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Tire Lessons From A Nissan Murano And A TireRack.com Review

by The Happy Rock on September 9, 2008


Tire Rack- Revolutionizing Tire Buying
I have learned a thing or two about tires since I had to replace the tires on our 2003 Nissan Murano last year. First, Muranos and by and large most modern cars are equipping larger tires which are more costly. I assume it is for safety and handling purposes, but it sure does hurt the wallet. Muranos have standard 18 inch tires which generally cost $200 a tire. I had some quotes in the $250 range. A year ago the best price I could find was at the Costco tire center for Michelin – Cross Terrain® SUV at $168 a tire(installation included). I wrote about buying tires from Costco a few months back if you are interested.  The total job ran $600 with their $80 off coupon.   Tires are very important, so I was happy to get the best price around and thought I would not have to worry about tires for 2-3 years or so.

Well, after only a year the tires were almost completely bald!  The warranty was for 65,000 miles.  So why did my tires wear out so quickly?

  1. Alignment – I never got the car aligned after the new tires were put on.  Coscto doesn’t do alignment and I forgot about it.  Alignments need to be done when new tires are put on.  I got it done after this new set and it was way out of line.
  2. Missing Maintenance – I only got the tires rotated once in 23,000 miles.  Inexperience and the hustle of life got the best of me, especially because Costco does it for free.  The warranty required owners to rotate and rebalance every 6,000 miles. Ouch, costly mistake.  Ruined tires and voided a warranty.
  3. Buying Performance Tires – I didn’t know it at the time, but the tires that I bought were performance SUV tires.  Performance sounds great as it means better handling which comes partly because of softer rubber.  Softer rubber means shorter life span and requires you to be more on top of rotation.   I learned that I don’t need performance tire on my SUV, but rather a quality standard all season tire.  Most people I talked to weren’t surprised that I only got about 25,000 miles out of performance tires.

Ok, stupid tax paid and lesson learned.  Now I had to shell out $600 again in a little over a year.  This time I was able to get a better price on Tire Rack than at Costco.

Tire Rack Review

The best part was that the most inexpensive tires the Kuhmo Solus KR21 All Seasons had a great rating(8.4 out of 10).  I ordered four tires for $376 plus $42.20 in shipping.   I also used a 4% TireRack rebate from Mr. Rebates to save an extra $15 dollars.


Tire Rack & Goodyear Tire Offer

The Tire Rack website also helps you ship to a local dealer and gives you price estimates.  I shipped to my local Sunoco gas station which offered an estimate of $16-20 a tire.  Shipping was quick, they were there in two days and I scheduled an appointment.   They actually charged me $25 a tire, but I forgot to ask why because I was in a rush.  The entire process was quite simply and only cost me a total of $525.  I say only not because $525 is chump change, but because it is the best price in town.

So next time you are looking for tires be sure to check out Tire Rack.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Sam at Fix My Personal Finance September 10, 2008 at 2:40 am

You can really save some money on the initial purchase of your new tires by shopping over the Internet. Some retailers, like the one you mentioned above even have relationships with local independent tire centers that will accept shipment of your new tires and perform installation at a pre-negotiated rate.

Don’t forget that your new tires will need to be mounted to the rims, balanced and installed on your vehicle. You’ll probably want to get your wheels aligned when you get your new tires installed, as well.

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Pete at Nissan GTR Canada January 22, 2009 at 12:38 am

If you are buying tires in a factory size another great place to check is craigslist and other online used parts sites.. A lot of times people will buy a brand new car and immediately take the factory wheels off in favor of bigger, higher performance wheels/tires. Many times these tires still have the little rubber things still on them.

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Will May 7, 2009 at 11:16 am

I did the same thing and forgot to rotate mine, blew a new set of Kuhmos. I always thought Costco did a solid job of keeping the prices pretty low. Maybe not always now…

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Mike k January 23, 2011 at 4:23 pm

How did you like the Kumhos? Any good on snow? Noise and handling? Thanks.

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The Happy Rock January 28, 2011 at 5:04 am

Mike,

I have since sold this car, but I had two years on the Kuhmo’s and they were great. They handled great, and the noise was good, and I had no major problems in the snow.
Though my new Honda Pilot is a beast in the snow. Best tires I have owned, IMO.

Hope that helps.

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