Best place for tire brand advice?

toyota
corolla

#1

I need four new all-season passenger tires for my 2012 Toyota Corolla. I just want tires that will last and good tracking.

I’ve been looking at customer reviews at Tirerack.com. There are bad complaints about almost all the tires, even the ones that have good overall ratings. It makes it seem none of the tires are very good. There are also complaints at Tirerack about the best reviewed tires from Consumer Reports.

I talked to a guy at Tirerack.com. He recommended some Continental and Michelin tires that Tirerack had tested. I was disappointed that neither tire had many customer reviews.

My mechanic suggested a couple of brands including Firestone. My current tires are Firestone. They only have 29,000 miles on them. They were supposed to last for 50,000. Does that mean Firestone tires are not very good? Are mechanics usually knowledgeable about tires?

I’m probably making this decision harder than it needs to be. Who provides the best evaluation of tires? Tirerack.com customers, Consumer Reports, a mechanic?


#2

Yes, you are. I have said this many times , people buy tires at Sam’s , Costco and Walmart while they are shopping so it can’t be that difficult.


#3

Price is a good guide. Trusting your life to cheap tires is no bargain. We direct people to TireRack all the time because they have the best reviews and a wide selection. Their prices, delivered, can usually be matched or beaten on ordinary tires. But they are a great place to compare ratings and prices against local sources.

Costco and Sam’s are also both good places to shop. Again avoid the cheapest brands.

NO product will get 100% 5 stars so ignore the few low ratings and move forward. Especially if the tires they review are on a very different model of car. Don’t just consider brand, consider the model of tire as well. There are variations in models that your research will show.


#4

Tirerack is very good. I also look at Consumer Reports. Every November they publish their latest test results, which are also reprinted in various other of their publications and maybe on line. You can’t go far wrong with the Michelins recommended by tirerack. I sometimes buy from them and have the tires shipped to my local repair shop (with their permission) and have also bought tires at local tire stores.

Most recently my local repair shop got me General Altimax that looked good to me based on CR and tirerack info. Their price was about as good as if I’d had them shipped from tirerack. They use those tires on one of their vehicles and think they’re good. And no mounting charge if I bought the tires from them. I really like these tires year-round.


#5

One thing about online reviews is that most people only bother to get online and review something when they’re angry about it and want to drive business away from the manufacturer.

Sometimes that’s valid. Sometimes it’s not. We’ve all read the Amazon reviews that say something like “Product works fine, but UPS put it in the driveway instead of on the porch so it gets a 1 star.” You have to kinda filter online reviews bearing such things in mind.

Often I find the most negative reviews are either from people who are angry about something unrelated to product quality (“Discount Tire took 5 tries to balance my wheels because the noob at the Hunter machine didn’t know what he’s doing and so I’m giving this tire a bad rating!”) or who don’t understand how the product is supposed to work (“This tire failed after only 20 years and 200,000 miles! F+++ Never again!”), while the most positive reviews are often from people who like everything far too much and would probably put a positive spin on being in prison.

Look at the 3 and 4 star reviews for a more measured idea of what the product is really like.


#6

I am not looking for tires and I am one of those who really do not care for Consumer Reports . I also take the online reviews with a giant size grain of salt.


#7

I found many reviewers with serious problems with their tires, like they wore out quickly or they kept blowing out.


#8

I assume 10% of people will complain. On tires in particular, I put more weight on the tests done by tirerack and Consumer Reports, and less weight on customer reviews. Who knows what else was wrong with the car, or how well they took care of the tires?

That’s after I filter for the brands I know and trust: Michelin, Pirelli, and Yokohama I’ve used. I’m sure others are fine, but there are plenty of choices for me from those three brands.


#9

I think those can be dismissed as highly suspect .


#10

Yeah. “I only did like, 30 burnouts, man!”


#11

Do you know how many miles Consumer Reports actually put on the tires? I wonder if customers use the tires more and have more actual experience with them.

On the other hand I guess Consumer Reports testers are some kind of experts on tires so maybe in some ways are better at evaluating tires even if they drive them less than customers?.


#12

Pesky, as I said you really are making this difficult. I have had Michelin , Goodyear , Firestone , Cooper , Pirelli and some house brand I can’t remember the name of ( they did just what tires are supposed to do ) and just recently bought a vehicle with Hankook tires. I would buy any of those again if the price and rebate program was acceptable to me.


#13

To add more confusion to this, even the same brand and series of tires can perform significantly different. I went from an asymmetric, unidirectional tire to an all season tire of the same brand and series. Wet traction and cornering much below the asymmetrical tread pattern.

Before you ask, change was due to cost and availability, I should have waited and spent the extra cash, but in reality the tires are adequate.


#14

I use the annual tire ratings in Consumer Reports, in conjunction with the actual test results on the Tire Rack website. No, not the “customer ratings” on the Tire Rack website which are–at best–anecdotal and frequently questionable. I am referring to Tire Rack’s own test results.

Everyone has his/her own personal prejudices regarding tire brands, but–of course–that is just more anecdotal stuff. For example, I would never again buy either Continental or Bridgestone tires, but others will sing the praises of those brands.

Similarly, I will now buy ONLY Michelin tires, but you will inevitably find some “customer reviews” that claimed their Michelin tires caused their hair to fall out, or caused their cat to die.
(Hint: IGNORE the customer ratings on the Tire Rack website.)
:thinking:


#15

Again without reading all the responses, I have found the best place is my local tire dealer that deals in various brands. They can match your wants, needs, and budgets, with the tire that fits the local weather conditions.

Yeah, I’ve read TR, CR, etc. and while interesting reading, the reviews are either all over the place or for non-available tires in the local area (maybe for a reason). Reviews depend on the car, the driving style, roads, weather, skills, etc. As far as original equipment tires, I’ve got 30K on my Michelins and they are down to 5/32 so originals just don’t wear that well. I plan to replace them with the same though but I haven’t bought Firestones since 1968.


#16

Any tire is a compromise.
Soft rubber = great traction but lousy wear, aggressive tread = great bad weather traction but noisy and so on…

However quality control is important so buy an established brand or one of their subsidiaries (General, Kelly, etc), focus on the attributes that are most important to you.and take the “Reviews” with a big grain of salt.

i.e. My expensive, low profile, ultra wide, Z rated, competition tires only lasted 15,000 miles and rode like a truck …Duh


#17

By using CR ratings and tirerack ratings and considering local conditions, which included snow and ice, I put a Michelin and a General tire at the top of my list. When my local garage said they used and liked the Generals on one of their vehicles, and could come pretty close to the tireack price, that gave me the local recommendation such as bing has suggested. They couldn’t come close to the tirerack price for the Michelins, and the Generals thus became the logical choice for me. They did not charge extra for shipping and mounting and balancing - just valves and sales tax…

I like bing’s idea of relying on local tire sellers, but at the same time think it’s a good idea to do ones own research. Not every local tire salesman really knows his or her products or looks out for their customers’ best interests. Doing your own research helps you become a satisfied customer.


#18

I have tried a number of brands over the years, and make my life simple by picking Michelins as my go to tire. I have not been disappointed yet.


#19

Michelin rises to the top more often than other brands. Still, if there are two or more Michelins that fit your car, where do you get the info that helps you make the best decision for your car and your priorities? That’s where tirerack and CR test results can make the diff.


#20

Do you think mechanics are knowledgeable about tires also?