We don’t sell tires at All Tune & Lube Total Car Care Tempe but since we take care of our customers’ cars we sure see enough of them and get plenty of questions about them. The most often our customers voice concerns over the expense of new tires and the difference between the economy brands and the quality brands. Typically you get more than what you pay for. There isn’t enough time or space to take on performance tires so all we’re going to talk about here are the everyday tires you’re going to want on your commuter car. I think we all get the fact that you have to have something to keep your car on the road but if you’re looking to get the most out of your investment in the best combination of safety and longevity you’re going to want to tighten your belt and pay the bigger price. It’ll hurt at first but you’ll soon enough be bragging to your friends about the wise investment you made.
Here’s the skinny: Tires are the single most important safety feature on your car. They are the only thing that connects the car to the road, and life-saving technologies like antilock brakes and electronic stability control can’t do their job if the tires don’t have a good grip on the pavement. There are minimum standards required to legally sell a tire in the US but these only really make sure that they won’t blow up when you hit a pot hole. Cheap, poorly-designed tires can make for longer stopping distances and less control in an emergency maneuver. Plus a cheaper tire will never give you the ride quality or longevity that a more expensive tire will give you. More expensive tires balance better and wear more evenly and cheaper tires are hard to get the manufacturer to stand behind.
Now it’s possible to get a cheap tire with a high mileage rating but these tend to provide less grip than a quality tire with the same rating. Even so, while well-known name brands tend to provide a consistently higher level of quality there are lesser-known tire manufacturers that produce excellent products at lower prices but you gotta watch out. Quality control can be spotty, especially in Asian countries that begin with “C”. Recommendations from a tire dealer you trust and the good ol’ internet search are great ways to sort ‘em out.
It’s best to replace all four tires at once since new tires generally grip the road better than tires that have some miles on them, but if you must replace them in pairs, put the new tires on the back (regardless of whether the car is front or rear-wheel drive). This will help the car retain its stability and predictability in a panic swerve. (Older tires on the rear will make the car more likely to spin out.) NEVER replace a single tire — if a tire is damaged and cannot be repaired, replace it as well as its mate on the other side of the car.
Rotating the tires every 5,000 to 7,000 miles will ensure that they wear at the same rate, allowing you to get the most return on your investment and ensure that all four tires will be ready for replacement at the same time.
Hope this helps!
From your local Mechanics, All Tune and Lube Total Car Care Tempe. Complete Auto Repair and Maintenance.