2016 Toyota Camry - Tire upsell?

yesterday I had a flat tire (rear right) on my 2016 Toyota Camry. Towed to a tire place, I was told that I needed 4 NEW tires. Stunned, I vehemently stated I wanted one new Michelin. They did not have a Michelin tire til the next day. So I asked to have a new tire put on. The cost was $149.00. “For one tire?”, I exploded?
I had not bought a tire for many years but remembered them to be about $50.00.

Prices have gone up, he stated. One new tire (I asked for the least expensive) at $106.00 was put on. It had a 46,000 mile warranty. My car mileage is under 28,000 miles, purchased new, so I really was skeptical about the salesman trying tp sell me 4 new tires.
However, today a friend told me that I had done a dangerous thing: tires would not balance correctly, cause all types of problems.
Have a I made a big mistake? The car is garaged , short trips for errands, but I do want to be safe.
Please let me know. I did react vehemently to the young tire man, perhaps unfairly.
Thank you. react vehemently to the young tire man

First of you are being unreasonable about the tire prices. Yes there are low priced tires out there but Michelin is not one of them . You should at least put 2 new tires on the rear of a vehicle and the ones you have are 5 years old. Many places recommend replacing tires at the 5 to 8 year old mark. Also your friend is wrong about tire balancing .


Any tire, unless it has a manufacturing fault, can be balanced.

Use the tire you purchased for the spare and buy two, preferable four tires of your choice, if you want Michelins, get Michelins.
I would expect $800-1200 depending on which Michelin’s you choose, for four with mounting and balance, road hazard might be extra.

My wife and I paid well over $800 for four tires for her Hyundai. $150 for one decent tire is fairly cheap. If your tires are fairly new you can get away with replacing just one but it’s normally best to at least replace both on the same axle, i.e., both front or both rear. Given the age of your current tires, you need to go ahead and replace the other three soon.


No , that is wrong . If only getting 2 new tires they should go on the rear no matter the drive system . That means front wheel drive , rear wheel drive or all wheel drive. There are plenty of videos showing why that is now the standard procedure . Many shops will refuse to put 2 new tires only on the front of a vehicle.


And when the tires are installed they can be rotated if necessary. Remember, the OP isn’t convinced she needs to replace more than one tire. Let’s not muddy the issue, even if that’s your normal tactic.

1 Like

Why do more than necessary ? If getting 2 new tires just put them on the rear to start with and a rotation is not needed . When they get the next 2 tires they go on the rear and the rotation is taken care of.

1 Like

And if the tire that’s bad is a front tire? Do you still replace the rear tires? Or do you put two good tires on the rear and rotate the old rear tires to the front?


Last week I had a 2016 vehicle on the lift for a 5000 mile inspection, this is what I found;

Dry rot and belt separation. I recommended 4 new tires due to the risk of other tire failures, the customer chose to replace one tire. These tires are $300 and many people can’t afford a set of tires.

We replace tires every day for customers with a road hazard warranty, the warranty covers only the punctured tire and we do not pressure the customer into replacing two or four tires. Vehicles leave every day with one new tire and people are not dying. We once had a tire salesman on staff the was as aggressive as some of the people on the message board, he is in jail now.

Unless you are involve in a police chase you will not experience an imbalance in handling. There are many vehicles with mismatched tires and they don’t slide off the road, you friend is exaggerating.


Correct me if I am wrong, but I suspect that if a single tire is seriously mismatched, the ABS and stability systems could get triggered.

1 Like

Car Talk extensive info on tire shopping you can start with here.
. We also have the best suggestions for your exact car at the link below. A really smart guy wrote it :slight_smile:
You can check the wear yourself by looking at the treadwear indicators or by asking your mechanic how deep the remaining tread is and if any abnormal wear has resulted in a need for replacement. If your car is garaged when not in use degradation from UV rays is unlikely to justify replacement. If you park outside though, it could be a factor. $149 is on the low end of the cost curve for tires.

The key words above are highlighted. Unless you can purchase a time machine, I seriously doubt if you will find any new tire for anywhere near the price of $50. Even “Made in China” tires are likely more expensive than $50, and they are often of extremely low quality.

You really want to have your tires matched “per axle”. In other words, even if they are of different brands front and rear, you want both front tires and both rear tires to be of the same make, model, size, and tread depth.

The last time that I bought tires, the total cost for 4 Michelins was somewhere between $800-$900, at Costco–during a Michelin price reduction/sale. That should give you some reality regarding current prices for high-quality tires.


Someone driving about 5000 miles a year might not really need high dollar tires . I have Hankook on our Fiesta and they can be bought for around 120.00 and they have been quite good tires.

1 Like

Yes, this.


Yes. If the tire is the correct size, the likelihood of anything really bad happening is minimal but still… better they all match or at least pairs match.

Yes, that brand would probably be a good option for the OP, but I am still shaking my head in disbelief about someone complaining because a tire shop wanted to charge more than $50 for a new Michelin tire.

Without reading all the comments, tire prices fluctuate with the price of oil. If you noticed, there has been about a 30-50% jump in oil prices. Even when prices were low, I spent about $1000 for a set of tires on my Acura. You should at least match the tires on the same axle, so you shoulda’ bought two, and depending on the condition of the others, maybe 4. What’s wrong with putting the spare on and waiting a day for the tire shipment?

1 Like

OP might not have a spare. a lot of cars came with a tire inflator and a can like fix-a-flat.

I paid $20 for a used tire when I blew one out 200 miles from home. I needed tires anyway so just a good enough tire to go for a week or two.

Janice may not return but we can hope that she can calm down and have a local tire shop give her some good guidance . And don’t listen to that silly friend anymore.

She may be one of those people who just never had a reason to research tires or vehicle matters . Which makes me think I should tell the wife person why I check tires and fluids on a regular basis.