The first dusting of snow has started the ball rolling for many to begin the process of getting ready for the coming winter. As the chilly season approaches, ideas of buying weather-efficient tires for our cars begin to dance in our heads. In an effort to take some of the stress out of purchasing a new set of rubbers, we decided to do our own research at some of the local shops around town.
Unless you’re a motor head, tire shopping can be a daunting process, especially for the majority of women (including myself!). There are an overwhelming amount of tire brands, prices and sizes to choose from. Unless you know exactly what you need, it’s easy to be influenced by your salesperson. During our hunt, we chose to use our own car, in need of new winter tires to handle snowy roads. The vehicle is a 2010 Volkswagen CC, front wheel drive, with mid-grade tires. To get a pretty fair picture, we talked to seven shops in Castle Rock: Big O Tires, Firestone Tires, Midas, 1 Stop Tire & Auto, Meineke, Discount Tires and Steel Tires.
As expected, all establishments we inquired with were very friendly, helpful and professional. However, what was quoted and the brand recommended to replace the worn tires, greatly varied. Prices fell between $102.00 (Steel Tires: Nexen n5000) and $187.00 (Meineke: Cooper CS5) for middle-of-the-road wheels to handle rain, snow or shine. While the brands were different, the size, performance rating and estimated mileage were similar. It was also interesting that most of the ‘franchise’ stores pushed for all four to be replaced and the two smaller businesses (1 Stop Tire & Auto and Steel Tires) advised us that once the tires were rotated, the car would be fine if only two tires were purchased instead.
It was a tough decision, but in the end, we selected Steel Tires as our first choice, with 1 Stop Tire & Auto as a very close second. Both shops were pressure free and gave us fair deals on the lower end. Big O Tires came in at third place because they were also reasonably priced and didn’t try to push hard for the more expensive brands. They did, however, say that the factory recommends for all four tires to be replaced at once, though the manager quickly piped in to say it was not ‘absolutely’ necessary. Needless to say, our Volkswagen CC will soon be fitted with two new Nexen n5000 tires to make our winter driving more manageable and keep our family safe this winter.
(Disclaimer: The content of this article is based on our own research for specified tires. Your experience could be different and it is suggested that you call around to local businesses before making a purchase.)