HOURS: Monday - Friday: 8:00AM - 5:00PM Saturday: 8:00AM - 12:00PM Sunday: Closed

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609-607-8567 Stetson Automotive, Inc. 309-315 Route 9
Waretown, NJ 08758


I know it may not seem it, but it actually is winter.  In our area, winter weather is unpredictable and finicky.  But winter is still winter; it brings cold temperatures, black ice at night, and road conditions that are harder to navigate.  Safety is a serious issue here in Ocean County.*  So, what can you do?

Well, firstly, you HAVE to have safe tires.  I cannot stress this enough.  Though, it’s important for all seasons, even more for winter.  Customers tend to reference mileage ad the indicator for new tires; this is a mistake.  Mileage plays a part, but the actual, physical condition of the tire is what is key.  New tires for you can last 30,000 miles while your neighbor, who is heavy on the brake, can only get 20,000 or less.  Also, it doesn’t take into account age.  A tire that only gets action on a weekend may have low mileage, but may be a danger on the road.  How are you to know?  Here’s what to look for when checking tire wear:

 →The Tread Wear Bars are the first place to look.  They are in the center of each tire tread groove – there should be at least 3 bars.  They look like this:

TS_Wearbars2 cooper

The tread wear bars become more visible as the tread wears out, and they indicate the minimum level of tread that is safe for the road (2/32in).  If you see this bar without any difficulty, your tires are due to be replaced.

→Dry Rot on tires is common in our shore area due to the sea air, but tire age and manufacturer play a big roll, too.  This is what dry rot looks like:


When you see this, it is time to replace the tires…fast.  Dry rot can cause slow leaks and even blow outs.  There is no repairing dry rot, either.  So if you were hoping to find a DIY fix, you’re out of luck.  For the safety of yourself and your passengers, do the right thing and replace the tires as soon as possible.

→Uneven wear, cupping, feathering – all of these are indicators of improper alignment. 


They may not expose a tread wear bar, but they can significantly compromise a tire’s safety.  If the tire wear is worse on one side than the other and/or noticeably misshapen when you view the tire profile it signals issues with your car’s wheel alignment.  The worst part of this is that improper alignment can turn good tires bad FAST.  So, you may only have your tires for a year or less, but poor alignment has ruined them for good.  And like dry rot, there is no fixing this.  They need to go.

I understand it may be hard to see these things while your car is sitting your driveway or garage.  These types are indicators are much better viewed while the car is elevated on a lift.  For this, I suggest you come down and ask us for a vehicle inspection.  We’ll be more than happy to put your car up and take a look at the tires to see what their condition is and help you determine what the next steps are. 

*2013 NHTSA Fatality Stats


This is America; driving is a popular pastime.  And one of the most frequently asked questions I get is: WHAT IS THE BEST CAR TO BUY?!

This is the hardest question to answer, too.  This is for a variety of reasons.  Firstly, most people that ask it hope (and usually expect) that you will say the same car that they already own, regardless of whether it is the best.  Secondly, different types of cars suit different purposes, so what fits one customer won’t fit another.  Finally, everyone’s budget is dramatically different and the LAST thing I want to do is make assumptions about anyone’s financial standing.


This doesn’t mean that I can’t provide some car purchasing guidance.  So, because it’s Christmas time, I’ll share some with you as my little gift.  😉


  1. Before you do anything, have an idea for the total purchase price that best suits your budget. I don’t mean have an idea for your monthly payment – BIG DIFFERENCE!  Today, financing for new and used cars is offered for up to and beyond 72, 84 & 96 months!  So, paying $300 a month for 60 month is much different than paying $300 for 84 months.  Start with the total purchase price first, and then work back from there to figure out your desired monthly cost.
  2. Know what features and qualities you want in a car before you ever step on a dealership floor. Leather seats?  Towing package?  Third row seating?  You have to know what you’re NOT willing to do without before you can make an informed decision.  A two-seater sports car will not do very well for a family of 6 with 2 car seats.
  3. RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH! I hear a lot of people researching sticker prices at local dealerships, but when I ask them what the gas mileage of the model is or the length of the factory warranty I get a blank stare.  Don’t get ahead of yourself.  Find out if this car is worth your hard earned money before you start writing out the check.
  4. To lease or to finance…that is the question. It actually isn’t too hard of a question because you can solve that conundrum in a few quick queries: do you commute more than 20 miles to work a day?  Do you plan on trading in your current car?  Do you hope to see an end to a car payment in the next 3-6 years?  If the answer to any of these is ‘Yes,’ then leasing is probably not for you.
  5. Finally, NO PAYMENT is the BEST PAYMENT! Taking care of the car you’re in is your best investment most times.  Regular maintenance can keep you in your car years past your final payment, which saves you the most.  And what better way to keep that car running like new than to come to Stetson for all of your service!


So, what IS the best car to buy?  Whichever car makes you happy to drive every time you get in.  Because, really, you should be as happy with it when you send that last payment in as you were with the first payment.  And only YOU can know what makes you happy.  🙂


I’m very proud of our business.  This may sound like a canned statement used by many small businesses to assure their customers of their merit.  But for me it is a sincere sentiment.  You see, it’s not just about business; it’s personal.

Stetson was started by my father in 1994 after having experienced working under the confines of franchise ownership.  It started with just him, a briefcase and his keen experience.  Over these 21 years, it’s grown to a true family business.  But we never lose sight of our humble beginnings.

In fact, it’s almost impossible to; as a small business the buck stops with us.  We don’t have any corporate headquarters to defer to when the going gets tough.  We don’t have a board of shareholder bluebloods holding our hands through the ebbs and flows of our local economic rollercoaster.  And when it comes to branding, media, advertising….again, it’s all on us.  Everything is a learning curve – a crash course.  And as a family business, the stakes are high.  So, everything you see, from our logo to our décor to our mission statements: it’s ALL us.  We’ve placed the building blocks ourselves, and from that we truly have a boastful pride in who we are and what we stand for.

Each of us has invested our blood, sweat and tears – LITERALLY – in Stetson Automotive, Inc..  And in a world of big box everything, I’m proud to stand out and stand for our family owned, locally honed, New Jersey grown Stetson.


Contact Information

Stetson Automotive, Inc.

309-315 Route 9
Waretown, NJ 08758

Phone: 609-607-8567
Email Us

Feel free to call or email us to schedule your next appointment.

Business Hours

Monday - Friday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

8:00 AM - 12:00 PM


We accept cash.
  • car repair
  • car repair shop
  • brake repair
  • brake repair service