'02 Impala 3.4L 196.5k: Need (4) Tires



Crazy wheel balancing has never been a problem at any place that I have worked, each employer requires drug testing of the employees.


The guys I work with aren’t dope fiends

They just don’t know how to properly balance rims

I’m not sure why you mentioned drug testing and crazy wheel balancing in the same sentence . . . ?

I’m a little confused :confused:

Are you suggesting somebody balancing rims like I’ve described must be high on drugs?


The tires currently on my S-10 are Goodyear Wrangler Radials from Walmart. I know they’re made just for Walmart because nobody else sells this model. Believe it or not, I really like them and will buy them again.

I previously had the factory Tiger Paws, Dunlop Radial Rover and Goodrich Long Trails. The Tiger Paws were not great, other 2 tires were nice but getting over $100 a piece last time I shopped. The Walmart Wranglers were $70 each. They are incredibly smooth and quiet riding compared to the others. They handle good and treadwear has been excellent so far (5 years).


It doesn’t take a lot of training or skill to balance tires. If someone uses 12 ounces of weight on a passenger tire/wheel they must be out of their mind or just messing with you.


They weren’t out of their mind or “just messing” with me

I’ve seen them balance rims, and they don’t know what they’re doing

They have no idea that they’re incompetent

In other regards, they’re good mechanics, but not for balancing rims

I’ve known alcoholics and dope fiends, and these guys don’t fall into that category. If they’re either of those, they have absolutely none of the symptoms


Forgot all about Costco. Haven’t bought tires there since the '89 Colt rolled over 100,000 miles back in the '92-'93 timeframe. Went with Yokohama that time. Not sure why.

Anybody ever pull the weights off their wheels before going in for new tires? I always remove hubcaps and valve stem caps just to be sure they don’t forget to put them back on.

And what about aluminum wheels?? Can weights be added to those, or are they just balanced at the factory and that’s it ?


Yes, weights can be installed on alloy rims . . . no problem, but they have to be a type that they won’t mar the rim. Some require stick-on weights, though. The rim must be very well cleaned, or they will eventually fall off

Costco stocks Bridgestone, BF Goodrich and Michelin. They have many common sizes in stock, or can order the size you need, if you pay upfront and make an appointment. Every month, they have a $70 off deal on one of those brands I mentioned.


I use that sentence to put it into perspective for “non-car” type people. They pay so little attention to anything but price until you tell them their lives are on the line. The type that would pay $90,000 for a BMW and then complain that the Z speed rated run-flat tires cost $500 each and why can’t they just buy these $100 S speed rated, regular cheapo tires for their 500 HP, 160 mph 4500 lb sedan?

Tires more or less fit into the “you get what you pay for” type product. Higher price tires give better traction, life, construction. Traction being a BIG part of the equation. Braking and cornering being big players here. You can drive as conservatively as a church lady and cheapo tires are OK for that until that ONE time you need to stop a little quicker or turn to avoid a serious crash, THEN better tires pay for themselves.


Had the Kumho ASX. Dry traction and cornering were great. Wet traction was good as well. They only lasted around 30k miles. Probably could have gotten more miles if I had rotated them as often as I should have. Currently have CP671’s on my civic. Got them because of the price I got from nexen tires - 4wheelonline.com. So far, they are ok but nothing really spectacular. As long as you don’t accelerate too hard, they are stable on wet roads. Overall they are good tires for the price, but I’m not expecting impressive mileage out of them.


I’ve had 2 sets of Kumho ASX tires. Got about 30k out of each set. They wore funny on one car but still got to 30K. I do not mind the mileage because by the time the tires got to 30K they were 4 years old. I don’t like to go much beyond that because of rubber hardening. Some brands are worse for this than others.

They are great tires for the money.



True - insurance of any kind is always about covering yourself for that 1% occurrence.


Thanks for that Kumho input. I’ll check on those now.

And I agree about the calendar life of tires. Although I only have under 30,000 miles so far on these Douglas tires, they are 3 years old, and they didn’t cost much (relatively speaking), so it’s probably about the same longevity as the better tires I’ve purchased in the past.

Was thinking about why I bought such low-end tires last time (instead of shopping around for better quality stuff like I had done previously with this car), and I concluded that I must’ve just been trying to get to 200,000 miles. It’s just a 2nd car … maybe even soon to be a 3rd car if I pull the trigger on a new one by years’ end or Q1 next year.


So true!
Reminded me of the joke line that goes along with the movie- I see dumb people, they don’t know they’re dumb… :smile:

Here’s another good one-

There are no dumb questions
But there are a LOT of inquisitive idiots!


I will never buy any tire other than COOPER TIRES or MICHELIN TIRES.


Lots of opinions here, so I’ll throw mine in.
I shop by what I need the tire to do. I used the shopping tools from Tirerack and a few other sites. For my Mustang, in Florida, a primary concern was wet traction. For my truck sand&mud, but keeping in mind 90% is still on road driving. Just happened in both cases ended up with Goodyears.


I just noticed the OP was from 2016, but showed up as NEW. ARG!!!


Not new but since someone added a comment it went to the top on the list. Just another old thread revival.


Than how do we know they’re not us?


Re: Walmart vs tire store

I was planning to buy some tires using Walmart.com but wasn’t able to get any help at all from the staff at the local Walmart with some questions I had. I got to thinking if I’m having this much trouble just ordering the tires, what kind of problems will I have later? I decided I didn’t need that kind of problem. So I did a little walking tour survey of 6 or 7 actual tire stores all located along a 2 mile segment of the same road, asking them some basic questions, getting some price quotes, etc. I found quite a bit of difference in the amount of helpfulness the staff offered, store to store. After interviewing them all I decided on one store was better than all the others in helpfulness and professionalism. There wasn’t much difference in price store to store, except a few outliers were on the high side. I ordered up $800 worth of tires from the helpful and competitively priced store I like best. Haven’t had any problems, knock on wood.


There seems to be some misinformation about Road Force Balancing. It’s not balancing at all (except for the fact that part of the procedure dynamically balances the tire). The Road Force part is about uniformity (think out of round and you’ll be close).

And just to be clear, the Hunter Engineering GSP9700 and its successors are usually the machine we are talking about.

What happens is a load wheel applies a load against the tire and wheel assembly and the unit measures the amount of deflection and that gets translated into a force (actually the 1st harmonic of the composite force). The unit displays that number and will point out the location. Please note that this is an assembly value and location. The wheel and the tire each have separate values and locations and these combined to get the assembled value.

If the value is excessive (the unit has preset values which I disagree with!), a separation procedure can be followed to determine both the tire’s value and the wheel’s value - and the unit will recommend how best orient the tire relative to the wheel to best reduce that value.

Tire manufacturers have similar units - EXCEPT they are production speed (a tire a minute), they are more accurate (they can measure to within 2#), and they cost about a million bucks each. I worked in a factory that had over 30 of these units. It’s a sizable investment.

How about those dots?

First there are no industry standards or common practices. Not everyone marks their tires (or wheels) , and the marks don’t always mean the same thing.

The most common practice is to mark the high point of the radial first harmonic of force variation (Road Force) with a red dot. The wheel is usually marked by the valve hole for the low point of the first harmonic of runout (which for a wheel turns out to be the same as force variation)

Sometimes a yellow dot is used for the balance mark. I forget if it is high or low, but it doesn’t matter as the wheels are never marked. There’s no harm done matching the balance mark to the valve hole, but it’s not really doing anything (other than making the operator feel that he is doing his best!)

But let me state this again - there is no industry standard. Ford uses fluorescent green stickers. BMW uses white dots. Toyota uses red dots. Etc. Some tire manufacturers don’t mark their tires - some do. And wheels? I don’t know of anyone who marks wheels in the aftermarket - and OE wheels are marked according to the vehicle manufacturer’s specs, which vary.


The yellow dot is the lightest part of the tire. I’ve been able to balance a tire without using any wheel weights at all, or at least minimize the number of weights needed, by rotating the tire around the rim (while it is un-beaded) until the yellow dot matches up to the heaviest part of the rim. I think the recommendation by tire experts however – if a red dot is provided – is to locate the valve stem at the red dot, ignore the yellow dot, and add weights as needed.

I didn’t notice any marks of this kind on the Michelin Defenders I recently purchased.