What is the difference between unbranded tires and branded tires?
There is a Firestone Winterforce unbranded for less money than a "branded" Firestone Winterforce. Something is missing .... or Not?
A question like this raises several thoughts.
First, what --exactly-- do you mean by "unbranded tire"? Are we speaking of a brand that is not well know, or a tire with absolutely no identifying manufacturer marked on it at all?
Next, if a tire is unbranded, how would you know it is Firestone (or any other)? Is it because a salesman told you so, or something external to the tire gave you this information? Now, someone may "claim" that a certain tire is equivalent to another, but then you need to ask to know specifically in what ways it is equivalent?
If it is a tire which has a similar appearance to the design, but only is marked in small print on the sidewall "made by Firestone", it may not be the same in performance or durability because of differing components which could have been used in its manufacture.
In the USA all tires which are authorized to be sold to the public must carry a DOT Code, which is molded onto the tire's sidewall beginning with the letters DOT and followed by 12 letters and numbers in the form XXXX XXXX XXXX. The first two characters are the code for the plant, company and location where the tire was made. See DOT Codes to interpret what is on your tire.
An unbranded tire, is not likely to have the guarantee backing which a branded tire has, even if it is made by a well known company. Any warranty would likely be offered by the retailer, if any.
Finally, false branded tires, have been known to be sold. If you don't know the seller, and you're uncertain about the source, or guarantee of a tire, you're taking a considerable risk in using it.
Tires, because of the vital role they play in controlling your car -- a several thousand pound monster traveling at high speeds, need to be the best quality you can afford if you value the lives and safety of yourself and your passengers.
Here's an interesting video which may help give you some comparisions:
Finally, you may find it useful to read our page on Cheap Tires.
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