Buying Tires in the Digital Age

Ok, so I need new tires for my car. I go to Big O, and the nice guy there tries to sell me his house brand. So I’m standing there in the shop, realizing that I’ve become dependent on the Internet, the opinions of others, and the ability to instantly have the relevant information given to me.

So I say “let me think about it”, go back home, fire up TireRack.com (which I’ve used before to get info). I spend an hour going through tires, reading reviews, blah blah, find some good ones from the wide selection, order them, and find that they can dropship directly to a local installer!

So basically, they call me when the tires come in, I take the car in, they install, I pay for installation and I’m done.

I go from buying a set of house brand Big O tires of unknown quality for $600 to buying a set of top-rated, name brand tires for $615 (once installation is done). If I had gone down in quality, I would have saved much cash.

TireRack.com

Thanks, XPav. I’m on the verge of buying new tires for my truck HYUK HYUK. I needed help, because I am dumb and know nothing.

Seconding tirerack.com. I bought tires there maybe 2.5 years ago, had them dropped to the local Firestone, had the mechanics check the axels (camber, pitch, alignment, etc) and install the new tires. Got some excellent Goodyears (that were on clearance) with their own warranties, plus the installw arranty from Firestone. I think I got all four done and installed for about $400ish total.

I feel sorry for all you poor bastards without a Les Schwab nearby.

BF Goodrich All Terrain T/A’s ftw

Awesome traction in the wet. Great grip in the corners. And it’s a freaking LT class tire!!

Don’t the local shops get pissy about installing stuff they didn’t get to mark up?

BTW, Costco also sells tires. And gasoline.

Hard to say. They get to charge for labor and alignment/mechanical without taking responsibility for the tires themselves. You don’t get much higher margins than that.

One of the shops in my area I could ship to was the other Big O tires in my town.

BTW, Costco also sells tires. And gasoline.
You do save a bit (like $50 on a Bridgestone RE950)-- but your selection isn’t going to quite as good. I’m bought a Grand Touring All Season tire, which Costco doesn’t sell.

As for Costco gas, my recent Car and Driver mentioned www.toptiergas.com, which lists gas companies with superior gas. Costco isn’t on there.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Costco, but selection isn’t their thing.

Whuchoo drive, shift? I’m ascairt of buying tires for my XTerra. Shall I apportion 6 or 7 hundy for the deed?

99 Firebird. I don’t remember the details of what I bought, but I found the old thread here. I spent a few days researching what all the ratings meant and then decided, based on my driving habits and climate, which ones to get.

OK so I thought I had recorded my after-the-fact “experience post” in that thread, but I guess not. Digging through my records, I picked up a 4-pack of Goodyear Eagle GT-II P215/60TR16s, all of which made sense to me at the time. They were on sale for some reason, maybe seasonal, for $80 per tire (I seem to recall they were normally $110-120 each). so $348.80 dropshipped to Big-O (whoops, I guess I didn’t have them installed at Firestone). Then I had them mounted plus a couple extra things done at Big-O for $160. $510 total for a very good tire buying experience.