How to Save Money on Tires

Posted by Ian on April-30-2011 under Save Money

Tires, those black doughnuts that enable us to travel from place to place, are probably the biggest expense for the average car owner. Sure, gasoline and engine maintenance are also expenses, but tires are an expense that never seems to end. Depending on how often your drive and the driving conditions, the average tire needs changing every 9 to 12 months. Obviously if you only drive on weekends, your tires are going to last a lot longer, possibly a couple of years. If, however, you’re a taxi owner/driver, then you can expect to change your tires every 4 or 6 months. It is recommended by tire manufacturers and government road safety agencies that car owners change all their vehicle’s tires at the same time. There are still many drivers that only change one or two tires at one time – this is seen by some as being thrifty, but in actual fact it is being stupid. Let’s take a look at ways to save money on tires.

First of all, whenever you have to change your vehicle’s tires, make sure you change all four. Only changing one or two tires will cause all tires to wear unevenly, which in turn will cause the vehicle to be unbalanced on the road. With your vehicle unbalanced, you will have to constantly spend money on wheel alignment and balancing. If, however, your tires wear evenly you’ll only have to shell out for rebalancing and alignment adjustments occasionally.

save on tires

When the time arrives for renewing the rubber on your car, truck or motorcycle, you need to decide what type of tires you want to put on your vehicle. For example, if you drive a four-wheel drive pick-up, putting standard touring tires on the truck would be silly. Likewise, shoving off-road tires on a Corvette would be just as stupid. It therefore, makes sense to put tires on your vehicle that suit the terrain of where you drive and – should you use the vehicle for work – the type of job you do. Don’t rush out and buy the cheapest tires you can find – chances are they are probably not going to give you the longevity other, slightly more expensive, tires will give you. Before you drive down to your local tire dealer, spend a few days checking out newspaper advertisements and other media for tire sales, bargains or deals. If you’re patient and thorough you’ll be able to pick up a quality set of rubber doughnuts for a reasonable, albeit, cheap price. You should, also take advantage of commercials that advertise “Buy three tires, get the fourth free”.

When viewing the various types of tires, in a dealer’s showroom, make sure you check out the date of manufacture. The last four digits on the stenciled number on a tire, is its manufacturing date. Knowing this date will ensure that you don’t get tricked into purchasing a tire that is too old – remember rubber does deteriorate with time. Once you’ve decided on the type of tire, ask the dealer if having the tires mounted, aligned and balanced, is included in the price. Most tire dealers offer these services free for anyone buying a full set.

In the event you are in dire need of new tires but are without the wherewithal to purchase a brand new set, give some thought to visiting a car wrecking yard; the average car owner doesn’t consider this option. Car wrecking yards have hundreds of cars that have been involved in accidents; both major and minor. These vehicles are stripped down and their parts are sold; it therefore, goes without saying that the tires from these mangled wrecks are also sold. It is possible for you to find a full set of relatively new tires for an incredibly low price. Make sure that the tires you purchase are compatible with your vehicle. If you do buy tires from a wrecking yard, confirm that the tires are in good condition. You don’t have to be a tire expert to know whether a tire is going to give you a few months of safe driving or cause your vehicle to be another addition in the same wrecking yard. Use your common sense and don’t put price before safety.

Purchasing re-treaded tires are another option to save money. Most of the leading manufacturers offer retreads at reasonable prices. Bear in mind that driving at high speeds with retreads on your vehicle is not recommended. Retreads have been known to split from the surface of the tire and cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle. If you do purchase a set of retreads, use them on a temporary basis until you have enough money to replace them with new tires.

If you have the money to purchase new tires, but wish to save a few bucks, don’t be beguiled, by a smooth talking salesman, into buying well known brands like Bridgestone, Goodyear or Michelin. Lesser known manufacturers, the likes of Kumho, Falken and Cooper, have reasonably priced tires which are just as good as the aforementioned major producers. You’ll also find that these minor producers have more bargains and discounts than their famous rivals.

You can also read other money saving tips like how to save money on Shipping, how to save money on one income, or how to save money on Jewelry.

Regular maintenance of your tires is important. Maintenance includes keeping tire pressures at their recommended PSI – indeed with your tires inflated correctly, you’ll also save money on gasoline as there will be less drag. You should also rotate your tires every six or seven thousand miles or kilometers; doing this will ensure the treads wear evenly. Regularly inspecting each tire’s sidewall for wear and tear will also save you money in the long run.

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