I just ordered new tires for the Mazda3. It was a temultuous saga for me that has spanned several weeks now of research and stress. I’m the kind of guy that will research a product to death and still be concerned that I’m not getting the best value for my dollar. Normally, I’ve always just gone to a tire shop and hoped for them to have the tires that I read about somewhere. It was a pretty half-assed way to tackle such a major purchase. We just bought tires for Amy’s Element not too long ago and it was very expensive (for my standards). I talked to some friends and found out about the world of online tire sales. I was always hesitant about this before because I couldn’t imagine myself hauling in tires to a tire shop and asking them to put them on for me. However, I’ve done the exact same thing to automotive repair places and no one balked at it. As I investigated my options, I found that many of the online tire warehouses give you a list of local tire shops where you can have your purchase drop-shipped and installed for a guaranteed price. I talked with some of these local places and was given the approval of this practice, so I’m over the concern. Having placed the order with tirerack.com, I was called within 5 minutes by a representative from the company. It was awesome! He talked about some installation issues I needed to know about with the tires I had chosen. We discussed it further and narrowed down exactly what I was looking for and found a tire that was a better fit for the application. Their website was very helpful, but the call from customer service was above and beyond. I’m certainly hooked on tirerack.com’s customer service and selection. I did notice some other places on the web with cheaper prices, but nothing can beat my experience so far. The tires should be in within the week and I can get off baldies I’m spinning on now.
For anyone interested, I had originally picked Kuhmo’s ECSTA ASX @ 205/50/17. After further research, I discovered that I could modify tire sizes and found that I could go with a much sought-after tire, General’s Extreme UHP @ 215/45/17. After the conversation I had with the customer service representative, I ended up with Fuzion HRi’s @ 215/50/17. This was a better fit because I wanted longer tire wear, low road noise, and good hydroplaning resistance. My education on tires is up about 1,000% from where I was, which by no means is the ceiling. I think they’re a little more complex than need be. However, tirerack.com and some friends were able to guide me to a more sound decision and I feel good about it.