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Buying Tires Online

Discussion in 'Wheels, Wings, Mud, and Water' started by +48V, Sep 30, 2017.

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  1. olson_jr

    olson_jr Beware of cake hoarders & soft shoe shufflers Subscriber

    Messages:
    13,955
    Location:
    Pilgrim Hills Michigan
    Last time I needed tires, I walked into my local Ford Dealer/Quicklane with a quote from TireRack, and they beat the Tirerack price by $100. Actually, they said they would beat any real price (shipping mounting etc)

    I do like the Tirerack reviews.
     

     

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  2. soundmotor

    soundmotor super modified Subscriber

    My local tire guy can usually match (or come damn close) to online so I buy from him.
     
  3. CKDC

    CKDC AK Subscriber Subscriber

    I tried Tire rack once.

    I found the reviews were less than helpful in that there were too many uninformed buyers making comments. In most cases it seemed like they bought the wrong tires for their car. I found most of the comments like the comments on many web pages fairly useless.

    By the time I had the tires mounted, I saved a few dollars but I did not feel the whole process was worth it.

    I have been dealing with Mr. Tire for a long time and find they are good to deal with once their formality is overlooked.
     
  4. zebra03

    zebra03 All Audio - NO BS

    Messages:
    14,912
    Location:
    West of Weedville
    Now that you mention it , I just remembered I bought tires for my scooter on Amazon . Way cheaper than anybody else .
     
  5. gadget73

    gadget73 junk junkie Subscriber

    Messages:
    37,036
    Location:
    Southern NJ
    There is that. You really have to screen through them. You get a lot of "less than 50 miles, these are amazing" and "these are horrible on my vehicle that is completely unsuited for this type of tire" comments. I want to know how it is after 20k miles on a passenger car that stays on paved roads, since thats what I plan to use it on. I don't care that they are better when brand new vs the bald ones that came off, and I don't care how poorly they perform offroad in the mud. I want to know if I'm going to die if it rains and if its going to be bald in 10k miles or cracked up in 2 years.
     
    beat_truck likes this.
  6. rjw1678

    rjw1678 Active Member

    Messages:
    253
    Location:
    Delaware
    I bought a replacement tire at tirerack.com Monday. The tire I was replacing had less than 1600 miles but had a screw in it in a non repairable area. I picked up the new tire at the tirerack.com warehouse in Delaware, the warehouse was huge & amazing - also the office area was imaculate. I just wish they would open a full retail site in Delaware.
     

     

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  7. Wildcat

    Wildcat Audio Sommelier Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,325
    Location:
    MI, US
    I have used TireRack for decades, literally, back when they were a two-page ad in Motor Trend. Always a good experience, although shipping costs have skyrocketed in the past 25 years. Luckily I am in the nearest UPS shipping zone from South Bend, so I get a decent deal out of it. For identical tires (brand and model), I always find Discount Tire Direct to be more expensive...sometimes as much as $100 more for the exact same set. What I like about Tire Rack is their setup for extensively analyzing each tire, and allowing user reviews and ratings for specific tire properties. While I never put 100% trust into user reviews, sometimes it is good for seeing common trends. One person complaining about a harsh ride might be unusual, but multiple others saying grip on wet pavement is poor shows me a common trend about that tire.

    I also like that I can pick exactly the tire brands and models I want, as opposed to going to the local tire store and having to settle for whatever they had available. For my older CR-V, I once ordered a size different from the OEM size. Whenever I have done that, I always get a phone call telling me that the size is not standard. They go out of the way to make certain the order will keep the customer happy.

    I have used their recommended installers but they were no cheaper than other local shops, and not as conveniently located. (I would say this is probably very area-independent.) I tend to go to a local Firestone shop since they have done good work for me for 30+ years, even back before my Tire Rack days. If I ever needed some oddball tire, they always had access to it through the Metro25 network. The local price for a 4-wheel alignment is about the same everywhere as well, so in that case, I get a dealer coupon that matches the local price and have them do it. That way, I also get a free inspection out of the deal.

    We picked up another vehicle this past Monday, and we have to get tires for it. So it looks like I'll be placing another order come payday!

    The only bad tire experience I had locally was when I was in a pinch, and bought a set at Belle Tire. Can't say the install was bad at all (they use torque wrenches to properly secure the lug nuts, plus nitrogen fill was free, along with free alignment checks), but the tires on special were Toyo Extensas and they turned out to be one of the worst tires I have ever owned in my life. Dangerously so. The worst part is that they wore like iron, so it took years for me to wear them out!
     
  8. jlh3rd

    jlh3rd Active Member

    Messages:
    155
    I get my tires on line, discount tire or tire rack, whoever is cheaper.....I mount and balance them myself....I’ve never had an issue with any of the tires. I have an 08 Silverado, a Toyota Camry, 2012 Volvo, and an 02 Camaro, so I buy lots of tires. ( I don’t mount the Camaro tires)
     
  9. Wildcat

    Wildcat Audio Sommelier Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,325
    Location:
    MI, US
    Speaking of tires, I just ordered up a set of four today for the newest addition to the fleet. I knew it needed tires when I took it for a test drive, and it was priced accordingly (and then some!). The rear tires have some of that telltale growl of the alignment being off, so I will be taking it into the dealer to get that taken care of soon as well. Mine could use some tires also, but they not too worn down yet. My daughter's car will likely need a set once spring rolls around. So I have to pace these things out somewhat.

    BTW, TireRack now carries the Philips Ultinon LED bulbs. They now have 7440 and 7443 bulbs in white, and they are a few dollars off until the end of the month, so I may pick some up shortly. At the sale prices, they are lower in price than the equivalent (but older) Philips bulbs on Amazon. And, free shipping over $50. The only bulbs they do not carry are the Ultinon H4 headlights (which I believe are not legal here in the US).
     
  10. usedto

    usedto Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    16,813
    Location:
    Central Moonbeamia
    Thought I'd bump this thread instead of starting a new one.

    Wifey took her 2016 Cadillac SRX in for it's scheduled 10,000 mile oil/filter change and tire rotation. One tire had slow leak (loses about 3 psi in a month), so I told her to have them check it when doing the rotation. She called me and said the tire had a small nail right at the side wall that couldn't be patched. They had a replacement tire there (Michelin) for $249, and I didn't really want to mess with it, so I told her to go ahead and let them put a new one on. I checked the Tire Rack after I got off the phone with her, and the same Michelin OEM tire from them was $220, plus whatever the shipping would be, plus I'd have to have it mounted and balanced if I had done it that way. Not worth the $29 savings.

    When she got home, she handed me the bill - they charged her $216,mounted and balanced. From the DEALER!!!

    The last few times I've checked the Tire Rack, they haven't been much of a bargain any more. But I never expected that good a deal from the dealer!

    PS They washed the car for her when they were done., too.
     
  11. bigx5murf

    bigx5murf Super Member

    Messages:
    1,330
    Location:
    Las Vegas
    I've noticed since the last recession, dealers have been working hard to bump up their customer service level. No doubt due to years of poor sales.
     

     

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  12. Cadillac Kid

    Cadillac Kid Addicted Member

    Messages:
    7,171
    Today I paid 800 bucks for Michelin Defenders for my 3.6r Subaru Outback at the local shop. My trusted local shop offers free rotation, flat fixes and other perks. Never thought about buying them online and I am not a fan of Costco. Took them an hour, tossed my Visa at them and I am done.
     
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  13. beat_truck

    beat_truck Super Member

    Messages:
    2,467
    Location:
    SW PA
    A few weeks ago, I bought 4 new off brand tires for our POS Ford Escape on Ebay for $290 shipped. I mounted them by hand and balanced them on my bubble balancer as I've been doing for years. I've saved a lot of money over time by buying tires online and mounting them myself.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2017
  14. CKDC

    CKDC AK Subscriber Subscriber


    Did they check her oil?
     
  15. Wildcat

    Wildcat Audio Sommelier Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,325
    Location:
    MI, US
    When I had the tires mentioned above put on at the local Firestone shop (which I have used for decades), the manager commented that the Tire Rack deals weren't so good and that their prices were nearly the same. Thing is, even if the price works out close to the same, I can get exactly what I want, not whatever a store might push me into that is "comparable" in their opinion. I may give him a call next time for the exact tire I'm looking for, as back in the 90s, they used to find me all sorts of oddball tires through their connections. Shipping charges are what kill the tire deals these days. $40-$45 to ship tires is a lot more than what it was a decade or two ago.
     
  16. ben_

    ben_ Active Member

    Messages:
    194
    Location:
    Lyon, France
    Order them online almost every time its cheaper than going to the car dealer here. The worst thing was to find a mounting place where they are competent or willing to do balancing properly on the first time
     

     

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  17. beat_truck

    beat_truck Super Member

    Messages:
    2,467
    Location:
    SW PA
    This is part of the reason I do it myself. I refuse to pay for incompetent work.

    The last few times I actually paid for wheel balancing, it wasn't done properly and one of those times they actually damaged my vehicle in the process and basically told me TOUGH SHIT when I pointed it out.:rant: The last set I had balanced by a shop were actually somewhat expensive tires, which is why I wanted to have them "professionally" done in the first place. My truck ended up shaking 10 times WORSE after they balanced them than when I drove it to the shop with no wheel weights at all!:wtf: That was the end of that shit for me. I took the wheels off the truck, pulled the weights off, and balanced them on my bubble balancer. The results? Smooth at all speeds with around half the amount of weight used.

    It's sad that I can balance wheels using a primitive, low tech $60 bubble balancer and pretty much every time, the vehicle goes down the road smoothly, but a "tech" running a computerized machine costing thousands of dollars can't seem to do it correctly. I don't get it.:dunno:
     
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  18. gadget73

    gadget73 junk junkie Subscriber

    Messages:
    37,036
    Location:
    Southern NJ
    There are places that do it right, you just have to go somewhere that doesn't do just discount tire sales. Those places seem to not take the time or have the experience to do things properly. When they start loading weights on the rim, usually thats a good clue that its not right or the wheel is bent.
     
  19. beat_truck

    beat_truck Super Member

    Messages:
    2,467
    Location:
    SW PA
    I've been to several different places, most of them supposedly reputable, for various things over the years when I wasn't able to do them myself. Most have either not bothered to do what I told them to do in the first place, or did it wrong. It just seems like most shops around here don't know or give a shit about what they are doing. And, I'm not unfamiliar with working on vehicles. I've fixed my family and friend's vehicles since I was 16 and actually worked at a shop for a several years doing mechanic work, mounting tires, and doing alignments. The only times I had people come back complaining about wheel balance issues was when I had already pointed out, either to them or my boss, a bent wheel, poorly made aftermarket wheel that didn't run true, or bad tire. So far, I've only found one place that does good work at reasonable prices, but they don't do anything tire related or alignments.

    And speaking of alignments, it's hard to find someone to do those right around here, too. Most just want to set the toe (if they even bother to do that) and send you out the door. My neighbor has had his Chevy work van aligned 3 times by two different places, and it still GNAWS tires. I looked at it and it still has the plastic slugs in the cam bolts in the upper control arms, so the caster/camber has never been touched since it left the factory! The last time I took a vehicle of mine in for an alignment, the steering wheel was crooked as soon as I left the shop. I pointed it out, and the guy put it back on the rack and started dicking around with the tie rods without even hooking it up to the machine! I said "Buddy, if I wanted to eyeball it, I could do that in my driveway. for free." He got all pissy and defensive. Hell, the last few times I've replaced front end parts, I just set the alignment using carpenter's tools and got as good as or better results than what I've paid for.

    Like I said I REFUSE to pay for incompent work, when that is what I have normally ended up with no matter where I go.
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2017
  20. gadget73

    gadget73 junk junkie Subscriber

    Messages:
    37,036
    Location:
    Southern NJ
    yeah I've had problems with alignments too. I took my Lincoln somewhere after fully rebuilding the front end and they set the toe only. Before/after on the caster and camber were totally out to lunch and it drove odd. Dude said "those other numbers don't matter". Tried somewhere with the S10, was told it needed an adjustable pitman arm and adjustable control arm bushings. Took it elsewhere and he simply moved one of the alignment shims from one side of the arm to the other to get it all right, no nonsense about "alignment kits" or parts that simply do not exist. I rebuilt the front end on a Blazer my mom had, she took it not where I said, and they told me the suspension was assembled wrong. That was the second place that had screwed up the alignment on the Lincoln, loose control arm bolts that moved on me when I was on a road trip. Took it somewhere else and he said that one of the adjustment cams was flipped probably to make up for the slight frame tweak after she had hit a deer, it aligned with no problems.
     

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