The Case for Tires

During the last oil change on my wife's 2010 Dodge Avenger, we were faced with the news that we would soon need new tires.  Buying new tires always seems like such a pain and it's always something I seem to put off until the last possible minute.  

I guess that if I think about it, the main reason buying tires seems like such a beating is the cost.  Even on the Avenger which doesn't have very big tires, it's still going to be $500+ dollars by the time the tires are bought, mounted, and balanced.  Add in the time and hassle of getting the car to the dealership and waiting for the work to be done and it is just one of those things that is easy to put off.  It's no wonder many people ask themselves whether it's time to trade at the same time they are considering a tire purchase.

So, in order to pump myself (and you) up for the tire purchase, I think it's important to make the case for tires:


Often we put off buying new tires because, "we'll be trading it in a year."  Well, speaking as someone who appraises cars for a living, a car with tires less than a year old is worth about $500 more than a car that needs new tires.  This figure could be more if, for example, your trade-in is a truck with 20" tires that cost about $200 each.  In general, to make a used car attractive to a buyer it needs to have at least 75% of its tire life left.  So, when you trade your vehicle in for the next one, if the tires have 75% of their tread depth left then your car is going to be worth more.  Therefore, as an owner the excuse of "we'll be trading it in a year" is not a valid excuse because when you do go to trade your car in, it will be worth less because your tires will be in obvious need of replacement. 

Go ahead, buy those tires today and don't worry about tomorrow.  For one, your car will be worth more when you trade it (as long as the tires are still in good shape) plus you might just end up keeping your car a little longer because it handles and operates better with the new tires.


Making that purchase of new tires gives you an opportunity to select a fuel efficient tire that saves you money at the pump.  Many manufacturers now offer tires specifically engineered to minimize fuel consumption.  Also keep in mind that proper tire inflation can have a significant impact on your fuel economy.  Whether they are new or not, check your tire inflation regularly to make the most of your gas mileage.


Safety is easily the most important reason to buy tires.  Although we rarely think about them, tires are the most important piece of safety equipment on our cars.  Some people would say that brakes are the most important but consider this, brakes do one thing--they stop the car.  Actually, that's not even true, they slow down the wheels and the friction between the tires and the road stops the car.  While brakes are very important, tires are more important because they don't just make your car stop, they make it go too.  What's more, they make it go in a straight line.  Yup, tires affect the acceleration, handling, braking, and ride of your car.  

Nothing affects the overall safety of your car more than tires.  

Consider this, we strap ourselves into a 3,000 lb. piece of metal and run up to speeds of over 70 mph.  In many cases, we strap our kids in with us.  Why not spend the money on a quality set of new tires?  I know that as I prepared to write this, the idea of making sure my car was safe for my 14 month old baby girl was absolutely the best reason I could come up with to buy new tires.

There you have it, the case for tires.  At the end of the day, it's easy to put it off but why would you when, like the commercials say, "So much is riding on your tires."

Categories: Service
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