Author Topic: Questions about car tires  (Read 5112 times)

cosmie

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Questions about car tires
« on: October 28, 2012, 01:29:39 PM »
I'm in need of new tires before winter hits, and have a few questions:

1. Approx. 8,000 miles ago (~ 1 year ago), one of the tires on my car was replaced due to a nail. The other three haven't been replaced since '08. Do I need to replace all four tires, or can I get away with only replacing the three?

2. What should I expect this to cost me? My tire size is 205/50/17 (2007 Mazda3 2.3L 5-Door Hatchback). From Sams Club, these Dunlops will come to $500 with installation, which includes lifetime rotation, balancing, and patching.

I looked at Tire Rack, and factoring in shipping and installation, it runs in at pretty much the same price. Am I just not looking well enough for deals, or is ~$500 an OK price?


Thanks for your help!

menorman

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Re: Questions about car tires
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2012, 04:50:21 PM »
$500 for four tires that come with installation, balancing, warranty, disposal fees, etc. sounds decent to me. Comes out to about $125/year (~$10.42/month), although this set should last you longer as your car usage drops. Up to you to determine if this is worth it to you. I personally have found a decent source of used tires, you might want to investigate and see if you can do the same.

cosmie

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Re: Questions about car tires
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2012, 05:06:52 PM »
The only reason I haven't looked at used tires is because this car will be driven from the South (TN area) to New York, and spend the winter up there. So I wanted to be sure that the car wouldn't' have any problems with potential snow driving.

As well, this car has a TPMS system. Do most used tire sources have the necessary equipment for that (I don't personally know what that entails).

frugal_engineer

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Re: Questions about car tires
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2012, 07:19:46 PM »
You can use used tires, you just need to be sure they are all-season and not just summer tires.  You can tell by the presence of sipes:
http://tires.about.com/od/understanding_tires/a/Tire-Siping-What-The-Heck-Is-A-Sipe.htm

$500 is reasonable for all the services you describe.  Personally I'd recommend new tires vs used.  The tire size you need is fairly common and you'll be able to get solid tires for a good price versus used ones where you'll have to judge their condition yourself.

jrhampt

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Re: Questions about car tires
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2012, 07:09:21 AM »
I'm in need of new tires before winter hits, and have a few questions:

1. Approx. 8,000 miles ago (~ 1 year ago), one of the tires on my car was replaced due to a nail. The other three haven't been replaced since '08. Do I need to replace all four tires, or can I get away with only replacing the three?


I always wonder this myself.  Recently my husband needed one new tire because it got a hole in it and had to decide whether to replace all four.  There are usually some reasons given to replace all tires at once to avoid uneven wear, etc.  I usually ignore this advice, partly because it sounds sort of like bullshit perpetrated by tire companies, and partly because I just don't want to spend that much more than I absolutely have to.  He decided to replace all four tires but to save the three original ones and either use them as spares or try to sell on craigslist.

Togoshiman

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Re: Questions about car tires
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2012, 09:44:22 AM »
8k difference in tires is not much.  I wouldn't worry about it on tires that can go 40k+.  I'd personally delay replacing the set until they were used up, the other three being your benchmark.  Look at it this way - you're replacing four tires when you need to replace one leaving mileage on the other three you have spare now.  Or, you use up 3.5 worth of tires and sell or retire one single tire with a little life in it.  I'd go option #2.

I'd also consider a set of snows.  One thing I do when I purchase a car (always used) is to buy a new set of snows.  Used for 6 months a year, they should last the rest of the life of the car (since I limit my driving as much as possible anyway).  Combined with the set that comes with the car (nearly new or I negotiate for new all-seasons upon purchase), I have all the tires I need up front. 

Contrast with someone who uses all-seasons all the time until they wear out, then buys a new set of all-seasons to replace them.  They buy the same amount of tire as I do, but they are less safe in the winter months.  I also factor winter tires into my all-in cost of purchasing a new used car, so it helps me stay honest with my budget.

Caveat: I live in a pretty harsh snow climate and feel winters are mandatory.  I see plenty of folks in all-season tired SUVs in the ditch as I drive by them in my snow-tire clad car every winter.

Bakari

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Re: Questions about car tires
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2012, 10:56:43 AM »

As well, this car has a TPMS system. Do most used tire sources have the necessary equipment for that (I don't personally know what that entails).

The sensor is in the wheel (rim), not the tire, so the actually tire should be irrelevant to the system. 

I would be sure to calibrate the system (if you have that option) to the pressure listed on the tire sidewall, not the car's manual or doorjam.  The tire's number will be higher, and give you better traction, better tire life, and better mpg.  The car manufacturer's recommendation is just based on ride comfort.  Chances are the TPMS system is calibrated to the car's suggestion by default

thurston howell iv

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Re: Questions about car tires
« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2012, 06:57:18 AM »
If you're needing new tires check out - discounttiredirect.com-  I was referred to them by a friend and have found that they are cheaper than anyone else. They have free shipping and offer the "road hazard" warranty that I have used a few times with absolutely zero hassle.  The brands and sizes you need are usually available and sometimes they are also compatible with discount deals and rebates.

I have no affiliation with the company. I just like doing business with them. Excellent customer service.

Bakari

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Re: Questions about car tires
« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2012, 09:23:41 AM »
Only thing about online tires is local shops often charge more if you bring in your own tires to mount and balance.
If the discount is enough you still come out ahead, but check with the shop you will have install them and find out the charge before assuming you're getting a deal by shopping online

thurston howell iv

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Re: Questions about car tires
« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2012, 10:07:01 AM »
Agreed. I usually go to wal-mart or a local "tire" place like "Big O" and watch them. It's not rocket science. Usually about $15 a piece for mount, balance and new valve stems.

CB

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Re: Questions about car tires
« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2012, 10:30:08 AM »
Only thing about online tires is local shops often charge more if you bring in your own tires to mount and balance.
If the discount is enough you still come out ahead, but check with the shop you will have install them and find out the charge before assuming you're getting a deal by shopping online

TireRack.com has a whole network of recommended installers who post detailed prices.  Our last set of tires on our VW (~7 years ago) we used Tire Rack and a local installer, there were no surprises in terms of prices or service and we saved quite a bit of money.  The tires were shipped directly from Tire Rack to the local installer.

madage

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Re: Questions about car tires
« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2012, 11:21:09 AM »

TireRack.com has a whole network of recommended installers who post detailed prices. 

I was aware of TireRack.com but I did not know about the installation agreement. Thanks!