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Talking About Car Tires

November 8th, 2008 at 01:49 pm

Another big bill looms ahead.

There's still tread on my car tires, but just barely enough to touch the head on a Lincoln penny.

Car tires weren't really on my radar, but I've experienced some skidding this past week coming home from work. The road was wet and i skidded easily on a level surface, without even applying the brake that hard. I was on a busy interstate highway doing about 50 in heavy commuter traffic.

So my next stop will be at the library to check Consumer Reports recommendations. I'd rather not take any chances.

I have a set of four snow tires that have a little less wear, so I may just defer the new tire purchase until spring.

In past years, I put the snows on in fall and took them off in spring. I do get noticeably better traction with four snow tires. More recently, someone told me that frequently putting tires on and off the rims and can possibly weaken the tire. I haven't had any luck looking for an extra set of rims at a junkyard.

I see from my records that the last time I purchased tires, I bought Dunlop SP Sport A2 tires, which were ranked #1 among all-season tires by Consumer Reports in their Nov. 02 issue. The four tires cost just $240.

The tires were warrantied for 50,000 miles, but mileage was one thing I didn't make note of when I purchased the tires. By checking the mileage noted on a few receipts I saved for oil changes and rough annual estimates, I calculate these Dunlops had 40,000 miles at most. It doesn't appear I could have benefited from that warranty because I didn't have a Dunlop authorized dealer do my tire rotations all these years.

I may wind up at Town Fair Tire when I'm ready to purchase. They'll do those rotations, and fix any flats, for free.

When I bought my Dunlops last year, I wound up purchasing them from Tire Rack online. When I priced tires at Town Fair Tire, their prices were significantly higher.

But using four snow tires meant that twice a year, I shelled out $40 a pop to have the snows put on, then taken off in spring, adding $80 annually to my car expenses. So that extra traction the snows afforded me actually cost me an extra $480 over the six years I used them.

3 Responses to “Talking About Car Tires”

  1. littlegopher Says:

    Good luck in your tire search. We had to do that recently too - not the most fun way to spend money, but definitely necessary.

    You can mark me down as Nov 7 for turning on our heat. We got snow during the night, and we held fine until last evening. I have arthritis and my hands were aching (the temp in the house wasn't the lowest it's been, but coupled with the dampness of the wet snow, I was really feeling the aches yesterday.) We had a good run though!

  2. scfr Says:

    If you have a Costco in your area, I'd definitely add them to your list of places to comparison shop.

    http://tires.costco.com/?whse=BC&lang=en-US
    http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/why-buy-your-tires-at-...
    If you aren't a member but have a friend who is, perhaps you could get them to go in with you?

  3. princessperky Says:

    Please don't wait on new tires. Safety is no place to be frugal.

    Can you just put the snow tires on early?

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