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Why can't I find the tires I want?

I am looking for new tires for my 2010 Infiniti EX35. The size is P225 60R 17. I need tires with a V speed rating. I have researched, and know which one or two brands/models I want to buy. However, I am having a heck of a time finding them, whether online or at shops. No one has the tires in my size; nor, do they say, can they get them. Instead, they all want to sell me what they have in stock, which they assure me are just as good. However, I want the tires that get the best reviews/ratings from independent sources, not the guys selling them to me. Do tire manufacturers only make so many per year per size, i.e., are my tires truly sold out? Will a new supply come available if I wait a month or two? How does the supply and demand of the tire world work?

Have you tried an Infiniti or Nissan dealer?

Don’t get too hung up on one brand or model–most products nowadays are all built in the same factories and simply get stamped with different brand names at the end of the process. Any difference is with marketing and peoples’ perceptions based on marketing and not the actual product.

Independent sources? Follow the $$$$$. No such thing.

Visit Or visit the sites of your chosen brands to find their retailers.


Great to see you’re back!

Thanks, Joe. It’s truly nice to be remembered. The long termers on this forum are a truly great group, yourself included.

Thank you for the comments. I am trying to buy the tires that receive the highest ratings in the “all around performance” category based upon independent testing by groups like Consumer Reports, etc. There is quite a bit of difference in the testing data, especially in categories like snow traction, and ice stopping. So, it is a little hard for me to believe that they are really all just the same. I live in Minnesota, so winter performance in an all around tire makes a difference to me.

By the way, I have visited Tire Rack, the retailers for the brands I have selected, etc. I have done all of that. They all simply say they are sold out in my size in those models, and direct me to their current inventory. That is why I am asking if manufacturers really only make so many tires in a particular size each year, if they will make more if I wait a month or two, etc. I am not sure how the tire industry works; if it is cyclical; if so, how the cycles run (i.e., quarterly, annually). I do not feel I am getting good info from the retailers, because they just want to sell off their current inventory.

If tirerack is sold out, I don’t know where you can go. While the tires you want are good, have you looked at tirerack tests of similar tires? They may have tested ones just as good.

Which make/model tire are you looking for?

Why do you need V rated? Tirerack lists both H and V for your EX. The only difference is often the speed rating between H and V, otherwise identical for the same model tires.

Lots more H models out there.


I was really starting to get concerned about you, because it seemed like you had been absent for…maybe a couple of months. I seem to recall that you were going to have eye surgery, so I assume that the surgery had something to do with your extended absence. Am I correct?

Welcome back to one of the two or three most valuable contributors to this forum!

Welcome back @thesamemountainbike…it’s not been the same around here without you.

To return to the OP’s question, a check of shows that they have at least 5 tires–made by both Michelin & Bridgestone–available in the size to fit your vehicle. That is the good news.

The bad news is that the tires they stock in your size are all either T-rated or H-rated.
Most tire retailers (Costco likely included) will not install tires with a lower speed rating than the OEM tires, but you may be able to find an indy tire dealer who will do so.

In theory, a lower speed-rated tire will not have the same handling characteristics as the higher-rated one, but…most drivers in most situations are not likely to perceive a difference. I would suggest that you concentrate on the smaller tire dealers in your area who may be willing to install T or H-rated tires for you.

In case you are interested, here are the “official” speed ratings for the tires that come in your size:

T — Up to 118 mph
H — Up to 130 mph
V — Up to 149 mph

Perhaps you can sign a legal release promising to not drive over 130 mph.


Thank you for all of these comments. As I understand it, Infiniti says I need V rated tires for my car. I am inclined to stick with a V rated tire. I can find V rated options. They simply are not the ones I would like to buy. This goes back to my original question: do tire companies only make one batch of a particular tire in a particular size. When that batch is gone, is that it for that tire in that size? I find that hard to believe. If a particular is popular enough to sell out, one would think the company would make more. The tire I would like to buy is the Continental Pure Contact. Assuming everyone is currently sold out in my size, will Continental make more? If so, when? Do they make more tires quarterly, annually, whenever they feel like it? Does anyone know?

There are hundreds of tire sizes these days, so if a particular size gets sold out, and it doesn’t sell a lot, they may not make more quickly.

Regarding H vs. V, if Tire Rack says H is OK, I would trust them. They are a widely-accepted authority on tires, and would not recommend something unsafe.

As I said, many tires come in both H and V ratings, with the only difference being the speed rating, which is determined by how well the tire handles the heat generated at high speeds. My car came with V, I switched to H.

My advice is don’t hold your breath. I wanted to buy some, let’s call them DecentYear tires for my truck once. Dealer said sold out next run in a few months. I couldn’t find them anywhere. DecentYear never returned my inquiries. I moved on and bought a similar Goodrich tire. Best move I could have made. Saw the mystery tires a year later but left a bad taste and I go out of my way to avoid that manufacturer now.

Sincere thanks guys. It has truly been a few months or more. Since I’ve retired I’ve been extremely busy. But now…well, it reached all the way to 26F outside today with extreme winds. With snow predicted for Tuesday. Guess I’ll be cozy indoors for a while.

The eye surgery was done and was unrelated. But I have to tell you, there is no feeling as great as getting one’s sight restored.

I remain humbly yours.

MB–I am much busier now that I am retired, and–in fact–I now wonder how I ever got everything attended to properly when I was working. I rarely sit down during the day, except for a few minutes in the AM & in the PM, when I sit down at the computer. The rest of the day is taken up with projects around the house or the yard, or going out to buy something that I need for one of those projects.

I am so busy that, even though I have a Netflix membership with unlimited movies, sometimes 2 or 3 weeks will go by before I actually have the time to watch one of their movies.

Don’t feel too bad about your weather, as we are experiencing the exact same temps & winds here in Central NJ. Last night, when I took the dog out for his late-night walk, I think that my face felt colder than it ever did before, thanks to the incredible wind-chill effect. My house sits on a ridge, and the winds here can be nothing short of incredible. Luckily, I located an old ski-mask type of equipment to wear on my head tonight when I have to take the dog out.

And, having had double cataract surgery about 10 years ago, I can confirm that getting one’s “normal” sight back is nothing short of priceless. The Seeing Eye has always been one of my charities, and will continue to be one of them, simply because of the good work that they do with the blind & visually impaired.

Anyway…welcome back…

Frankly like I said before, and others will disagree with, I have found the opinions of the local tire dealer a better judge of what will work best than the opinions on Tire Rack. Nothing against TR but if you look at the user ratings, they are all over the place. Some its best tire they ever had and others it the worst tire they ever had. The test results for wear, noise, traction, etc, are a little more reliable in my view. When I go to the tire store though, they can give me several options and brands and can suggest how they will be on the road and in snow. Not the folks like Discount Tire, that only carry a few brands, but a local dealer that has access to all brands. Just in my humble opinion. Sometimes I think Charlie from New Jersey writing a particular review is a plant.

I ignore the user ratings. I look at the tire rack test comparisons. And I’ll have Discount Tire bring in the tire I want, even if I have to wait a few days.

First, tire manufacturers don’t make tires in every possible combination of size and tire model. They only make tires in combinations they believe will sell.

But sometimes they don’t predict very well. And since it takes about 6 weeks to get set up to produce a given combination, there can be shortages for extended periods.

Now (meaning just before the winter season hits), is about the worst time for tire availability. The tire factories have been producing winter tires and the supply of other types has been sacrificed to do that.