If a person has never done it before, buying
tires can be a
perplexing and sometimes frustrating challenge....
Are you new at buying tires?
This article is especially for the first time tire buyer. (If you
are more experienced you might prefer to read Tire Buying).
I'm not a
big fan of those big-box stores for buying things like
tires where you need specialized knowlege and experience to get the
best job. Since tires are, next to a good driver, the most vital
part on your car for safety and comfort, it just does not make sense to
trust your life to someone whqo may be only a part-time employee
whose sole dedicatation to the job is the meager pay check that they
So, even if your budget is extremely limited, and you feel you
cannot afford to pay what you think might be the extra price you could
be charged by going to a specialized dealer, please start your shopping
Pick a specialized tire shop which represents one of the major
tire brands. These people have the most to lose from mistreating
their customers or selling shoddy merchandise with poor service.
A close alternative to this is to ask other, more experienced, tire
buyers, who they recommend for good value and service.
Visit the dealer and tell them that you are a new tire buyer and
that you hope that
they will guide you through the process.
Tell them all you can about the kind of driving you do, the
roads you expect to travel, the traffic conditions, your driving
habits, and what you hope to get from your tire purchase.
Be prepared to ask a lot of "dumb" questions. Since
you've already admitted to being a novice in this area, your questions
won't be so surprising, but, in any case it's your money and your life
on the line, so there are no dumb questions.
For the first buy, you would be very wise to take your car to at
least three different dealers and get each one of them to give you
their full advice before you make a choice. The next time around,
you'll have a lot more experience and might want to go directly to the
dealer you know you can trust.
Another advantage of going to at least three different dealers is to
learn which ones are really helping you and who are just trying to sell
you something which puts bucks in their pockets.
Where you find conflict between what different people tell you you can
suspect that somone may be mistaken, ill informed, or trying to put
something over on you. In any case, where there is conflicting
information you need to investigate more.
As a supplement to your first buying trip you can prepare by
reading some of the short articles
which are listed below. One of the most important questions to
ask when you are visiting your dealers is what they recommend to do so
that you get the most value and life out of your tires.
Almost certainly, they will recommend something like our safety check. What they likely
will not offer, is to remind you at least every month to make this
check. Sign up for our Free, TireChek,
newsletter and we'll email you as a
reminder to do it.
Ask the dealer how to read the tire sidewall. Our article
markings is pretty explicit, but there's nothing like a live
After you've made your first purchase, consider helping other
buyers with your own experiences and report your experiences
in Tire Raves
if you found a great deal or Tire
Rants if you were badly treated!
Some additional Resources
See our Tire Size Calculator
for help in comparing different
sized tires with each other or to discover other tire sizes that may be
used on your vehicle.
a dealer was written for off-roaders, but the advice applies
to just about
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