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fxramper
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Buying Tires.

Wed Nov 21, 2012 7:21 pm

Haven't done this in a while. Thinking the Mercedes needs some sort of snow/weather tire being up in NE now. I know the dealership will charge me a cashectomy if I ask for their advice on a brand and model. Maybe a local tire chain would offer better advice? Any help on selecting a model for the snow up here would help. I have a 2009 E350 4matic.

Thanks.   
 
rfields5421
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RE: Buying Tires.

Wed Nov 21, 2012 7:29 pm

Call Michelin, Goodyear and any other make you like customer service number.

Describe your vehicle and type of driving. They will give you the details of the best tire for your driving.

Then you can shop for a specific tire, and ask for the date of manufacture to be no more than 6 months old.

Otherwise anyone you go to is going to try to sell you the 'best fit' they currently have in stock, and they will give you the oldest tires they have on the shelf.
 
ANITIX87
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RE: Buying Tires.

Wed Nov 21, 2012 7:55 pm

tirerack.com. You can shop by car and type of wheel/tire. Definitely the way to go. I recommend getting a separate set of winter wheels/tires mounted and balanced from them, so that you can just bolt and new wheels on at the season change.

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Luxair747SP
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RE: Buying Tires.

Wed Nov 21, 2012 8:46 pm

We're having a Mercedes as well, and there are even often offers from the Mercedes dealers themselves for cheap winter and all weather tires.
Sometimes they seem to be cheaper than the local tire dealers.
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AirframeAS
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RE: Buying Tires.

Wed Nov 21, 2012 8:52 pm

Maybe this thread might help?

What Kind Of Winter Shoes Do You Have For Your Car (by swissy Nov 14 2012 in Non Aviation)
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Tugger
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RE: Buying Tires.

Wed Nov 21, 2012 9:04 pm

Funny, I have been looking for tires for my car just now (though I do not need winter tires) and I came across these:
Goodyear Ultra Grip Ice WRT


I researched them a bit before I realized they were winter/snow tires (what the heck are "winter tires" sez the guy living in San Diego ) and several Mercedes owners on teh various sites (CR, Costco, TireRack, 1010Tire etc) had good praise for them.

Tugg
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MrChips
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RE: Buying Tires.

Wed Nov 21, 2012 9:09 pm

Quoting ANITIX87 (Reply 2):
tirerack.com. You can shop by car and type of wheel/tire. Definitely the way to go. I recommend getting a separate set of winter wheels/tires mounted and balanced from them, so that you can just bolt and new wheels on at the season change.

Definitely go with Tire Rack. I've basically stopped shopping at local tire stores because of them. Even though I live here in Canada (meaning, we get screwed seven ways to Sunday buying + shipping things from the US), it's still quite a bit cheaper to buy tires from Tire Rack and get them mounted + balanced locally than if I bought them locally as well.
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Revelation
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RE: Buying Tires.

Wed Nov 21, 2012 10:22 pm

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 1):
Michelin
Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 1):
tirerack.com

Agree with both. Have had various Mich tires on both my 96 Ford Explorer and 06 BMW 330i and have had great experiences. Nice ride and handling with great tread life.

Currently have summer performance tires on the factory rims and all season tires on cheapish rims. All but the factory rims came from Tire Rack.

Quoting ANITIX87 (Reply 2):
I recommend getting a separate set of winter wheels/tires mounted and balanced from them, so that you can just bolt and new wheels on at the season change.

Yes, that's good advice. I'm kinda doing the same thing, except the factory rims are for the summertime fun tires and the cheapish rims are for all seasons that I run fall/winter/spring.

I find I can get away with good quality all-season tires, not the full-blown snow tires, mostly because I don't have an urgent need to go out in the snow. I live on a street that is right off a main highway, and both are plowed pretty promptly, and I'm allowed to work from home on bad days, so I can just wait out any bad storms.

If I had to get out in storms, or had to drive family members around in storms, I'd probably have a different vehicle, never mind different tires.
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fxramper
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RE: Buying Tires.

Wed Nov 21, 2012 10:30 pm

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 1):
Otherwise anyone you go to is going to try to sell you the 'best fit' they currently have in stock, and they will give you the oldest tires they have on the shelf.

Does TireRack practice this 'oldest tires in stock' deal?

Quoting ANITIX87 (Reply 2):
tirerack.com. You can shop by car and type of wheel/tire. Definitely the way to go. I recommend getting a separate set of winter wheels/tires mounted and balanced from them, so that you can just bolt and new wheels on at the season change.

This sounds like the best deal.

I'm looking for an annual all purpose tire. My Lexus SUV is AWD and in deep snow I'll drive that. I have an extra set of wheels (amg factory) but no tires on them right now. I'm lazy and it seems too big of a deal to pull a set of wheels off and put a different one on for 4 months a year.
 
Flighty
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RE: Buying Tires.

Wed Nov 21, 2012 10:59 pm

Longtime, fleet-wide happy Tirerack.com customer.

Choice #1: Use your existing wheels and simply buy new M+S rated all-season tires. I usually sort available tires by low price and pick the cheapest tires with good ratings. (Hey... a real cheapskate simply won't buy tires... at least I'm not that guy).

Choice #2: I was going to say buy more wheels and do dedicated snows / summer tires, but I am lazy like you, so just get all-seasons. Nice car, BTW.

[Edited 2012-11-21 15:01:18]
 
rfields5421
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RE: Buying Tires.

Thu Nov 22, 2012 12:11 am

Quoting fxramper (Reply 8):
Does TireRack practice this 'oldest tires in stock' deal?

I would assume that they do. Almost everyone does.

However, one thing I look for is a dealer who moves a lot of the type of tires I am looking to buy. Their inventory will turn over quickly, and they will be less likely to have older tires on the rack.
 
asuflyer05
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RE: Buying Tires.

Thu Nov 22, 2012 12:49 am

The OEM Continental ProContact's for the E350 4MATIC should be sufficient for winter. Any meatier of a tire and you're going to compromise handling, ride quality and noise. Pirelli also supplies tires for MB but I don't recommend them. They wear unevenly and become very noisy.
 
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DocLightning
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RE: Buying Tires.

Thu Nov 22, 2012 1:38 am

Don't know if you're a COSTCO member, but they often have reasonable deals.
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BMI727
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RE: Buying Tires.

Thu Nov 22, 2012 2:14 am

Quoting ANITIX87 (Reply 2):
tirerack.com. You can shop by car and type of wheel/tire.

This would be my suggestion. Great website and it couldn't be easier, just be careful or you could find yourself buying new wheels and exhaust too.
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zippyjet
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RE: Buying Tires.

Thu Nov 22, 2012 5:19 am

As I tell all my friends including A-Net friends; Go to Consumer Reports. Usually the most accurate and of course objective. Also, you may be able to get away with just buying a pair instead of 4. Most scrupulous dealers/stores will sell you the pair and advise you which old tires are worth keeping. I've learned one thing, air is a tire's and driver's best friend. I always keep mine inflated 4 to 8 psi above the "recommended" pressures listed on the tire. Those are for ride quality but you sacrifice gas mileage and they'll wear out faster meaning it will be that time to buy them again.
A friend of mine belongs to Costco and members can pump I believe Nitrogen? instead of regular air. This is supposedly better for your tires. But, still you still need to conduct regular tire pressure checks.
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BMI727
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RE: Buying Tires.

Thu Nov 22, 2012 6:30 am

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 14):
A friend of mine belongs to Costco and members can pump I believe Nitrogen?

I think many tire shops and dealers will do nitrogen inflation for you.

It holds the pressure better than air, supposedly anyway. It's one of those things that I'd probably take if it's offered by I wouldn't pay for it or go out of my way for it.
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MrChips
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RE: Buying Tires.

Thu Nov 22, 2012 6:34 am

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 14):
As I tell all my friends including A-Net friends; Go to Consumer Reports. Usually the most accurate and of course objective. Also, you may be able to get away with just buying a pair instead of 4. Most scrupulous dealers/stores will sell you the pair and advise you which old tires are worth keeping. I've learned one thing, air is a tire's and driver's best friend. I always keep mine inflated 4 to 8 psi above the "recommended" pressures listed on the tire. Those are for ride quality but you sacrifice gas mileage and they'll wear out faster meaning it will be that time to buy them again.
A friend of mine belongs to Costco and members can pump I believe Nitrogen? instead of regular air. This is supposedly better for your tires. But, still you still need to conduct regular tire pressure checks.

CR has good information, but I actually find Tire Rack's customer reviews to be better still. You'll often find several reviews for a particular tire for your exact make and model of car, instead of a generic "Recommended/Not Recommended". I've found that a particular tire might work well on one car, but it could be unsuitable for another car for any number of reasons. Beyond that, the community contributing reviews on Tire Rack seem to be pretty forthright and honest about what they contribute.

Overinflating your tires can yield some fuel economy and dry traction advantages, but for normal road use, I wouldn't recommend anyone go more than 4 psi above what the owner's manual recommends (unless you drive a Ford Explorer, in which case I would recommend an 8 psi increase). Anything beyond that and you'll start to see problems with wet traction and abnormal tire wear. As for nitrogen fills, it's a sham. Air is ~78% nitrogen already; while the oxygen in your tires does cause some oxidation of the tire carcass over time, the most "active" gas in air is water vapour. As temperature changes, it expands and contracts more than any of the other components in air, and is responsible for much of the corrosion and degradation on both the wheel surfaces and the tire itself. I choose to fill my tires with dry shop air instead.
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A346Dude
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RE: Buying Tires.

Sat Nov 24, 2012 4:44 am

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 14):
As I tell all my friends including A-Net friends; Go to Consumer Reports. Usually the most accurate and of course objective. Also, you may be able to get away with just buying a pair instead of 4. Most scrupulous dealers/stores will sell you the pair and advise you which old tires are worth keeping. I've learned one thing, air is a tire's and driver's best friend. I always keep mine inflated 4 to 8 psi above the "recommended" pressures listed on the tire. Those are for ride quality but you sacrifice gas mileage and they'll wear out faster meaning it will be that time to buy them again.
A friend of mine belongs to Costco and members can pump I believe Nitrogen? instead of regular air. This is supposedly better for your tires. But, still you still need to conduct regular tire pressure checks.

Sorry but I gotta disagree with this.

Rotate your tires regularly and they should all wear out at the same time.

Airing up over the recommended pressure will probably give you a small fuel economy bump but will also wear your tires unevenly and make them more susceptible to damage. This could wipe out any gains. Ideally your tread should be "flat" from shoulder to center to shoulder so that all sections see equal wear. You can test this by drawing a line of chalk across the tread, driving a few feet, and verifying that the line is equally worn.

IMO nitrogen inflation is a scam used to sell you on safety and green mumbo jumbo. The difference is negligible as long as you check your pressures regularly.
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StuckInCA
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RE: Buying Tires.

Sat Nov 24, 2012 4:47 am

Quoting ANITIX87 (Reply 2):
tirerack.com.

This. User reviews and, for many tires, objective test data. Best tire site around.
 
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zippyjet
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RE: Buying Tires.

Sat Nov 24, 2012 4:57 am

Quoting A346Dude (Reply 17):
IMO nitrogen inflation is a scam used to sell you on safety and green mumbo jumbo. The difference is negligible as long as you check your pressures regularly.

I wouldn't go out of my way or pony up for the nitrogen to pump up the tires. However if it was free, I'd give it a whirl.
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A346Dude
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RE: Buying Tires.

Sat Nov 24, 2012 5:03 am

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 19):
I wouldn't go out of my way or pony up for the nitrogen to pump up the tires. However if it was free, I'd give it a whirl.

Fair enough. I wouldn't, just because it pisses me off how they market it to those who don't know any better.
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zippyjet
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RE: Buying Tires.

Sat Nov 24, 2012 5:10 am

Quoting StuckInCA (Reply 18):

Thank you for the information. I'll have to check this out. Especially if I had a sports car or something out of the ordinary. But, you still can't go wrong with Consumer Reports. Go for both.  
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sccutler
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RE: Buying Tires.

Sat Nov 24, 2012 5:20 am

For local "brick and mortar" tire stores, I have had stellar experience with Discount Tires. Their prices are always reasonable (sometimes cheapest, but never high), and their service and customer support have been stellar. They, also, have tire reviews on their website, which I have found useful.

And as for nitrogen tire fills? What a scam!
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ANITIX87
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RE: Buying Tires.

Sat Nov 24, 2012 3:40 pm

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 14):
I always keep mine inflated 4 to 8 psi above the "recommended" pressures listed on the tire.

I don't want to see a thread from you in the future called "Had a tire blowout - what do I do???" Are you crazy? 8psi ABOVE the recommended pressure? My car's recommended pressure is 38psi, and the tires can only handle 45. Are you sure your tires can even take it? What happens when it gets warmer and the pressure starts to rise and you're suddenly 15psi above recommended? What happens when you want to go up a wet or slippery hill but you can't because you have complete wearing on the center of the treat? How many tire bubbles have you had? What speed rating are your tires? Why do you want them to wear out faster? SO MANY QUESTIONS!!!!!!!

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smittyone
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RE: Buying Tires.

Sat Nov 24, 2012 4:58 pm

Quoting fxramper (Thread starter):
Thinking the Mercedes needs some sort of snow/weather tire being up in NE now.

I've lived in New England, Michigan, and Wisconsin and never had genuine snow tires. Depends on whether or not you really MUST drive in snow and ice before the trucks get out to clear and salt the roads. If not, all season radials with an A or AA traction rating will definitely do the job.

As for where to get them, I've done the Tire rack successfully in the past...but was also surprised by a good deal I got at the local Honda dealership...the tires were $15 more than the same models from the Tire Rack, which isn't too big of a ripoff. I bought two tires there since Honda was replacing two of mine for free (alignment problem on a "certified" used car!).
 
B6JFKH81
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RE: Buying Tires.

Sat Nov 24, 2012 4:58 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 12):
Don't know if you're a COSTCO member, but they often have reasonable deals.

  

Yes, I just got my tires replaced recently and my parents took me to COSTCO for them (I'm not a COSTCO member). IIRC, they were Bridgestone Ecopia series. Very reasonably priced, great warranty, balanced, filled with Nitrogen, the works. The tires have a pretty good ride too so I'm happy.
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StuckInCA
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RE: Buying Tires.

Sun Nov 25, 2012 9:04 pm

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 21):
Thank you for the information. I'll have to check this out. Especially if I had a sports car or something out of the ordinary. But, you still can't go wrong with Consumer Reports. Go for both.

I've found it to be especially useful in finding tires which perform well in light snow, ice and standing water as well. I guess the only way it wouldn't be a great site is if you live somewhere where tire selection doesn't matter. Where I live, we have hills and some number of days each year have compact snow and ice. Many many days have lots of water. I used to drive a WRX and now have a (cough cough) minivan and a forester. Tires matter! More than most people think!

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