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Snow tires, lug bolt torque, wheels

I just had 4 snow tires installed on my V8q Tuesday evening at one of the
Discount Tires stores in Colorado Springs.  The experience was quite

I asked about lug bolt torque.  The correct torque was looked up and
shown to me
(81-89 ft/lbs).  Then they explained that they do use air guns, but with
a torque stick.
There are different sticks which twist at various torques.  For my car
they were to use
a 65-pound stick, then finish the job with a proper torque wrench, the
clicker type.

I only watched the install of one wheel, but sure enough that is what
they did.

I recently moved to Colorado and was already considering snow tires.  The
was forced by the discovery, while performing a tire rotation, of a badly
cracked sidewall
on one of my previous tires.  For the first time ever with any car I've
owned, I needed
a two-foot breaker bar to remove the lug bolts.  I have a T-square tire
wrench and
have never needed any more leverage than I could exert on this wrench.  I
feel your pain.  

But the use of an air gun is not necessarily anathema, as I witnessed on

Btw, I went with Yokohama Guardex 600 in the stock size; for my car

New tires always feel different from used, no matter what brand.  The 
previous tires
were Goodyear GA's.  With the Yoko snows, there is a noticeable looseness
on center,
but grip seemed at least confident, though I didn't push it up the pass,
since they're
new and newly installed.  There was a bit more noise and a bit more

For better or worse the forecast is for higher-than-average temps and no
snow in
the forecastable future.  The plan was to buy snows on the stock wheels
and then
get 16-inch wheels/tires in the spring.  If the weather stays this

I will not leave the V8 parked all winter to save snow tires.

I look and I look and I look, but I never seem to find any aftermarket
wheels that can
maintain my interest.  I would be interested in a set of S6 wheels for
No aftermarket wheels are available for any Audi, as far as I can tell,
in the S-car 16x8.
I already have 15x7.5 and don't see 16x7.5 as much of an upgrade,
considering the price.
Just can't quite warm to the idea of 17" wheels.

Sidenote:  When I drove away, I couldn't shake the feeling that I should
at least look at
each tire.  It seemed silly, but nevertheless I pulled in to a parking
lot a block away.
The first tire I looked at, the left front, was the wrong size.  Without
even looking at 
another, I returned to the shop, which had officially closed a half hour
earlier, though
there was still one other customer car in the shop.  The 4th tire in my
size happened to
be mounted to a wheel on the showroom floor.  I had noticed that the
display tire was
the exact size that I needed, but it just didn't seem worth mentioning at
the time.  When
I returned with three 215-60-15's and one 205-65-15, I then learned the
value of 

Even still, the misstep was handled efficiently and courteously.

Why the un-ignoreable urge to check newly installed tires?  Six year ago
in Dallas at
NTW, I spent 4 months bringing my car back for alignments and inspections
after the
installation of just two tires which were to match two existing tires,
which had been 
purchased previously in LA.  The car pulled and was aligned and
realigned, to no avail.
One day, while approaching my car from the rear late in the day, I got a
very clear picture
of both rear tires (the newer ones, which had been rotated by that time).
 I noticed the
tread patterns were slightly different.  Upon inspection, I found that I
had one tire which
was one size too large.

NTW had treated me pretty well throughout this experience, even though
the net affect
had been aggravating.  I was astounded to hear that I was being offered
an entire set
of new tires (all four!).  And I was allowed to pick the brand, and was
even allowed to 
go with the one-size-larger (195-60-15, the size of the errant previous
tire that precipitated
this whole event).

All this, even considering that they had to buy me a new rear hub early
on, after I discovered while 
performing the first rotation of the then new tires, that one lug bolt
socket had been stripped.

I had purchaed two new Dunlops tires originally and then a subsequent
alignment to correct the
mysterious pull.  I ultimately received four new tires and a new rear

I'll leave the intangibles of aggravation, frustration, and time up to
your valuation...

Please pardon the ramble.  I've just spent the evening in a local
establishment consuming
Carnitas and Tequila and listening to live music.

Woodland Park, CO

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