I have a new tire buying strategy

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10,128
Location
OH
In the past when it was time to buy new tires I would find a set of all season tires that were either 80K or 100K mile rated and I would replace all 4 at one time. However, I have found over the years this may not be the best, or most economical way of replacing tires. It doesn't seem to matter what brand or model of tires I buy, I rarely have all 4 last the full mileage rating of the tires. One tire will either develop a thump, or a tire will blow, or something else happens where I have to replace at least one of the tires. So I have decided to go with a different strategy. My new strategy is buying the least expensive tires I can find, which usually means tires that are 35K or 40K mile rated tires. It also includes replacing only the tires that need to be replaced. I'm tired of throwing away good tires that have several thousands of miles left on them just because I want a new set of tires. Like right now, I have two good tires on the rear of my car, but the fronts need to be replaced before winter, so that's what I'm gonna do. It also means I get new tires twice as often, which we all know how much nicer new tires ride as compared to tires that have started the hardening process after they get to be a year or two old. And when one of these tires goes bad they're only a $50 or $60 tire as opposed to a $100 or $120 80K or 100K rated tire.
 
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14,725
Location
Central NY
You do realize that you are going to get a lot of criticism for posting this right? A lot of people on here are quick to attack unless you buy the most expensive michelin tire on the market. With that said, I don't think it's a bad idea. I follow that when buying snow tires. Replace the ones on the front of my car after 2 winters. I always have a snow tire that's under 2 years old on the front. Though, after this upcoming winter, I am going to ditch the Winterforce for something a bit better.
 
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1,027
Location
Bremerton, WA
People are going to banter and tell you that you are putting your life in danger and more importantly the lives of innocent people with your "cheap tires". However, I agree with you. I actually like the cheap milestar tires I got on ebay.
 
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8,016
Location
MI
Some years ago (15), I had just the opposite experience. I used to buy the 35K warranty tires and always had one go bad early (thumping/cord damage, etc.). I moved up to middle grade tires (not the best Michelins, etc.) and now I get consistent wear with rotations. To date, I have had no internal tire damage from pot holes, etc.. By middle grade, I mean tires like the Hankook H727 or General Altimax RT43 : $80 +/- vs. $120+ for the premium Michelins. Please follow up after a year or two.
 
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7,256
Location
USA
You typically never loose going middle ground. Cheap tires definitely work in optimal conditions which is majority of drive time. Depends on your ears, cheap tires I have found get noisy quicker and expensive for me. I have thrown out 10k old Sumitomo's as I could not bear the noise with some wear. Bridgestone somehow just stay quiet their entire life. I personally think there is no danger in using China tires, mostly a myth to justify expensive purchases.
 

grampi

Thread starter
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10,128
Location
OH
Originally Posted By: Miller88
Originally Posted By: grampi
In the past when it was time to buy new tires I would find a set of all season tires that were either 80K or 100K mile rated and I would replace all 4 at one time. However, I have found over the years this may not be the best, or most economical way of replacing tires. It doesn't seem to matter what brand or model of tires I buy, I rarely have all 4 last the full mileage rating of the tires. One tire will either develop a thump, or a tire will blow, or something else happens where I have to replace at least one of the tires. So I have decided to go with a different strategy. My new strategy is buying the least expensive tires I can find, which usually means tires that are 35K or 40K mile rated tires. It also includes replacing only the tires that need to be replaced. I'm tired of throwing away good tires that have several thousands of miles left on them just because I want a new set of tires. Like right now, I have two good tires on the rear of my car, but the fronts need to be replaced before winter, so that's what I'm gonna do. It also means I get new tires twice as often, which we all know how much nicer new tires ride as compared to tires that have started the hardening process after they get to be a year or two old. And when one of these tires goes bad they're only a $50 or $60 tire as opposed to a $100 or $120 80K or 100K rated tire.
You do realize that you are going to get a lot of criticism for posting this right? A lot of people on here are quick to attack unless you buy the most expensive michelin tire on the market. With that said, I don't think it's a bad idea. I follow that when buying snow tires. Replace the ones on the front of my car after 2 winters. I always have a snow tire that's under 2 years old on the front. Though, after this upcoming winter, I am going to ditch the Winterforce for something a bit better.
I've run the whole gambit of using expensive and cheap tires and I've seen little difference...except of course in the price. The cheap ones seem to perform just as well in all weather conditions, and usually the cheap ones tend to last closer to their mileage ratings than do the expensive ones. I think I've only had one set of tires that were rated for 80K or better that lasted their rating...otherwise, they wore out before the mileage rating, and/or I had to replace one or more of them due to the reasons I listed above...I just can't justify spending the money on the expensive tires when I'm not getting anything more for my money...
 

grampi

Thread starter
Messages
10,128
Location
OH
Originally Posted By: rjundi
You typically never loose going middle ground. Cheap tires definitely work in optimal conditions which is majority of drive time. Depends on your ears, cheap tires I have found get noisy quicker and expensive for me. I have thrown out 10k old Sumitomo's as I could not bear the noise with some wear. Bridgestone somehow just stay quiet their entire life.
I've never had any brand or model of tires that stay quiet throughout their entire lifecycle...they've all gotten louder as they've aged...don't know if I've ever had a set of Bridgestones though...
 
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8,859
Location
Texas
My approach is to buy tires that perform (ride, quiet, handling, etc.) the way I want and focus on price second... and I rarely if ever wind up with the most epensive option. I also tend to buy Discount Tires' road hazard replacement certificates for whatever it is... maybe $10-15/tire, which covers those tires that blow out, pick up a big nail in the sidewall, develop a "thump," whatever. I've only used that a handful of times over the years, but that's all it takes to make up for years of paying that little bit of extra. Especially with bigger or more expensive tires like most modern cars and trucks have.
 
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2,806
Location
Michigan
amen, I DON'T rotate my tires EVER. the front wear out and I buy 4 new tires on sale and then install ONLY 2 of them. for me this is the best strategy for winter in MI, I always have meaty tires all around and I am never throwing out good tires. I do have to store 2 huge tires in my garage
 
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17,914
Location
NH
Originally Posted By: 440Magnum
My approach is to buy tires that perform (ride, quiet, handling, etc.) the way I want and focus on price second... and I rarely if ever wind up with the most epensive option. I also tend to buy Discount Tires' road hazard replacement certificates for whatever it is... maybe $10-15/tire, which covers those tires that blow out, pick up a big nail in the sidewall, develop a "thump," whatever. I've only used that a handful of times over the years, but that's all it takes to make up for years of paying that little bit of extra. Especially with bigger or more expensive tires like most modern cars and trucks have.
Can you buy road hazard for just one tire out of the four? Odds are, only one tire will actually go bad. I know I'm being a bit sarcastic here, but actually it makes me wonder. I haven't had to yet, knock on wood, go back for a bad tire, so I'm thinking of skipping for now. Save $40 plus per set of tires, over 3-4 sets, and you can afford to replace one tire if it happens to go bad. Although you might want to replace in pairs for best wear I guess, so it might take 6-8 sets of good tires to reach that savings.
 
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9,735
Location
Ontario, Canada
Also you could find a good used tire place, you can get nearly new tires for relatively cheap. You know what to look for, so its not really a big risk, just inspect the tires before they are mounted.
 
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2,201
Location
socal
I agree and do the same. I get the cheapest name brand tire available. On my beater, I got Goodyear integrity for $50 each. That is cheaper than some of the chinese brand tires out there. I have used lion heart Chinese tires before and they ran fine. I do l ive in so California....no snow
 
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6,388
Location
Washington St.
Originally Posted By: BMWTurboDzl
Nobody gets credit for pro-rata tread life anymore?
Usually the credit is so miserly that it doesn't pay for the gas to the tire shop. I've had two tires fail. My 1972 BMW 2002 had one of the original tube-type tires with a bad bead where the bead wire punctured the tube. And a Blizzak on my Volvo was punctured by a sharp rock, and by the time I realized it was flat, I'd driven too long on it. That's it. Few pot holes on the roads where I drive, though. All the tires wear within one or two 32nds of each other, and I put the deepest tread on the high wear end (front) when I remove the snows. I like the idea, if it can be done, of buying the road hazard insurance on only one tire as long as it'll apply to any of the four I buy.
 
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1,462
Location
East Mountains, NM
I buy tires according to how long it will take me to wear them out. My most often driven car gets 25-30k miles per year, so I buy expensive tires that will last 3 years or so. I also have car that gets maybe 10k per year. I don't like to drive on tires over 5 years old, so the 40k, inexpensive tires will work on it. I prefer to wear them out in sets, and I don't like to keep overaged rubber on any vehicle.
 
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481
Location
PA
Big downside to replacing tires in pairs: it rules out the great rebates that only apply to sets of four. Of course if you have one or two tires in much worse shape then the others, so be it, but I try to replace all four when I can. Best of all worlds strategy: Shop in advance. It's never good to 'need to buy.' Scour online tire sites, starting with DTD, for rebate deals that can be double- or triple-stacked. Research the heck out of any tire model you think you might get. (TR is great for this---as long as they carry the tire in question.) Narrow the list to a few tires, check prices, wait for the great deals, then order a set of four online and have them installed at a local shop. Try for free lifetime rotation. Wait for rebate gift card (s) to arrive. Enjoy. If you do all that you can get good-quality rubber for a good price. Not top-tier Michelin or Nokian---but good-quality. That's how I got a set of Hankook H727s in 185/65R14 for $209 installed two years ago. I could have gotten the Altimax RT43 installed for a few bucks less than that, even, (after rebates) had I bit on the DTD sale in early July. (It was tempting, but I'm gonna hold out for a USA-made 14" tire of H727/P4/RT43 level for close to the same price....maybe someday.) That's the best way to buy tires, in my experience....but in the real world of blowouts, road hazards, uneven wear, mismatched sets on used cars and other factors, sometimes you need two tires, not four. In that case, I like the idea of not spending a fortune on top-tier rubber---but at least try to match tread patterns, winter/wet capability and so on with the two tires that will stay on the car. Not even gonna get into which axle to put 'em on....
 
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1,458
Location
NY
Knock wood - only tires I've ever had a flat/blowout with were well used tires that were put on my g/f car as a "favor" to her. Cheap or otherwise I have not had issues besides that. Personally, I want something that is supposed to be long lasting since two of us commute ~42K a year just going to and from work. I've had the most uneven wear from lower end tires (Primewell) but that could have been the car they were on.
 
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