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Archives for March 2010

The Story Behind the Super Hero Name

One day I was talking to someone about the Tire Zoo, and he referred to them having a super hero name. I paused for a second, and a smile broke out across my face. Yes, indeed, that is an interesting and fun way to look at the Tire Zoo, a division of All Season Tire Co. And so I began the task of telling their story.

The History of the Tire Zoo

By day (and signage) they are known as All Season Tire Co., but all day and night (and online) they are known as the TireZoo by  innocent shoppers everywhere looking for help with new and used tires.

Now branded in a fun blue and yellow color scheme and a cartoon-like TireZoo logo, the TireZoo has transformed from its meager start in 1979.History of the Tire Zoo

Like Clark Kent had roots in the Midwest, the TireZoo began in a garage as a home based business. Just as it’s difficult to picture Superman on a small farm in Iowa, it’s hard to imagine one of the United State’s largest used tire shops having started one tire at a time in a small garage somewhere in Bloomington, MN.

Not able to conceal their identity and growth any longer, owner Dan Wilkerson, moved his business a few years later into a store front in Bloomington, MN and hired his first employee. They were known as All Season Tire Co, and still are by many devoted customers.

The company grew, more employees were added, and their line of new and used tires expanded exponentially. In June of 1995 they opened their second location in Anoka, MN, and began helping people from as far away as Canada!

With the launch of their new website, The took shape, and well, it’s just plain catchy! What makes the TireZoo Crew so intriguing is their interest in reaching out to customers and doing what it takes to be unique.

Their impressive inventory of new and used tires is the largest you’ll find. They sell many brands of new tires, wheels, and rims; yet have no corporate restraints in being able to offer used tires and other products and services their customers need – at incredibly affordable prices. The Tire Zoo will make sure you get what you need, help you put your tires on your vehicle, and take the time to answer all your questions. They’ve recently added auto mechanic services to better serve their customers!

In addition to their super hero name and fun persona, they are the most accessible tire people you’ll find.  From their website, two store locations in Anoka and Bloomington, Facebook fan page, Twitter, and toll-free numbers (Anoka: 1-800-421-2037, Bloomington: 1-800-761-2013) – the TireZoo Crew is waiting to hear your cry for help.

11th Wedding Anniversary Gift of Steel

Ok, we’ll admit that the gift of steel isn’t the same as getting diamonds for your 60th anniversary, but it sure beats your first anniversary gift of paper! If you love tradition or the challenge of finding something for each of the landmark anniversaries, then we have a great idea for you!

Why not give the gift of wheels? They’re pretty. They’re shiny. They’re round like your wedding ring. And they’re almost as cool as diamonds!

Anniversary Gift List

1st- paper

2nd- cotton

3rd- leather

4th- linen

5th- wood

6th- iron

7th- copper

8th- bronze

9th- pottery

10th- tin/aluminium

11th- steel

12- silk

13th- lace

14th- ivory

15th- crystal

20th- china

25th- silver


35th-  jade/coral

40th- rubies

45th- sapphires

50th- gold

55th- emeralds

60th- diamonds

If you’ve received wheels for a gift, tell us about it. We’d also love to hear from you if you’d love to receive something for your vehicle as a gift.

When to Repair a Tire


When is it time to repair a tire, and when is it best to start shopping for a replacement tire?

If you have a puncture in your tire that can not be fixed, you need to decide on a new or used replacement tire.

If you have worn tires, the easiest way to figure out if your tire is a “keeper” is to take a penny and place it with Lincoln’s head facing down in to the tread.  If you can see the top of his head (i.e. it is not below the tread) they need to be replaced. You can also look for the wear bars on the tire. These are wear indicators. When they are even with the tread, the tire should be replaced. 



Demystifying Tire Speed Ratings

What is a tire speed rating? Do I need to care?Tire Speed Ratings

First let’s give you the text book answer. The chart at the right describes Tire Speed Ratings.

Looking at these numbers you may be saying to yourself, “I have V rated tires on my Camry, and it won’t even go 137 mph”. While that is true,  a V rated tire does corner and handle differently than a T rated tire.

Depending on your vehicle and your driving habits, you can change the speed rating to a lower rating. However, if you are an aggressive driver, you will notice a difference in high speed cornering.

Advantages of going with a lower speed rated tire:

  • For winter driving- a lower speed rated tire will be better for snow traction.
  • Lower speed rated tires are usually a higher mileage rated tire.

The most beneficial down size would be to go from a V rated tire to an H.

Is Your Vehicle Enjoying its Donut?

A few decades ago, a car’s spare tire would often be virtually the same as its regular tires. But nearly all new cars are manufactured with space-saver spares, small and lightweight tires that can be installed easily and take up less space in the trunk. The advantages of these spares are clear, but they come at the expense of drive-ability. When you’re driving a car on one of these spares, follow the guidelines below to make sure that your trips are safe and smart.

Keep your speed under 50 mph at all times, even on the highway. If there’s a lot of traffic and other vehicles around you, stay in the right lane and consider putting on your hazard lights so that people will notice that you’re traveling at a slower pace.

Limit your total mileage on a small spare to 50 miles, unless absolutely necessary. Driving on a spare hurts your gas mileage, wears out your other tires at an accelerated rate, and can even send your car out of alignment with extended use.

Check the tire pressure on the spare and keep it inflated to the PSI indicated on the sidewall of the tire. If you put on the spare and find it to be low on air, stop at the first gas station with an air pump and top it off. It’s almost always free to use gas station air pumps. (Free is good, right?)

Stop to get your regular tire fixed or replaced as soon as possible. If you are in Minnesota, stop by one of our TireZoo locations in Bloomington or Anoka.  

Space-saver spares are basically designed to get your car from the scene of the flat tire to a tire repair shop–50 miles max. It’s not a regular tire, so don’t treat it like one.

The Dreaded Flat Tire

Can I drive on a flat tire?

How far can I drive on a flat tire?

So many people ask these questions, that we thought we’d try to help.

If you have a flat on the freeway or highway you need to get to the far right emergency lane as quickly as possible.  If you were driving at highway speeds, like most people do, the tire is a goner. Your first thought should be for your safety, not salvaging a tire. For safety reasons, drive slowly to nearest off ramp, side road, or parking lot.

As far as driving on a flat tire, yes, you can drive on a flat tire. BUT the longer you drive, the more chances you have of damaging the wheel and tire. If you MUST drive, it’s better to take it slow and go the least distance possible (mostly for safety reasons).

The Tire Zoo Recommendation

If you notice your tire is flat, or suspect it is too low, put on your spare tire. Bring your injured tire into the Tire Zoo to get it fixed, rather than driving over on a low or flat tire. If you are on the road, get to a safe place to change the tire. Always have a spare tire along! It’s not worth risking your life to save a tire or wheel.