Right before New Year’s Eve, I finally caved and bought new tires.  My original Bridgestone Turanzas lasted almost 20,000 miles longer than recommended, so the time to replace them had come and gone LONG ago.

The reason I was scared to pull the trigger?  I know NOTHING about tires.  And I know that many retailers prey on women like me.  (Remind me to tell you the story of what happened to my sister when she needed new tires!)

What tires are made of

Don't say I never taught you anything!

Once I decided that I had to do it, I knew I had to become more knowledgeable. I found out my tire size, which is conveniently printed on the tire, and started to search. I asked my dear friend Allen (remember him?), who is a huge car buff, and he recommended NTB for your basic all-weather tires.

Browsing the NTB website, I got a little lost.  I input my tire size and wondered if I needed better tread or better warranty?  Longer lasting or better performing?  I remembered what a friend said a few weeks ago… he basically said that all I really NEED is new tires because bald tires won’t do much in snow and ice.  (Smart guy, huh?)

In the end, I just ended up calling a Merchant’s Tire (sister brand of NTB) and asked them what they thought.  They are currently having a buy 2, get 2 free sale, but it is only when you buy a year of alignment and a premium installation.  The final cost ended up being $216 for the tires, BUT the premium package brought the grand total to $570.  I didn’t need or want the alignment and installation package, so I asked what else they could do.

Side note: My dad and boyfriend have been telling me for years – literally YEARS – that I should not be spending more than $100 per tire.  So that was my benchmark.

When you’re browsing the website, the lowest price available for my car (size 205 55 16, whatever that means!) was about $103.  Not bad. More than $100, but not bad.  However, my in-store quote for a set of Sumitomo tires was only $88 apiece!  I was thrilled when the gentleman said they could be installed same day, even though I hadn’t made it into the store until an hour before close.

Overall, I think my experience at Merchant’s Tire was fantastic.  They were polite and professional (not condescending or manipulative) and my new tires are awesome.

PS: Does anyone know what a tire lock is?  I didn’t, but I do now!

PPS: Be sure to check out Allen’s website, ReverseOTL, if you’re a car person.  It features wonderful photography and event guides, along with other neat car stuff.

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