Tire costs increasing: What you can do to save

Posted at 6:00 PM, May 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-16 18:58:27-04

You would think that low gas and oil prices would mean lower tire prices, but no such luck. Goodyear has raised prices for 2017, and other brands are following.          

Action News talked to Gary Bubar from AAA in Dearborn for the reasons behind the price hike.

"The reason the pricing has gone up has to do with the price of the raw rubber and latex that is being purchased out of SouthEast,” according to Bubar. “They've had some horrible flooding over the last six to eight months and a lot of their rubber plantations and rubber trees harvesting process has slowed down to nothing.”

When supply is down, it drives prices up and since one third of rubber comes from Thailand, consumers are getting hit.

These days, more people are driving big SUV’s, with bigger, more costly tires, so a set can now easily cost a thousand dollars. With many all-wheel drive vehicles, you need to replace all four tires at once, and with other vehicles…

“The recommendations are that if you have to buy one tire, that you buy a set of tires so they have equal wear,” Bubar says. 

The quarter test

Under inflation, not rotating your tires and not checking your alignment all contribute to premature wear on your tires. Bubar says you can tell if it’s time to replace them with the quarter test. Put a quarter into the tread of the tire, with Washington’s head facing down. Bubar says if you can see head, it's time to start tire shopping. To get the best deal, comparison shop, but be sure to do your homework.

“As you're shopping, make sure you are dealing with a reputable tire dealer, whether it's a dealership, whether it's a well -known store or whether it's a neighborhood store and make sure you trust and asked for references. Ask for some of the folks that have purchased before, word of mouth can go a long way.”

Consumer Reports says if you can wait until September, Labor Day brings big tire rebate deals. It also says look for lower prices online at sites like Tire Rack.