I was dreading buying tires yesterday (don’t most baby boomer women feel the same way?) despite the fact that my two front tires were practically bald and my car was due to pass inspection. And yes, I know, the safety issue is critical. The problem is, it’s overwhelming and I hate anything to do with cars or their parts. In fact, if you remember I posted back in 2009 about buying my first brand new car ever when I traded in my 1989 Dodge Dakota pick-up with almost 200,000 miles. Loved that truck, but I ditched it for my new Honda Fit – thank you Mr. Obama for that cash for clunker deal.
As it turns out, Honda is very clever. While the Fit is a cheap mass market
car, Honda has tried very hard to make sure you buy the tires from them. In other words, OEM (tires), or original equipment manufactured products or components that are purchased by another company and retailed under that purchasing company’s brand name, i.e. Honda. How do I know this? The Honda Fit chat room, of course. I ventured there one late night looking for advice and a bargain. One smart guy had this to say. “Most stock OEM tires are garbage, and I suggest replacing them with something in a more common size. 185 55 16 is an odd ball tire size that will offer limited choices. Tirerack shows only 2 choices. Honda probably figures that most people will get frustrated and go back to their dealers for tire replacement at inflated prices. I suggest changing the OEM’s out with either 195 60 16 or 195 50 16. The 60 series tire will offer a softer ride with good handling and traction while the 50 series, though V and Z rated, offers a similar ride as the OEM’s but more affordable tires and brand choices.”
So you see, I need to change them out to 195 60 16 …and I set out to do just that. I started by calling all my local tire stores to see if they had two said tires for my Honda Fit. No one had them in stock but all could order them and have them in a day. All were more expensive than the Honda dealer, so Honda it had to be. Then, while doing errands yesterday, I saw a store called Discount Tires.
I parked the car, and as soon as I got out, a young smiling guy in a uniform came up to meet me in the parking lot, and asked if he could help. He ushered me inside, educated me on tires and basically shared the same info the Honda Fit forum did. He had the tires in stock, and they were almost $40 less than Honda and the local tire guys.
Twenty minutes later and a cup of gourmet decaf coffee (it was 5:30 p.m.) and I had my new tires. I wish I could have given my business to the local guys but $80 is a big savings. Guess I’ll have to spend it in a local restaurant this week-end.