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Tires - Where to Buy?

I have a 96 civic and I need new tires. Nothing special just something that will do the job.

Does anyone have any recommendations on where I should go to get tires?

I usually just go to a local STS and buy whatever is the cheapest they have.

How about Costco, Sams, or Wal-mart. Worth a check. Do you have a Discount Tire in your area? That’s where I go.

Thanks for the suggestions. I checked Discount Tire and there is none in my area. I live in NJ.

Walmart sells BF Goodrich Traction T/A for $85 and Costco has that same tire for sale for $69 each.

I didn’t check Sams b/c I don’t know anyone with a membership there. Anyone else have any guidance or suggestions? Thanks.

I prefer Costco because they have very good prices on Michelin and BF Goodrich tires, especially when you factor in the lifetime road hazard warranty and lifetime rotation and balancing that are included in the sales price.

However, if you are looking for “price leader” tires, you will not find anything in your preferred price range at Costco. Their good prices on expensive tires are great if someone is looking for high-quality tires, but you would probably not consider Costco to be cheap.

Most likely, your best price would be found at a place like Wal-Mart.
Also, if you live in NJ–as I surmise–you should be aware that STS has an “outlet” in…either Hillsboro or Manville (right near the border between the two towns)…that has odds and ends from the regular STS stores.

I’ve found that it’s good to buy tires from local stores that don’t have an affiliation with a particular brand. Most areas have a number of good independent tire stores. Look for the stores that advertise a number of brands. Knowledgeable tire people can point you toward inexpensive tires that are best for the conditions in which you drive and give you a few choices in different price ranges. Sometimes good stores are affiliated with foreign car parts outlets so you might check there as well. Interviewing over the phone works well to get a feeling for the resident level of expertise.

Am I losing money in the long run if I buy cheaper tires at STS? I think I’ve gotten tires from them at about $40-$50 or so. Will BF Goodrich tires last longer? Thanks.

I really like BFG tires. Their Traction T/A tires are not the cheapest, nor are they the most expensive, but I consider them to be an excellent value for the money. I have found them to have a long tread life, good traction in all types of weather, and a low level of road noise.

If you’re going to keep the car for a while, you’ll be generally better served by getting tires that are somewhat better than the bottom-of-the-barrel. The really cheap tires don’t last very long and are more prone to sidewall damage and blowouts. Over the long term, buying better tires will cost you less, and plus you get to ride around on nicer tires.

I’m a fan of Costco’s tire selection-- they don’t sell any junk tires and they’re all pretty reasonably priced. My only gripe with them is that they don’t carry the sizes used in exotic cars such as my '86 Accord.

Pull out the phone book call a few chains, independents and garages and ask for installed price of least expensive all-season tire in your size.

The truth is cheapest tires have the largest markup typically. This markup vary’s store to store.

independent tire store… that’s an interesting idea. I like that idea b/c I can just go during lunch at work and drop off my car but I had trouble finding one. I found two local tire stores. For the first one I called the number was not working any longer so they must’ve gone out of business. The other number I called was a tire store that was associated with good year. They quoted me Goodyear assurance fuel max tires or something like that for $88 dollars a tire with a $20 mail in rebate.


So thank you for all of you that responded. This email is for the benefit of anyone reading and needing to buy tires in the future. Short answer is I am going to go with Costco.

I compared local tire stores, Costco, STS and Walmart.

Local tire stores - I couldn’t locate one that was independent and local.

Walmart was more expensive than STS or Costco.

STS had a better price range and variety of tires from $55 and up depending on what you wanted. $55 was for their private brand Signature runway (40,000 miles) but for the money it didn’t seem worth it to spend less for the level of quality that they provide. STS also provided a Runway 70,000 miles for $69 and Toyo for $75 and Bridgestone for $86. Lots of selection but I’m not sure what the level of quality is of those other tires…

Costco had BF Goodrich Traction T/A for $69 each (70,000 miles).

I’m going with Costco’s.

I have started getting mine from TireRack. Large choice, good pricing and they will ship them to a local shop for install. No trouble for me. When I got snow tires I bought new rims so they just shipped them to me ready to install. Not everyone will like it, but I found it worked well for me and I saved a few ? $ ? ?

You can take your chances with Tire Rack but most people are better off buying tires from a national chain or even a local store so they can avoid shipping tires back to Tire Rack if there is a problem. Most likely you won’t have a warranty claim but tire removal and shipment back to Tire Rack will cost way more than the few bucks you might save.

In your Weekend newspaper, look in the Sports section for tire ads. Find a price you like and go and check them out. They will probably be made in China, but so is everything else…

All tires have a uniform grading code TTT, temperature, traction, tread-wear. Try for a tread-wear number over 400…

I have had the best luck just dealing with the local Goodyear store. They are as competitive as anyone and know something about tires. If you check into what Walmart, Costco, etc. sells, a lot of them are third tier tires from China.

Print out the Tire Rack pricing (including shipping cost and any applicable taxes) and bring it to NTB or another chain. They’ve price-matched Tire Rack pricing for me.

I use Mr. Tire. The store near me is very good; I don’t know about the other 739 locations. They are located in suburban Philadelphia and in NY, NY. If you live farther south, like Nurk, they don’t have any stores. I like the selection and they treat me well.

Second the cheapbastard, and don’t forget Sears. Take your Tire Rack quote into Sears. They don’t specifically price match, but they’ve come close for me. The over the top option at Sears is the lifetime balance. Buy it with the tire, then you don’t have to worry about having your tires balanced once a year.

Guys–The OP already told us at 2:10 PM that he is going to buy the Traction T/A tires at Costco. He has made his decision, and I think that it is a good one.

I, along with several others who frequent this board and live near Nashua, NH, use a local independent tire dealer in Nashua - Nashua Wholesale Tire. His normal prices meet or beat Tire Rack, his service is great, and he can get any tire available.