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A Kind-Of Funny, But Not Too Funny Winter To-Do List for Minnesota

to do list to prepare for winter in minnesota, funnyWhether you need to buy some items to prepare for winter, or simply gather some things from around your house, this progressive “to do” list will help any Midwesterner get ready for the winter weather on its way.

While this list is meant to be funny, you really do need to make sure your vehicle and tires are in good condition.

What to do first…

Locate a Shovel for when the snow starts to fly. Shoveling seems easy at first; maybe even fun. Eventually shoveling will seem insurmountable and lose its appeal completely.

Get A Snow Blower Tune-Up for when the shovel no longer cuts it.

Buy Heat Additive and/or Block Heaters for those poor vehicles that sit outside and may need a little early morning help.

Find the Bags of Salt to melt snow and ice from sidewalks, parking lots, and driveways thereby hopefully reducing what we’ll call “incidents”.

Window Plastic might not be a bad idea if you have leaky windows, and we get the winter that’s being predicted. You’ll want to seal out old man winter if you can.

Put Out Mouse Traps so that furry friends don’t make it into your boat, camper, or house after they discover such places are warmer than the elements outside.

Snow Tires; Never a bad idea for many people’s vehicles. Call us if you’re wondering if snow tires, aka winter tires, are right for your vehicle.

Tire Chains are necessary for those who pull heavy snow duty, and you know who you are.

Flags for the end of your driveway or edge of your sidewalk so you don’t drive where you shouldn’t once everything is monochromatic.

Buy a New Pair of Gloves, as you’ll only find one from last year. It’s Murphy’s Law.

Pick up Some Hand Warmers, as these work great if you can find a pair of anything to place them in.

Sleds are a must to entertain the kids and get them out of the house on those inevitable snow days off of school. The buses won’t get them to school, but you’ll still have to go to work.

You’ll Need a Windshield Scraper to chisle the snow and ice off your windshield if you had to park outside of the garage due to a pile of sleds and snow gear left in your parking stall. Let’s face it. The less-desirable credit card you’re using to scrape ice really isn’t sufficient if you just admit it.

Assemble a Winter Survival Kit when things don’t go as planned and you need supplies until your ride arrives.

Get a Snow Rake! Do you not remember last winter? Keep snow off your roof and hopefully avoid ice dams.

Find Your Ski Mask so you can simultaneously stay warm, scare the neighbors, and scrape ice dams off your roof.

Put Extra Blankets in Your Vehicle, but don’t buy these. Well, you can if you want, but who doesn’t have a pile in a closet somewhere waiting to be put to good use?  Saving a life in the frigid weather seems to be the best destiny possible for these blankets.

What’s on your list? What would you add to this?

What’s Cool in Anoka, Minnesota in October?

anoka mn halloween parade 2011Anoka Tire, also known as The TireZoo is definitely a cool place to stop for tires in Minnesota, any time of year. In addition to the TireZoo, you may like to know that Anoka hosts one of the largest and most elaborate Halloween festivals in Minnesota. Also referred to as  “Anoka, The Halloween Capital of the World”, this event spans several days and includes such fun activities as a Pumpkin Bowl, Medallion Hunt, Rib Tasting, Carnival, 5Krun, and Grand Costume Parade, and much more.

If you’re looking for one or more days of family fun, Anoka, Minnesota will not dissappoint, starting today, October 19, 2011. Many people turn out for the Grand Parade, scheduled for October 29th this year, and we hope you are able to travel to Anoka, MN and join in the fun!

Read the story “Meaty display wins Anoka Halloween decorating contest” and watch the clip from last year, covered by Kare11 News.

For more information, you can visit Anoka If you want to visit the TireZoo while in Anoka, you can find us here.

Minnesota Lakes Word Find, Perfect for Road Trips

Minnesota Lakes Word FindMinnesota Lakes Word Find: Our newest road trip printable puzzle, featuring Minnesota Lakes (in .pdf form). ~Good Luck and Drive Safely!

Happy Holidays From The Tire Zoo

The gift of tires from the TireZoo

Looking for a last minute gift idea? According to Twitter, many people sincerely wish Santa would bring them new tires for Christmas. Who can you surprise this year with the gift of safety? Call us in Anoka, MN at 1-800-421-2037 or in Bloomington, MN at 1-800-761-2013.

We wish you a very merry Christmas and safe travels!

Preparing for Winter Roads

It won’t be long and we Minnesotan’s will be preparing for winter driving. Yuck! Whether we like it or not, we have to drive in miserable conditions. Having a winter survival kit in the car is a must, but here’s a few other items I always make sure I have along, so I don’t drive myself nuts with worry.

1. Cell phone and charger. I know it’s not the end all, but it helps put my mind at ease should we have car trouble.

2. Plenty of blankets. Whether we use them in an emergency or not, the kids love having the comfy, cozy blankets in the truck. Some days even the truck’s heater isn’t enough to cut the cold wind that makes its way in. A blanket along side the door can be a really nice buffer.

3. A shovel. If you don’t need it, your fell traveler might. Having a shovel in your vehicle can help in a variety of situations.

4. Jumper cables. You never know when you might need to jump your car or help someone else jump their car. We’re known for Minnesota Nice, for a reason.

5. Ice scraper. Just because you get to park your car in the garage over night, doesn’t mean mother nature can’t dump a load of snow while you’re parked somewhere. You’ll want to be prepared.

6. Warm, practical hats and mittens. The cute ones you like to wear that match your coat are nice, but won’t save your digits in the icy, Minnesota wind. Always keep the thick, ugly, warm versions somewhere in your vehicle. This includes snow boots too.

7. All the rest of the items that are recommended in a winter survival kit.

And of course, always check your windshield wiper fluid, tire air pressure, oil, and gas level before leaving the driveway.

Where do Minnesotan’s find room to fit the kids or groceries? Very carefully. How do we haul food and gifts during the holidays? Plan months in advance, fill in every conceivable space, and always leave room for the critical, life-saving items.

Can you think of anything I’ve missed?

Family Road Trips Begin with a Trip to the Tire Zoo

With family vacation time quickly approaching, it’s good to be prepared for long distance road trips.

Checking your tires is critical!

Your tires will tell you more than most people realize.

Check the front tires first– Turn your tires sharp to one side and look at the tire wear. Are they worn evenly? If so, check the tread depth. To do this, use a penny and place it in the tread of the tire with Lincoln’s head down. The tread should be at least to his ear for a long trip (this would be about 50-60% life remaining).

If you have irregular tread wear, here are some possible symptoms:

  • If the tires are worn on the inside and outside edges they have been run under inflated.
  • If the tires are worn in the center, but outsides are good, they are over inflated.
  • If the tires are either worn on the inside or outside edge, your vehicle needs to be aligned.
  • If the tires are worn unevenly with bald spots, are cupped, or scalloped, it could be tire balance , alignment, or week shocks. If you are in need of an alignment you should replace the tires before getting the vehicle aligned.

Next, follow these additional reminders for a safe family road trip:

  1. Change your oil and all filters.You should also have your coolant and A/C checked.
  2. Have your battery load tested and terminals cleaned
  3. Check all the drive belts and hoses for any signs of wear and deterioration. Belts that are frayed, glazed, cracked, cut or have chunks missing should be replaced immediately. With the engine off and cold, look at each hose and see if there are leaks, bulges, cracks, or swelling. If they look good, give them a squeeze test. Hoses that are in good condition are firm but flexible. Any hoses that feel brittle or too soft should be replaced.
  4. Brakes: If you hear any grinding noises or feel unusual vibrations when you apply the brakes, or if the vehicle pulls to one side, take the vehicle in for a comprehensive checkup. It would be a good idea just to have your brakes looked. You definitely don’t want to worry about replacing your brakes 1,000 miles into your trip!
  5. Aspirin is always a good idea, right?

Safe travels from the TireZoo! Let’s us know if we can help with new or used tires to get you through your road trip. 1-800-421-2037

Top Reasons to Shop TireZoo

What’s your reason for shopping the TireZoo? We’d love to hear from you.  Here’s the top reasons our customers keep coming back:


We have the largest inventory to help locate one or more of just about any tire you may need.


Two convenient locations in Bloomington and Anoka, MN

Lease Returns

The tires on your lease return will pass inspection with our help.


We bust myths at the TireZoo. Like one bad tire means replacing all four.

New and Used Tires- Both!

We carry every major brand and style of new and used tires; other places don’t.

Listen and Care

You’ll find us ready to answer the phone, assist when you stop by, visit on Facebook, and listen on Twitter to what YOU have to say. Give us a call and mention this post! 1-800-761-2013 or 1-800-421-2037.

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.

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. 



Tires, New and Used Coming Soon to a Blog Near You

We are excited to introduce our Tire Zoo blog to you. Please check back frequently, as new features are being added everyday. Our Twitter button is already added, so be sure to join us there for lively chats. Coming soon are interesting blog posts, pictures, events, and polls.