Tires: Everything you need to know about price and keeping them properly inflated!

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Tires: Everything you need to know about price and keeping them properly inflated!
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Your tires are a big part of what keeps you and your family safe on the road. So you want to be sure you get the best-performing wheels for your ride at the best price!

Read more: New report: These are the 38 safest vehicles for 2017

Here are the safest and best tires

Consumer Reports recently took a look at more than 150 tire models and put them through the ringer. After driving on many of them constantly for up to 16,000 miles in rural Texas, the magazine named its top picks:

  • Best All-Season Tire – Michelin Defender ($120)
  • Best Performance All-Season Tire – Continental PureContact ($113)
  • Best All-Season Truck Tire – Michelin LTX M/S2 ($189)
  • Best All-Terrain Truck Tire – Hankook Dynapro AT-M ($130)
  • Best Winter/Snow Tire – Michelin X-ice XI3 ($117)

In addition to the ones listed above, a couple of other lesser-known tires received ‘best buy’ marks from Consumer Reports.

Those models include the Continental TrueContact ($106); the General Altimax RT43 [T] ($91); and the Pirelli P4 Four Seasons Plus ($100).

How to reduce the cost of what you pay for tires

Have you gotten sticker shock when you needed replacement tires for your car? Chances are you may have expensive non-standard tires.

Automakers create multiple lines of a single vehicle at different price points. One of the up-sells they add to the pricier lines are fancy wheels that are larger than usual tires.

Some models even have speed-rated tires that are designed to perform at 149 mph or higher. We’ve all seen the commercials with stunt drivers tearing it up on closed roads. It’s like James Bond syndrome! But how often do you drive even 100 mph?! Do you really need those high-performance tires?

So check out the tire size and type before you buy a car. Or simply ask the dealer about the replacement tire price. Of course, for many people style is king and they don’t care if they have to pay extra. But if you do care, use TireRack.com to check tire prices.

Another great place to check for tires? Costco Wholesale!

The warehouse club really offers an unparalleled buying experience when it comes to service and price. At certain times of the year, Costco will even offer $70 to $80 off select brands of tires.

If you’re thinking about joining the warehouse club, keep your eyes open for these deals. Just one set of tires will more than pay your Costco membership fee.

And here’s a bonus: You’ll get free tire balancing and rotation — plus free flat repairs.

Is this the best deal out there on tires?

But the king of all warehouse club tire deals may be Sam’s Club. In addition to free tire rotation and free repair of flats, Sam’s Club has a benefit that is unique as far as we know on Team Clark: Emergency roadside tire service.

For three years from purchase, Sam’s Club members have 24 hour toll-free access for emergency tire change service. Apparently they will send a truck to come deal with your flat on the side of the road!

Kudos to Sam’s Club for that. So now it’s up to you, Costco. Your archrival has emergency roadside tire assistance! Are you going to let Sam’s Club upstage you?!

Read more: Best auto insurance companies

Tires low on air? Here’s how much you should put in

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Theo Thimou About the author:
Theo is director of content for clark.com. He has co-written 2 books with Clark Howard, including the #1 New York Times bestseller Clark Howard's Living Large in Lean Times.
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