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Old 07-07-2014, 11:32 AM
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Need new tires. Advice requested.

I have a 2012 Rav-4 with a tad over 50K. Mutiple places told me I need new tires. Mostly I drive on highways and only go off road when my GPS messes up and sends me there.

The quotes I have are are below. All include road Hazard balancing and alignment. Rounded to the dollar.

Michelin Defender- $952
BF Goodrich- Long Trail T/A $1094
Bridgestone Dueler $916
Firestone Destination $766
Primewell Valera $604
Toyo Versado $820
Definity HP100 $525
Hankook Dynapro HT $772

Quotes are from Pep Boys, A Goodyear Dealer and a Firestone Dealer. Does anyone have comments on the above tires or suggestions for other ones to look at?
Old 07-07-2014, 11:59 AM
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I worked in a tire warehouse years ago, dealing with some of those brands. We did not handle Goodyear, Primewell nor Definity. Only stocked Hankook or Toyo when we got special pricing buys.

We had far fewer defect claims, as a percentage of our deliveries, for Michelin and Bridgestone than for Firestone and BF Goodrich. The Dueler is a good tire and I would probably go with a Dueler HT (Highway Tread) in your situation. The Dueler is available in a AT (All Terrain) but you probably don't need that based upon your highway driving pattern.



Edit to add: Is your RAV4 the Base, Limited, or Sport package? V4 or V6? Base uses P215-70R16 Limited is P225-65R17. Sport is P235-55R18.

Last edited by Iggy; 07-07-2014 at 12:02 PM.
Old 07-07-2014, 12:02 PM
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The Michelin Defender is Consumer Reports' highest-rated all-season tire. I'm surprised at the price, though -- At Costco, I paid about $600 for four Defenders for my Honda Odyssey. Do you have a Costco or Sam's Club membership? If not, it might be worth the $50 to join Costco if it can save you that much money.
Old 07-07-2014, 12:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iggy View Post
I worked in a tire warehouse years ago, dealing with some of those brands. We did not handle Goodyear, Primewell nor Definity. Only stocked Hankook or Toyo when we got special pricing buys.

We had far fewer defect claims, as a percentage of our deliveries, for Michelin and Bridgestone than for Firestone and BF Goodrich. The Dueler is a good tire and I would probably go with a Dueler HT (Highway Tread) in your situation. The Dueler is available in a AT (All Terrain) but you probably don't need that based upon your highway driving pattern.



Edit to add: Is your RAV4 the Base, Limited, or Sport package? V4 or V6? Base uses P215-70R16 Limited is P225-65R17. Sport is P235-55R18.
I need 225/65R17 according to my current tires.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SanibelMan View Post
The Michelin Defender is Consumer Reports' highest-rated all-season tire. I'm surprised at the price, though -- At Costco, I paid about $600 for four Defenders for my Honda Odyssey. Do you have a Costco or Sam's Club membership? If not, it might be worth the $50 to join Costco if it can save you that much money.
I do have a Costco membership and I was going to check them out once I had an idea of what are good tires.
Old 07-07-2014, 12:32 PM
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I checked costco.com and they have ther Dueler Ecopia for 149.99 plus taxes. The tires come with a 70 rebate on 4 bringing them down to 642 and change installed. And it includes Road Hazard. SanibelMan thanks for suggesting Costco. I'll go back to the Firestone dealership and give them a chance to match the offer.
Old 07-07-2014, 12:36 PM
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Check TireRack.com too. That's where I usually to buy my tires. The prices are (usually) competitive, and you can read peoples' reviews of them which is sometimes helpful. Costco is good too, though.
Old 07-07-2014, 12:41 PM
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Glad I could help. Costco also offers free rotation and balance. The downside, though, is they don't take appointments, and depending on how busy your local Costco is, you might have to get there before it opens to get tire service done, or be prepared to leave your car there for a few hours.
Old 07-07-2014, 12:42 PM
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I've owned a bunch of different cars and SUVs and Michelin is the record holder in number of miles that I got out of one set was 120k miles. It was on a Ford Expedition.

That's mostly highway miles, and keeping them pumped up.
Old 07-07-2014, 12:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SanibelMan View Post
Glad I could help. Costco also offers free rotation and balance. The downside, though, is they don't take appointments, and depending on how busy your local Costco is, you might have to get there before it opens to get tire service done, or be prepared to leave your car there for a few hours.
The only think that annoys me about Costco is that they fill your tires with nitrogen.

Otherwise, I recommend them too. I guess you can request regular air?

Last edited by Absinthe Anecdote; 07-07-2014 at 12:45 PM.
Old 07-07-2014, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by FoundWaldo View Post
Check TireRack.com too. That's where I usually to buy my tires. The prices are (usually) competitive, and you can read peoples' reviews of them which is sometimes helpful. Costco is good too, though.
I didn't like that for TireRack.com if I understand their Road Hazzard program I would have to order a replacement tire from them if my tire can't be repaired. If I understood that correctly I'd be down for a period of time until the tire came in,

Quote:
Originally Posted by SanibelMan View Post
Glad I could help. Costco also offers free rotation and balance. The downside, though, is they don't take appointments, and depending on how busy your local Costco is, you might have to get there before it opens to get tire service done, or be prepared to leave your car there for a few hours.
My car dealership usually has a deal with rotation with an oil change so that's not a big concern and I have lifetime alignment at Firestone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Absinthe Anecdote View Post
I've owned a bunch of different cars and SUVs and Michelin is the record holder in number of miles that I got out of one set was 120k miles. It was on a Ford Expedition.

That's mostly highway miles, and keeping them pumped up.
The only think that annoys me about Costco is that they fill your tires with nitrogen.

Otherwise, I recommend them too. I guess you can request regular air?[/QUOTE]

What's the disadvantage of Nitrogen as the fill source?
Old 07-07-2014, 12:53 PM
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Tirerack.com, then get them installed wherever you want.
Old 07-07-2014, 12:59 PM
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Nitrogen has advantages for high performance racing tires. Come to think of it, when I bought a set from Costco it was for a Honda s2000.

The disadvantage is if you want to add tire pressure, nitrogen pumps are harder to find.

I'm betting if you have a SUV or regular car, they'd use plain air.
Old 07-07-2014, 01:02 PM
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Thirding or fourthing TireRack.com. It's rare to find even deep-discount pricing that comes close to theirs, shipping is modest (free if you live within driving distance of one of their warehouses... which I do now, Yay!) and they will ship directly to a recommended installer who will charge a flat fee per wheel for full-service mount and balance.

The specs, reviews and tests for each tire you're considering are also utterly priceless. Search for reviews from people driving your vehicle - some tires get rave reviews on say, a sedan but are hated by minivan or small car drivers.

There is no downside to nitrogen inflation. There's almost no upside, either. It's minimally valid wooishness. You do not need to add only N2 for top-ups; air is already 70%+ nitrogen.

I would go for the best all-season tires in your choices and put (wear) mileage at the bottom as a criterion. If you buy super-high-performance tires, you know they're going to wear out comparatively early. If you're shopping for mainstream tires, mileage and traction are almost a direct tradeoff; getting 60k out of a set that never lets you down is far better (IMVHO) than a 100k set that slips and slides under demanding conditions.

But start with TireRack, first and always. Unbeatable at presenting a full slate of choices and supporting info at bottom-5% pricing.

Last edited by Amateur Barbarian; 07-07-2014 at 01:02 PM.
Old 07-07-2014, 01:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Absinthe Anecdote View Post
Nitrogen has advantages for high performance racing tires. [...] The disadvantage is if you want to add tire pressure, nitrogen pumps are harder to find.
Nitrogen has a few advantages for high performance racing. Most racers just use air. Having "high performance racing tires" does not demand any special fill for street driving. And as I just noted, having an initial nitrogen fill does not compel you to keep topping it up with N2.

It's next to meaningless unless you're in F1 or Champ car competition.
Old 07-07-2014, 01:06 PM
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If there is a Discount Tires near you, they will usually beat, or at the worst case, price match Tire Rack. And I have never had less than stellar service from them. I personally would not deal with Pep Boys, Goodyear, or Firestone retailers.

As for the choice of tires, there is another factor to consider that you haven't addressed. Are you more concerned with treadwear (how long do you want the tire to last) or grip. Usually these two are a a balancing act. The higher the treadwear rating, the "harder" the tire is which means less grip.

In my experience, having a tire that lasts forever is seldom worth the sacrifices you make in performance. I had a set of Michelin LTX M/S tires on a Grand Cherokee a few years back. I WANTED them to wear out long before they actually did. They rode hard, had horrible grip, and were noisy as hell.

Go on tires.com, put in your make/model/year, and then look at the reviews from people who drive a RAV4 to get a set of opinions based on your actual vehicle. (tires.com is Discount Tires website)
Old 07-07-2014, 01:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Absinthe Anecdote View Post
The only think that annoys me about Costco is that they fill your tires with nitrogen.

Otherwise, I recommend them too. I guess you can request regular air?
Since normal air is already 78 percent nitrogen and since compressed air - normal air just run through a compressor - can contain moisture and traces of all sorts of pollutants especially in high traffic or industrial areas, wouldn't pure nitrogen be less damaging to the tires in the long run?

I seem to remember a co-worker a while back who used to be a professional drag racer who told me that racers preferred to use pure nitrogen. Cecil says there really isn't much difference (although drag racers looking for anything that will give them an extra hundreth of a second advantage might disagree)
https://academicpursuits.us/columns/...instead-of-air

but if the prices are the same, why not do it? Of course as soon as you start topping up the tires at the Air box at the corner gas station the advantage of pure nitrogen would start to disappear anyway.
Old 07-07-2014, 01:17 PM
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I swear by Michelin. I think they own BF Goodrich and they have the same tires with different labeling.

Michelin's last a long, long time with alignment and balancing, and have very good road feel.
Old 07-07-2014, 01:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amateur Barbarian View Post
Thirding or fourthing TireRack.com. It's rare to find even deep-discount pricing that comes close to theirs, shipping is modest (free if you live within driving distance of one of their warehouses... which I do now, Yay!) and they will ship directly to a recommended installer who will charge a flat fee per wheel for full-service mount and balance.

The specs, reviews and tests for each tire you're considering are also utterly priceless. Search for reviews from people driving your vehicle - some tires get rave reviews on say, a sedan but are hated by minivan or small car drivers.

There is no downside to nitrogen inflation. There's almost no upside, either. It's minimally valid wooishness. You do not need to add only N2 for top-ups; air is already 70%+ nitrogen.

I would go for the best all-season tires in your choices and put (wear) mileage at the bottom as a criterion. If you buy super-high-performance tires, you know they're going to wear out comparatively early. If you're shopping for mainstream tires, mileage and traction are almost a direct tradeoff; getting 60k out of a set that never lets you down is far better (IMVHO) than a 100k set that slips and slides under demanding conditions.

But start with TireRack, first and always. Unbeatable at presenting a full slate of choices and supporting info at bottom-5% pricing.
I'm going to look again and do more research on the tires.

Quote:
Originally Posted by leftfield6 View Post
If there is a Discount Tires near you, they will usually beat, or at the worst case, price match Tire Rack. And I have never had less than stellar service from them. I personally would not deal with Pep Boys, Goodyear, or Firestone retailers.

As for the choice of tires, there is another factor to consider that you haven't addressed. Are you more concerned with treadwear (how long do you want the tire to last) or grip. Usually these two are a a balancing act. The higher the treadwear rating, the "harder" the tire is which means less grip.

In my experience, having a tire that lasts forever is seldom worth the sacrifices you make in performance. I had a set of Michelin LTX M/S tires on a Grand Cherokee a few years back. I WANTED them to wear out long before they actually did. They rode hard, had horrible grip, and were noisy as hell.

Go on tires.com, put in your make/model/year, and then look at the reviews from people who drive a RAV4 to get a set of opinions based on your actual vehicle. (tires.com is Discount Tires website)

There is not a location near me. I can get the Bridgestone from there for 529 plus 80 for installation with TPMS rebuild kit and their road hazard but that leave me with using my spare of I need them to ship me a replacement tire. That's a concern of mine.

I want a tire that will have a smooth quiet ride and have the same or better effect on fuel.
Old 07-07-2014, 01:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MannyL View Post
I want a tire that will have a smooth quiet ride and have the same or better effect on fuel.
1) TIreRack offers very reasonably priced road hazard insurance.

2) Ride quiet can be determined by TireRack ratings, reviews and especially paying attention to reviews of more than a few thousand miles on a similar vehicle to yours. To some extent, region is important. The tires on my Odyssey have been very quiet, but when we drove across country, we drove through whole states where they whined and howled on different road surfaces or finish. Try to find reviews from people in your region as well.

3) Don't put any more weight on fuel economy than wear. In general, the harder, longer-wearing tires give better economy and more wear mileage, but at the cost of everyday drivability. The difference between the worst- and best-mileage tires is rarely more than a few percent and, unless you're fitting a long-mileage commute car, just not worth crippling your other characteristics over.
Old 07-07-2014, 01:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnaMen View Post
Tirerack.com, then get them installed wherever you want.
When I went to Tirerack, I just had them ship directly to my local shop, he was happy to put them on for me, and the combined price was good.

I tried Costco, but the necessary wait and overall inconvenience to get the tires done made them less attractive than dropping off at my local mechanic.
Old 07-07-2014, 02:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Absinthe Anecdote View Post
Nitrogen has advantages for high performance racing tires. Come to think of it, when I bought a set from Costco it was for a Honda s2000.

The disadvantage is if you want to add tire pressure, nitrogen pumps are harder to find.
I don't think there is any requirement to continue to use nitrogen even if that's what Costco or another tire shop puts in your tires.
Old 07-07-2014, 02:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheesesteak View Post
When I went to Tirerack, I just had them ship directly to my local shop, he was happy to put them on for me, and the combined price was good.
Before you order, check the install price at your local shop. The one time I almost went this method, the only local shop that Tire Rack dealt with was so expensive that there wasn't any savings & it actually would take longer to get because they needed to be shipped. Local tire chain had the same tires in stock, for less.

Last edited by Spiderman; 07-07-2014 at 02:48 PM.
Old 07-07-2014, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Spiderman View Post
Before you order, check the install price at your local shop. The one time I almost went this method, the only local shop that Tire Rack dealt with was so expensive that there wasn't any savings & it actually would take longer to get because they needed to be shipped. Local tire chain had the same tires in stock, for less.
I believe to be a "TireRack Recommended Installer" they have to offer mount and balance at TR's price, $15/wheel IIRC. It's possible there is another tier of retail shops that will take a TR order and mount it, but on their own terms.
Old 07-07-2014, 03:44 PM
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I usually compare Tirerack.com and DiscountTireDirect.com, last couple time DiscountTireDirect.com was cheaper. Don't forget to take shipping into account as well.
Old 07-07-2014, 04:22 PM
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I was going to use, iirc, tirebuyer.com, as they were cheaper than Tire Rack (my usual go to), and they offered free delivery. As an added bonus, the installer in my area was cheaper, too. However, I ended up going to Firestone because they had some crazy sale. I got the Duelers and think they are fantastic, best tires I have ever owned. I never had much luck with Michelin. My local Costco swears that the Ecopias are the best ever.
Old 07-07-2014, 06:04 PM
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One point is that many local tire dealers offer lifetime balancing with tire purchase for relatively low fees. Contrast this with the $10/tire or so rebalancing fee if you do it individually. So if lifetime balancing saves $40-$50 over the life of the tire instead of individual rebalancing, the cheaper initial internet price may not make up for this.
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