It’s time to replace the tires on the Camry. Hence, it is “research” time for tires. My main mechanic has told me that he no longer sells tires because the quality of everything today is so low that he got tired of having to fulfill warranty claims on tires. Sheesh! Where does that leave us. I asked him where he goes to get tires himself. He recommended a shop in town that I’ve dealt with in the past. However, this time I wanted higher-end tires. The tires on the car now are Michelin Energy tires. They have over 60K miles on them, which I think is outstanding. But they were not good at all in the snow. I want to stay with Michelins, but I want a better “all-season” tread. So I started researching Michelin tires to see what else is available and how they have been reviewed. I love being able to look at other customers’ comments online in forums that allow for reviews. I was able to find a website, 1010tires, that collects and processes customer reviews on tires. This site produces a nice summarizing chart giving data on several different dimensions of the tire’s performance, as reported by reviewers.
I also read a few reviews written by a couple of consumer reports-type of organizations. I pretty much settled in on the Michelin Premier AS tires as my choice. They are a new design to replace the Michelin Primacy MSV4, which had gotten good reviews in the areas I was interested in. Then it was on to finding prices for comparison purposes at the local dealers.
At first, it looked like Mavis Discount Tires was the place with the best “deal.” The local Toyota dealer was 29% higher for a set of 4 tires (installed). The local, independent tire shops were about 23% higher. BJ’s was only about 5% higher. I was curious about why BJ’s was higher at all. They are a membership warehouse store, and everything is supposed to be discounted below regular retail establishments. So, I made some phone calls to see what was included in the installed price. It turns out the only difference between BJ’s and Mavis was that BJ’s includes a road-hazard warranty. You can have Mavis add a road-hazard warranty, but it is an extra charge. I asked them for the overall price if the road-hazard warranty was included, and now BJ’s was the place with the lowest price. So, tomorrow, BJ’s will be installing my new Michelin Premier A/S tires on our Camry.
WooHoo! Now I don’t have to worry about our car passing the NYS inspection next month.