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Old 11-12-2012, 03:26 PM   #21
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Everyone has a different experience and I can only speak to my own. Currently I have a Buick LeCrosse, with 27,000 miles and 58% of tire tread
remaining. I have a GMC Denali, AWD with 19600 miles and over half of the tread wear left. I have had a performance AWD Cadillac that had tires that slid in the snow with only 8,000 miles on it but I learned that you need to get all weather tires rather than performance tires.

Actually, if an individual is replacing OEM tires, he/she can choose from their own experience. My neighbor who drives a Ford just told me she saved money because of the Ford price guarantee.......I haven't driven a Ford in over 20 years so I can't comment on that. I used to trade cars before the tires were worn out......can't afford to do that today.
I noted the caveat for cars over $40K upfront, a least 2 of your 3 cars are over that threshold no? And I understand the performance vs tread life trade off, the OEM tires on our Audi TT lasted only 15K miles before they were toast...
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Old 11-12-2012, 03:32 PM   #22
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Trying to convert my brain and life to retirement mode, my most recent company supplied vehicle is a 2010 Subaru Outback. The 3 before that were an Infiniti M45 and 2 corvettes before that. Per our policy, I kept each of those cars 3 years and they all had really expensive, run flat, high performance tires. Usually after about 2 years, I had to replace tires at a personal cost of about $1700 or so; those kinds of tires are good for no more than 25K miles.

I've worked out a deal to buy the Subby for Blue Book value when I FIRE early next year.

My Subby has 62,000 miles on the original tires. Looks like a new set is going to be in the $600 range. Mr. Money Mustache would be proud of me--I never knew tires could last so long or be so cheap!
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Old 11-12-2012, 08:14 PM   #23
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Over the years I tried a lot of different tire brands but have consistently found Michelins are the best for my money. I have them on all 3 of my vehicles. (Truck, SUV and Sports Car)
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Old 11-12-2012, 11:14 PM   #24
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Costco and Sam's Club have consistently had the best prices when all is said and done (installation, warranty, road hazard, and all other expenses). I never felt nickel and dimed like at most tire shops, and when I needed a tire replaced because it got a nail in the sidewall, they took care of it without any questions or extra charges.
You can either take the excellent advice of the gear-heads on this forum OR, just buy Michelins from Costco. That's what I do.
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Old 11-13-2012, 05:59 AM   #25
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I noted the caveat for cars over $40K upfront, a least 2 of your 3 cars are over that threshold no? And I understand the performance vs tread life trade off, the OEM tires on our Audi TT lasted only 15K miles before they were toast...
My used Audi TT had new Goodyear Eagle F1s on it when I got it. Those tires were just plain stickey and ran good in rain. They wore out in about 12,000 miles, but it sure was a hoot wearing them out! ... It just depends on what you are looking for. I replaced those tires with Michelin performance tires from Costco. They are wearing much better, but aren't quite as much fun in the corners. On the other hand, I put a set of locally manufactured tires on a Prizm several years ago and thought I was going to have to have the front end rebuilt until I replaced those tires. That was over 100,000 miles ago with no more issues with the front end. I now stick to higher quality brand tires.
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Old 11-13-2012, 09:28 AM   #26
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i spent my high school (and a summer after my freshman year of college) year as a "tire technician" at Discount Tire. While just a peon doing the dirty and nasty job of "busting tires," here are some general observations I have...

1) But Michelin tires if you can afford it. All tires put a "Warranty" on their tires, and it will be prorated out if they wear out prematurely. You are setup to loose playing this game.

2) get an alignment with the new tires.

3) tell the salesman you aren't paying for the disposal fee. I usually frame this in the following way, "Knock that tire disposal fee off and we have a deal." It saves $12 bucks or so, but I'm a cheap bastard. The tire shop will turn around and sell the "dead" tires to another company which finds some value in them. If the salesman balks, I usually speak a little louder so those around me can hear me spouting off how they are charging on both ends. Some go on about how the state makes them charge this fee (which isn't true), which I become more loud, ask for the manager and start to talk about calling the AG or tax commissioner. The disposal fee isn't the same as what the state imposes, this is what the store charges. If there is not a state fee explicitly listed on your invoice, your state probably doesn't impose one. OF course, I've never bought tires in all 50 states...

4) Depending on how you drive, you could probably drop down in speed rating. For some reason DW's OEM tires had some fancy speed rating (V, I recall). We dropped that down (she only puts like 6000 miles a year on her car and none are at the race track).

5) To save a couple more bucks, you can push for free valve stems. We'd drop about same amount of valve stems on the floor that we installed. If you're feeling lucky, and are buying all 4 tires, you can risk it and tell them to leave the original valve stems and 90% of the time they are going to get busted off and new ones installed anyway. You can also buy your friendly "tire technician" a soda from the nearby machine (probably need to get two) and they'll be your best friend. I busted tires in AZ, so a cool drink was almost always welcome.

When I got DW's tires, Sam's and Discount were across the street from each other. Sam's didn't have the tires and were more expensive than discount. Plus, I got a $100 gift card from discount for buying all 4 new tires. Shop around.
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Old 11-13-2012, 09:54 AM   #27
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1) But Michelin tires if you can afford it. All tires put a "Warranty" on their tires, and it will be prorated out if they wear out prematurely. You are setup to loose playing this game.
Great post overall. I'm not sure Michelins are any better once you factor in the premium prices. I put 4 new Michelin Primacy MXV4's on DW's car, I want her to be safe. They were supposed to have a warranty of 60K miles. We got about 40K from them.

Futhermore, to reinforce what ronocnikral states about warranty, they're pretty well structured to be worthless to a buyer. The Michelins started with 11/32" according to specs. After about 2 years and with winter around the corner, the tread didn't look adequate and I was disappointed with the miles we'd gotten so I took them to a Michelin dealer. We drive our cars like the Havercamps and the tires were rotated every 5K miles (documented) and kept properly inflated so I could not figure it out. Tire shop checked tread wear and it seemed pretty even to me, 5/32"1/32" all around. They talked to Michelin and they expressed concern that our tread wear was uneven, one tire was 4/32", two at 5/32" and one at 6/32". And they would not act at all until all the tires were less than 3/32", and implied that I had not taken care of the tires given the variation in tread wear - 1/32"!!! So not wanting DW to drive around on sketchy tires, especially with winter coming, I bought 4 new Goodyears. I did find that our alignment was out of tolerance, which may have contributed, but IME you have to drive the car to the point where tread depth is not safe when there's rain, snow and/or ice.
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Old 11-13-2012, 10:06 AM   #28
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It will be interesting to find out what you get out of the goodyear's. My father, continually went "cheap" (and with the OEM tire) with the good years. He continually bought new tires every 10-15k miles. Of course, the AZ heat is tough on tires.

My Mich's on my car have 70k on them. I'll probably squeeze another 10-15k out of them.
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Old 11-13-2012, 10:13 AM   #29
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I subscribe to Consumer Reports. For my truck, I ordered the best they rated for the money from Discount Tire. They happened to be Cooper AT3's. I am very happy.
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Old 11-13-2012, 10:34 AM   #30
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I've read some good things about Cooper lately. I'm looking their RS3-A
performance radials for my next set.

Winding Road | Tire Tech: Cooper Zeon RS3-S and RS3-A

Also General GMAX AS-03 has got good reviews
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Old 11-13-2012, 11:38 AM   #31
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You can either take the excellent advice of the gear-heads on this forum OR, just buy Michelins from Costco. That's what I do.
Ditto.

My replacement tire-buyning boils down to two steps:

1. Go to Costco.
2. Buy Michelins.
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Old 11-13-2012, 01:14 PM   #32
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.... I'm not sure Michelins are any better once you factor in the premium prices.

... Futhermore, to reinforce what ronocnikral states about warranty, they're pretty well structured to be worthless to a buyer. ... And they would not act at all until all the tires were less than 3/32", and implied that I had not taken care of the tires given the variation in tread wear - 1/32"!!! So not wanting DW to drive around on sketchy tires, especially with winter coming, I bought 4 new Goodyears. I did find that our alignment was out of tolerance, which may have contributed, but IME you have to drive the car to the point where tread depth is not safe when there's rain, snow and/or ice.
I don't have any good science to back this up, but I've been leaning towards getting somewhat lower priced tires (trying to hit a 'sweet spot' in value- not the cheapest I can find), and then being willing to replace them a little earlier. That's easier to do since I didn't invest so much up-front.

With that approach, I always have a little more tread on them, and that is a key factor in snow, which is really the critical tire test for us. I don't drive like I'm running a race, and I try to keep distance to reduce the chance of fast maneuvers (though you never know). But a few times a year, traction in the snow is critical.

-ERD50
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Old 11-13-2012, 01:22 PM   #33
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get some hakkapeliitta's for the snow. I'm thinking about trying to find some rims at a salvage yard and having the hakkapeliitta's mounted up. Rights now, we just don't leave the house if it snows. the 20% or so grade is killer if it is slick out...
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Old 11-13-2012, 02:14 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by ronocnikral View Post
1) But Michelin tires if you can afford it. All tires put a "Warranty" on their tires, and it will be prorated out if they wear out prematurely. You are setup to loose playing this game.

2) get an alignment with the new tires.

1) Just my opinion, but Michelin's are overpriced. Check the reviews at Tire Rack or elsewhere. You can usually get a better tire for much less

2) Alignment? The only reason to get an alignment is if your wheels are out of alignment. Getting new tires won't change anything. So if you had uneven wear or the car won't hold a straight line, then yes get an alignment, but save some cash and do that before you need to replace the tires. My current car has over 113,000 miles on it, and never needed an alignment since I bought it brand new. The first set of tires lasted 85,000 miles, and the current set is still going strong.
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Old 11-13-2012, 04:11 PM   #35
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1) Just my opinion, but Michelin's are overpriced. Check the reviews at Tire Rack or elsewhere. You can usually get a better tire for much less

2) Alignment? The only reason to get an alignment is if your wheels are out of alignment. Getting new tires won't change anything. So if you had uneven wear or the car won't hold a straight line, then yes get an alignment, but save some cash and do that before you need to replace the tires. My current car has over 113,000 miles on it, and never needed an alignment since I bought it brand new. The first set of tires lasted 85,000 miles, and the current set is still going strong.
Just an unscientific observation, after changing thousands of tires over a 3-4 year period. Michelin's have the least amount of problems and last the longest. YMMV. If you've found something that works for you, I'd stick with it. Michelin's are what we use for our cars.

In regards to an alignment, the unfortunate thing is you won't know if it is off in terms of uneven wear (there are sometimes other signs such as drifting to one side etc) until you have the uneven wear. I know I was all over saving $12 above, but the $50-$60 you pay for an alignment is well worth it. And perhaps your DW drives better than mine.
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Old 11-13-2012, 04:16 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by ronocnikral
In regards to an alignment, the unfortunate thing is you won't know if it is off in terms of uneven wear (there are sometimes other signs such as drifting to one side etc) until you have the uneven wear. I know I was all over saving $12 above, but the $50-$60 you pay for an alignment is well worth it. And perhaps your DW drives better than mine.
I can attest to having an alignment issue with no tracking issue whatsoever while driving. The car exhibited nothing that would suggested any alignment issue...
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