Questions on new tires

Hey guys,

There are many first times, this is going to be my first time of walking into a shop and getting new tires. I have a few questions, and want to get some input from the community.
I live in Boston, and we all know how the winter is around here. My mechanic recommended I should be getting new tires on my last visit, and I also did the penny test on myself. After saving up some money, I went back to my mechanic and ask for a quote. He gave me an estimate of $470 for 4 new tires, which breaks down as follow $90.75/tire (4 for $~360); $20mount and dismount and new valves ($80 for 4); disposal $3/tire ($12) and balancing (dont know how much that will cost, but he said it was included in the calculation) +tax.

Here is my questions:

  1. The new tires are Falken all season tires; I have never heard of them (well, I don’t know much about tires at all). Anyone knows anything about them?
  2. One of my friend told me I should just pay up and get 4 Michelin tires. I have a 97 Altima, although only with 80,000 mi on there, I am not ready to put in that much for tires. Does the brand really matter?
  3. Is the estimate reasonable priced? What else is missing in there, and I should be watching out for?

Thanks in advance,

Good info here:

Don’t know if the price is good or not.

Check with or other places in your area to get prices.

I do like Michelin tires, but I’ve found their prices to be way out of line with other tire manufacturers. In some cases more then double.

Falken is a good tires. They’re not some off the wall brand.

You should start at your local library. Look up the tire comparisons in Consumers Reports. You can also look into the website for all the tires that fit your car, sorted by class and then see how they performed in their tests as well as customer feedback.

After you get a feel for how the tires rank, you should then decide what is important to you in a tire. A top ranked tire might not be the best one for you, the second or third might be better. For example, if low noise more important than high speed dry traction, it could raise the status of a lower ranked tire for you.

Michelin are pretty good tires, but they are not the only good tires out there. I like the Michelin Primacy on our Honda for a smooth quiet ride and good traction in the rain, but it doesn’t wear very well. The Michelin Hydroedge on my Saturn has great traction in the rain, wears very well but is a little noiser. I also like the Bridgestone Turanza, good quiet ride, good traction and long wearing. But those are my opinions. My son likes the Toyo Proxix for its traction, but he has worn out three sets in the time it has taken for the one set of Hydroedge tires I have to become half worn.

Keep in mind that your regular mechanic may not offer the same selection of tires as a tire dealer. You should see what a tire dealer suggests for comparison.

As everyone else has said, the reviews on Tire Rack’s web site are very useful.

Falken? That’s what I have. Specifically Falken Sincera SN828 Made in Thailand.

I purchased them a year and a half ago and I have nothing else to report, good or bad. They’re just tires. You know, round & rubber & black. What more do you need?

I think I read a review stating this brand is noisy. Shrug. I haven’t noticed any tire noise. You can read Tire Rack’s reviews yourself but don’t take them too seriously. This is a decent middle-grade tire.

Thanks guys, I ran a quick search on Tire Rack and has decided to go with Firestone Precision Sport. It has some noise issue, and doesn’t wear out that well, but based on the review. It does well in snow as far as all seasons tires go. I am going to get it through Sullivan Tire

I would take a look at the made in the USA General tires. They are supposed to be a good tire and priced competitively. I think that will be what I go with when I need them.

Tires are tough. Basically every major maker has a few stars, most mediocre/adequate and some losers. The off brands make some real stars but hard to sift what is decent. Basically research on the internet is a good place.

I think critical things are winter traction if that matters to you as this wildly varies amongst tires that are all labeled “all-season”. For example I have driven on a few Yokohama tires including SUV and performance that are wonderful in wet and dry conditions. However in the winter they are simply dreadful on snow/ice.

"I live in Boston, and we all know how the winter is around here."
I Don’t. However, I Do Know What Severe Winter Weather Is. Somebody Fill Me In On This.


You might talk to your mechanic about mounting your Firestone tires and buy them on line. If he will do the job, you might save a little over Sullivan Tire. It wouldn’t hurt to compare prices. BTW, I imagine that you will also have tires balanced, new valve stems, and a 4-wheel suspension alignment as part of the deal. You should get prices for all those things. And don’t forget to ask about disposal fees. Get the out-the-door price.

I use TireRack for the reviews and once I decide what I want to buy I ask my local shop to get them (if they can). I do this for a couple of reasons even though its possible that I might spend a little more.

One reason is that my local shop is a local shop. Its a local family business and everyone involved in it is local. When I spend the money much of it will flow around right here around where I live.

The second is that if I buy them online and have someone else install them and there happens to be a problem (e.g. defective tire, etc.) I’ll probably spend the better part of a couple of months and tons of aggravation getting the mess straightened out. First I’ll have to have the shop double check whatever. Then they’ll say its a tire problem at which point I have to go chase after tire rack. I’ve never dealt with them but I’m going to assume that their first response will be an installer issue - classic run around. I have no interest in that game.

good call. I did some pricing around the area, and the comes down to around the same price. I picked Sullivan b/c it’s 10 min away from me, and I can just drop it off, plus they have good review on Yelp. I will remember ask the out-the-door price before letting them touch anything.

the mechanic i use is “new” to me, I just moved from a different city, while I did have a mechanic over there (family business) it is a bit far away to get my car back there for a job. but good suggestion. i need to look around and find the right guy

I don’t know your local weather there, but you may want to consider getting some Winter tyres if you don’t already have some.

If you’re a member of Sam’s Club, BJ’s or some other warehouse type store you can pick up some good deals on tires. I put a set of 185/65/14 BF Goodrich Touring Radials with a 70K mile warranty on one of my cars about a year ago at Sam’s Club, the out the door price was between $280-$300 if I recall correctly.

Firestone tried to kill me with some of their lousy tires twenty years ago and I won’t touch them with a ten foot pole, now.