Kent: Tired of wheels and tires

January 22, 2014 

I had no idea until Scotty got on a first name basis with a ditch that wheels and tires are not technically the same thing.

The fact that I am less than knowledgeable about the parts of a car will surprise no one who knows me. Since I turned 15 and got my driver’s license, I have operated any car I am driving with this basic premise: There is no sense in cluttering up my mind with any knowledge about how the vehicle actually works.

All I figured I needed to know is that the key will turn the motor, and I am good to go. Oil? Gas? That noise coming from under the hood? In my life, these are my husband’s problems and my father’s and brother’s before him.

But my refusal to be concerned about car parts came to a screeching halt last week when I found myself involved in the process of getting new tires and wheels for Scotty’s wrecked truck.

It’s a little complicated, but here it goes.

They may be made of rubber, but I guess tires don’t actually bounce and therefore don’t appreciate landing in a ditch, so the truck needs new tires. Scotty and his daddy decided to upgrade the rims -- also known as wheels but never ever referred to as hubcaps, which is what I called them -- that came with the truck. However, the place doing the repair work couldn’t order the ones they picked out, so I found myself in a tire store -- my first time ever -- trying to have a conversation about tires and what my son and the salesman kept calling wheels.

Buying tires and wheels is tough on a good day. There are a lot of choices, and not one size fits all like I always assumed. But buying them for a truck in pieces on the other side of town is even more difficult.

Especially if you have no idea what you are talking about.

Lucky for me -- but not so lucky for him -- an extremely nice and knowledgeable young man, Derek, was at the counter at Discount Tire on Watson Boulevard when I arrived.

He walked me through the process and dealt with me the three other times we had to make trips there before we got this all straightened out.

There had been some conversations around my house before the accident about tires, and although I had done my best to avoid paying attention, I perked up when prices were discussed because anything that happens around here that could hinder my allotted time at Hobby Lobby does concern me.

So that’s why I knew I was getting a very good price on these wheels/rims/hubcap things and the tires that go around them.

I think great service should be recognized. Too many places take it for granted that not providing good service won’t bite them back.

So if you are in the market for the things on the bottom of your car that go round and round, whatever you call them, go see Derek at Discount Tire. He is smart, well-informed and extremely patient.

Just tell him the hubcap lady sent you.

Contact Alline Kent at 478-396-2467 or allinekent@cox.net.

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