Wednesday, January 05, 2005


It seems like I've been paying about $100 per tire ever since I started driving — way back in the late 70's. This price has held true as recently as a year ago when we replaced the tires on my wife's minivan. And I've never bought bargain basement tires.

Yesterday I bought new tires for my compact pickup and they cost $185 each! Zoinks! Lemme sit for a minute, eat a few Scooby snacks, and catch my breath here.

It must be because these tires have a max inflation pressure of 80 PSI, whereas the tires on my previous vehicles ranged from 35 PSI to 50 PSI. More air = more $. Now that I think about it I can see the relationship, but there was a bit of sticker shock at first.


Gene said...

i bought my last set-o-tires from who drop-shipped them to a nearby installer. The front ones shipped from Louisiana and the rears from Las Vegas. Lots of good tyre [BritSpeak] information on their site, also.

Since mine are 30 psi front/35 psi rear I can't comment on the price/pressure ratio ... but mine only get about 15k miles before I'm tread challenged. Am running with Bridgestones now, much better than the Continentals that came with the car.

William Bob said...

Yeah, I checked out prices at TireRack and some other sites, then added the cost of mounting and balancing at a local place and found the TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) to be no better than buying locally.

I suspect the differences include the sophistication of the tire buyers and the markup of the tires. A low markup tire purchased primarily by people who would never think of buying a tire on the internet would not be one that TireRack could sell at a significant discount.

Gene said...

I suppose my problem is that I was looking for a very specific make/model of tire, and didn't want to Pound The Pavement. Hence web-shopping at

More and more, I find myself avoiding anything that you'd call "mass market". That goes from movies (I prefer the Angelika to anything at the MegaPlex) to groceries (Whole Foods vs Albertsons) to .. yes, tires. If something is available locally in large quantity, I want nothing to do with it. Must be my evolving (?) contrarian nature.