Are More Expensive Tires Better?

RightTurn 2012/10/09 00:33:45
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In an ideal world, car tires would go on forever without constant care and maintenance from the vehicle owner. Sadly, that's not the case. If you don't pay attention to your tires -- air pressure, treads, rotation, leaks -- you're bound to get a flat. And more likely than not, that flat will occur at the worst possible time. But just how much care is required? Well, that depends on a few things. It depends on the type of tires, the manufacturer, how often you use them, what kind of terrain they're used on -- the list goes on.

Take our 6-question Quick Poll about tire maintenance, and let us know how tire-savvy you really are, and stop by RightTurn Tires for specific information on your vehicle and its needs.
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Top Opinion

  • Elliot 2012/10/13 06:01:06
    No, they're mostly the same
    I think this question needs a yes but no. Price really isn't a good indicator of quality in ANY product. Some expensive tires are really great, but there are less expensive tires that a phenomenal too. One thing to consider is the question asks if more expensive tires are BETTER. Better for what? There are many different tires for different applications. I drive a Mercedes with an odd tire profile, and my local tire shop that I like to use only carries a few different models of tire that fits. I had the $270 each tires on there for 2 years, they were good but they wore quickly and made a little too much noise on the freeway. I replaced them almost 4 years ago with the $99 each tires. They are just as smooth, make less noise, and still have about a year of life in them. I have not noticed any difference in traction.

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  • Jason 2015/02/13 23:19:21
    Yes, for the most part
    This question is phrased wrong for an accurate answer...

    There is a significant quality and safety gap between the most expensive and least expensive tire options for any vehicle. The truth is, that the BEST VALUE generally lies somewhere in between. This is why buying tires from an expert at a local shop is a far superior option to purchasing online. Even the "best rated" tire online may not be best for your particular vehicle and driving habits. As a rule of thumb, Stick to name brands. Not only Michelin, Goodyear, Bridgestone, Etc., but also the likes of Hankook, General, Hercules, Kumho and Uniroyal as well. avoid any tire that you cannot find at multiple retailers, as this is a red flag. Bottom line: If you ask for the lowest price, you are going to get a significantly inferior product. If you look for the best value, you will usually end up where you want to be.
  • AidenRenolds 2015/02/04 14:23:45
  • realitykid 2014/05/23 20:06:59
    Yes, for the most part
    I wouldn't say that more expensive tires are always better. Many factors go into it. For myself, I needed tires to make over 40 miles yesterday. Unfortunately, the tires on my 91 CRX HF were bald and weren't going to be up to the task of getting my fiancee and I to out destination safely. So, I had to buy four new ones.

    Now, tires aren't necessarily a cheap thing to replace, especially when you're borderline broke (hoping the job interview on Tuesday yields good results). Because I don't have a ton of money, I spent $270 to replace my old tires with new ones from Headway over at my local Tire Factory. Each tire cost $67.50.

    Of course, some of the more expensive ones are going to be better, but if you're in a financial bind but need to replace your tires so you can drive safely, cheap tires will definitely give you what you need for a little while until you're able to put more money into better tires.

    Luckily for me, these new Headways seem to be working just fine. I noticed less road noise, the road feels smoother, and the vehicle handles a bit better. And this is a CRX we're talking about, so there's quite a bit of noise due to having very little insulation (or anything to dampen the noise). My fiancee and I made it to our destination with no problem, and we're safe and sound with family. :)
  • Apache 2012/10/19 14:51:05
  • santa6642 2012/10/19 13:36:10
    No, they're mostly the same
    Depends on what you want or expect from them.
  • RayG 2012/10/19 03:06:37
    Yes, for the most part
    I just dropped over $1200 in tires (Michelin) for my Porsche and have no regrets
  • James 2012/10/19 02:31:05
    Yes, for the most part
    I have a full set of Pirelli P Zero Neros on my Mustang. Only had to replace them once in the two years I've the car due to the first full year consisting of constant burnouts and white smoking them (the tires). :) Again, after a FULL YEAR OF CONSTANT burnouts and white smoking the ties before I had to replace them. Pirelli P Zero Nero 18in. :]
  • U Mad Bro? 2012/10/19 02:05:42
    Yes, for the most part
    U Mad Bro?
    You get what you pay for. I used to be a firm believer that tires were overpriced until I bought a set of Khumo tires for my car. The car handled better, wet braking distanced was shorter, and they gave a smoother ride. The only bad thing was that Khumo tires make a ton of road noise. I'm going for Michelin MXV4 Primacy when I have to replace my next set, 125 bucks a piece but worth every dime.

    Also, I work at a tire shop and see people buy cheap tires all day long, they usually come back with broken belts or sidewall separation in progress when they do buy the crap tires.
  • Kozmo, Kostable of the Kust... 2012/10/19 00:19:01
    Yes, for the most part
    Kozmo, Kostable of the Kustodian
    But there's a DIFFERENTIAL to consider. Between Traction & Durability, they're (generally) INVERSE. If you're the who does long easy drives on the road, favoring longevity is likely fine. If you're an impatient (either, Both? pros do the latter) Pedal Stomper then favoring traction would likely be better for you ride & health. Also, keep road & weather conditions in mind. Up here on the Wet Coast, it's been noted that drivers go faster when it rains (to be out in it less?).

    Another note. On front wheel drives, the rear tires often last almost the life of the vehicle (steering & braking puts WAY more stress on the fronts) so maybe changing the rotation routine (with the spare, if applicable) may be cheaper on the LONG HAUL.
  • John 2012/10/18 23:38:44
    Yes, for the most part
    More expensive means not automatically better quality. But for a good quality is always more money required than for low quality.
    I had once on the car: Dunlop front, Michelin rear. Made the car under steer heavily. Just for confirming I changed front to rear. The car was now over steer. And that with both brand makes. If you do that with a Michelin on one axle and a cheap no name on the other you will be surprised and come to the conclusion, that no names can be actually dangerous if you let the horses run
  • Mj PINKYFINGERDOWN 2012/10/18 06:42:28
  • john.keenan.792 2012/10/17 18:36:36
  • Bureauc 0Bamao 2012/10/17 04:16:17
    Yes, for the most part
    Bureauc 0Bamao
    'You get what you pay for' holds true in this case.
  • roboto-pwcm-jla 2012/10/17 00:42:48
    Yes, for the most part
    We got a 103 turns on our Bridgestone Duelers--that was $900 well spent.
  • Bocephus 2012/10/17 00:20:41
  • Kozmo, ... Bocephus 2012/10/19 00:36:44
    Kozmo, Kostable of the Kustodian
    Just curious, I ride a motorcycle. Since I often drive in the middle of the lane where more debris (& oil, especially on grades) tends to be, I generally get a flat once a year or so. But I've noticed it was ALWAYS the rear tire, my hypothesis being that when the front drives over the nail or screw, it 'stands it up' for the rear to get punctured. Do you concur? Another thing to keep in mind is that the tread on bike tires aren't as deep as cars or trucks. Once, while working at a gas station, I've pulled part of a CV joint (FWD) out of a tire (ruined), I asked the driver about it and he recalled passing a broken down compact just before noticing the flat.

    At airports, it's routine to do FOD (found object debris) walks down the runways. Keep in mind the ONLY fatal mishap the (retired) Concorde SST had was when it ran over something that fell of a prior flight which punctured a fuel tank.

    Perhaps that could be a routine for urban work crews to patrol for during off hours & noting oil spills. Had a "Low-Sider" spil on a tight curve because of that once, my back wheel (better than the front! High-Sider)) went out from under me but I've already slowed down so all I got was some road rash, torn jeans & a crunched turn signal. Dusted myself off, picked the bike, after a few kicks (flooded carbs [1978 Kawi]) got Her going and went home.
  • Bocephus Kozmo, ... 2012/10/25 21:47:36
  • Kozmo, ... Bocephus 2012/10/28 06:26:46
    Kozmo, Kostable of the Kustodian
    I think you would need some sort of self-sealing foam-type substance lining the inside of the tire. The tread of a car would be roughly cylindrical with the width almost in constant contact while a bike would roll from side to side when going around corners. Somewhat different geometries & physics with each vehicle.
  • Golden Panther 2012/10/16 21:12:22
    Yes, for the most part
    Golden Panther
    Tires are not generic like many other products. The best on the market is Michelin, followed by Goodrich and Tyro.
  • Kozmo, ... Golden ... 2012/10/19 00:38:56
    Kozmo, Kostable of the Kustodian
    For two-wheel travel, find Dunlop & Metzler to be quite good.
    Our tire TILT when going round curves, different Physics.
  • KeithL 2012/10/16 18:40:39 (edited)
  • beachbum 2012/10/16 16:13:41
    Yes, for the most part
    Huge difference in the ride of the car.
  • seance 2012/10/16 15:43:32
    No, they're mostly the same
    name brand are big $$, off brands are just as good but you should always go with 50 or 60 thousand mile tire or better to get the most for your money.
  • Kozmo, ... seance 2012/10/19 00:42:25
    Kozmo, Kostable of the Kustodian
    A less hasty driving technique/style can make a HUGE impact (pun unintended) on the life of the rubber (& what its carrying).
    See my comment(s) above for more details on VARIABLES.
  • U Mad Bro? seance 2012/10/19 02:08:35 (edited)
    U Mad Bro?
    Off brands aren't just as good. The more expensive tires have better tread patterns for improved braking performance and traction and are made out of better quality materials which make the tire sturdy.

    I bought two 60 dollar tires once and it will be the last time, The sidewalls were so flimsy that the car felt like it was swaying side to side going down the road. I had my tie-rods checked 3 times before I found out it was the tires. A few months later I ended up with broken belts in both of those crappy tires and got my money back.
  • Rick Armin 2012/10/16 14:34:45
    No, they're mostly the same
    Rick Armin
    At the place I get my tires, the biggest difference in price seems to be the tread wear. The longer wearing tires are usually more expensive. The vehicle I drive now is the first I had with anti-lock brakes. I have a helluva time stop the thing, so I get the cheaper tires because I believe, from my experience in a rubber mill, that they will give me more traction and better stopping.
  • RogerCoppock 2012/10/16 10:26:23 (edited)
    Yes, for the most part
    But you'll only see the difference in extreme situations: high speeds, high loads, or high temperatures. Most of us can get by with less expensive tires.
  • MarinerFH 2012/10/16 03:48:03
  • rustyshackelford 2012/10/16 03:40:54
  • rk 2012/10/16 03:30:40
    Yes, for the most part
    Big diference
  • Bob 2012/10/16 02:31:09
  • Yo'Adrienne..AFCL 2012/10/15 23:26:00
    Yes, for the most part
    Maybe it's peace of mind.....maybe it crazy.....It just seems like the right thing to do.!
  • Depp78 2012/10/15 23:24:45
    No, they're mostly the same
    There are certain standards I would think, that a tire needs to meet. Its the driver that wears out the tires. You can have the world's most expensive tire and if your alignment is bad, or if you drive like its NASCAR, your tires are not going to last as long as cheap tires on a excellently maintained vehicle with a driver that goes easy on them.
  • Lerro DeHazel 2012/10/15 21:11:45
    Yes, for the most part
    Lerro DeHazel
    Yes, they usually are; however, sometimes, some off-the-wall name-brand can give you a tremendous amount of mileage . . . And still be quite economical on the pockebook too.
  • AAA123 2012/10/15 20:06:40
  • kevracer 2012/10/15 18:34:02
    Yes, for the most part
    like anything else, you get what you pay for
  • FordCrews 2012/10/15 14:52:30
    No, they're mostly the same
    Really depends on where you live and how you drive. If you are just driving normal on city streets, in areas without much snow, within the speed limit, performance tires are a waste. Generally performance tires are made of softer compounds that give you a smoother ride with more grip, but that lose tread at a much quicker rate than discount tires.
  • no no 2012/10/15 13:42:09
    Yes, for the most part
    no no
    These boxed in responses produce more responses. However, you usually get what you pay for and in the case of tires, it is how they are used and what kind of driver puts the "use" on the tires.. An aside note, has anyone ever given any thought to the kind of pollution that is caused from the wearing of the rubber. What form does it take and where does it end up..millions of worn tire residue must go someplace!!!
  • Rambo Smurf 2012/10/15 13:40:19
    Yes, for the most part
    Rambo Smurf
    I wish there was an "other" option. It is not that more expensive tires are better, but better tires are more expensive.

    Just because a tire is more expensive, does not prove that it is better. However, if a tire is better than average, it probably requires better materials/design which costs money, which would bring up the price.
  • Kit 2012/10/15 13:07:31
    Yes, for the most part
    Sometimes this applies, but with most tire manufacturers you are only paying for the name.

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