My Experience With Tires

Apr 20, 2021
Hi Everyone, I found this web site on a car web site that I have been with for years and I decided to take a look and I have to say this is an interesting and informative site and not just about oil. I was looking in the Tires section and I want to add some of my experiences to the discussions specifically regarding the post about "How Awful Are These Cheap Tires?".

I do a fair about of driving a mix of city and highway about 15K a year and I push my car pretty hard. I run approx. 80 on the Interstate and have a custom inflation for my front tires and back tires for my car that I have arrived at through experience and I change that pressure winter to summer as the temps change.

I have always believed in making my money work for me and not that I am retired this is more important than ever and while I might want the best reality says I can't always have it and this is true with tires and everything else to do with my car, a 2001 Toyota Camry with 280K miles on it. When I had money I some great tires and I used some OK tires and now that my finances are limited I use OK tires and there are some good values out there. I buy my tires from major chains and I do as much research as I can before I spend my money. Currently I am using the Epic Tour AS tire which I got from NTB for $48 a tire and that was 3 years ago. The tire is advertised as a 40K mile tire and I have about 32K miles on them and they are showing some feathering which I think is due to the fact that I can't keep a good alignment on that car but that is the car's fault and not the tire. So far these tires are quiet with a good ride and good road grip and do well in rain and sunshine.

I have also used the Primewell PS 830/850 which is the Firestone house brand tire and had good success. I put a set of 4 on a Pontiac Grand Am GT 4 door sedan and got great service from them. I paid around $52 per tire for those. Like the above Epic tires the Primewells I had were quiet with a good ride, good road grip, and did well in wet and dry.

Discount Tire which is new in my area (East Coast of the United States) has a Sentry Touring tire for my car that gets good reviews and I may try them in about a year when I get new tires for my Camry or I might just go with the Epic tires from NTB since I know them and have had such good success with them.

As far as the Douglas tires as stated before I think they are a Walmart house brand tire but the reviews I am reading are all over the place so I would tend not to put my money into them. Again, tires like everything else for me comes down to what I can afford and where I can get the best value for my dollar. It makes no sense to me to spend $150 a tire or even $100 just so I can say I have the bestest "gee-wiz" tires on my car when the reality so my car could crap out at any time and I have $150 a tire tied up that I will never see again.

I know that tires are like oil and underwear and everyone has an opinion and to an extent everyone is right so I hope what I have written helps someone. Cheers all :)
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I used some Ohtsu tires on my Prius once and they were honestly fantastic tires even in the snow, they just didn't last very long at all. Had some GT Radials on my Hyundai and again fantastic tires, but only got about 30k out of them. I try to stay around $85 per tire. More than that is a waste when you're buying touring/grand touring tires.

Douglas tires, however, have been bar none the absolute worst tires I've ever put on a vehicle. My father in law had two of them blow out on the sidewall within a month of one another. What kind of junk tires still experience blowouts!?
Discount Tire's rebates, in the form of a prepaid card, aren't worth it unless you insist on Michelins, Goodyears, Coopers, etc. They never apply to the Falkens, etc. of the world. I did the math on their $60 & $90 rebates before buying new tires a couple of weeks ago. The Falkens were still cheaper out the door, because of the jacked-up prices of the tires they're rebating. I call it the Kohls discount. Mark 'em up, then sell with a rebate. I don't mind cheaper tires, as I've never had a problem with any of them. I shop by wear rating, then look for a good price within a certain wear rating parameter, filtering for A's in traction and heat. I will say the Landsails I just took off the Focus were pretty horrible on wet pavement. Not standing water, but just wet. They were like ice skates compared to the Falkens I replaced them with. I won't waste the money on more expensive, softer-compound tires. The OEM Goodyears on my Camaro and Mustang were gone way too fast.
I've used Douglas tires on multiple vehicles, and they were much better than I ever expected them to be, considering what I paid for them. No issues whatsoever.
I currently have some Westlake RP18's on my wife's Passat. They were $40 each, but had great reviews on Amazon. I like the tread pattern and have been pleased with how they are performing. They have about 17k miles on them (40k rated tire) and are wearing well. They have been good in the rain and light to medium snow. They are not quiet, but would also say that they are not noisy either. I would recommend them to anyone who is looking for low priced tire. I would like to compare them to a set of Michelins and see if they are worth the extra money.

Your situation and the way you buy tires is very similar to many here including my own. I too buy tires based on what I can afford, the vehicles needs & type of vehicle, how new or old and how long we are going to keep that vehicle. I try to buy great tires at low(er) prices(discounts/rebates etc.).

I prefer better known tires that are show good test results(mainly foul weather) from the testing facilities and customer reviews per vehicle type and climate similar to my own.

As I stated in a previous thread, I don't care for private label tires because I have never, ever, ever had good success with them. Not that every high rated tire was perfect either however, I have been hitting for a higher batting average by researching and picking...not the best tire in category but the correct tire for me & my family, the specific vehicle, our climate and our driving style.

I could talk all day about this and why I buy what I buy.
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I have Senturys on my '02 Taurus, on the front only. They ride fine, have developed a rather loud moan after about 15,000 miles but are wearing evenly, and are about half gone. They took a normal amount of weight. Traction is acceptable for this budget tire.

I don't necessarily believe house name tires are great tires, but I do know for a fact you can also get a crappy set from a brand name.
Tires are like shoes or mattresses. Life’s too short to get crappy ones. I do watch price but I also watch reviews for noise, performance, and wear. If a $100 can outperform a $200 then I’ll buy that. But usually that doesn’t happen and I’m not willing to put my or my family’s safety and comfort at risk.
I don't necessarily believe house name tires are great tires, but I do know for a fact you can also get a crappy set from a brand name.
Absolutely. IME, BFG and Firestone are notorious for this.