Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!
Paul asks: This is more in the way of a comment based on experience but I’d still like to get your take. I’ve bought inexpensive tires in the past and found they never last as long as more expensive tires, which means I’m spending more money overall because I’m buying new tires sooner. Is my experience an accurate reflection of the cost vs. benefit of low-priced tires vs. higher-priced tires? Thanks in advance!
My reply: I’ve had the same experience, generally – as it is generally true that low-cost tires are made with lower-quality materials and so wear faster. But not always. Some high-cost tires also wear faster-than-usual. And sometimes, you can get a great deal on a high-quality tire at a low price.
Some things to be aware of – beyond the usual due diligence (i.e., read up on a prospective brand/type of tire as far as its reputation, etc., before you buy it) include being careful to not buy an old tire – one that’s been sitting on the rack a while – even if it is a high-quality brand. Rubber gets brittle as it ages and aged tires will wear faster, even if they’re new. Always check the date code on the sidewall before you buy.
Also: Check the pressure. Too low or too high will also accelerate the wear of the best tires. And, of course, make sure your car hasn’t got suspension/alignment issues; if it does and the tires wear faster, that’s not their fault!
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