Tire costs

I have a 96 Honda Accord. The tires are all at least a couple years old. My back tires are almost bald. Two questions: Is it a good idea when changing my back tires to also change the front? Which kind of damage could result otherwise? Also, what would be a reasonable estimate of what I could expect to pay for two tires (used and new prices) as well as mounting the tires and all that stuff that comes with putting on a tire? Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thankx!

#1 Don’t buy used.
#2 Start with tire size when shopping. ( ie; P195/60R15 )
#3 The choices are mind boggling from el-cheapo to premium.
Try Tirerack.com as a shopping tool but shop locally with a tire store you feel comfortable
will service you and your tires for years to come.
#4 Your REAR tires are balding ? you’ll need the rear alignment specs checked and corrected so see a shop that can do that too.
#5 Measure the tread depth of the fronts. But it sounds like all 4 is in order here.

Thanx ken green! I know I am a girl and stupid, just curious of these things. My best friend found a place and I don’t remember where but they had two used tires of the correct size looked in perfect condition (from what I could see, which says nothing about their interior) with excellent tread. I will check out that website- thanx again!

I didnt see number 4. What are rear alignment specs and how are they checked? Should the rear ones not bald before the front ones?

You are NOT stupid. You just lacked knowledge in this area.

How do I know you’re not stupid? Because the stupid people are the ones that never ask.

You were smart to ask, and Ken has given you good advice. Feel free to drop by anytime. We’re always happy to help.

You didn’t tell us how much tread is left on the front tires. It’s hard to answer your question when we don’t know that.

It sounds like you don’t rotate your tires frequently enough. If you do that, they’ll all wear evenly and you won’t end up in this situation.

Just so you know, your car is set up dangerously now. With the worst traction on the back, you could easily end up in a spin. Unless you’re a trained professional driver, that will likely lead to a crash. Furthermore, I hope “almost bald” is an exaggeration. If you’re below the legal limit, you don’t belong on the road where the rest of us drive.

Unless you’re completely strapped for cash, don’t get used tires. You have no idea how they’ve been treated. You also almost certainly won’t be able to get tires matching your current ones, which is strongly recommended.

The alignment of all four wheels is checked on a special alignment machine. All four should be checked at the same time. Your suspension system has adjustments for the tech to set the wheels to the proper specs.

Just about any shopp can do this. I’d recommend using this opportunity to try out a local owner-operated shop with a good reputation. Let us know how you make out.

Thanx for the advice, lion9car. I did the treead measure using an upside down penny which- in car manuals- is supposed to be fairly accurate and they were adequate. You know on a brand new tire, how their are those thin hair-like pieces, how can I explain, um, I don;t really know what they are, Ahhh!!! Ok, now I am not making any sense. I was going to say those hair-like pieces are long gone but the tread fine on the front. Maybe a little below but barely. But now I have just confused everyone. Ergggg, I’m sorry!!!

Its a front wheel drive car so the fronts will wear faster than the rear. Knowing whether there is a problem in the rear based on the tire wear would require having the info about all 4 tires.

The alignment is about whether or not your wheels are parallel and straight up and down with respect to the road (perpendicular). This does get out of adjustment and will do bad things to tire wear.

I’m going to suggest that you do what I do - find the tires you want via Tirerack. Then call your best locally owned, independent front end/alignment shop. Tell them what you want for tires and go there to have old tires & suspension inspected and new tires installed. They will be able to tell just by looking at your old tires what you might need in terms of alignment/suspension work.

the same mountain bike, is that something routinually done when tires are rotated/changed?

Go to www.tirerack.com and do your research there first. Especially read the “survey” section that gives you a ranked list of tires in each category.

Then, armed with your new-found knowledge, go to a local tire shop and tell them which tires you want. Check their prices against the Tire Rack prices.

The biggest potential problem when buying used tires is their AGE.
How do you know how old they are ?
The production date is in code on the side wall fairly near the bead called the DOT number( nearest the wheel ). It’s a 12 digit number in three groups of 4. The last four are the date in the week and year like; 2210 is the twenty second week of 2010. If you see only eight numbers, look on the reverse side of that tire.

You don’t want three of four year old tires that look good.

Figure on paying $60-$65 each. $10 more each to mount, balance, install new stems. That’s $300-$320 down-the-road for a set of new tires…The tread-wear number should be over 500.

Usually, on FWD cars like yours, the FRONT tires wear faster. Rotating the tires every other oil change will even this up. Many tire stores rotate for free (They will try and sell you other services)

If you have never had an alignment, (4-wheel) that would be a good idea. Figure $40-$60 for this service…


Hmmmmm, I’ll have to check my reciepts to see if it was ever marked off- I honestly never had a mechanic bring up rotating the tires. I know it is something that should be done with oil changes, I just thought it had been part of the service but maybe it is something you have to ask for but you would think, especially with the shops that charge, they would suggest a rotation.

To get the best price on tires use discounttire.com Tirerack has the same prices but the shipping is crazy expensive. Discount tire has free shipping and they offer a pretty good warranty that is not based on the mileage or age of the tire but rather the tread depth.

Not necessarily. It’s wise to be sure it gets done.

Expect to pay about $300-$400 for (4) all-seasons installed.

Skip tirerack.com and other mail order in your size. Besides the shipping you will find mounting costs are quite high if you carry in tires.

Just a couple of comments.

First don’t think that somehow being a girl or woman means you know less about cars than the guys. Maybe you are not as interested in cars. but that is not stupid.

Second, most cars are safer if the two back tyres are as good or better than the front tyres. The rear tyres keep the back of the car in the back and help keep the car aimed in the direction you want to go.

Good Luck

I was oblivious to the gender comment. Missed it entirely. Perhaps because I count amoung my good friends and coworkers 2 with PhDs in computer engineering, 4 MDs, 2 with JDs, and countless others that are just plain smart…and are women. Gender and intelligence are absolutely, totally unrelated.

And I reiterate: people who ask are the smart people. People who ask the most questions are usually the smartest of the bunch. That’s how they got that way. Notice that I said “they” and not “we”. I’m constantly overshadowed by people smarter than me. And I’m perfectly happy this way.

So, it would be cheaper to purchase the tires at the same location I have them put on at?
I was thinking of rotating the front ones (since the tread is fairly good) to the back and getting two new front ones mounted on. I thought with a front wheel drive vehicle it is better to have the tires with the most tread in front because the front end carries the brunt of the weight, but I could very well be wrong. I am with most things lol.