Find the Best Tire Stores in Novato, Sausalito and San Rafael
Good tires are one of the most critical components in your driving safety. New tires, properly inflated, can make the difference in an emergency. Proper wheel alignment, good tire treads, regular tire rotation and high-quality car tires all work together to improve gas mileage, handling, braking and overall safety.
The following research by The Prime Buyer's Report identifies the best tire stores in Marin County and issues related to buying new tires, rims, and tire repair.
Updated December 11, 2016
1531 4th St
San Rafael, CA 94901
Areas Served: Marin County incl. San Rafael, Sausalito, Mill Valley, Ross, Tiburon, Belvedere
Services: local tire store for new tires, car rims, tire repair
668 Irwin St
San Rafael, CA 94901
Areas Served: San Rafael CA, Larkpur, Woodacre, Sausalito, Mill Valley, Novato, Tiburon, Kentfield
Services: new rims, tires, wheel balancing, off-road tires, SUV tires, ATV tires
|Toscalito Corte Madera Tire|
5800 Paradise Dr
Corte Madera, CA 94925
Areas Served: San Rafael CA,Mill Valley CA,Ross CA,Sausalito CA,Sausalito CA,Fairfax CA,Novato CA
Services: new tires, wheel alignment, tire rotation service, tire retreading
|Malugani Tire Center|
493 Miller Ave
Mill Valley, CA 94941
Areas Served: Marin County incl. San Rafael CA,Novato CA,Mill Valley CA,Sausalito CA,Greenbrae CA
Services: flat tire repairs, tire balancing, tire replacement, alignments, tire rotations
|Brandon Tire Supply Inc|
773 Lincoln Ave
San Rafael, CA 94901
Areas Served: Tiburon, San Rafael, Novato, Sausalito, Mill Valley, Corte Madera, Kentfield
Services: tire center for new tires & tire retreading, new rims, wheel balancing
845 Vallejo Ave # 208
Novato, CA 94945
Areas Served: San Rafael CA, Larkpur, Woodacre, Sausalito, Mill Valley, Novato, Tiburon, Kentfield
Services: tire sales of SUV tires, truck tires, off-road tires, performance tires, mud tires
There is no state license required for tire sales in Marin County and so no state standard for competency. This makes it all the more significant that all local tire dealers bearing The Prime Buyer's Report—TOP 10 designation have been evaluated by our research staff, and have had to pass all the requirements for Prime Buyer's Report—TOP 10 status such as survey phone calls to previous customers to verify high satisfaction, clean complaint record, best business practices, length of time in business, and more.
A state license is required however if the tire store installs the tires or performs services like tire balancing, tire rotations, front end alignments, shock and strut replacement, tire siping, and suspension work. These tire stores bearing The Prime Buyer's Report TOP 10 designation have also had that state license verified, as well as liability insurance to reimburse you the customer if any damage to your car happened while it was in their care.
Replacement Parts Abound at Good Tire Stores in Marin County CA
If you have noticed your car pulling to one side, handling sloppily, steering poorly, or making funny noises or vibrations, these symptoms may be signs of improper wear of your car tires and wheels. Many tire stores carry a variety of tire sizes and styles like passenger tires, performance tires, light truck or SUV tires, off-road tires, mud tires, commercial truck tires, for farm equipment, ATV tires, motorcycle tires, tires for trailers, motor home and RV tires, racing tires, and tires for everything from the lawnmower to your golf cart.
New tires, used tires, snow tires, studded tires, snow chains, all-season tires, and summer tires are all available from tire dealers. They will mount and balance your new tires and may even use their wheel alignment equipment to properly align the suspension. Car tire stores carrying new tires can also supply a larger diameter wheel and tire combination while preserving or improving the handling characteristics of your unmodified vehicle.
Some Tire Stores in Marin County CA Are Better Than Others
The Prime Buyer's Report lists these tire stores in Marin County CA: Toscalito Corte Madera Tire, H&J Tire, Malugani Tire Center, Brandon Tire Supply Inc, Cain's Tire, Michelin Dealers, San Rafael Firestone, Wheel Works, Diamond Tire Center. Other tire stores in Marin County CA that might still be in business include: .
If possible, speak with the senior manager or tire store owner. Ask these questions about their experience, abilities, and credentials.
• How long has the tire store in Marin County CA been in business under the same ownership? (All tire stores bearing the Prime Buyer's Report-TOP 10 symbol have already had sufficient length of time in business verified by our research staff so you don't have to.)
• Is there a charge to inspect and diagnose a car tire issue?
• Will they give you names and numbers of past customers for you to call as references? (All tire stores bearing the Prime Buyer's Report-TOP 10 symbol have already had their customer references called by our research staff so you don't have to.)
• How often do they sell tires or wheel rims for your specific make and model?
• Regarding tire and wheel repairs, will they be using OEM parts (original equipment manufacturer) or rather, lower quality aftermarket parts, or used parts? Those low quality options are cheaper but the best tire stores will only use them after first explaining it to you as an option and letting you assess the risk versus the short term cost savings. The best tire stores and wheel rim stores use OEM parts. Cheap tire stores use low-quality substitute parts without telling you, which is how the tire store appears to be cheaper than others but really isn't.
• Do they have a liability insurance policy that will reimburse you in the event of damage to your car while it's on their property or due to a mistake? (All tire stores bearing the Prime Buyer's Report-TOP 10 symbol have already had that insurance coverage verified by our research staff so you don't have to.)
• What kind of written guarantee do they give on their labor?
• Is their warranty honored by a network of tire stores so that if a problem occurs out of the area, the warranty will be honored by a tire store local to your location at that time?
• What future services will you be entitled to with a purchase of new tires from them? Examples include tire rotation services, tire air pressure guaging and tire inflation.
• Regarding new tire sales or new rim sales, what is their return policy and can you get a copy in writing?
• Regarding buying new rims or new tires, once you've identified a likely choice in new tires, is there another option that gives a substantial cost savings with just a little bit of sacrifice in quality, and if so, what is that sacrifice exactly in longevity or performance? Similarly, is there a another option that gives a big gain in performance for just a little bit more money?
• Regarding new tire sales or new rims, will the specific tires or rims you're interested in be going on sale in a short period of time, leading to substantial cost savings by waiting? Similarly, are the new tires or rims you're interested in likely to increase in price, creating an additional incentive to purchase them immediately?
When you've decided on the best new tires in Marin County CA for your specific needs, make sure the tire store as a good complaint record. (All tire stores in Marin County [:stateabb[ bearing the Prime Buyer's Report-TOP 10 symbol have already had their good complaint record verified by our research staff so you don't have to.)
Educate yourself about your car or truck. Beyond the basics, such as make, model, year, and trim level. You might use the internet to learn about which new tires, new wheels, struts, shocks, and springs others have used on vehicles similar to yours. A cursory knowledge of your vehicle will help prepare you for interaction with a professional tire sales or wheel alignment service.
Take Time Choosing Between San Rafael CA Area Tire Stores
If you have certain new tires in mind, locate the tire stores or wheel alignment centers in San Rafael that carry those specific automotive tires and wheels. Some tire shops have great deals and special tire prices on certain new tires and wheels because of manufacturer certification. Others can offer discount tires or slightly used tires for a much lower cost.
Do Research on Stores that Specialize in New Automotive Tires and Wheels
At the very least, get three separate estimates for the new tires and the labor that's required. This is not solely to identify the lowest quoted price for your car tires. Comparing differences in several estimates will help you determine a reasonable price range for the tires, wheels, or wheel alignment you want. Also, speaking with or visiting different tire stores and wheel shops will aid you in determining the quality of products, labor and customer service available.
Get Everything in Writing From the Tire Centers You Visit
Make sure that the Marin County tire specialist you work with provides you with a written description of the work, pricing and time frame for completion. Some may offer rebates on certain products, warranties, or roadside assistance for flat tires. Ask about the fine print if anything is unclear.
Check the Tire Shops' Credentials
Be sure to check licensing and liability insurances, as well as any other relevant credentials before you make a decision on a tire store or wheel center. Make sure the tire technicians are properly trained, inspect how the tire store operates, and examine the conditions of the facility.
Write a Description of the Job for the Marin County Tire Stores
Be sure to present each tire store or tire repair center with the same description of your car's problem. That way each car tire technician will be responding to the same thing and you can compare apples to apples.
You Are Your Own Quality Control Expert When It Comes to Automotive Tire Repair and Installation
After the job on your car tires is completed, examine the agreement you signed with the tire shop. Walk around the car. Compare the work with the agreement and ask any questions you may have. Be sure you are talking with the most experienced tire and wheel expert at the tire center, so that he or she can answer any specific questions you have regarding your new auto tires.
Know Your Rights as a Marin County Tire Dealer Customer
Check out California's Bureau of Automotive Repair and the Prime Buyer's Guide Article "Key Consumer Resources for Tire Shops in Marin County."
Common Terms for Automotive Tires and Wheels
Alloy Wheels - Alloy wheels are made from an alloy (mixture) of magnesium and / or aluminum.
Air Pressure - The force of air inside vehicle tires, measured in pounds per square inch (PSI) or kiloPascals (kPa)
Aspect Ratio - The ratio between tire height and width. Aspect ratio is calculated by dividing the tire section height by the tire section width. For example, if a tire's section height is half the section width, the tire has an aspect ratio of 50. Aspect ratio is also called the profile or series of a tire.
Asymmetric Tires - Asymmetric tires have different tread patterns on both halves of the tires.
Backspacing - Also called rearspacing. Backspacing is the distance from the tire's mounting pad to the back edge of the wheel rim.
Bead - The part of automotive tires that is in contact with the wheel flange, or the lip on the wheel that acts as a guide. The bead is made of steel wires that are shaped to fit the rims and hold the tires on the wheels.
Bead Seat - The edge of the rim that makes a seal between the wheels and the tire beads is called the bead seat.
Belted Bias Tires - Tires that have reinforcing belts between their casing plies (the layers of fabric and rubber inside the car tires) and tire tread.
Bias Tires - Automotive tires constructed with plies (the layers of corded fabric and rubber inside auto tires) angled across the inner surface of the tires. Plies form a crisscross pattern inside bias tires.
Bolt Pattern - How bolt holes are arranged on the wheels of a vehicle. A 5 bolt wheel with 100mm between the holes of opposite bolts would be called 5/100. If different wheel fitments are needed, some wheels may have more than one bolt pattern.
Camber - Camber is the exact angle of the tire and wheel centerline. It is measured against a straight vertical line.
Cast - When wheels are made from liquid metal poured into a mold, they are called cast wheels. Casting can be low pressure casting (pouring the liquid into a mold) or counter pressure casting (sucking the liquid metal into the mold with vacuum pressure). Wheels that are made with counter pressure casting have fewer impurities and are much stronger rims that cast with low pressure methods.
Caster - Caster is the angle of a vehicle's steering pivot axis.
Centerbore - Wheels have a center hole that centers the wheel on a car's hub. Wheels that have a large center bore can be used with many different kinds of vehicles. However, you should use hub ring, a metal or hard plastic ring, to prevent slipping. Hubrings center car wheels perfectly on the hub and they reduce vibrations from the wheels and tires.
Chafer - The beads on automotive tires can become damaged by chafing from the rim. Chafers are rubber-coated protectors that stop the damage from tire rims.
Cold Inflation Pressure - Cold inflation pressure is measuring the air pressure inside cool tires. This means the automotive tires haven't warmed by recent driving. You can measure cold inflation pressure on a tire that has been parked for at least three hours or has been driven less than a mile before measuring air pressure.
Crown - The center part of automotive tire treads.
Curb Guard - Tires have a curb guard, an extra rubber rim that edges tires sidewalls. Curb guards protect the side of the tires and wheels from damage that might happen if you hit or bump a curb with your tires while driving or parking.
Hub Centric - Wheels built with a center hole (centerbore) that is made to perfectly match the hub diameter of a vehicle's tires.
Hub Centric Rings (Hubrings) - Hubrings are rings made of aluminum or hard plastic. They are put between tire hubs and wheels. Hubrings perfectly center wheels on the hubs, and stop any noise or vibration from the wheels or the tires.
Mixing Tires - Putting two different sized tires on the same car or truck. Mixing automotive tires is not recommended for most vehicles because it can cause unnecessary wear and stress on your wheels and your car's frame.
Mounting Tires - Mounting tires means putting tires on your car's wheel rims.
Offset - The offset of a wheel is the distance from the wheel's mounting surface to the rim's centerline. The mounting surface is in front of the centerline when your car has a positive offset. When your car has a negative offset, the mounting surface of the wheel is behind the centerline of the tire and makes the tire stick out from the side of the car or truck.
Plies - Plies are reinforcing parts of automotive tires made of thick layers of corded fabric and rubber. The plies are strong enough to contain the air pressure within the tire.
PSI (Pounds per Square Inch) - PSI is the most commonly used measurement for automotive tire pressure. PSI measures the force of by the air inside a tire.
Radial - Tires that are built with plies that run in a radial direction under the tread. Radial tires need a belt to stabilize their tread and keep the tire diameter in check.
Radial Runout - Radial runout, or a variation in the circumference of wheels and tires, is measured with a dial indicator inside the tire's rim or tread. If your car or truck has too much radial runout, you will notice vibrations as you drive.
Radial Tire - Automotive tires that are made with reinforcing belts that run sideways under the tread are called radial tires. They are designated by an "R" stamped on the sidewall of tires. Radial tires are more flexible and have better fuel economy than non-radial tires.
Rearspacing - Rearspacing is also called backspacing. It is the distance from the mounting pad to the back edge of the rim. This is different than wheel offset.
Retreading - Applying new tread to a used tire casing. The practice of retreading is common among medium & heavy trucks.
Sidewall - The portion of automotive tires between the bead and the tread. It is flexible enough to soak up bumps yet stiff so the sidewalls limit tire rollover.
Spare Tire - Several types of spare tires exist. These include folding spare tires which have to be inflated before use, compact spare tires that are smaller and narrower than regular wheels and tires, and lightweight spare tires that are thinner but have the same diameter as the other vehicle tires. These automotive tires are considered spare tires because of their lighter construction. That's why they are for emergency use and not for long drives or high speed driving. With most spare tires, you should not exceed 50 mph or travel farther than 50 miles. The only kind of spare tire that can be used like a regular automotive tire is a conventional full-sized spare that is the same as the other tires on the car or truck.
Tire Ratings - Every automotive tire lists tire ratings information about the tire size, maximum load rating, greatest inflation pressure, tire construction and tire performance standards on the sidewall.
Tire Rim - A tire rim is the part of a wheel that includes the well, seats, and flange where tires are mounted. Rims are one of the most popular aftermarket additions to cars, as they can range from plain rims to extravagant rims.
Tire Rim Diameter - The diameter of the tire rim bead seats that support a tire. Tire rim diameter is usually measured in inches for passenger cars.
Tire Rim Width - The distance between tire rim flanges is called tire rim width.
Tire Rotation - The movement of tires from one position on a vehicle to another to maximize tread life and minimize irregular wear. Regular tire rotation helps keep tire pressure and tire tread depth.
Tire Tread - The part of automotive tires that makes contact with the road is the tire tread. Tire treads are molded of durable rubber that results in good traction and low automotive tire wear.
Tire Tread Pattern - The channels, sipes, blocks and grooves designed into the tread to enhance its grip. Tire tread pattern is also called tread design.
Tire Tread Void - Grooves and channels in automotive tire tread that help water drain away from the tire tread footprint to help the car wheels stay on the road.
Tire Treadwear -The quality standards for tire wearing. Treadwear ratings are printed on the sidewalls of automotive tires. High tire treadwear numbers mean the tire should last longer than tires with lower treadwear numbers.
Tire Tread-Wear Indicators - Also called treadwear indicators and tread wear indicators. These are hard rubber bands that appear across automotive tire treads when the treads have been work known to 1.5 mm in depth. These indicate the tire treads are too worn for safe driving and it is time to replace your automotive tires.
Toe - Toe is the difference in distance between the front left and front right tire and the distance between the rear left tire and the rear right tire. Toe-In means the front of the tires are closer together than the rear of the tires. In other words, the leading edges of the automotive tires point slightly toward each other. Toe-Out means the rear of the tires are closer together than the front of the tires, or the leading tire edges point away from each other.
Underinflation - A tire with lower-than-recommended air pressure is said to be underinflated. Automotive tire underinflation may lead to tire rollover (when a tire sidewall contacts the road during cornering, often resulting in car rollovers) and deflection (when tire treads and sidewalls flex and the tread comes into contact with the road).
UTQG Rating (Uniform Tire Quality Grading) - The Uniform Tire Quality Grading rating is an automotive tire rating system developed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It is designed to tell consumers the relative performance of passenger car tires, including the treadwear grade, traction grades and temperature grades.
Wheel Alignment - Wheel alignment refers to the correct angle settings of car suspension components. Wheel alignment adjustments change the angles of the automotive wheels in relation to the vehicle. The three alignment settings for automotive tires are caster, camber and toe.
Wheel Balance - The equal distribution of weight for automotive tires and wheels. If a tire and the wheel are not balanced, the car driver will experience vibrations. Uneven wheel balance can also lead to uneven automotive tire wear. For wheel balancing, weights are attached to the wheel to compensate for uneven wheel weight distribution.
Wheel Balancing - A procedure to improve tire performance by evenly distributing the weight of the wheels and the tires.
Wheel Base - The distance between the centers of the front wheels and the center of the rear wheels. You can identify rear axle misalignment or front wheel setback by measuring and comparing the wheelbase on both sides of a vehicle.
Wheel Bearings - Inside automotive wheel hubs are rollers or ball bearings that carry the vehicle's weight. On rear wheel drive (RWD) vehicles with solid axles, rear wheel bearings are mounted directly on the axles. Front wheel bearings on older rear-wheel drive cars and trucks usually require repacking or regreasing every two years or 24,000 miles. Wheel bearings on most late model vehicles are sealed and do not require regular maintenance. Bad wheel bearings make grinding, whining or squealing noises. Bad wheel bearings may also feel loose or rough. Worn wheel bearings should be replaced immediately. Wheel bearing failure may cause wheels to come off the vehicle.
Wheel Lockup - Wheel lockup happens when a wheel is skidding. Wheel lockup happens when the car is still in motion, but the wheel is no longer rotating.
Wheel Lug Bolt - The bolts that fasten tires to hubs are called wheel lug bolts. They are also called lug bolts.
Wheel Sensor - Wheel sensors electronically monitor the speed of a rotating wheel. Wheel sensors in modern cars help supply information for traction control systems.
Wheel Spin - Wheel spin happens when one drive wheel spins and the other doesn't turn. This can happen when one wheel spins on a slippery surface such as ice or snow while the other wheel has traction on dry pavement. Vehicles with locking differentials or traction control do not experience wheel spin.
Wheel Tramp - If a tire or wheel is out-of-round or has a static imbalance, you may experience an up-and-down bouncing motion called wheel tramp.
Wheel Weights - Wheel weights are used to balance wheels and the entire tire assembly. Most wheel weights are metal and clip directly onto the wheel rim. Wheel weights are available in different sizes and styles, but all must be securely fastened to the wheel rim. Different types of rims require specially sized clips. Self-adhesive wheel weights are also available. These wheel weights stick on inside the face of alloy wheels.
Regulatory Bodies & Trade Associations For Tire Stores in Novato, Sausalito and San Rafael CA
AAIA Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association www.aftermarket.org
AASP Alliance Of Automotive Service Providers www.autoserviceproviders.com
AIAG Automotive Industry Action Group www.aiag.org
ASA Automotive Service Association www.asashop.org
ASE National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence www.asecert.org
BAR California Bureau of Automotive Repair www.autorepair.ca.gov
BBB The Better Business Bureau www.bbb.com
Cal4Wheel California Association of 4 Wheel Drive Clubs www.cal4wheel.com
NATEF National Automotive Technicians Education Foundationwww.natef.org
RMA Rubber Manufacturers Association www.rma.org
SEMA Specialty Equipment Market Association www.sema.org
TIA Tire Industry Association www.tireindustry.org
TRA Tire and Rim Association www.us-tra.org/traHome.htm
UFWDA United Four Wheel Drive Association www.ufwda.org
Media and Web Resources for Automotive Tires and Wheels
Car and Driver
Road & Track
Sport Compact Car
Turbo And High Performance Magazine
Turbo And High Tech Performance
Us Auto News
The Prime Buyer's Report provides information on the TOP 10 Tire Stores in Marin County CA within the following zip codes:
94941, 94946, 94915, 94963, 94929, 94979, 94940, 94976, 94966, 94949, 94973, 94974, 94914, 94930, 94971, 94920, 94913, 94977, 94960, 94965, 94957, 94939, 94950, 94945, 94956, 94912, 94904, 94978, 94901, 94942, 94924, 94970, 94938, 94933, 94948, 94903, 94925, 94964, 94937 and 94947
The Prime Buyer's Report provides information for the TOP 10 Tire Stores in Marin County CA within the following cities:
Larkspur, Inverness, Bolinas, Bel Marin Keys, Point Reyes Station, Kentfield, Kent Woodlands, Lucas Valley, San Quentin, Corte Madera, Woodacre, Nicasio, Stinson Beach, Sleepy Hollow, Almonte, Sausalito, Novato, Ross, Muir Beach, Belvedere Tiburon, Tiburon, Black Point, Marshall, Marin City, Tamalpais Valley, Belvedere, Mission Rafael, Tomales, Marinwood, San Geronimo, Santa Venetia, Dogtown, Ignacio, San Marin, San Rafael, Dillon Beach, Muir Woods, Tamal, San Anselmo, Mill Valley, Greenbrae, Lagunitas, Fairfax, Olema, Strawberry Point, Terra Linda and Forest Knolls