There are Tire Shops and then there are Tire Shops

On Friday we decided to buy 2 new tires. I would feel more at ease driving around with all 4 new tires based on 2 tires going flat in the last week. Mikkel had looked at the 2 remaining tires since we already had bought 2 tires in David, and decided one other definitely needed replaced as well as the flat one. There really isn’t something like “America’s Tires” or “Big O” in every town like we are used to in California. Pedasi has a tire shop, if you want to call it that. We’ve walked by or driven by it a few times. Basically, it is an open large carport with tires, probably used or no good, laying around in piles here and there. There is an air compressor, although Mikkel at first did not see it and thought maybe someone had a huge lung capacity to blow up tires (lol). Once as we were going by, an man was hitting the rim of a large tire with a big pipe to either remove the tire from the rim or put it back on. Usually there is a truck or car stopped by to have a tire fixed or replaced. And I have seen a delivery truck loaded with tires, probably used, come through Pedasi. Nevertheless, we decided we needed something a little better, although I give the Pedasians credit for making due with what they can.
After asking around, off we went to Chitre again, about an hour’s drive. Based on some recommendations, we first stopped at one place. The salesman definitely had an attitude. gave us a quote on a brand of tires Mikkel did not want, so we left. We drove down the road to another tire shop where although they had the brand Mikkel liked, the quote was way too high-$357. Mikkel had to think about it, considering maybe we would just drive back to David in a few weeks. But knowing we have planned a trip to Panama City and Gamboa the next week, which is about a 5 hour drive, I was not comfortable waiting. So I search on the internet as we had lunch at the mall and found Bremmen’s Tires located not too far from us near the stadium in Chitre. It wouldn’t hurt to check them out. So using my WAZE map which seemed to be the only navigation map that listed it, we were able to find the store, and it was a much different story than with the others. The salesman, Juan Jose Mendoza, greeted us nicely in Spanish and English. He looked at the inventory, gave Mikkel a choice, and quoted a price on tires Mikkel wanted for $182.97, less than what we paid in David, including balancing, mounting, and tax. After paying for the order, as we waited in an air-conditioned lounge area with tv and free coffee, the garage employees took all 4 tires off, put the 2-week old tires on the rear and mounted the new tires on the back, and mounted the best tire as a spare on the back of our 1998 Honda CRV. All this was done in less than an hour, and off we went home with assurance. I would recommend Bremmen’s to anyone who is near the Azuero Pennisula area in need of tires and good service.

Another adventure in Panama! I posted pictures of the Bremmen Store and the Pedasi Shop for comparison.

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