Now Hiring! Full-time Sales and Tire Technician Positions at our Bloomington location. Apply Now

X

Labor Day Weekend Holiday Hours

Our Labor Day Holiday hours for both the Anoka and Bloomington locations are as follows:

Friday: 9am-6pm (regular hours)
Saturday: 9am-3pm (closing early)
Sunday and Monday: Closed
Tuesday: 9am-6pm (regular hours)

From the TireZoo to you and your family, we wish you a safe and fun holiday weekend!

TireZoo

School Carpool Ideas for Busy Parents

School carpool ideas to help this school year go great.

Carpooling to and from school and activities is a popular choice for saving time and money. Other reasons to carpool include saving on the environment. It can be a viable option for some people without good busing or who deal with unsafe walking/biking to school areas. If you are new to carpooling, these tips will make it less stressful. If you are a seasoned carpool driver, please leave your tips on our Facebook page. 

School Carpool Ideas to Maintain Your Sanity

  1. We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention checking over your tires, and doing proper vehicle maintenance, right?
  2. Get all kids’ and parents’ cell and work numbers in your cell phone.
  3. Keep your phone charge in case of emergency.
  4. Determine your carpool route and schedule.
  5. Clearly communicate your rules; wearing seat-belts, no drinks, etc.
  6. Leave early and give yourself plenty of time.
  7. Pack healthy, travel-friendly snacks so you aren’t dealing with hungry and crabby kids.
  8. Assemble a Sanity-Kit; band-aids, wet wipes, plastic bag for who-knows-what, aspirin for the driver?
  9. Sunglasses for the early morning and late day “sunny drive”.
  10. Extra booster seats to avoid too many transfers. If you are unsure of booster seat laws, check out an article we did a while back on Minnesota Car/Booster Seat Laws.
  11. It’s ok to rely on good maps and current road conditions/status updates.
  12. Anticipate delays, road construction, detours and have a plan B ready.
  13. Create the “no trash” rule at the end of the ride. Have a designated place or bag, or ask that everyone takes trash with them out of the vehicle.

 

 

Road Closures and Construction in MN

road construction delays closures mnThe summer weather is fabulous, but it also means it’s the only time on the  frozen tundra that road crews can work on various projects. From resurfacing and pot hole filling, to bridge replacement projects, the landscape in Minnesota is dotted with orange cones and barrels. In order to make your commutes tolerable and your weekend road trips less stressful, it’s good to check out current projects so you can anticipate detours and delays.

We all know that 169 North, 494 East and West and I-35 are all a bit challenging. To learn more about the work being done, re-routes, and anticipated completion dates, check out MN DOT; they keep the information up-to-date. You can also access 511.org on your mobile phone for real-time updates.

Avoiding a Summertime Tire Blowout

prevent tire blowoutThere isn’t always a way to prevent a tire blowout, but on the other hand there are quite a few things you can do to improve your chances of dealing with an untimely summertime tire blowout.

The best place to start is understanding why some tire blowouts happen. According to Popular Mechanics,  “tire-blowout season runs from roughly the middle of May through early October.” The reason why more blowouts happen in the summertime than other times of the year have to do with

  1. Hot climates; Minnesota can be plenty hot and humid in the summer, as well as many other parts of the upper Midwest. 
  2. More travel, Longer Travel; More motorists traveling farther. More people on the roads for longer periods of time and farther destinations simply translates to higher number of tire related issues. 
  3. Towing increases: Many people are hauling heavy items such as boats, campers, landscaping trailers, etc. Industrial and road construction projects send large rigs around the country hauling aggregate and heavy equipment. It’s no wonder we see shredded tires along the side of the road so often! 

 

So what can you do to prevent a tire blowout?

There are things you can do to improve your chances of avoiding a tire blowout this summer.

  • Are your driving habits kind to your tires? Do you drive carefully and slowly so you don’t hit the curb at an odd angle when parking? Do you slow down around potholes and other obstructions? Are you paying attention to slow and avoid debris in the road whenever possible?
  • Do you know what your vehicle tire’s specific inflation amount is?
  • Have you checked your tire pressure when the tires are not warm, but cool?
  • Have you looked over your tires for any issues such as cracking, bulging, unusual wear?
  • Are you overloading your vehicle? Are you hauling too much weight inside the vehicle, trunk, or pick-up bed?
  • Are you giving your tires and vehicle proper and timely maintenance? Making sure your tires are balanced and rotated, as well as other issues are addressed that can cause uneven wear or stress on your tires is important.
  • Is there enough tread left on your tires? Do you know how to tell?

If you have concerns about the quality and safety of your tires, stop in so we can have a look. The time to address tire issues is before you head out on the road this summer.

Travel Snack Mix: Great Snack Mix Recipes for Traveling

MN White snow Travel Snack Mix

10 c. Cheerios
10 c. Crispix
4 c. peanuts
2 – 10 oz. bags pretzel twists
2 lbs. M & M’s
4 bags white chocolate chips
6 Tbsp. Oil

Mix together cereal, nuts, pretzels and candy in a large container. Melt chocolate chips and oil in microwave. Pour over mix and stir until coated. Pour onto wax paper and let dry. Store in airtight container.

Traditional Snack Mix with a Kick

3 cups Wheat Chex
3 cups Corn Chex
3 cups Cheerios
1 cup almonds, pretzels, peanuts, or cheese crackers
5 Tbsp. butter
4 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp season salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp white pepper (or if you like wasabi, use 1/4 tsp wasabi powder)

Mix dry ingredients in a large roaster pan. In a small pan, melt butter and remaining ingredients. Pour over dry ingredients, mixing well. Bake in oven at 250 degrees for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Allow to cool completely, then store in an airtight container.

Do you have a snack mix recipe you’d like to share? Email social@tirezoo.com and be sure to include links to your blog/website so we can pass your ideas along to our readers!

 

Tons of Staycation Ideas

staycation ideasStaycation Ideas!

Are you looking to schedule a staycation this summer? Whether you have little kids, older kids, no kids, or are empty nesters, we’ve put together some great articles and resources to help you plan your next staycation.

We started a Pinterest Board for staycation ideas you can pull from!

Many people do have little kids who will want plenty of fun activities to keep them busy, so here’s “Five Family Staycation Ideas; How to have a great time without leaving home” and a long list of “Do’s” to “Make Your Staycation FUN”.

If you still need more ideas, here’s a few more on how to “Make your staycation feel like a vacation.”

 

Money Saving Tips for Your Summer Road Trip

save money travel by carLooking for money-saving summer travel tips?

With weather that is, for once, not only warm but occasionally downright balmy, the summer is undoubtedly here once again. For many families that means that it is time to hit the road for a much deserved road trip vacation. If you are planning a summer road trip in the near future, here are a few tips to ensure that your vacation is kind to your bank account.

Plan Your Gas Spending Ahead of Time

Car travel is often cheaper than air travel, but it still comes with its own set of formidable expenses, namely gas. Gas prices are seem to be rising these days, and the price per gallon varies from city to city and state to state. Instead of relying on luck to try and find cheaper gas prices, there are actually ways to research the cheapest gas stations in an area ahead of time, such as GasBuddy.com and the US government’s fuel economy map. We’d be remiss if (being the TireZoo) if we didn’t mention checking your tires over for proper inflation and other concerns. Proper inflation will help with gas mileage, and obviously safe tires should help you avoid wasting time and money repairing tires when you’d rather be enjoying your vacation.

Pack Snacks Ahead of Time

Gas station stores make a tidy profit from hungry road trippers willing to pay a markup for convenience. However, you can save a surprising amount by packing your own snacks ahead of time, including cold drinks in a cooler – ice is less expensive than food and drinks on the road.

Avoid Tolls When Possible

The revenue from tolls helps keep certain roads maintained and operational, but that does not mean that you have to use those roads. With GPS units and smartphone apps, along with online trip planning sites, finding toll-free alternatives has never been easier.

There is No Rush

While it seems like getting there as quickly as possible may seem cheaper, and otherwise preferable, to spending more time on the road, flooring the pedal and far exceeding the speed limit is not necessarily the way to go. Not only is speeding dangerous and potentially very costly if you get caught, but high speeds are much less fuel efficient for most vehicles.

Avoid Fast Food Chains

While you or your family may get the craving for a specific type of fast food while on the road, stopping at chains regularly gets expensive and tedious. Local businesses often offer better tasting, more interesting and potentially healthier fare for the same price if not cheaper.

What is your favorite tip for saving money while on the road with the family?

 

Make Your Own Travel Adventure Toy

Hidden Treasure Bottles; Travel Games for KidsThis is a great activity that you can make for or with your kids that is perfect for long car rides. It’s quiet and doesn’t involve any batteries. Turning and shaking the bottle actually gives the kids something to “do” and promotes fine motor skills as they search for items. The best part of this activity? It’s FREE and can be made with items from around your home.

What You Will Need:

  • A clear plastic bottle with lid; water bottle, pop bottle, Gatorade,  etc.
  • Rice, beans, corn or some other small filler.
  • A plastic funnel, or make one from a rolled sheet of paper
  • Paper and tape for a label
  • Some kind of glue
  • Items to “hide” in the bottle

Hidden Treasure Bottles; Travel Games for KidsIdeas for items to place in the bottle:

  • Button
  • LifeSaver
  • SillyBand
  • Eyeball
  • Straw
  • Balloon
  • Golf Tee
  • Dice
  • Safety Pin
  • Paper Clip
  • Corn
  • Coin
  • Ring
  • Screw
  • Key
  • Jewel
  • Barrett
  • Hidden Treasure Bottles; Travel Games for KidsBobby Pin
  • Puzzle Piece
  • Marbles
  • Dried Bean
  • Gummy Worm
  • Penny
  • Nuts
  • Washers
  • Rubber Band
  • Earring
  • Bandaid
  • Q-Tip
  • Crayon
  • String
  • Rock
  • Small Plastic Toys
  • Bottle cap

Hidden Treasure Bottles; Travel Games for KidsDirections: Wash out the bottle and dry as well as you can. Locate the items you plan to “hide” in the bottle and add them. Funnel the rice (or beans) into the bottle. Type or hand write a guide so your kids know what to look for, and tape it to the bottle. Once filled, replace the cap and add some glue. Hot glue works great. Shake to mix items well.

To Make the Activity Harder: Add more rice. The less empty space in the bottle, the less the items have to move into sight. Use smaller items. You could also use food coloring to color the rice, which would make the colors of the items blend in and harder to locate.

 

Memorial Day 2018

Both our locations in Anoka and Bloomington will be closing at 3pm on Saturday, May 26th and will remain closed through Memorial Day. We will resume our regular hours on Tuesday, May 29th.  We wish you a very happy and safe Memorial Day holiday.

How NOT to Lock Your Keys in the Car

lock keys in carTend to lock keys in car?

If you have ever locked your keys in your car, you know the feeling – helplessness, panic , disgust. Then, anxiety and realization of what it will cost you to get a locksmith to come to your rescue. Here are some ideas on how to avoid the situation of locked keys in your car all together:

  1. Pay attention to the beeping in your car that means your keys are in the ignition. It is not just there to annoy you, it is warning you to bring your keys with you.
  2. Never take your keys out of the ignition and place somewhere else in your car. Bring your keys with you as you get out of the car. Have a spot where you consistently place your keys, so you know where they are in a hurry.
  3. Don’t let your kids play with your car keys! As obvious as this may sound, it happens often and is a safety issue also. Kids are notorious for starting panic alarms on keypads, and even putting the keys in the ignition or locking themselves in the car with the keys.
  4. Always have a spare key handy. Whether this is in your home, wallet or purse, with a friend, or strategically placed in a well-hidden location under your car with a magnetic key holder, a spare key can save you when you need it most.

AAA or other auto clubs with roadside assistance are great to have if you run into frequent car problems, like a flat tire or locking your keys in your car. You may also want to check with your insurance carrier to see if your policy includes lockouts.

If you do lock your keys in your car, don’t panic. Although most local police departments do not perform the unlocking service any more, there are other options. If you have a newer car, you can call the local dealership with your VIN number, and they can make you a new key. Another option would be to call a local locksmith to get your car open.

Tell us about a time you locked your keys in your car. What did you do to get your keys back?