Does Walmart Install Tires For Free? (Not Quite)
Buying all the stuff that you need in one place comes naturally these days. Take your shopping cart and pick some strawberries, eggs, milk, and chainsaw.
What about car parts? Can you pick some motor oil, air filter, or windshield wipers? Not only that. These days you can buy even tires. You can even get them installed in Walmart.
Does Walmart Install Tires for Free?
Walmart offers all kinds of services. One of that services is changing tires. For free? Nope! And there is a good reason why. Not everything should be free. After all, good service costs money and it should be considered as an investment, instead of a cost. I wouldn’t feel comfortable letting someone change my tire for free. It’s not an easy operation.
A tire change is a part of the whole group of services called Auto Care Center services offered by Walmart. A tire change is a bit more complex process than you’ve might think and here is why.
What is a tire change consist of?
- Tire mounting
- Valve stem installation
- Tire balancing
This service will cost you $5 per tire. That is if you bought tires from Walmart. If you bring your own tires the price is doubled as it costs $10 each. What is so special about mounting a tire on the rim? Well, without proper tools and trained personnel you can either damage the tire or the rim. We have to assume that a giant like Walmart has the right equipment and tools for providing a proper job. But does a low price for this service also mean unmotivated employees? I mean I can sympathize with the guys, especially if they’ve worked for several years without any rise. And you really can’t expect the work to be done flawlessly with all said. Take into count that this kind of service costs 30-50% more elsewhere.
Tire mounting includes a lot of attention, although it may seem like a very simple job. First, you have to safely unmount the old tire and then carefully mount the new tire. Of course, it’s not a big deal if the guy who works on it is a skilled and trained professional. And here comes the motivation.
Valve stem installation
As the old tire comes off it is the smart thing to change the air valves as well. As almost all new tires are tubeless the air valve is the only thing that keeps the tire pressure just right. As the tire has limited use, the same goes with the air valve as the rubber simply losses its elasticity and becomes stiffer and easily deteriorates. So don’t go chip and ask your Walmart auto center to change the air valve as well. This service will cost an additional $3 per tire. It’s worth it don’t worry. Is it again for free? Nope!
After you are done with installing the valve and the tire it’s time for balancing. You’ll probably think that the balancing shouldn’t be a big deal as the tire is new and all, but think twice. Nothing is perfectly manufactured and small imperfections can produce a lot of mess. Especially while driving fast. Even though today’s modern balancing machines are very precise, after all, it is the technician who is working with that machine and it is him who is applying the right weights to the right place. That’s how balancing works. Is it free? Nope again. However, it is not a big expense as it will cost you $14per tire for a lifetime balance/rotation.
There are other services offered by Walmart in their auto care center that are worth considering:
- Road-hazard warranty $10 per tire
- Flat tire repair (tubeless) $15 per tire
- Tire rotation $2.50 per tire
- Lugnut replacement $2 per lug nut
- TPMS re-learn FREE
- 50-mile re-torque FREE
These services are all necessary while installing tires, and used to come as a must, but, like with everything these days, are separate services for easier mustering cash from clients. It’s all part of the modern way of doing business.
And one more thing. If you plan to buy tires and get them installed in Walmart then you should do the whole process online. That way you will get the right information about where are your desired tires available and if that location also offers auto care services as tire installing.
Anyway, we came to the question does Walmart install tires for free? Not really. And we hope that we’ve answered the reasons behind it. Are they the cheapest of the lot? Most probably. You should get the info about what is offered from the competition, compare them and decide where and if you should use that service.
It is one thing to buy tires in Walmart as it can have sometimes unprecedented discounts, but you should maybe think twice about installment. Nobody is pressing you to use the easiest solution, which sometimes isn’t the smartest.
Get your own choice as the tire is essentially the only piece of rubber that keeps you in contact with the road.