The tire industry experiences one of the most intense competitions in the world of manufacturing. Every manufacturer is racing to produce tires in every category as well as address the different consumer pain points.
With that comes compromises in the products released into the market. This may mean that a tire brand trades performance, cost, tread life, aesthetic appeal, etc., and focuses instead on the other categories. Still, it is important that as a consumer you do not get roped into getting wheels that compromise on safety on the road as that puts you in great danger.
Often, specialized and high quality wheels cost a premium, and many consumers tend to scout for tires at the lower end of the catalog. You sure can get good quality tires for what may seem like a bargain, but to do so, you need to be armed with a guide that gives you direction on what a tire must have, what you may overlook, and what you must outrightly avoid.
This information is what we will equip you with in this guide to enable you make the right choice of tires, especially if price is an inhibiting factor in getting those amazing sets of wheels with rave reviews you’ve been eyeing.
Tire Buying Guide
The points we’ve included in the list below will help you settle on the right tires, leaving you with little regrets as to the choice of wheels you’ve made. The considerations you ought to focus on include:
Just like in any other industry, a brand’s reputation is important in the tire industry. The nameplate inscribed on a tire’s sidewall carries with it significance that every consumer should pay keen attention to. It gives you something to eyeball when you do not wish to go through the rigors of selecting a tire, or are stuck between two or more tires that fit your selection criteria.
Some manufacturers are dedicated to serving consumers of specific clusters, others excel in catering to a wide-reaching customer base, yet others have little regard for their reputation and all that matters to them is what reflects on their bottomline.
Manufacturers situated in certain geo-locations have wanting industry reputations in the tire sector, as we’ll see with the case of Chinese tire manufacturers, while others have amassed a solid reputation, case in point, Japanese, American, and French manufacturers.
China leads the rest of the globe in the country with the highest number of factories. This allows them to produce a superabundance of all kinds of products, majority of which retail at very competitive prices. This explains why majority of Chinese tires have lower price tags than the competition. However, you should not purchase tires made by unknown or little known Chinese brands.
We are not vilifying China in any way, but we advise that you avoid most China-made tires altogether, as there are little checks in place to guarantee the quality and safety of tires made in Chinese factories. And, as it has been observed over time, these manufacturers trade all the essentials with attractive pricing to entice consumers to choose their products.
You’ll often see tires that are exact replicas of high quality wheels produced by reputable brands, such as Michelin, Bridgestone, Goodyear, and Pirelli, etc., but that cost a lot less. Nearly all of these tires, however, are made by substandard materials that compromise on safety and quality. In addition, should you purchase a Chinese brand tire and it incurs a defect that is typically covered by warranty, you do not have the guarantee that the manufacturer will bear its cost.
Cost is the most determining factor in the moving of tires off the shelves. Consumers may resort to more affordable tire options when they are constrained by budget. In the process, more often than not this means sacrificing one or multiple features of similar, higher-priced wheels.
Therefore, as a consumer, you should know what you’re comfortable with sacrificing when you’re purchasing that cheap tire.
3. Tire Features
Tires have functionalities suited for different types of vehicles and are equipped with different features to withstand different conditions. These features comprise performance in mild and inclement weather, durability on the road, and performance in specific road surfaces, among others.
They are also assigned different ratings based on their performance from tests, the most popular of these grades being speed and treadwear ratings. Some tires also feature great designs, which is a choice factor for drivers who focus on a tire’s appeal to the eyes.
All wheels come with warranties that guarantee them for varied durations depending on their estimated lifespan.
In choosing a tire, see whether it is compatible with your type of vehicle and if it is equipped with features to perform well in your region’s roads and climate conditions.
4. Safety and Quality Standards
Road safety is vitally important for every road user, and at the center of it are safe tires. Whatever tire you settle on, it must tick the boxes in safety and quality guarantee.
Most well-known brands have all their tires assessed for these checks before leaving the factory and the results of the tests are publicly documented. This guarantees the safety and quality of their wheels.
As we mentioned, most Chinese tire brands do not prioritize such accountability. They do not test their wheels in-house and they produce their wheels using substandard materials. This puts the lives of road users at risk.
Therefore, we advise that you check for publicized tests and results of safety and quality of the tire you’re looking to purchase.
It is essential to check the date of manufacturer of a tire before purchasing it. Although they may never have been on the road, tires lose some of their qualities the longer they stay on the shelf as a result of subjection to heat. Therefore, you should buy tires that have not stayed for a long time on the shelves since they left the manufacturing plant.
Other Factors to Consider
Aside from the factors we’ve mentioned, it is also important to observe good tire maintenance practices to have your tires last longer. This also ensures that in the event of a fault, your warranty claim won’t be turned down by your manufacturer, which would otherwise result in you footing the fixing costs entirely from pocket.
Also, in choosing tires for your car, we recommend that at the very least, you use the exact same pair — in size and brand — for the front or rear axles.
List of Tire Brands to Avoid Buying
- Westlake Tires
- Chaoyang Tires
- AKS Tires
- Goodride Tires
- Geostar Tires
- Telluride Tires
- Compass Tires