Can You Buy Tires Online? Meet Tire Rack

tire-rack-decision-guide-arbormotion-shopCredit: Tire Rack allowed me to choose the installation shop, making my tire buying process even easier.

No mystery, just great service. Isn’t that the best?

Guest post by Anna Mae Trievel

I hated shopping for car tires so much that the last time I needed new tires, I just bought a new car. In my defense, my car was 11 years old with over 100,000 miles, so it probably made sense to replace the whole car. Last summer, the service manager at my dealer told me I would need new tires before winter. They handed me a 5-page printout of tire options with no information. How would I determine the best car tires for me?

Shopping for tires at a dealership or store isn’t for me. I want to be prepared to make an intelligent decision, not be sold something that might not be right for me. That is why getting tires from Tire Rack, where the entire transaction is done online, appealed to me.

I partnered with Tire Rack to find the best tires for my car and my driving needs. Their Tire Decision Guide took the mystery out of selecting the best car tires. I simply rated how important each tire features was and it gave me the best tire and two alternatives.

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Tire Rack’s Tire Decision Guide helped me narrow down what I needed in new tires. Photo: Anna Mae Trievel

Find Best Car Tires with Tire Rack’s Tire Decision Guide

The Decision Guide helps you find the best tire in two minutes or less by answering a few simple questions: 

  • What is your Vehicle Make, Year, Model, and Trim Level?
  • What type of tires do you want – All Seasons, Summer Only, Winter Only?
  • Do you drive off paved roads?
  • What features are most important to you?
    • Snow Traction
    • Wet Road Handling
    • Dry Road Handling
    • Ride Comfort
    • Wear
    • Price

After that, Tire Rack will give you the best tires for your situation.

Related: Run flat tires never leave you stranded

Selecting the Right Tires for My Mazda CX-5 With Tire Rack’s Tire Decision Guide

The first question was the hardest for me to answer. I know I have a Mazda CX-5 AWD. But had to think about the model year (2016, although I bought it in 2015) and the trim level.

Even though I live in Michigan, I opted for an all-season tire. Most of our snow comes in 1/2”-1” storms and not in 6”+ storms. Plus, they tend to close school when the roads are bad – as evidenced by our 8 snow days in the last 5 weeks – so I don’t have to go out much until the main roads are cleared.

The tire performance questions were easy – I want it all! We have all types of weather conditions so snow, wet pavement, and dry pavement performance are all equally important. Wear is also important to me. I don’t want to replace my tires in another 3 years and 35,000 miles. And of course, I want the best value in my purchase.

Related: These tires are designed to get better with wear! 

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The two-minute quiz that helps you narrow down what you need in a new set of tires. Photo: Anna Mae Trievel

What is Important to You When it Comes to Tires? I Want Tires That Are Good at Everything!

From the Tire Decision Guide, I was able to view more information on each of the recommended tires. This breaks down their performance in each category, gives reviews, and the number of miles that the reviews are based on.

I chose the Continental Cross Contact tire for its great all-around tire. Reviews on the Tire Rack site are based on 12 million miles driven, so hopefully they reflect long term wear statistics as opposed to a newer tire with fewer miles driven. I also liked that they are eco tires for improved gas mileage.

The original tires on my vehicle were eco tires. They got great gas mileage but did not handle great in the snow and ice even when new. The Continental Cross-Contact is an eco tire and has good all around scores. 

Related: What you need to know about driving on ice (it starts with your tires)

Ordering the Best New Tires with Tire Rack

In the past, my husband and I used Tire Rack for research only because the idea of buying tires online was intimidating. However, Tire Rack made online purchasing very easy with a network of local installers throughout the country. You purchase the tires from Tire Rack and they ship them directly to your chosen installer at no extra charge. Tire Rack continuously monitors the reviews and quality of the installers to ensure the local installers provide excellent service.

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The Continental tires I chose on my Mazda CX-5! Photo: Anna Mae Trievel

Selecting an Installer and Scheduling Installation

When I placed my order, I had a choice of 5 installers, including two top-rated installers in my area. Tire Rack provides information on each installer to help you make a choice. You can compare the location, installation prices, and customer reviews. Once you select an installer, you complete your purchase on Tire Rack by paying for the tires. The installer is paid directly for installation.

I selected ArborMotion, one of the top-rated installers in my area. The tires arrived at ArborMotion a couple of days after I placed the order. I called ArborMotion and was able to schedule my appointment within a week at a busy time of year.

My Installation Experience

ArborMotion was a great choice. I had my choice of dates within a week of my phone call. They requested to have the vehicle for the day. I dropped the car off in the morning and they drove me home. Pickup service was available, but I had a ride to pick up the car. In addition to changing my tires, they also checked the vehicle for other maintenance needs and washed the car. They communicated with me through the day and had it ready at my requested time. I simply had to pay them for the installation at pickup

The Best New Tires for Me

Over the last month, I have had plenty of opportunities to test the snow and ice handling of my new Continental Cross Contact tires. The car has handled wonderfully in both snow and icy conditions that would have caused issues with my old tires. With snowmelt on warm days, I have also been able to see excellent wet road performance. The only thing left is to see how they wear in the long term.

Tire Rack’s Tire Decision Guide made the process of selecting a new tire very easily. With a few simple questions, they recommended three tires for me. The extra information provided for each tire helped me narrow it down to one choice. With free shipping to my installer choice in their network, the installation process was simple.

I love being able to work with experts and made the tire-buying decision at home and on my own schedule without the pressure or distraction of making a choice in a busy tire shop.

Disclosure: Tire Rack provided four tires and guidance for purpose of this story; the opinions expressed are all my own.

We Were Able To Pick Out A Great Set Of Tires And Have Them Delivered To A Local Tire Shop, All On Line Through Tire Rack. Easy, Peasy.