Schwab actions criticized
Why did Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Slade Gorton (R-Wash.) "praise Les Schwab Tire Centers" (Sept. 25 issue) when they should have been investigating how that company was able to make arrangements before the Firestone recall was announced to bill Bridgestone/Firestone directly rather than having to charge vehicle owners for their non-BFS replacement tires (as other outlets have had to do).
Public safety is not a political issue. These senators made Les Schwab sound as though the company had done something heroic.
It is not surprising that Schwab Executive Vice President Dick Borgman told your publication he "could not recall what specific customer information Les Schwab has submitted to BFS."
There are other independent and franchised tire stores all over the nation whose employees have crawled under vehicles to identify DOT numbers, explained the recall's procedures to worried customers, helped consumers complete the recall paperwork, directed others to the nearest Firestone store and yes, sold replacement tires for a profit—without being a party to a secretive pact.
The public also might be interested in knowing that at the same time the recall of 15-inch Firestone tires was being announced, warehouses across the country "froze" the sale of major brand 16-inch tires in apparent anticipation of the next phase of the recall.
Big O Tires of Lynnwood
I think Bridgestone/Firestone has been taking the rap for Ford in regard to its recent Firestone tire recall.
As an independent dealer, I tell customers to go by whatever inflation pressure the tire maker recommends—not what is posted in the owner's manual or vehicle's glove box.
Some auto makers' recommend too low a pressure to assure maximum tire service.
I usually suggest customers keep their tires at maximum pressure and check them often.
Maintaining correct wheel balance and alignment also are important to tire performance.
Mark A. Ewing Sr.
Capital City Tire Inc.
Reader seeks advice
I recently took over my father's tire and auto service business and have been trying to increase sales without much success.
Some suggestions on how to do so would be greatly appreciated. It seems everyone I turn to for advice doesn't take me seriously because they see me as a female in a "male" business world.
As a single mom, I could use some extra income in my household.
Llantera Soto (Soto Tire)
Editor's note: Do any TB readers have any suggestions for Ms. Uribe? Let us know.
Code stickers causing leaks
For years, we have tried to keep users from placing bar code identification stickers within the bead area of their tires. But it seems as though no one cares.
We have had to fix hundreds of flat tires because these hard plastic stickers will not seal off.
Brooks Tire Service