When it’s time to get new tires for your vehicle, you may be wondering if heading to your local Walmart is the most convenient and affordable option. Having the major retailer mount them for you certainly saves the hassle of doing it yourself or finding a specialty auto shop. However, there are some key things you should know first about Walmart’s policies and services for mounting customer-supplied tires.
Here’s a quick answer:
Yes, Walmart does offer tire mounting services if you bring in new tires. However, they have strict policies against mounting used tires or sizes not recommended for the vehicle. Independent shops are more flexible regarding mounting used, incorrectly sized, or unconventional tires.
The Basic Service
Walmart does offer mounting services where you bring in just the tires and they will mount them onto your existing wheels. This can save you money over paying Walmart’s higher prices for completely new tires. Their basic rate for passenger vehicle tires is around $20 per tire while light truck tires are $25 each. Pretty straightforward, right? Well, there are actually quite a few rules and restrictions you need to be aware of first.
Used Tires – Not Allowed
First, do not expect that Walmart will mount used tires for you. Their policy explicitly states that any tire brought in must be brand new with full tread depth. This is for liability reasons – they don’t want to risk problems or safety issues. Unfortunately, many customers have found this out after already purchasing used tires elsewhere. No amount of negotiating or offering to sign waivers has proven successful for customers wanting old tires mounted. Save yourself the frustration and don’t plan on Walmart for used rubber.
Wrong Size Tires
You should also know that Walmart service center staff are typically very reluctant to mount any size tire other than precisely what your vehicle’s manufacturer recommends. If you show up with tires that deviate from original equipment size specs, even if just slightly bigger or smaller, expect resistance from employees concerned about safety and effects on speedometer accuracy. Some determined customers have managed to get non-standard sizes installed by insisting it’s only a temporary solution, but it often requires escalating to management after initial refusal.
Independent Shops Are More Flexible
Because of the hang-ups around used and incorrectly sized tires, many find better success getting mount and balance service from smaller independent shops, especially those focused on trucks and off-road vehicles. The counter guys there just want to do the work and earn your business rather than nitpick over corporate policies. You’ll often pay a little more than big box prices but the ease of service and willingness to handle used tires or wheel/tire combinations vehicle makers don’t recommend can make it worthwhile. Plus you might get treated to some colorful commentary as they work!
One option to research in your area is shops specializing in lift kits, oversize tires, and other truck modifications. While not Walmart cheap, their flexibility and custom work expertise gets the job done when you have unique needs. Don’t forget to check local mechanic’s garages too. Offering tire services brings in added revenue many are happy to provide.
Getting Creative With Tire Mounting
While Walmart plays it safe with strict policies, other shops demonstrate more creativity in what tire and wheel configurations they’ll mount for customers, even on non-truck vehicles. For example, some motorcycle owners have had success getting automotive tires installed on their bikes’ wheels for unique looks or performance benefits compared to narrow motorcycle rubber. And we can’t forget those classic car buffs who scour salvage yards for vintage wheeled tires no one makes anymore. The right shop understands how to make it work.
What If I Still Want Walmart to Mount Tires?
We’ve highlighted plenty of warnings about Walmart’s inflexibility with customer tires but maybe you still want to bring your wheels and rubber there for convenience or cost savings. First, definitely stick to new, correctly sized tires in the original wheel diameter to avoid immediate refusal. If you hope to bend the rules, some DIRT members have advised simply lying to employees about why you need non-standard tires mounted. Pretend they are for a relative’s vehicle rather than yours or claim you plan to immediately sell the mismatched set online. While dishonest, white lies have enabled success where being direct and honest failed. Pro tip: Schedule work for evenings and weekends when manager oversight is less likely!
The Key Takeaway
The bottom line is that while Walmart does have some obligation to play by the book with certain policies, more options exist for your tire mounting needs if you broaden your horizons. Take the time to check reviews and talk with the counter guys at other shops around town. You might just find the perfect place excited to take on your used, oversize, undersize or unconventionally matched tires without hassle or criticism. And isn’t that what we all really want? Leave the judgement at Walmart and get what works for you!
What is the benefit of having Walmart mount my new tires instead of the shop I bought them from?
The main benefit with Walmart is if you find a really good deal on new tires elsewhere, their mounting/installation fees might be lower than the shop selling you the tires. So you save money upfront.
Does Walmart repair tires or just sell new ones and mount them?
Walmart focuses mostly on new tire sales and basic mounting. They generally don’t do repairs on customer’s existing tires. For that you’ll want to visit an independent tire shop or your local mechanic.
What type of wheels will Walmart mount tires on?
They can handle most typical passenger car and light truck steel or aluminum wheels. More specialty wheels like those with flush mount internal beads or dual beadlock mechanisms would likely be refused. Check first before assuming they can handle it.
What is the warranty from Walmart on a tire mounting/installation service?
They provide a basic 90 day installation related defect warranty on all tires mounted in their shops. This covers any balancing, bead seating defects, or accidental damage caused directly by their techs. It does not cover regular wear and tear once you drive away or external punctures/damage.
If I have old used tires I want mounted, is there ANY way Walmart would do it?
Unfortunately no exceptions exist to their rule against mounting used tires brought in by customers. Even offering to sign liability waivers has not worked based on other customers’ experiences. Take your business to more flexible independent shops instead.