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    • Coming home from Six Flags with a group of kids, I got a flat on the front wheel. It must have slowly deflated because it gradually began to register with me that something was going wrong besides cross winds and grooves in the pavement.

      They have 55,000 miles, I want safety in the rain, time for new. So I go to, specify my tire size, and 12 models of Michelins come up. All 12 are all-season. Fine. They have names like Defender, Latitude, X Tour, and Primacy. Prices are not much different, from $200/tire to $170. Now what? Warranties from 55,000 to 80,000. Does longer wear mean less grip?

      I go to America's Tire. They have 12 brands from Firestone, Goodyear, Perelli, to ones I've never heard of, with prices from $70 to $200.

      So... What's the best way to figure this out? I don't drive in snow with this car.

    • Last month I needed new tires.


      I enter the garage and tell the desk mechanic I need an oil change.

      He punches up my account and can see we’ve spent over $1,000 in service and repairs there in the past year. He can also see we’ve been a customer of the chain for over 20 years.

      I tell him I’m interested in tires with better grip. And immediately he goes into sales mode.

      “How much you want to spend?”

      I pause, look him in the eyes and reply

      “Look, I don’t want high-end Pirellis. That might be great for you but not so great for me.”

      He realizes, I think, that he could lose all of my family’s future business if he oversells me. He recommends a popular mid-price brand and explains why they make sense for me over a higher-rated for gripping model. They’re more expensive than what I previously had, but not excessively so.

      So I get them.

      FADE OUT

      The tires worked brilliantly during the next snowstorm. Could I have gotten cheaper ones at Walmart? Maybe, or maybe they would’ve tried to sell me more expensive tires that I didn’t need or a cheaper model that didn’t work that they were trying to unload.

      Plus, the guys changing my tires were ASE-certified mechanics, not parts changers at Sears. Which means I didn’t have to worry about this 👇 happening.

      As far as tires for driving in Northern California, I would think tires that are highly rated for not hydroplaning, and not melting during the next fire season, would be key metrics.

    • By the time I replaced the tires on my 7000 LB dodge diesel pickup, the Michelin LTX "whatever's" had about 70,000 miles on them. That's really, really good for a heavy truck like that. So I bought another set of the latest version. 5 actually. They're all season tires, perform decently in the snow and great in the rain and summer (and pretty good off road too.)

      I recently bought another set. This time for the Mrs' Grand Cherokee.

      Just went a looked at the receipt. Michelin Defender LTX