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Cheap Tires – Discount Tires
The thought of cheap tires is appealing and a little frightening. While the cheap route will allow you to save a few dollars, it won’t always guarantee the performance and reliability that allows you to feel comfortable. At the same time, you don't necessarily have to break the bank to secure the comfort, handling, and durability your vehicle demands. Knowing how to distinguish cheap tires from quality discount tires is fundamental for anyone searching for a good deal on tires.
The Truth About Low Cost Tires
Due to cost cutting production measures, cheap tires are often poorly built and suffer in areas that are critical to reliability. Sacrifices made to hit a specific tire price point may lead to early tread wear and other issues that jeopardize safety.
To compound matters, manufacturers of cheap tires seldom offer reasonable warranty coverage, which means you'll need to spend more money sooner rather than later. The adage "you get what you pay for" really does ring true when applied to automobiles, parts, and accessories like discounted tires.
Whether your vehicle is tackling the snow or navigating through off-road adventures, the right tires are essential to getting the best performance. RNR is here to guide you in finding quality tires and wheels that deliver satisfaction, smoothness, and improved gas mileage.
- Tread wear grades determine approximately how long a tire will hold up in comparison to other tires that have been tested under DOT-specified conditions. So for example, a grade of 200 denotes a tire with double the treadlife of one that tested 100 on the DOT track. Use the following guidelines to assess tire quality by tread wear ratings:
- Less Than 100 – Poor
- 100 – Average
- Higher Than 100 – Better
The actual treadlife of discount tires will depend on factors such as driving habits, road conditions, and climate.
- Traction grades determine a tire's ability to stop when driving on wet pavement. These ratings are expressed as follows:
- AA – Great
- A – Very Good
- B – Good
- C – Average
Tire shoppers should keep in mind that traction testing only encompasses driving straight ahead and breaking on wet roads. Acceleration, cornering, and performance on dry pavement is not accounted for.
- Temperature grades determine a tire's ability to resist the heat a vehicle generates while driving, which can accelerate wear and tear over time. Resistance levels are measured by the following grades:
- A – Best
- B – Good
- C – Average
According to federal law, all passenger tires are required to at least score a C in temperature grading.
UTQG ratings for treadwear, traction, and temperature can be found on the sidewall of the tire. While the system is far from perfect, it is a good place to start when it comes to getting a handle on tire quality and performance.
Why Size Matters
The importance of size is dismissed too often when buying tires. Just because a set physically fits on your car doesn't mean they're a good fit. Automobile manufacturers have specific dimensions regarding width, aspect ratio, diameter, and load index, the latter specifying how much weight your tires can support.
There is little room for compromise here, so get familiar with the manufacturer's size recommendations before settling on a set of discount tires. This information can be found on the placard located in door jamb on the driver's side of your car.
Comparing Brand Name Tires
From all-season tires to all-terrain tires, the leading tire manufacturers carry strong product lines that offer a little something for everyone. The following overview will give you an idea of what to expect from the who's who of name brand tires:
The Goodyear brand has experienced a resurgence of sorts. Goodyear tires have been gaining “traction” in the truck and performance tire categories, where its products score high ratings across the board. The veteran brand has also turned heads with its Assurance CS TripleTread All-Season tires, which offer phenomenal performance in wet weather.
The name Michelin is synonymous with tires. Michelin tires are well-known for superb handling, great fuel economy, and the extended treadlife every customer looks for. While they can be a bit pricey in comparison to other brands, excellent treadwear and overall quality make Michelin a better option than cheap tires.
Continental tires may not carry the same level of brand recognition as Michelin or Goodyear but compete with the best of well-known brands as far as quality is concerned. Continental scores high marks in essential performance categories, with impressive handling and traction on both wet and dry roads alike being two of its calling cards. Furthermore, tires from Continental are competitively priced, which no doubt appeals to budget-conscious shoppers.
When it comes to ultra-high performance tires, the Pirelli brand ranks up there with the best of the best. Pirelli tires can be found on exotic sports cars and are increasingly finding their way on to less luxurious vehicles as well. While they aren't necessarily known for exceptional treadlife, Pirelli is steadily making strides in the longevity department.
Truck drivers recognize Cooper as one of the most dependable tire brands on the market. Cooper tires include entries like the Discover A/73, a highly rated all-terrain tire that delivers outstanding performance in both on-road and off-road applications. In addition, Cooper offers top-notch products for cars in options such as the Zeon RS3-A, an all-season tire that has been optimized with technology that improves treadlife and performs like a champ on wet roads.
Finding Quality Tires For a Cheap Price
The term “cheap tires” is often associated with inferior quality. Settling for a lower price doesn't necessarily mean you're doomed to a substandard product. As we've learned here, it’s not difficult to find discount tires that offer safety, durability, and performance.
Shopping for tires is a process and one that should be approached with the same due diligence you devote when buying a car, a house, or making any similarly important purchase. RNR balances quality, cost, purchase flexibility, and dedicated customer service to help you track down the right tires for your vehicle.