Category Archives: Car repair

Do Tires Really Matter?


Todd: I’m Todd.

Thad: I’m Thad.

Both: And we’re the Watters boys.

Todd: There’s something I see on the roads that drives me crazy.

Thad: Those “If you can read this, you’re too close” bumper stickers?

There's something on the roads even worse than this...


Todd: Yeah – except sometimes I get bored while driving and need something to read.

Thad: Why don’t you just stick one on the inside of your own car’s window?

Todd: Hmmm…good point. I’ll think about it. 

Thad: Don’t bother. I already did it for you.

Todd: What really my wears my treads is seeing cars that have different tires on each hub.

Thad: We’re talking different sizes, different constructions, even different stages of wear.

Todd: Nothing is more dangerous than putting un-matching tires on your car.

Putting un-matching tires on your vehicle can lead to this


Thad: Now there are some vehicles that are intentionally fitted with different sizes in the front and rear, but that’s by design.

Todd: Otherwise, we see a lot of people mix and match, starting with radial and non-radials.

Thad: That’s a bad idea. It’s kind of like putting a Felix the Cat slipper on one foot and a high-heeled steel-toed boot on the other and then trying to jog a mile.

Todd: I think jogging in general is a bad idea, but okay.    

Thad: And if you have to mix radial and non-radial, never put them on the same axle.

Todd: Radials go on the front axle, non-radials on the back.

Thad: Same thing with size. Never put different sized tires on your car.

Todd: See the “slipper-boot” analogy, above.

Thad: Different sizes are harder to drive, harder on your car and decrease your gas mileage.

Todd: Also avoid mixing tread patterns, like all terrain and all-season.

Thad: All of these differences add up, over time, as you drive your vehicle.

Todd: At best you’ll get dramatically uneven wear.

Thad: At worst you’re creating an unsafe driving environment for yourself and everyone else in your car.

Todd: We’ll often see cars brought in where drivers have tried to save money by purchasing a used tire that’s not the same as the others, in size or tread or anything else.

Thad: We understand that economics can dictate these decisions.

Todd: But seriously, where the rubber meets the road, you’re really playing with fire.

Matching tires are happy tires


Thad: So avoid mixing tires, and metaphors, as my brother just did.

Todd: Me…ta…

Thad: Just imagine that a “metaphor” is a new tire from Michelin.

Todd: Cool!

Thad: Just like you match the colors you’re wearing to work today…

Todd: My brother notwithstanding.

Thad: Make sure you match your tires.

Todd: Same size, same tread, same, construction.

Thad: You’ll have a safer drive and peace of mind.

Todd: Two things that are worth the investment.

Thad: Speaking of investment, are we still doing the $18.99 oil changes?

Todd: We’ve gotten a lot of response – do we still have oil left?

Thad: No, that was your job.

Todd: Actually my job is to make sure you are doing your job.

Thad: I thought that was my job.

Todd: Okay – we’ve established that we both get paid to stare at each other.

Thad: Luckily, we have plenty of oil at Watters Autoland.

Todd: Which means you can still take advantage of our oil change special.

Thad: Just subscribe to our “Talkin Cars” blog via email, and we’ll send you a coupon, good for a $18.99 oil change at Watters Autoland in Indianola.

Todd: It’s our way of saying thank you for your tremendous response to “Talkin Cars.”

Thad: Just click on the “subscribe by email” thingy on the right side of this page.

Todd: Which probably has a more technical term, but okay.

Thad: Submit your email address, and we’ll send you an email in return, with your coupon. It’s that simple!

Todd: Just like you!

Thad: Shut your thingy.



Todd and Thad Watters own and manage Watters Autoland in Indianola, Iowa. Visit them at 


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Filed under Car repair, Tires

Why Kicking The Tire Is A Good Thing!

Todd: Hi, I’m Todd.

Thad: I’m Thad.

Todd: And we’re the Watters boys.

Thad: What we’re about to tell you will sound stupid on the surface

Todd: Unlike other things we tell you that will sound stupid way down deep.

Thad: Like, The Colts are a sure bet to win the Superbowl. 

Todd: It sounded smart at the time.

Thad: How much money did you lose on that bet?

Todd: Let’s just say I need to sell a LOT of cars in February.

Kicking the tire can tell you a lot

Thad: So here’s the stupid sounding thing; kicking the tires on your car is actually a very smart thing to do.

Todd: Wow – that does sound stupid.

Thad: I tried to warn you.

Todd: No one is exactly sure when or how this “myth” started.

Thad: Some believe that back when tires were made of solid rubber, people used to kick them to see if they would crack or break, which they sometimes did.

Todd: Pneumatic, or air-filled tires, eventually replaced the solid rubber variety.

Thad: Which didn’t prevent people from continuing to kick tires.

Todd: Maybe human beings were just bored back then – this was after all before cable.

Thad: I think Mediacom now offers The Tire Kicking Channel as part of their basic package

Todd: Kicking tires eventually developed a bad reputation.

Thad: The assumption was that the person who did it really didn’t know why they were doing it, or much about cars in general.

Todd: But there are some very good reasons to kick the tire of a vehicle.

Thad: A rattling sound can mean issues with the springs, suspension, shock absorber, wheel bearing or caliper.  

Todd: Plus, kicking the tire can alert you to loose lug nuts.

Thad: Believe it or not, tires can and do come loose.

Todd: Also, when you kick the tire – or better yet, put your foot on the top of it and step down, you can feel if the tire is underinflated.

Thad: Of course, kicking the tire can’t tell you about a gazillion other things that could be wrong with your car.

Todd: If your friendly grease monkey uses this as a diagnostic method, you may want to consider taking your car somewhere more reputable.

Thad: Like, to a witch doctor.

Todd: Which witch doctor?

Thad: Don’t go there.  

Todd: Meantime, we hope sharing the truth about the myth brings tire-kicking back into vogue.

Thad: Much like we’re hoping that us wearing leisure suits around the dealership will bring them back as a fashion statement. 

Todd: Although so far, the results have been disappointing.

Thad: Just like the Colts.

Todd: Don’t make me kick you.


Todd and Thad Watters own and manage Watters Autoland in Indianola, Iowa. To find out more, visit them at: 

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