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McCall St. Brewer

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SWMBO needs new tires on her car and I am dreading the tire shopping routine. I'm not very enthused about plunking down $500 on a set of new tires at the moment.

Anyway, when I go to Sam's Club I notice that tires seem to be a big thing that they sell here. Does anyone have experience with buying tires from them? Is it cheaper than your average tire store? Do they install the tires there?
 

cheezydemon

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Big O.......

I bought my wife's cherokee used. It got a flat and I took it to Big O.

Without a word they pulled it into the bay fixed the flat, balanced all of the tires, rotated the tires and then handed me the keys.

"What do I owe you?" I asked. "Nothing... those are Big O tires".

I didn't buy the tires (except if you consider the fact that they were attached to the vehicle) They didn't ask for a reciept or anything.

I bought the next set from them.
 

Blender

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If Sams Club is anything like Costco (which it likely is) then they install and will rotate and check them throughout their life for free. I would imagine they are very competetive but if there is a good sale in your area you might find a better price.It would be a drag to buy tires and then have to find someone else to install them.
 

shafferpilot

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I'm a big fan of buying quality tires only. I know it's expensive, but in my experience (worked in repair shops for almost 10 years), the cheaper off brands AND the cheapy tires that the big brands sell just aren't worth it in the end. The best tires I've ever seen are the Goodyear Assurance. They come in a fancy looking triple tread design as well as a more normal looking tread design. Three factors set them apart from every single other tire I've worked on, mounted, balanced, etc.

The first factor is in the original construction. When I mounted one of those on a rim, I was always amazed at how straight and true these things are. have you ever noticed the pink, blue, and grey lines that are drawn on the tire tread? Those lines are for the manufacturing machines. As the tire spins on the machine, an electronic eye tracks the line to see if the layers of rubber are going on the tire straight. If the line wobbles too much, the rubber isn't straight. When a new tire is put on the balancing machine at the repair shop and spun, it's easy to see if the tire was manufactured straight or wobbly. Every tire always has some wobble in it. Cheap tires can have an inch or more! That's a lot of wobble. the Assurance tires have less than a quarter inch.

Also, while that tire is spinning, it's easy to see hop. Hop is when the tread seems to move up and down as it spins. Off road truck tires seem to be the worst in this category. Most tires are made from full width layers that overlap at the ends. This makes a bump in the tire. If these overlapping sections are at the same position on the tire as the subsequent layers, the lump get's bigger and bigger. I've seen tire hop on brand new tires of well over 2 inches! The goodyear assurance has less than a quarter of an inch of hop. This is partially due to the construction technique. These tires are carefully clocked in the manufacturing process so that none of the overlapping sections coincide. This spreads the lumps evenly over the tire eliminating hop.

The second factor is in the wear characteristics. Ever notice that front tires always wear out the edges first? That's because when you turn a lot of extra friction and pressure grinds the rubber off of the edges. The Assurance tires have slightly different type of rubber on the edges to keep them from wearing off too quickly. As a result, the tire wears quite flat. I have a pair of year old Assurances on the front of my van right now. I've put a little over 20,000 miles them, and the tires are still square on the edges.

The third, and most important factor is inclement weather!! Around Cincinnati our winters can be extremely dangerous for driving. When we get snow, the temp is always right around freezing. Because of this, we tend to get a lot of winter mix. That's snow and ICE! Cheap tires get hard when they get cold. When tires are hard, the traction goes WAY down. The Assurance has superb cold/wet weather handling. I've slid the front end a few times in really bad weather, but I've never felt that completely out of control sliding that I've fealt with any other tires.

Still I understand that at around $100 to $200 per tire, these things are pricey, but after my experience both personal and in repair shops, that's the tire I get for all my cars. To keep the expense down, I buy only two. A year later I buy two more and I do the first front to back rotation. BTW don't ever rotate from left to right! I know the tire shops will tell you that you should, but they are in the business of selling NEW tires, so it makes sense they want your old ones to wear out, doesn't it?. When you rotate from left to right, the tires spin in the opposite direction. This causes the layers of the tire to shift and seperate, ruining the tire within the next 6 months.

As a bonus: In the end, I actually get the full mileage out of these tires. I've never even come close with cheap ones. The cheapies may say 60,000 miles on the label, but I've never had one of those cheap tires last more than 20k. The Assurance actually survives to it's mileage of 80,000. They are worn out by then, but you'll spend 4 times as much money replacing cheap tires every year and a half.

BTW I don't work for nor do I have any vested interest in goodyear, I'm just reporting my suggestions and experiences in the industry. Check 'em out and decide for yourself:

http://www.goodyearassurance.com/
 

wihophead

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I see you are in Milwaukee....the guys I work with said to call Mr. P's on HWY 100

They will treat you right.....

Mr. P's Tires, 4781 S. 108th St., Milwaukee, WI 53228
Manager: Rick, Phone: 414.425.7800
 

Guinness71

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cheezydemon said:
Big O.......

I Second Big O - I've gotten a few sets from them - had a problem with a valve stem 6 months after buying my second set (the stem got cracked some how and was leaking). Changed it out with no charge and no wait.

If you hesitate a little on the purchase they will drop the price by $10 a tire - (saving $40) - or atleast at the store I go to..

Good luck
 

adx

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What the hell is Big O?

I've used tirerack.com before and had a great experience. They had the tires for a nice chunk less then I could get locally. I then called up a local tire shop and had tirerack drop ship them there. They installed and balanced them and off I went.
 

ColoradoXJ13

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I bought my 31" BFG AT's at Discount Tire. I called around and they price matched, I payed a bit extra for warranties on the tires, but if anything happens (including damage from off-roading) they replace no-questions asked. I ended up plunking down close to $600 for the set, but they have been on the jeep 30k+ miles and still almost look new. I expect to get another 40k out of them, if I can afford gasoline that long.
 

kornkob

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+1 for Tire Rack. tirerack.com


Research the tires you want. Price them locally. Then check tire rack and note the lower price, shipped. Then call around and find places that mount and balance tires (and old tire disposal) and realize that even figuring that in they are cheaper.

They deliver via UPS and the tires show up in a day or 2. Good service, good stock, cheap prices.
 

g_rath

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Ha ha, I just got back from the tire place. Got 4 brand new Bridgestone Dueler AT Revo’s for my truck, So I feel your pain of tire shock. If you do invest in a good set though and rotate them every 6000 you wont regret it. If you do decide to go to Sam’s I would do a little research and find a good tire and see if they have that specific one. Otherwise you know that they are going to give you there cheep ones.
 

Kevin Dean

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Good tires = pure gold.

I had no idea how loud my car was until I got a set of tires that didn't make loud noises as they moved over pavement.
 

david_42

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I'm at 40K on my Sprinter van & not looking forward to putting tires on it. The ones people are recommending are close to a grand for four.
 

freyguy

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Just to add to some of the reccomendations, there are pretty good reviews of most brand of tires on tirerack.com. I check it alot when people ask about certain tires.
 

wildwest450

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McCall St. Brewer said:
How much do places charge to put the new tires on if I didn't buy them from them?
I buy all of my tires on line then take them to walmart, for$40 they mount, balance, rotate, and fix all flats for the life of the tire.
 

Jesse17

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McCall St. Brewer said:
How much do places charge to put the new tires on if I didn't buy them from them?
My experience has been about $8 per tire for mounting and balancing.

It's too bad you don't have a Big O. I wouldn't buy from anyone eles if I had the choice. I've put a manzanita stump through one of my Big Foot XT's when I was 4 wheeling, and they swapped it out as a 'road hazard' They really are great.

As far as Sam's Club goes. I would assume they have the same line they do at Wal Mart (since Wal Mart owns Sam's Club). My SIL bought some cheap tires from Wal Mart, and he had to go back for them to fix a flat once a month. Never any punctures, just leaks. But I've never bought from either.
 
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McCall St. Brewer

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SWMBO wants new tires NOW. (It's snowing again this mornning). So, I guess that means no mail order. I'll be going to whatever tire store will give the best price on some decent tires.

That Tirerack looks like a good choice for the future, though.

Too bad Big O's is not here. They seem to be almost everywhere else, though.
 
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McCall St. Brewer

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McCall St. Brewer said:
SWMBO wants new tires NOW. (It's snowing again this mornning). So, I guess that means no mail order. I'll be going to whatever tire store will give the best price on some decent tires.

That Tirerack looks like a good choice for the future, though.

Too bad Big O's is not here. They seem to be almost everywhere else, though.
I just thought of something. Do you think new tires would qualify as a Valentine's Day gift for her?

(Sorry, I must have had a few too many homebrews-- it clouded my judgment for a moment).
 

Radarbrew

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I went to Sams, was going to buy the tires, and when I asked how long it would take to mount them, they pulled out the appointment book! "How about next week sir?" "How about now?" "We're all booked until next Monday". "How about never". Bought them at the base, same price, installed them myself.
 

MikeFlynn74

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Goodyears suck compared to Michelin tires. I worked tires for a long time and is a resounding difference int he quality in the 2. For cars nothing can beat Michelin.

BFG who is now owned by Michelin has upped thier quality tremendously in the past few years and as Truck tires go- BFG ATs are some of the best.

Living in Alaska I have had my truck in 3+ feet of water- bad mud and rock crawling. All with ATs and never had an issue an only got stuck when the truck high centered.

Ive bought tires from both Sams and Costco and been happy. But now I refuse to buy from anything associated with Walmart. Thats another story
 

PeteOz77

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Dick Cepek Fun Country II Radials are the go for trucks. NO questions asked. They are a bit noisy, but SH!T all over BFG AT's in Price, Traction, Self Cleaning, Side Tread, and longevity.
Just my humble (well informed) opinion.
 

Melana

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I feel your pain... I need tires pretty darn quick here myself. I am NOT looking forward to spending the $ yet I am looking forward to the new ride.
 

MikeFlynn74

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Dick Cepek Fun Country II Radials are the go for trucks. NO questions asked.
Or for those of us who like a decent ride and fuel economy- The BFG ATs are the best of an All Terrain tire.

Plus with the BFGs you can get higher load ranges and they work very well on ICE.

The Dick Cepek Radials have been much improved over earlier tires (part because Mickey Thompson bought them) But I like my tires to last more than 25K.
 

PeteOz77

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Maybe they sell different tires here in AUS? The Dick Depek FC-II have 80,000km warranty on them and by all account do well over 100,000KM before coming near the wear bars.

BFG AT = Load Range C, same as the FC-II. You mention decent ride and higher load range in the same argument? Which are you after? The Cepeks have a fantastic ride and will carry anything my pickup will..

I can't imagine anyone who want s serious on and off road tyre being that fussed about fuel economy, but even if you are, are you suggesting that you would get noticable differences in fuel consumption between the two?

Plus they were $30 each cheaper than the BFG (NOT the reason I bought them) BONUS!
 

Guinness71

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McCall St. Brewer said:
I just thought of something. Do you think new tires would qualify as a Valentine's Day gift for her?

(Sorry, I must have had a few too many homebrews-- it clouded my judgment for a moment).

I like the way you think!!!



But alas, No is the answer.. :(
 

MikeFlynn74

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Pete

Well then they have come a long way- They arent sold enough where Im from as they are about 45$ per tire more. I pay 160$ per BFG and they want 205$ for the Cepeks.

Anyways Ive only used the BFG ATs and they are awesome on Ice. And seeing as how there is ice on the road 5 months of the year- I heasitate to use anythign else.
 

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This is Howard, husband of Bedlam...

Last spring I had to buy 10 tires, four for my daughters Camry, four for the 68 dodge pickup and 2 for the back of the 62 dodge town wagon, all from the same local tire shop, and all various cooper products. They have worked out pretty well. I also like Sam's for tires, the previous dozen tires have been bought from them, all BF Goodrich. The main brands they carry around here are BF Goodrich and Michelin.

The name brands seem to last longer, with better results than the "off" or "discount" brands. Some of the cheap tires I have purchased and later regretted include: Widetrack Baja, Prospector, Mastercraft, Remington.

I find Goodyear and Firestone tires are overpriced, but Michelin tires are well woth the money for durability.

When the original goodyears in the 245/70R17 size wear out on my 07 Dodge Ram, I am going to replace them with Cooper Discover H/T with a highway type rib tread. I would avoid Pep Boys. They sell only Cooper tires, but the really get you on add on charges.

The longest lasting tires I have EVER bought were Michelin X-Ones and got 120,000 out of a set of four, then took off the two thin ones replaced them with new, and ran the old ones as trailer tires for five more years, and when those finally wore out, replaced them with BF Goodrich touring type tires. I ended up selling the truck at 217k miiles with four very good tires on it.

As for tire type, you probably want 'all season" or "touring" which is a premium all season.

Howard
 
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