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  #1  
Old 08-12-2010, 12:39 PM
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Default What should I do?

So here's the situation.

My car is an 04, its got about 104k on it. One pair of my tires are pretty much on the wear bars (about to be rotated to the back where they shouldn't see much wear). Tires for my car are crazy expensive (like, $1000 installed for the cheapest tires I can get if I get a good deal). I've also been having a few other intermittent issues with the car (I have an AC leak somewhere, it doesn't really cool down when its in the 90s down here, it works but not well. The AC leak is a slow one where I just have to put some freon into it ever few months). I just had the 100k service done to it, and so i should be pretty much good to go on major services provided my AC doesn't die, other than my suspension which is old and could use new shocks and struts (but these aren't bad enough to affect anything yet). I just put new tires on it a year ago, and the tires that I bought did not wear well at all in the front.

So that's the basics. My car is probably a year or 2 from being paid off, and is at a point where I'm generally satisfied with it, the only thing I really wish for is side airbags and a little more power. My concern is that it is becoming a money pit, even though it *shouldn't* have any issues, it is getting old and quite possibly will have issues. I'm a full time student with a part time job where I make a decent bit of money, and my financial aid will cover my school expenses. I can't count on my parents for any sort of assistance at present (or likely in the future) as my little sister is getting ready to go to college in a year, and only wants to go to very expensive out of state or ivy league schools. If this makes no sense to you, you must understand that my little sister drives a brand new Lincoln SUV, where I drive an old Saturn. Sense must be thrown out the window and disregarded. Also I'm about 2 years (maybe a little less) away from graduating with my BSEE, which should all but guarantee me a salary of 60k a year starting out.

So anyways, here's the question. Do I try to keep up with this car, and order a set of used tires to just get me by for a little while? I could also just get the rotation done, and throw the bald rear tires on the back until I hit the belts (I figure I can get at least a few months before they get too dangerous, and by then it'll be dry season down here). The other option I've been considering is just trading it in and getting something new,probably a VW GTI or R32. I like the extra fuel economy, better build, and overall safer construction, but I dislike the smaller size, and probably higher payments. Or do I just say "screw it", bite the bullet and get a new set of new tires, the tires I was looking at (for next year) are an 80k mile tire, which should last longer than I'm going to have the car. That would be about $1k at Sears installed. Used tires I'm expecting $400-500 range, which should give me probably 30k miles of use.
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Old 08-12-2010, 12:49 PM
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Personally, I'd go with the brand new tires, since I don't trust used tires, but that's me.

As for the car situation, I'd drive the Saturn till it dies then make a decision. I'm currently driving a 91 Celica with 59k miles on it (will hit 60k in the next 2-3 days) but the car is completely paid off, takes very little maintenance and gets great gas mileage (35mpg average). It's rebuilt and looks like shit (ask those that saw it at the CACO meet) but the benefits of driving it outweigh the costs of driving another "cooler" car. I'm about 3 years from my BSME and if I need a new car, it's going to wait till after I get that and get my job all lined up and everything. You shouldn't have much trouble getting a job with an engineering degree, even with the tough economy. I know the market for ME's is definitely starting to turn around (at least for full time jobs up here) so that should help us when we're graduating in a couple years.

In summary:
1. Keep the car till it dies or needs major fixes
2. Get new tires

BTW, what tires do you have to get that are $250 per tire? That seems extremely steep... And I wouldn't consider an 04 old... That's newer than every car my family owns...
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  #3  
Old 08-12-2010, 12:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 98AckCL23 View Post
Personally, I'd go with the brand new tires, since I don't trust used tires, but that's me.

As for the car situation, I'd drive the Saturn till it dies then make a decision. I'm currently driving a 91 Celica with 59k miles on it (will hit 60k in the next 2-3 days) but the car is completely paid off, takes very little maintenance and gets great gas mileage (35mpg average). It's rebuilt and looks like shit (ask those that saw it at the CACO meet) but the benefits of driving it outweigh the costs of driving another "cooler" car. I'm about 3 years from my BSME and if I need a new car, it's going to wait till after I get that and get my job all lined up and everything. You shouldn't have much trouble getting a job with an engineering degree, even with the tough economy. I know the market for ME's is definitely starting to turn around (at least for full time jobs up here) so that should help us when we're graduating in a couple years.

In summary:
1. Keep the car till it dies or needs major fixes
2. Get new tires

BTW, what tires do you have to get that are $250 per tire? That seems extremely steep... And I wouldn't consider an 04 old... That's newer than every car my family owns...
Thanks for the advice.

The tires I got last time were Nitto INVOs (I know its strange, but they were the cheapest tires I could get for my car, they were like $180/ea. The tires I've been looking at are Goodyear TripleTreds and are like $199/ea. With install and taxes and fees it works out to like $1000 regardless. When I bought my INVOs online for cheaper it cost more to have them installed, and if I buy the GYs through Sears the tires are a bit more but cheaper to install. Tires in my car's size are absurdly expensive since it's basically only shared with a few luxo-barges that have a strange sport package (newer Caddy DTS and a late 90s BMW 7 series).
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  #4  
Old 08-12-2010, 01:30 PM
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Definitely do not do used tires if you do not know anything about them. You might get lucky and find a pair of stolen used tires for a good price, but it is rare. Most will charge you much less, and that is what you will get, these used tires will be ~6/32 tire tread left which 4-6/32 is about the time to be thinking about getting new tires soon. It is also about the time where Kaufman's tires will not do the free repair on tires as well.

Also, if you buy used tires you may have a hard time getting 4 similar tread pattern tires and sizes. They will tell you oh 235 55 17 on the back and 255 65 17 on the front will be fine (randomly made up for example) but your car will drive terrible, and may destroy your rim.

Nitto tires are actually not a bad brand. I know for me for 245 45 17 I was looking at all different places such as kaufman's, goodyear, pepboys, sears costco, and bjs (berkley & jensens not what you're thinking) and the cheapest I found installed was ~$850.

I ended up going to my mechanic who can get tires from a company and then he installs for $60 (doesn't advertise it though because its not much money for him for the time) but I got 4 brand new mirada tires for $550 installed, so definitely look for new tires, shop around, you might get lucky.

What tire size do you have?

First number is width
Second number is the profile 45 being the beginning of low profile and the beginning of paying a lot more for tires
the third number is rim size

Just in case you do not know what the numbers are.
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Old 08-12-2010, 01:31 PM
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Ah, that would do it (tire cost). I'm used to my tires being the same sizes as every honda civic/integra/etc and every accord/camry/etc.
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Old 08-12-2010, 01:31 PM
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op goodyears are horrible tires and nitto's are not that great either go with bridgestone,bfgoodrich, or hankook this is from experience. You also never want to mix/match brands and sizes.

What size are you looking for?
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Old 08-12-2010, 01:33 PM
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Oh yeah, also if you do want to buy used tires... a great method to use besides looking at tread and looking for any noticeable signs of irregular wear or punctures etc. Look at the identification number... if the tire was made in 2000 or later you know when it was made.

The last 4 digits of the identification number are when it was made.

The first 2 of the last 4 represent the week it was made, the last 2 represent the year

so Identnumbers4409 would be week 44 year 2009.

Really for tire, just look up reviews, some tires will be $200 and last 5k miles before there done. Some people assume are bad and they are not, just got to look them up, ask a non-biased mechanic whatever you want to do, obviously you go to goodyear they will tell ya oh yeah those tires are great, they say 50k miles they will last twice that from my experience.

However, from my own experience I will say Kumho are terrible tires. Working for a trucking company, I saw so many Kumho tires being shipped back due to recalls, or warranty and they are destroyed.
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Last edited by brandonb1029; 08-12-2010 at 01:37 PM.
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Old 08-12-2010, 01:34 PM
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Have you even looked for used tires yet? I used to drive a Firebird,and that had the same tires as a Corvette.I ALWAYS looked for used tires.They were 234.00 each new,and the used ones were 25.00 each.The used ones were 75% tread.

People with a bunch of money can trade in "like new" tires on new ones,and not think twice about it.What size are these tires?If they are a normal 14,15,or 16 inch tire they should be common,and cheap.Not 1000.00 for tires.

As a side note.You do not HAVE to go exactly with the rated size.If it is a 285/70/15... If I remember right the 285 is in millimeters,and the 70 means 70% as tall as it is wide in the sidewall,and 15 is the inch rim.You can vary the size by a little,and be fine.

Go to a tire place,and ask if they might have a set of used that will work on your car.Might be surprised.
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Old 08-12-2010, 01:36 PM
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Op I'm guessing by your previous post your looking for 245/45/17

here are a fiew that i recommend
http://www.discounttiredirect.com/di...w=false&cs=245

http://www.discounttiredirect.com/di...w=false&cs=245

http://www.discounttiredirect.com/di...w=false&cs=245

and if your looking for cheap tires
http://www.discounttiredirect.com/di...w=false&cs=245
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Old 08-12-2010, 01:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tenbux1970 View Post
As a side note.You do not HAVE to go exactly with the rated size.If it is a 285/70/15... If I remember right the 285 is in millimeters,and the 70 means 70% as tall as it is wide in the sidewall,and 15 is the inch rim.You can vary the size by a little,and be fine.
This is correct tire sizing convention, just to confirm tenbux thinking.
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