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SenorBeef
02-02-2012, 09:04 AM
I'm in the market for new tires. My current tires don't have many miles but they're 8 years old, and I gather that's well past when you should keep them - the milage might be low but the material degrades over time anyway. Last time I had my car in to a mechanic, he mentioned that I needed new tires.

Where should I go to get them? A chain like discount tires, sears auto, etc.? Try a local place? Buy them online and take them somewhere to be installed?

What features should I look for? I don't need anything special out of tires - I'm going to do most of my driving in Vegas where there are no weather related driving challenges at all. My main concern would be fuel economy - that is, if tires really do vary significantly in what they offer.

If it makes a difference, my tires are 215/60R 93S.

Is going towards the cheaper end of tires ($80-90 at the discount tire site without install for example) really compromise on performance, fuel economy, or life of the tire or are tires in that range good enough? What brands to use or avoid?

Is going with used tires a viable option? What are the concerns with that?

Furious_Marmot
02-02-2012, 09:18 AM
I use Costco now and have used Sam's Club in past. The prices are great, and the service is the same as a tire shop. They stock the same name-brand tires as a dedicated shop and while selection may not be as extensive, they ought to have one that will fit your needs. Also, you can get warranty repair/replacement at any of their locations (including Walmart, in the case of Sam's) which is helpful if you are traveling.

Unless you really need to the save money, I'd avoid used tires. I bought a few in the past when I was putting a lot of miles on, and they did not last nearly as long as I had hoped.

ExcitedIdiot
02-02-2012, 09:50 AM
My only advice is to not buy tires based on the length of the warranty. The warranties only cover defects in workmanship and materials, which is pretty hard to prove. My brother works at a tire shop, and they only send back 1 or 2 sets a year for warranty. Even then the warranty is pro-rated, and doesn't pay for mounting and balancing the new ones.

SmellMyWort
02-02-2012, 10:15 AM
I've had good experiences with Sams, Costco, and TireRack.com. On Tire Rack I think you can filter tire reviews by your type of vehicle, which I found helpful.

kenobi 65
02-02-2012, 10:20 AM
I've had good experiences with both Sam's Club and Discount Tire.

Barkis is Willin'
02-02-2012, 10:29 AM
I bought my last set of tires at Sears because they matched a price I found online for a set of Goodyear Eagle GTs, which are great all weather tires. Of course, they'll add their mounting/balancing fees, but I got a pretty good deal on them.

I have seen data showing that tires can affect fuel economy by as much as 3mpg. Obviously, the inflation also has an impact. If you will never encounter hazardous roads, you could get summer tires, which would give you the least friction, therefore the best fuel economy.

Dogzilla
02-02-2012, 11:21 AM
Don't get used tires or retreads. Not worth the savings. You'll just have to replace them twice as fast. I bought one re-tread once, while I was in the middle of a road trip and my treads were separating -- I just needed to make it home, at which time I bought four brand new tires.

No need for special performance tires unless your vehicle is a performance car.

If you have no concerns about driving in rain or snow, then all you need is your basic all-weather tire. I go for high-end performance tires that have a deep channel in the center: driving in heavy rain is a concern for me because my car is low and light and has a tendency to hydroplane and fishtail on wet pavement. By getting the performance tires, I find I get better grip, especially on wet pavement, and I feel safer on the road. I have cheated myself and opted for cheap plain old passenger car tires in the past and found that was a very dangerous mistake to make. I ended up slip-sliding all over the road until I finally broke down and put better tires on. That's just me driving my little coupe like I think I'm an Andretti. YMMV.

I'd go with the least expensive major-brand tire you can find. I think TiresDirect is a good site, but I only use it to pick which tires I want. Then I drive to a local tire store, order up the exact tire I want and let them do the installation. Generally, they will sell you some sort of road hazard insurance for $5 or $10 -- I get this because it means if I pick up a nail or something, they will pretty much repair it for free and they will also do free rotations, which may be offered without the hazard insurance.

I'm a big fan of American-made tires, being from someplace near Akron, Ohio, I tend to want to support domestic companies if I have a choice. Anytime I've had Japanese (or other) made tires, I was not satisfied with performance in terms of grip, or durability, or something. There was always something. I've never been dissatisfied with a Goodyear or Firestone tire.

SenorBeef
02-03-2012, 07:20 PM
How much can your replacements vary from your stock tires? For instance, I found a good looking set of P205/65R15 tires that seem to be a better price/value than the ones available at my car's 215/60s. Is that close enough, or do you have to stick exactly to specifications?

Spiderman
02-03-2012, 09:28 PM
Tire Rack's prices were good; however, the local place they shipped to wanted so much for installation that it was less expensive (& quicker) to go to the local tire store who had stock on hand.

Look at handling characteristics, cheaper tires may not be as good, especially if you have to do some evasive maneuver, like suddenly switching lanes on an interstate because of debris in your lane. Michelin's may be expensive, but damn, they're "grippy"

thelabdude
02-03-2012, 09:55 PM
We just had a big discussion on tire sizes in another thread. The 205-65's will be over 1/* bigger in radius giving you slightly higher ground clearance and a lower reading on the speedometer.

It will decrease the bling.

As far as I am concerned, tires now are much less fitted for the real world than in the past. Often retailers demand you buy equal or higher speed rated tires as came on the car. Thus you end up with high performance tires that can run all day at speeds over 100MPH without a blow our but have lousy ride and traction.

Tires are rated traction, tread wear, temperature, etc. Look at the ratings. I don't think they have ones for ride. Since the EPA is hot on millage, that data maybe available.

SmellMyWort
02-03-2012, 11:16 PM
Tire Rack's prices were good; however, the local place they shipped to wanted so much for installation that it was less expensive (& quicker) to go to the local tire store who had stock on hand.

Look at handling characteristics, cheaper tires may not be as good, especially if you have to do some evasive maneuver, like suddenly switching lanes on an interstate because of debris in your lane. Michelin's may be expensive, but damn, they're "grippy"

When I bought from Tire Rack they shipped the tires to my house and I paid a local place about $25/tire to have them mounted/balanced and old tires disposed.

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