It doesn't matter the name of the shop..but it is a good idea to let people here know who to go to for a good deal!Right now things are going through the roof around here as far as prices in the Seattle area..Most house values have gone up 40-50% over the last say 5 years.My neighbor who bought his house for $450K 6 years ago..just sold it for more than offered at $920K,with people fighting over it..that's how crazy it is! Every house is selling like that here.Another friend about 3-4 years ago sold his 3 bedroom rental beater in a "same type of beater neighborhood" for $625K..when it was offered at around $500K.That same person just sold his other cinder block house for a huge amount and now lives in Kona,HI with 40 acres..
Everything else $$-wise is going crazy here.Grocery stores and others are increasing their prices daily..I bought a cooler online from Home Depot for $39(plus tax..) the next MORNING online it was $54.95.I took copies of the info to the store in case they didn't want to honor my buy..
I'm all for giving the little guy that has reasonable prices my business!
One thing that hasn't been addressed much on this thread is the "tire size" situation(Astrowill mentions the importance of adding the model when shopping for them).If one shops for tires online you find that a "X" year Astro will have maybe 3 different tires sizes(shop "GoodYear") called out for several models of the same year,for instance..my 1990 Astro calls out the 205/75/R15s for the cargo/short model,My CL AWD EXT calls out a 215/75/R15,and for another model "conversion?)that size is something X/60/R15..so knowing and adding the "model" is important if you want to get the OEM size...when shopping for tires online or otherwise.
I put 205/75/R15s on my 1990,even though it called out for slightly larger ones for my model. ..because I got them for for a good price with a set of Astro wheels.I'm not lifting the van,using it for construction work, or going long distances with it.. and 90% of the time it'll be empty and local runs with maybe a weekend within a 100 miles for camping.The tires were winter ones about 90% new,all season tread for mud,dirt roads,winter slush,accumulated rain,and seaweed- slimy boat ramps in my case.I pulled the studs(see tips onYoutube..no big task!)The Michelin 215/75/R15s(size called for) I had on before barely cleared the body in turning(like 1/4"!). Just driving that van NOW around the circular driveway here,it seems a lot more "peppy" and turns a lot easier,especially compared to the 2004 which now feels like a slug in comparison. The second set of tires I got for free(both sets off Craigslist) are 215/70/R15..supposedly "off a 1990 Astro"(no wheels included)..which seem to be pretty close to the same diameter or circumference..same brand/model as the other set,just different slightly in size tire with studs.By winter this year, they'll be on my original Astro Alloy rims I need to restore yet(I mounted two to see how they look and size-wise with air in them compared to the others)..I'll switch them all 4 out(AWD)..and if needed, pull those studs also.
Around here,if it snows(rarely more than a day or two per year),people freak out,line up, and buy studded tires on the first day of snow..,keep a second set,when they MUST fight traffic and get to work..and barely use them,maybe not even at all for the following next year's winter season because it didn't snow more than a trace that year..They have to be changed out by April 1st when it becomes illegal to run studs..Most smaller cities here don't even plow roads,don't have the equipment.Salt is rarely used except at uphill intersections,on MAJOR arterials,or freeway overpasses(places with tendency to ice up)..(Thank Gawd! Astros/Safaris around here rarely have ANY rust!).Constant winter rain washes any salt off the roads and bottoms of cars.
For example as far as the roadwork:This year was another record year for snow..like 10" laying on the ground and temperatures dipped down into the teens(when My Ford van was stolen,they couldn't move it 50 feet into the fenced yard because of a tiny driveway hill,next to a 10" snow covered arterial).),most business places close down.Our "collector arterial " street (major residential street that goes to Hwy99..about every ten blocks) was plowed maybe only once or twice,side streets not at all..over one week's "snow" time.The city relied more on all the people with 4 wheel drive,All wheel,Front wheel drive to pack it down for them.Most people just stay home knowing it'll soon pass for the year,work from home..offices,and stores close,etc..The first day of snow..there can be 200 wrecks out there!People go bonkers with snow here! It might take two hours to go 15 miles..it;'s hilarious!..unless you get stuck in the traffic.😖