Hayworth Tire & Auto Service on a roll toward expansion

By Greg Miller

Hayworth Tire & Auto Service is on a roll toward expansion.
   "We have a little warehouse at the end of our building that we built on several years ago," said Kevin Hayworth, manager. "I want to tear it down and build a good-size bay, add a new four-post lift, a twin-post lift and some new alignment equipment."
   Safety and good mileage are among the characteristics in a tire that prospective tire buyers are looking for, according to Hayworth.
   "In the area where we live, they want something all seasonal, a little more aggressive than just a regular highway tire," Hayworth said.
   Service after the sale is important, according to Hayworth. "I bank on our service," he said. "You get free rotation for the life of the tire, free flat repair for the life of the tire, new valve stems, any rebalancing we take care of for you for the life of the tire."
   Hayworth stresses the importance of tires being rotated every 5,000-6,000 miles. "On a front wheel drive, it's automatically going to wear more on the front," he said. "You want to distribute the wear out more evenly. On the rear wheel drive, it will do the same.
   "That lets us keep an eye on the alignment, make sure everything is wearing good on the front, so it doesn't wear out your tires prematurely."
   Regular tire rotation, combined with proper care, could result in a tire rolling to a ripe old age. "Depending on the tire and the tread wear, in this area, if you get 40,000-45,000 miles, you're flying, with all the curves and all the mountains," Hayworth said.
   Regularly driving "flat highways" like Interstate 26 or Interstate 81, "and you're probably going to get more mileage out of them than you would driving around the mountains."
   Keeping the tires inflated with the proper air pressure is necessary, according to Hayworth. "You definitely want to keep the air pressure at 35 or 40 pounds or whatever the recommended air pressure is," he said. "In the summertime, running tires with low air pressure, the heat is going to build up, and if the tire is getting anywhere unsafe, it can blow with you."
   Tire sizes have increased over the years. "When we first started, it was 13s, 14s, 15s and 16s (inches)," Hayworth said. "Now you have 18s, 20s, 22s (inches). You can't keep up with the technology, as far as the tire changes, fast enough to keep up with the new tire sizes."
   In addition to selling and servicing tires, Hayworth Tire & Auto Service offers a variety of automotive repair services. Brakes, front end alignments, shocks, struts, oil changes, tie rods and ball joints are among the types of jobs that the firm will do.
   Hayworth Tire & Auto Service sells a variety of tire brands, including Sigma ("our private label tire"), Michelin, Goodyear, B.F. Goodrich, Kelly Springfield, Cooper, and Bridgestone/Firestone.
   Hayworth Tire & Auto Service, which now has a paved parking lot, experienced a good year in 2003, according to Hayworth. The company had increased sales to go along with its customer service.
   "We definitely appreciate our customers, and we'll continue to strive to offer them the same fast, friendly service that we have through 18 years," Hayworth said.
   In addition to the Elizabethton store, Hayworth Tire & Auto Service has two locations: Bristol Highway, Johnson City; and West Stone Drive, Kingsport.
   The Hayworth family has been in the tire business for more than three decades. Hayworth's father, Offie Hayworth, went into business in the early 1970s. "We opened up here in 1985, as we started opening several retail stores," Hayworth said.
   Hayworth Tire & Auto Service, 4074 Highway 19E, is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. For more information, call 543-8566 or 543-5933.