Saving money on new tires is important because driving on bad ones is dangerous

Posted at 5:00 AM, Nov 02, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-02 08:07:13-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — When was the last time you took a good look at your tires? News5 is looking into why this is something we shouldn’t wait to take action on and ways you might be able to save.

”This tread depth, we are looking a little bit low. There’s not a big ledge there,” said Colorado State Trooper Aaron Lupton as he took a closer look at some of the tires on the different parked cars. ”So this tire right here is almost completely bald. We’re down to tread depth that’s at the wear indicator bars throughout this tire. This is certainly something that needs to be replaced today. This is a likely candidate to get a defective vehicle ticket.”

Trooper Lupton says unfortunately he’s seen what happens when people wait too long to replace bad tires.

”We get a lot of circumstances where tires have a sudden mechanical failure and they explode or get flat and they lose control of that vehicle because it wasn’t a circumstance they were anticipating,” said Lupton.

Greg Langer works at Peerless Tires and has been in the tire business for more than a decade. He says he’s also seeing the signs that more consumers are putting off buying new tires.

”You’ve got tires that are literally zero. They are slicks. I wonder how people can even move in that vehicle,” said Langer. ”I mean it is one of these things that comes down to budget, but it’s something to think about especially this time of year.”

Recent Consumer Reports research showsin 2022 the average consumer paid $194 per tire. That’s up from $167 in 2020.

Here is some advice based on consumer surveys and research that could help you save the next time you buy tires:

  • Try to start shopping for tires before there’s an urgent need to replace them
  • Research prices and look for rebates from tire makers that are often found on their websites for sets of four tires
  • Once you know the price you’re hoping to pay, ask local tire shops if they will do a price match. The recent consumer reports survey showed consumers who asked saved about $100 on a set of four tires as a result. 

Langer says in his experience if you’re able to budget for a higher end set of tires now. It’s often cost effective long term.
”Oftentimes as you get the better tire based on per mile over the life of the tire you are going to get more out of the tire and so it’s actually going to end up being less expensive,” said Langer.

Remember, in Colorado not paying for new tires could cost you too. By law, if you cause a crash and have bad tires you could be fined $130. If it leads to lane closures that fine jumps to $650.

So, if you want to check your tread depth today Trooper Lupton tells me you just need a quarter. Drop it in head first. If you can see the top of Washington’s head it’s time to replace your tires. If his head is covered up, your tread meets the requirements for Colorado’s Traction Law.

There’s also a helpful quiz on the CDOT website that can help you see if your vehicle is ready for the roads this winter. Find it here:


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