Steve LaFerre, Author at Tire Review Magazine
2008 Top Shop Finalist: Lex Brodie’s Tire, Wheel & Brake

“My job and the job of each of our 94 full-time employees is to relieve the stress of the day for each of our customes,” says Scott Williams, co-owner of Lex Brodie’s Tire, Wheel & Brake in Oahu, Hawaii. Along with his mentor, 95-year-old Lex Brodie, who formed his enterprise in Hawaii, the pair has

2007 Top Shop Finalist: Redwood General Tire

The late Bill Walsh, long-time coach of the San Francisco 49ers, was one of Alpio Barbara’s friends. So is former 49ers quarterback Joe Montana, whose mom once worked for Barbara. But unlike the NFL, there is no off-season for Barbara’s Redwood General in Redwood City, Calif., a Top Shop Award finalist. “If the month ends

2007 Top Shop Finalist: Community Tire

  Howard Fleischmann isn’t the least bit shy about posting his personal cell phone number, his home phone number and his office number in his online newsletter, circulation 6,000. “If I’m not here when my customers need me, will they be there when I need them?” says the owner of Top Shop Award Finalist Community

2009 Top Shop Finalist: Jack Williams Tire & Auto Center

Jack Williams Tire Co. is no stranger to disaster. Founded just before the stock market crashed in 1929 and ravaged by a hurricane in the early 1970s, Jack Williams not only survived, it built a successful tire and service business that is integral to eastern Pennsylvania. And that perseverance, coupled with exemplary customer service, innovative

The Tools and Manuals Needed to Service Today’s TPMS

/>In general, a good TPMS tool should have the following features, according to Bartec: the ability to audit the vehicle before the wheel is broken down; the ability to know all of the different low frequency wakeup patterns to transmit and activate the sensors on each type of make/­model/year combination; and the ability to establish

Dodging Disaster: Follow These Simple Steps to Avoid Costly Wheel-Offs

cy, broken or stripped wheel studs, warped disc brake rotors or loose wheels. Here’s a warning from a major insurance underwriter: Loose and missing lug nuts have resulted in terrible car wrecks, severe injuries, fatalities, bad publicity and expensive litigation. Although you may think technicians would never forget to reinstall and properly tighten the lug

Angled Approach: A Refresher Course on Slip Angles and Cornering Force

This time I’m going to present some basics about slip angles and how they affect you and your tire customer. Let’sbegin by considering a car going through a corner. As the carprogresses through the corner, there is centrifugal force acting on thecar (and its passengers), which tends to pull the car toward theoutside of the

Keeping Quiet: How to Solve Noise, Vibration and Harshness Complaints

If there is anything that frustrates a tire tech, it’s the matter of resolving noise, vibration and harshness issues. The first hurdle is figuring out what the customer is hearing or feeling compared to what the tech hears or feels on a test drive. No two people are the same, so “persistent” NVH problems are

Micro Management: Today’s Smaller Cars Require Some Extra Attention

Long gone are the lengthy wheel-base land cruisers of the past. Their highway space has been taken by mid-size cars, compact cars and now mini- and micro-cars. All of these are smaller than the 1960 Cadillac that could have hauled five NBA starters. After all, it was nearly 19 feet long with a curb weight

Sand Man: We See it Everywhere, But What Does Silica Do?

is equivalent to the total environmental impact of the tire’s production and the raw materials from which it is made. In other words, says Rhodia, “the energy savings made possible by the use of silica tire technology far outweigh the impact of its manufacture.” The French company even goes so far to say that since

Weighing Options: Mechanical Balancing or Balancing Compounds?

There is no easy answer to this age-old question, because each choice has merit. Fleets on both sides of the argument are sold on their choice and most are not about to change their minds anytime soon. Think of it in the same way people think about cars. Some will only “buy American,” while others

Letter of the Law: Are Euro Sizes Pushing P-Metrics Out of the Market?

We have been through a lot when it comes to tire sizing regulations and how to keep our staffs and customers informed. From numeric, to alpha-numeric, to all of the metric options, it hasn’t always been easy to explain what all of this means to the consumer, often leaving them somewhat confused. All of these