If it is time for you to start shopping for new tires, should you also be considering new wheels as well? A set of mounted tires and wheels, called a tire and wheel package, can often make more sense than simply replacing the tires on your current wheels. Many drivers find that the benefits of owning two tire and wheel packages for their vehicles outweigh the higher up-front cost of the second set. Other drivers may find that investing in a new set of wheels may not be the right choice for them, especially if they are not planning on keeping their rides for more than a couple of years or do not use separate winter tires. Making the right decision will depend on your individual situation. In this blog I'll walk you through the basics to help guide your choice.
One of the most common reasons for drivers to purchase a tire and wheel package involves winter driving. Drivers who install winter tires on their vehicles original equipment wheels will often personalize their ride for the nicer months of the year with a more unique set of wheels to use during the non-winter months. Having two sets of wheels can also come in handy in cases involving vehicles that already have great looking wheels as original equipment. Rather than subject those pricier original wheels rough winter roads with corrosive salt and snow melt chemicals, these drivers purchase a less expensive set of wheels to use in the winter months. It is far less painful to bend a $40 steel wheel or $80 inexpensive alloy wheel compared to an original equipment wheel that may cost hundreds of dollars to replace.
Enthusiasts and many do-it-yourself drivers can choose to switch between their winter package and summer package whenever they'd like in the comfort of their own garages. For them, this means no more wasting time in mechanic's waiting rooms or dealing with long lines after the first snowfall.
When purchasing wheels and tires at the same time, Tirerack.com will mount the tires on the wheels and precision-balance them before being shipped to you. The tire and wheel package arrives ready to bolt right on. It even comes with detailed installation instructions and all necessary hardware is included as well. The cost of a mounting fees over the life of a winter tire set often makes buying wheels less expensive than mounting loose tires each season. For a list of tools that made the job easy, check out my blog titled, "Do you have the three tools needed to remove your wheels and tires?". If the idea of installing yourself doesn't appeal to you, use a pre-screened shop from the recommended installer program.
Owning two sets of wheels isn't for everyone, however. For other drivers, the simplicity and lower up-front cost of simply replacing tires and keeping their current wheels for year-round use can make sense. Some people do not have the extra storage space for extra sets of wheels and tires. Drivers in southern states may not encounter snow or ice frequently enough to have a need for dedicated winter tires. Those planning to part with their vehicles in the near future also may not see much of a benefit in cost savings from a tire and wheel package. For people in these situations, the best option may be to simply have a set of loose tires shipped to a recommended installer to be mounted on their current wheels.
Whether you choose to simply purchase tires to mount on your current wheels, or purchase a complete tire and wheel package, be sure to check out the tire decision guide and Tirerack.com to get started.