Right before starting this site, I found myself in the tire market and, like so many others, wanted to ensure I would have the best tire buying experience. I only needed to replace one tire, but I knew enough to realize that one tire most likely means 2 tires (if you want to know why check out this article).
So how did it go?
I started my research at one of the most reliable and valuable online sites, TireRack.com. It is a great resource for educating yourself on what tires you could (and should) consider and giving you a baseline for competitive pricing. Their tire buying guide hinted at a handful of other bits of information I’d need to put this puzzle together. For example: Grand touring? All Season? Should I consider run-flat? Do all of my tires have to match?
I had never really considered a lot of these factors and, for me, this was the stressful part. Tire buying should be easy; it shouldn’t be some mystical process. And in the age of the internet, reliable answers should be easy to find. Yet, suffice to say, I went down a lot of rabbit holes to gain confidence around these questions.
Eventually I hit that wall of mental exhaustion that only internet research can provide, and said to myself ‘good enough’. So I closed down the 200 tabs I had opened, and felt assured enough to contact a local tire shop to get the ball rolling. Upon getting there, a very friendly and knowledgeable technician took a look at my tires and hit me with a few things I hadn’t (and honestly would never have) considered:
- Yes you could replace just two, but did you realize that all four of them are worn unevenly?
- So this is a 4-wheel drive (not an all-wheel drive) car, and since the tread life is getting fairly low, you really should consider replacing all four at once.
- Are you planning on rotating the tires out for snow tires this winter?
- Regardless of what you decide, you should definitely consider performing an alignment before driving out of here.
In those 45 seconds I realized – despite my 200 tabs of internet research – I was still woefully underprepared to make a fully informed tire purchase. I don’t know about you, but I hate that feeling.
In the end, I left the shop with four new tires and an alignment, all for a good price. Overall, I was content with my purchase and experience, but it really just highlighted just how little I knew about even the basics of tires!
My other main take away?
I really wish this site existed when I found myself in the tire market! It would have saved me a lot of time and stress, and maybe some cash. As I said above, this internet thing is not new, and neither are tires, so accurate, reliable information should not be that hard to find… but, for some reason, it is.
So here we are – doing the research, consulting with experts, and pulling in the relevant information so that when you find yourself in a similar situation, you can ensure you have the best tire buying experience possible. We will continue working to be your one-stop-shop that will provide you with the right facts and information to make the best tire decision for you.