When we shop for shoes, most of us know that we can get two pairs of cheap shoes or one good pair for about the same price. And since the two cheap pairs wear out in about the same time as the good pair, there really is no difference in cost.If you like having a closet full of shoes to match your moods and outfits, then cheap shoes can be what you want. But if you spend a lot of time on your feet, you probably know that cheap shoes can come with an added cost of sore feet and other foot ailments. When you add in the benefits of comfort and protection, the more expensive shoes are actually the better value.
Buying tires at Wayne’s Automotive Center in Reno is a lot like buying shoes, except that Reno vehicles don’t have changeable apparel and don’t need a closet full of tires to match. Vehicles spend a lot of time on their tires—all the time, in fact—so they need tires that can stand up to the job. Tires are work shoes: they have to deal with a lot of crazy Nevada road conditions, all while carrying the weight of a vehicle and its passengers.
Bad tires, like cheap shoes, can also be a safety concern for Reno drivers. Tires need good traction, and they need to be strong enough to handle the loads they carry. Vehicles that carry heavy loads or tow trailers around Nevada need tires with a high load rating, in the same way you are better off on a rough Nevada mountain trail with sturdy hiking boots rather than flip-flops.
The best tires on the market are called Tier 1 tires. Tier 1 tires are incredibly high-quality tires engineered specifically to stand up to a massive amount of wear and tear while also maintaining good traction throughout. They are also the most expensive tires on the market, although prices don’t vary much from brand to brand.
Tire chain stores in Reno and elsewhere often carry tires with their own local brand name. These are private label tires, and they are significantly less expensive than Tier 1 tires while maintaining Tier 1 quality. In fact, many private label tires sold in the Reno area are manufactured by the same companies that make Tier 1 tires. Don’t hesitate to ask your Wayne’s Automotive Center tire professional who makes their private brand.
The cheapest tires on the Nevada tire market are Tier 3 tires. Most inexpensive tires come imported from Asia or South America, and they do not have the same standard of engineering and safety standards behind them that the higher-priced tires have. Moral of the story, when it comes to Tier 3 tires, you truly get what you pay for.
At Wayne’s Automotive Center, we sometimes express tire quality in terms of the warranty. In other words, we call a tire a “40,000 mile/65,000 km tire,” or a “60,000 mile/100,000 km tire.” This refers to the number of miles/kilometers a tire will be under warranty. Tires with a higher mileage warranty are made with higher quality rubber compounds and have more tread than tires in Tier 3. With this, you can expect the tires to cost more than tires with low mileage warranties and less quality rubber compound.
Cheap tires often have no warranty at all, but, if you’re finding yourself strapped for cash and in need of new tires, purchasing Tier 3 tires beats waiting until you can afford Tier 1. It’s always better and smarter to drive on new tires, even cheap ones, than risk driving on tires that are worn past their standard safety limits.
That being said, if you are driving on Tier 3 tires, it’s a smart idea to budget and plan on buying higher-quality tires the next time you notice a lack of tread on your current tires. Three sets of cheap tires may wear out in the same amount of time as one set of quality tires, making the quality tires actually cost less than two sets of cheap tires in the long run. That’s the great fallacy of cheap tires. In the long run, inexpensive tires will actually cost you more than high-quality tires and come with significantly reduced performance and durability, which is not exactly the best value for Reno area drivers.
So, some good auto advice would be to always buy as much tire as you can afford. That way you’ll get the most durability and performance and the most mileage out of every tire. Plus, with a tier 3 tire, there comes some peace of mind knowing that you won’t have to purchase tires very often.
Vehicle care requires checking your tires occasionally for tread wear and road damage. Practicing this preventive maintenance can help you avoid flats and blowouts, and provide you and your vehicle the best driving experience you can get.