Professionalism places a burden on those who sell tires and provide maintenance and repair service for consumers' vehicles. Thus independent tire dealers, as professionals, have a responsibility to educate customers on what is and what isn't in their best interest.
And should the customer demand a product or servicepractice that's unsafe, the truly professional dealer will stand up for what is right-refusing, if necessary, to perform a tire fitment or repair that endangers life and limb.
Consider snow tires, for example.
It takes knowledgeable professionals to sell snow tires to a motoring public that generally considers them unnecessary, as the article on page 9 attests.
Except for certain mountain passes or under other hazardous winter driving conditions where snow tires sometimes are mandated by law, they frequently are viewed as a luxury by motorists led to believe all-season tires are good enough.
So dealers must educate buyers about the increased safety and driving performance of snow tires as compared with all-seasons. They can point out that winter driving demands more from tires than merely starting up in deep snow. Stopping performance and lateral traction are equally important, if not more so.
Only an educated tire dealer can provide consumers with such information.
Another example of the need for expert advice has to do with how many snow tires the motorist should buy. Some buyers wrongly assume only two snow tires are needed instead of four. Again, the professional dealer can explain how such improper fitment reduces the vehicle's ability to stop or negotiate curves while traveling over snow-covered road surfaces.
Today, with the proliferation of tire sizes and types, lighter-weight cars, the special demands of performance vehicles and the growing popularity of sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks, tire buyers need expert advice.
No one ought to be better prepared to offer such assistance than independent tire dealers.