custom Alignment (Kennewick). This should cost about $531.00.  So, about $2.00 more for 10,000 more miles than we could get at Big O.

All that being said... I think what we're going to do is get the 40,000 mile tires from Discount Tire, and then get an alignment done by our regular mechanic, Meyer's Auto Tech. This will run a little more expensive than getting an alignment from Custom Alignment, but Meyer's Auto Tech knows our car, and we trust them not to take us for more than what the work is worth.


  1. You made a good decision, Stephanie. :] Actually, I think it’s more practical to opt for your regular mechanic since, as you mentioned, they already have an inside view of your car’s health. Never mind if it’s a bit costly; what matters most is that you’re at ease as to whom you’re entrusting your vehicle to.


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