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I know we are supposed to use "N" spec tires, but is there any particular reason to go to dealer for replacement tires? I normally (on other non-Porsche cars) order tires from TireRack and go to NTB or Mavis for install.
 

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I suspect most folks don't go to the dealer for tires as their markups can be painful. Tire Rack and an authorized installer makes the most sense.
 

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I, like others, don't want to throw money away needlessly but do you really want that $10.00 per hour NTB guy scratching your wheel? And his manager won't care either, but the damage will be done.

Be sure to have "the conversation" with whoever you choose to touch your wheels. Good luck.
 

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Tire Rack has a list of recommended installers in your area. You could have the tires shipped directly to them, and save yourself the hassle of transporting them. That'd be my suggestion.

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I have an MR2 with BBS LM’s on there and a guy at discount tire made a boo-boo on one... man was that place not happy... lmao
 

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N-spec can definitely be different in both tread design and compound, but if you're not pushing the limits of the tire, you won't notice any significant performance difference.

I keep my limit pushing for the track with dedicated track tires that are neither N-spec, nor OEM size.
 
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Just food for thought: I have had two good experiences with new tires at my local Porsche dealer. They were very competitive price wise (same as tire rack) on the tires and did a superb job road force balancing the tires both times. The first time I got N-spec OEM replacements because I thought it was the smart thing to do while still under warranty. The second time I got non N spec tires from my favorite manufacturer. I was concerned they wouldn’t want to sell me non N-spec tires, but it was not a problem after I said I want these non N-spec tires. I may have paid a touch more for mounting and balancing, but the difference was not significant considering the total cost. Also, I believe the good will towards having me as a continuing customer is worth it. I’m very satisfied and will use them again next time.
 

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I had my last set of four tires (not purchased from Porsche) mounted and road force balanced at my local Porsche dealership about 10 years ago, when I was tracking the car frequently. I was also methodically modifying my car as I advanced through the DE ranks, so I also paid them for several wheel alignments. Every season I'd have them do an oil and brake flush, tech inspections, etc., so I was on a first name basis with the parts and service departments. The first tire change cost me $250, and the next season it cost me $375 (back when their labor rate was $125/hr). I used to bust tires at a Goodyear dealership as a youngster, so I know that this service can be completed in an hour, tops. Two hours I could stomach, chalking it up to the "Porsche tax". But when they charged me three hours, and then had the nerve to say that they were cutting me a break from the book time (of four hours!), I decided to take my business elsewhere. There are plenty of competent, fully equipped, independently owned tire shops that can do this work for about $30/tire. Just ask around for a recommendation, and be sure to set your expectations in advance with the owner/manager, especially regarding wheel damage.

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When I was involved with a local high school's evening/adult auto shop class, we had nice Snap-On tire changer and high-speed wheel balancing machines. I'd purchase tires from Discount Tire (aka: America's Tire) and Tires Direct from out of state and change them myself - saved a ton of $.

Unfortunately, in 2017, the school district decided to close down both our evening class, and the day classes for regular students, so they could utilize the shop space for basket weaving and SJW training, or some other worthless classes.
 

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Just a heads up - Porsche isn't the only source of "N" spec tires. Look at TireRack..
 

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I know we are supposed to use "N" spec tires, but is there any particular reason to go to dealer for replacement tires? I normally (on other non-Porsche cars) order tires from TireRack and go to NTB or Mavis for install.
I needed tires for my 911 and priced them at Tire Rack. I brought the quote to the Dealer and they matched the price, actually were a bit cheaper. The tires were in stock and mounting and balancing again on par with any tire dealers in my area. My point is simply that you shouldn't automatically assume the dealership will be more expensive.
 

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I had my last set of four tires (not purchased from Porsche) mounted and road force balanced at my local Porsche dealership about 10 years ago, when I was tracking the car frequently. I was also methodically modifying my car as I advanced through the DE ranks, so I also paid them for several wheel alignments. Every season I'd have them do an oil and brake flush, tech inspections, etc., so I was on a first name basis with the parts and service departments. The first tire change cost me $250, and the next season it cost me $375 (back when their labor rate was $125/hr). I used to bust tires at a Goodyear dealership as a youngster, so I know that this service can be completed in an hour, tops. Two hours I could stomach, chalking it up to the "Porsche tax". But when they charged me three hours, and then had the nerve to say that they were cutting me a break from the book time (of four hours!), I decided to take my business elsewhere. There are plenty of competent, fully equipped, independently owned tire shops that can do this work for about $30/tire. Just ask around for a recommendation, and be sure to set your expectations in advance with the owner/manager, especially regarding wheel damage.

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I have never, ever paid an hourly rate to have tires mounted and balanced.
 

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I needed tires for my 911 and priced them at Tire Rack. I brought the quote to the Dealer and they matched the price, actually were a bit cheaper. The tires were in stock and mounting and balancing again on par with any tire dealers in my area. My point is simply that you shouldn't automatically assume the dealership will be more expensive.
The dealer WILL automatically be more expensive when it comes to mounting and balancing. And, by a wide margin. Take it to the bank.
 

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I've never used the dealer for tires on any vehicle. While we had Pilot Super Sports we didn't have N spec tires. The only reason I went with N spec PS4Ss is that the cost difference wasn't much. Had it been larger I would have gone non-N spec with those as well.
 

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The dealer WILL automatically be more expensive when it comes to mounting and balancing. And, by a wide margin. Take it to the bank.
The dealer WAS NOT more expensive in that case. I made the comparison. It was a fair deal and sometimes, at least to me, convenience has value anyway. YMMV.


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The dealer WILL automatically be more expensive when it comes to mounting and balancing. And, by a wide margin. Take it to the bank.
I think your bank is rupt. I got a better price at my dealer on two occasions.
 

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My history with wheels and tires is get non N tires from Tire Rack; quite often in a wheel package that includes free mount, road force balance & shipping.
When I only needed tires I had them mounted locally at first by a indy Porsche shop for $80 a set. Then years later when the gas station on the corner wanted
my business they agree to match the indy's price. They liked the idea of a Porsche Spyder being out front of their shop; it drew attention and maybe a customer.
Over the years it grew to $100 a set dismount, mount and hi-speed balance (not road force), valve stems, etc.

When I needed new tires last fall and also the 4 year service on the car Porsche of Ocala beat Tire Rack's tire prices but it was $240 labor to mount and road force balance
so that was more. When I complaint about the price and not getting the 20% PCA discount the SA said they charge $50 for the road force balance when other tire shops
charge $70 and only $10 a tire for mounting (50+10=60 each x 4 = $240) so the price was already discounted. I guess, maybe ??
 
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I have never, ever paid an hourly rate to have tires mounted and balanced.
As I stated, I didn't purchase the tires from the dealership, so they didn't get to reap the usual profit margin between wholesale and retail pricing on the sale of the tires. So, I completely understand being charged an hourly labor rate for the service. I just couldn't stomach the number of hours they charged, and their claimed discount relative to "book" time.

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I wouldn't be concerned about N tires, tires are tires. Last set I bought was from Discount Tire, very please with the experience. Person mounting the tires was a Corvette track guy and took very good care doing his job. I went to a local shop for the alignment, I've used before. The alignment guy is a Spec Miata racer and will discuss with you want you want and do any alignment and explain the differences. I found him years ago when I replaced the shocks, springs and sway bars on my Miata. Back to tires from a dealership; at least around here, the dealerships have gotten very competitive on selling tires.
 
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