Ask Doctor Crankshaft: Must I use the same tires that came on the car?
Also, should reader trade in Audi A5 for Q5?
Must reader use same tires that came on the car?
Q: The tires on my four-year-old car need to be replaced. My question is, do I have to put on the same (Goodyear) tires that are currently on it? The dealer says that I have to replace them with the same tires in order to maintain the warranty but these tires cost more than $150 each and I really can't afford to spend that much money. A neighbor says that I can put any tire on the car. What’s the truth here? — Katie in Bedford, Pa.
A: The only reason your car has Goodyear tires as original equipment is that the company gave the lowest bid to the manufacturer at the time parts were being purchased. The engineers who designed the car provided the specifications for size, load capacity, ride, handling, maximum speed and braking and all tire manufacturers were given an opportunity to bid their corresponding products. Therefore, any tire you can find that’s the same size and has equivalent speed and load ratings can be fitted to your car without any penalty. Your dealer's representative is misleading you in two respects: first, in telling you that the same tires must be used and second, that buying other tires will affect your vehicle warranty. Tires are always separately warranted and are never part of the vehicle warranty. If your look at your document package (the one that came with the car) you’ll find the separate tire warranty information.
Go ahead and search for equivalent, less expensive tire replacements for your car because it's perfectly acceptable to do so. One thing to check, though, is the Goodyear tread life warranty in your documents. If the tread is worn out at significantly fewer miles than on the odometer, it's possible that you can get a prorated price adjustment on new tires that could end up to be the cheapest overall way to go. It's not likely but never hurts to check it out.
Should reader trade in Audi A5 for Q5?
Q: I'm thinking about trading in my Audi A5 for an Audi Q5 because I need a bit more room and it has four doors and more comfortable seating. I love the A5 and it looks great but that doesn't impress me as much as it impresses others. Kelly blue book shows that I can get a dealer trade-in price that’s actually more than I paid for it two years ago. (If not exactly, within $1000 to $1500.) In fact, someone’s already offered me cash — an amount only $2000 less than I paid for it, which would make my ownership less than a $100 per month. Paralysis by analysis has set in. Will this car become more valuable because it’s a stick shift? I'm thinking I should be thrilled and take the money and run. I’ve put in an offer to the dealership to see what they'll give me, but I suspect it won't be much more than the private offer. — Rick
A: Your Audi experience is fascinating and the temptation to take the money is probably worth acting upon. No vehicle is going to become more valuable because it's a stick shift, as less than 5 percent of new vehicles have manual transmissions these days and the number is dropping. Manufacturers realize that the best way to get maximum fuel economy is to use 8 speed or CVT automatics. Add to this the fact that very few drivers actually know how to use manual transmissions effectively and efficiently and you have a new era on your hands in which manual shift cars are now valued lower than equivalent automatic vehicles. I'd take the deal and get a new toy.
Where can reader get an 8-track in dash player fixed?
Q: Where can I get an 8-track in dash player fixed? My 67 T-Bird has one that I'd like to get running. Thanks. — Bill in Youngstown, Ohio A: Your best bet is to go on T-Bird forums and get advice on repairing it yourself or referrals to individuals who specialize in these old players. They aren't very complicated and they certainly never were very reliable, but there are still lots of parts around and people who know how to fix them.
Dr. Crankshaft is automotive writer, radio host and restorer Les Jackson. In addition to writing for newspapers, he's editor-in-chief of www.secondchancegarage.com, the web's first all-restoration subscription site, and co-host of “Cruise Control,” heard Saturdays from 10-noon EST on the USA, National and Cable Radio networks. You can also listen live at www.cruisecontrolradio.com or download podcasts from iTunes. Send your questions to Dr. Crankshaft at DrCrankshaft@AutoWritersInk.com; please include your name and a location.
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