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These Are Your Best Tire-Buying Tips

Illustration for article titled These Are Your Best Tire-Buying Tips
Photo: Pirelli
CountersteerYour true stories of good and bad things that happen in cars.

Buying tires can, at first, be an intimidating endeavor. Especially if you’ve never done it before. There are a myriad of options to choose from and then you have to decide which of them fits your driving style and local conditions. Fear not! The Jalopnik community is here to help.


Last week, I asked you guys for your best tire-buying tips. Sharing your secrets online and helping out a stranger is what we do best here. For this, we really tried to go beyond brand loyalty and dug down deep into the how-tos.


Let’s see what you came up with.

Wear Them Down a Quarter First (JoeFromPA)

Brand-new tires always feel great.

Watch For Rebates (FrankenCamry)

Save a few bucks.


Lug Nut Torque (crowmolly)

Make sure those suckers aren’t loose!


Wear Pattern (Zippitydoo)

Those can tell you a lot.


Fresh Tires (CarEsq)

Just because they’re new doesn’t mean they’re fresh.


Snow Tires + Dedicated Wheels (yeah-but will it manual?)

It saves you so much money in the long run.


Price Isn’t the Only Argument (TingleyStorm)

Remember, your tires are the only part of your car touching the road.


Costco (bum_juice)

Not just there for the free samples!


Don’t Buy Used (Wissening)

It’s not safe.


Contact Tire Rack (Hayden Lorell)

Those guys can help out a lot.


Words from an Expert (iWrex)

Also: Don’t be a brand slave.


Get Out and Look (Karfreek (can’t disguise his hate for all things Mustang))

Touching is useful.


Check the Mileage (NegativeEd)

Sometimes you don’t need 60,000-mile tires.


Get the Road Hazard (RedLeader289)

What do you have to lose?


Get Those Winter Tires Early (8695Beaters)

Beat the crowd.

Writer at Jalopnik and consumer of many noodles.

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The winter/summer tire split is nice in theory, but it’s impractical unless you drive a certain amount and have good storage space. Tires really don’t last much beyond 7 years, especially if you don’t have the car garaged. If you’ve only got winter tires on a maximum of 5 months out of the year, at < 10k miles a year total you’re probably going to end up with rotted tires. If you live in a dense metro area where a lot of your driving is not long stretches on highways, you’re going to be throwing out tires with a lot of tread. It gets worse if you have a short commute or work from a home office.