Dealing with tire sales men can be painful. All you want is a set of good tires for a decent price. They show you all sorts of different tires. Give you tons of information that you don’t understand. In the end most people just go with the cheapest or mid priced tires hoping they get what they a decent tire for the money. The best way to ease the pain of tire shopping is knowledge. The most painless way to buy new tires is knowing what you want before you walk into a tire store.
Stick with Factory Tires
If you like the tires you have stick with them. When a manufacturer builds a car they take tires into consideration. Thus if you like the way it rides buy the same tires. When you buy a used car and the tires seem fine with you buy another set. There is no reason to reinvent the wheel.
When looking to buy new tires be careful of mileage ratings. Many times a car tire with a high mileage rating will not last half as long as the rating. Higher mileage ratings costs more per tire, but are pointless if you don’t get the extra mileage.
Most shops pro rate tire life when you get a warranty. If you get 50k out a 70k tire the math works like this. They figure you got 71% of your tire life. Thus if the tire cost $100 they will give $29 off per tire for new tires. That doesn’t help if the tire was $40 more than a lesser warranty tire.
Many manufacturers use different rubber compounds to help the tire meet the rating. As your tire wears the rubber gets harder. Which means as your tire wears you loss traction. A tire that has over half tire life left may all of a sudden have terrible wet pavement traction.
The biggest problem with a tire warranty is the limitations. If there is an signs of alignment wear it’s void. Also if you don’t have records of regular tire rotations. Most people will try align their car when they get new tires or when the tires show signs of alignment wear. By the then it’s to late for the warranty.
All-Season VS Snow and Ice
If you live in a location that gets snow or ice you may be tempted to run snow and ice tires year round. This is a bad idea. Snow tires use a soft rubber compound to give you better traction on ice. Thus they wear out faster on dry pavement. Unless you intend on owning two sets of tires and switch them out for winter use, stay away from snow tires.
Name Brand VS House Brand
Every tire store has their name brand tires and what they call a house brand. The regular price of these House brand tires is always cheaper. As with everything you get what you pay for. Even though some of these House brands have a higher mileage warranty or better looking tread they don’t have better rubber compounds. It’s generally understood you pay for a name. Many times that name comes with a with well respected reputation. If you can afford to buy a name brand do it. You may not believe the extra money was worth it, but you will admit the name brand was a better tire.
Buy New Tires
If you like the tires you have stick with them. Don’t get sucked into buying high mileage rated tires. If you can afford it by name brand tires they are worth the extra money. If you really want an unbiased review of a tire get on Tirerack.com. With this information you can skip the lengthy sales pitch when buying tires. Get in buy what you want and get out, painlessly.