Nothing like waiting until the last minute. The weather in the mountain passes was crap the beggining parts of this week. Over the last 72 hours Snoqualmie Pass has been everything from Bare and Dry to totally closed for avalanche control. This caused me to do something I should have done like 6 months ago...give the tires on my wife's car a close look.
Mmmm...not so good. I wouldn't go as far as to call them bald, but to meet Washington States definition of a 'traction tire' you need to have a Mud and Snow identification(check) and at least 4/32" of tread(not sure why they didn't reduce their fraction and just say 1/8") which she didn't still have on her car. I could barely get a finger nail down into the tread anymore.
So...this morning I was up and moving early, waiting in the parking lot of Les Schwab about 5 minutes before their scheduled opening time of 8. Which wasn't early enough...there were already 4 cars up on the lifts being worked, and another 7 or 8 checked-in in front of me. So much for me thinking I was motivated.
With a weather report calling for just rain, I almost chanced it...but, she was going to need new tired sometime before winter really set in, and I was there, and the wait quoted seemed acceptable, so I settled in with a bag of fresh popcorn for breakfast, and waited...and watched.
Since moving back to Washington in 2000, I have never gotten tires at any place other than Les Schwab. They have a very good customer service reputation when it comes to people with flats(which I have luckily never needed to test), and quite a system going.
I want to say that this morning, I counted somewhere between 14 and 17 tire jocks working on the cars, and about the only time they were not moving in hustling type manner was while a tire they were working on was spining on the stiping machine. Always active, always professional...quite an operation. It could just be that as someone who works someplace where people are expected to work 3 whole hours someday, I am easily impressed by people doing their job in professional, courteous, complaint free manner.
Either way, it took them 16 minutes from when our Subaru went up on the lift until it was done...which is pretty impressive, since a few months ago at work it took me something like 98 minutes to do one tire on my F-150.