Tires can be found for less

Too often people tell me about outrageous prices they’ve paid for tires.

It amazes me how little they know about purchasing tires from places other than dealerships or big name tire retailers.

Although tires can be costly, there are a number of ways to save money on them. It’s a good idea to get a second, third and even fourth opinion on tire prices. You could save money by merely going to a shop right down the road.

A popular place to purchase tires is Tire Rack. Tire Rack is an online tire store with hundreds of different brands and sizes of tires.

Tire Rack has lower prices than retail stores because it is a warehouse that ships tires directly to the consumer, rather than being shipped to a tire store and then purchased by the consumer. It’s the Sam’s Warehouse of tires.

Another great way to save money is to buy used tires. Used tires need to be purchased with caution though. Inspect them for any damage such as punctures, dents, torn tread, or excessive or uneven wear. Most places that sell used tires inspect them and toss out the bad ones, but it’s a good idea to take a second look at them.

Some used tires are almost brand new. They may come from a wrecked car or one with a blown engine.

The best places to look for used tires are junkyards, flea markets and eBay. Some tires can sell for a low as $5.

When purchasing new tires, it’s smart to also purchase a warranty. Most warranties include free replacement of a damaged tire within a few months.

Warranties aren’t very expensive. It’s a lot better to pay $25 for a warranty, than pay $75 for a new tire when you run over a nail two weeks after you purchased it.

After purchasing tires, take care of them. You save money just by making them last longer. One reason most tires wear out prematurely is improper inflation – too much or too little air in a tire can do a lot of damage.

You should check the air in your tires regularly. The suggested inflation rates are listed in either the doorjamb of the car or in the owner’s manual. Remember to check the pressure after the car has been driven for a while because air in the tires expands when heated.

It’s also important for tires to be properly aligned. Improper alignment can cause tires to wear out rapidly.

Whenever new tires or suspension components are installed, the car’s alignment should be checked.

Alignments are in the $75 range, but you can often find a better deal.

Tires are an important part of a car. After all, they are what keep your car connected to the road. But just because tires are vital, doesn’t mean they have to be expensive.

The next time you replace your tires, shop smart. You might be surprised by how much money you can save.