CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

How do you select tires now?

I did a search of the site posts for selecting tires. On the most relevant posts the general consensus was that the best sources were Consumer Reports and the Tire Rack site, but the posts were dated 2009-2010. When you are looking for a new set, are these the sources you still use or have you found other reliable sources?

I did/do use tire rack for tire reviews/comparisons. I just went to their site, the consumer reviews for tires for my car had December 2017 dates.

1 Like

Same here. I generally use Tire Rack for info, and then end up ordering somewhere else, like Discount Tire Direct. Tire Rack has a great website, but their prices are a bit high. They also charge you for shipping, while DTD usually doesn’t.

For tires, shipping can cost the better part of a $100 bill.

1 Like

I use Tire Rack comparison tests mostly. The consumer reviews play a small part, but I question how the consumer can rate tires when they have only one set of a certain type to judge. I also look on line for comparison tests from sites that seem trustworthy, and I might look at CR as well.

I use tire rack.
wwww.1010tires.com used to also have good consumer feedback data, but I haven’t visited there for a while.

How do you select tires ? I guess I am doing all wrong because I never found it that difficult. It is easier now than it has ever been. Tire maker web sites, tire sellers have online searches for almost every vehicle on the planet.

I usually end up at Costco these days. Hard to beat the price once you factor in installation cost. I do take off the vale stem caps before I go, though, because they always replace them with the green ones that mean “I believe nitrogen fills make a difference, and I probably believe in homeopathy and crystal healing too.” :wink:

3 Likes

I start with name brand tires, myself.

Then I look at dry and wet traction ratings. The higher the better.

Then I look at the UTQG rating, and the treadwear/traction numbers.

Finally, I find the size for my vehicle, look at some of the other reviews, put all that into a blender, and go from there.

One major resource for me is the Tire Rack comparison table for my desired performance category that looks like this one (although it’ll be a bit different if you actually enter your car information first and then work your way to the table):

https://www.tirerack.com/tires/surveyresults/surveydisplay.jsp?type=GTAS

good link, but it misses many potential candidates, even from established name brands

besides, I mistrust user ratings on TireRack: many cheap tires have elevated ratings, same as pricey ones, for obvious reasons, but for mid-price-range I target they get cursed by both opposite sides of the spectrum.

I like TireRack for their more objective side-by-side comparisons, looking on user ratings only for signs of obvious loosers :slight_smile:

personally, I start off DiscountTire or lately SimpleTire, enter vehicle info, then filter by brands I trust, then sort by price

once I get more or less reasonable candidates based on UTQC, I check TireRack for performance comparisons (not ratings, a lot of them are totally bogus!), then get my valet out :slight_smile:

I use the tirerack site and Consumer Reports. CR’s November issue always has tire test data, and CR also puts out their tire data in various others of their publications and on their website.

I trust Consumer Reports a bit more than the Tire Rack survey, since they comparison test things under controlled conditions. I usually go to CR first, then do a confirmatory check on TR. The ratings on the tire for temp, treadwear, etc are given by the manufacturer and not necessarily reliable. I have found CR ratings to be a good guideline for many things. I now have a set of General Altimax RT43 which are vastly better (and about 25% cheaper) than the Michelin that came with my car.

I trust the Tire Rack comparison tests (not the consumer surveys) about the same as the CR tests, so I use them both, once I’ve narrowed it down to my preferred brands (Michelin, Pirelli, Yokohama).

I appreciate the replies! Since it’s so stinking cold out I think I’ll make a run by the library tomorrow and look at Consumer Reports.

I start w/Consumer Reports latest tire article. Of course I’ll check here next. Then I’ll take a look at TireRack dot com, and some generic Google & Yelp searching. Once you decide the make/model be sure to check the manufacturer’s website, as there are often discount coupons available there. I found a $70 rebate coupon from Michelin on their website last summer when I bought tires. I discovered there’s quite a bit of range in the pricing of the same tire, tire shop to tire shop, so check with several shops for the best deal before writing any checks. Some tire shops are a lot more customer friendly too, so pay close attention to how you are treated when you ask for their pricing. Make sure you also get their pricing for mounting and balancing and disposal fees for you old tires.

I go to my regular car service people, they are cheaper than tire rack overall and ask what they recommend, BF Goodrich previously, worked out ok, Michelin this time and worked out better, less road noise more miles before replacement, next time I will probably ask what Michelin tire.

Yeah I usually just go to the Goodyear store and ask what fits what I’m looking for. They sell other brands. I’ll look at tire rack too but the consumer reviews are all over the place. Their own testing seems to be more reliable. If I’m happy with what I had, I just stick to that. So Michelin on the Acura and I like the Generals for the Pontiac. Quiet, good traction, etc. They don’t seem to wear as long but that’s not an issue for me anymore, and made in the US.

Maybe you can look at CR on line through your public library. Mine has an on line subscription and I never have to leave the house to read CR.