I have wondered how certain tires are legally sold in the US. I personally bought a used car with a set of Douglas on it and am surprised those don’t make this list based on my experience with them. That is a brand I would NEVER buy so anything on this list is likely even worse. Not only do these put the driver at risk, they put the others on the road at risk. How are these incredibly cheap tires even legal?
My experience with Douglas… Episode 1 - I pull into the left lane to pass a semi on the interstate and punch the gas. As I start to pass the semi, I feel a bad shake and then a slapping noise. I quickly let off and hit the brakes, then pull over, never succeeding in passing the semi. The tire obviously had a pretty major structural failure. It was still holding air but was no longer in plane and was oval shaped as well. The tread was pulling off and hitting the fender of the car. I limped it to a safe location and put on a spare. I had a full spare so put that on once I got home. Episode 2 - Like before, I start to pass someone and can start to feel that shake. I backed off WAY sooner this time as it brought back memories if the last experience. The tread hadn’t separated but you could tell the tire was starting to undergo some sort of structural failure. I was able to drive this home but didn’t exceed 35mph or so. I had ALL the tires replaced at that time and I got an earful from the tire shop about Douglas. I told him the people must have put them on the car to sell it and that buying these wasn’t my idea.
My girlfriend has friend that has the “Wal-Mart mentality” as I call it. She seems to buy another Douglas tire each month for one car or another. They don’t last and it seems like she gets another flat each and every time she drives on a gravel road. Her husband has become a real pro at changing tires and can do it in no time flat. If I were him I would insist on better tires. It seems like they spend more money being cheap by doing this and they have like 4 kids they drive around so it isn’t safe either. Even if they don’t have a blowout passing a semi, they might get a flat in a bad area or slide off the road.
I don’t buy tires that have not been tested by a 3rd party like Consumer Reports or Tire Rack. I’ll guess that none of the tires on the worst list have been tested much less compared to other tires by a disinterested party.
Like lawn mowers and everything else at Walmart the products are not the same as you would get from a dealer. Same as buying a John Deere at lowes. They are made for a price point. The name is just registered through Kelly Springfield owned by Goodyear, so who knows where they were made.
At any rate I always buy my tires from the local Goodyear dealer. They also sell other brands like general. I have no idea how many sets of Goodyear tires I have bought but over a dozen. I have never had one fail. One set I actually had 110,000 miles on and no failure. They just don’t sell high quality stuff at Walmart regardless of the name plate. I hope that doesn’t include the Mobil 1 I bought at Walmart, but buyer beware.
My worst experience has been with a consumer’s report tested tire. Sentury tires. Bought four tires. Within 20,000-30,000 miles I had one develop tread separation, another one a bubble formed in the side wall and a third one continually went out of balance. One was trouble free.
All tires were meticulously maintained. Constant 32psi and rotated. 80% interstate driving 20% smooth asphalt rural roads.
Surveys have shown that many people buy tires on price alone… so these cheapo brands fit the bill.
A recent poster complaining about hydroplaning had a car fitted with 4 different brands of tires… and all of them were cheapo brands. So for many of us, that was an Ah Ha… there is your cause…
Tires bought likely on price, individually, as needed.
Sorry to the people that really have to decide between ramen or tire brand. Maybe 15 years ago after some bridgestone tires that were not bad, but not what my 03 had as original Michelins, I am sticking with that brand now.
In 54 years of car ownership I’ve had the best service from Michelin tires. I’ve tried too many brands to list but started on Goodrich bias tires that I was happy with when they lasted over 20,000 miles. Continental tires were original equipment on the last new car I bought in 2018 but they lasted just 31,000 miles and one had a slow leak since new. Switched to Michelin. I did have one set of Michelin Defender tires about 12 years ago that didn’t last long but that was a fluke.
Let’s not kid ourselves here. Cheap tires are for two niches: people who are too poor to afford anything better, and car flippers/curbstoners who want to market their flips as coming with a new set of tires. Anyone who can afford better, and plans to keep the car should buy better.
I think that was the deal with my car. It came with pretty new Douglas, likely so they could sell it with “good” tires. I installed a new battery in my girlfriends car as it was getting old and sluggish and figured that the record cold they were predicting would finish it off. Batteries for that car ranged in price from about $70 up to $230 and even more if you went AGM. I pretty much got the best below AGM which was $230. I asked the store about the $70 one and they said that was just for if you needed a new battery to sell a car or limp a car along until it dies.
I am well aware of the tricks Wal-Mart pulls. As far as I know motor oil and some other products are all the same. I know that the Goodyear ties sold there are not the same. Douglas seems to be the “house brand” for Wal-Mart. Maybe they were once sold elsewhere but I haven’t seen them.
Like you, I try to avoid anything where I care about quality from Wal-Mart. In my business I get customers who buy a computer from Wal-Mart and it is just junk. Basically if you have 20-30 minutes to kill while it boots up and you only care about having one browser tab open, they might be fine. The average person is pretty disappointed in the performance though. I had a lady the other day wanting to fix her Wal-Mart computer all while complaining about how it was always so slow. I let her know it would probably cost her as much as new because of all the time it would suck up. She finally opted for the new system when I explained to her that she needed to get ready to make me dinner, make a bed up for me, have breakfast ready, and that this might need to be repeated the next day. Some of the basic Celerons and such are complete torture to use or work on. RAM and storage are often integrated and can’t even be upgraded or replaced.
The problem is that the buyers at Wal-Mart are not too discriminating. THey just buy on price but are then upset, complain, and act like they got ripped off when the product they buy there doesn’t perform well.
I went through a bad run of Everstart Gold batteries from Wal-Mart several years back. I figured buying the top end would make it OK but I guess not. At least I was able to get several new batteries free because they didn’t last the warranty period but they always failed at odd times of course. One finally lived a good long life and exceeded the warranty. The next one didn’t come from Wal-Mart.
Yes, they should, but that doesn’t mean that they do.
Reminiscent of a recent thread, I used to know a guy who had 4 different brand/size/age tires on his Pontiac. When I suggested this was not the best practice, his response was, “It’s just 4 hunks of rubber”. He could have afforded to buy decent–matching–tires, but he rationalized that it wasn’t important.
I’m currently using 13 inch Hankook Optima’s on the Corolla, replaced prior Michelin’s. They seem to be ok. Can’t say for sure however b/c Corolla has been off the road for the duration of the Covid pandemic . But at least the tires are holding air. It would be interesting to see an unbiased comparison between the Hankooks, Falken, and General 13 inch tires.