Never go cheap on Tires and Brakes

Tires and Brakes are your life-line, never go cheap!

At the ripe old age of 12, when I fell in love with cars and started hanging out at the local service station to learn all I could about automobiles (1964), my father passed on some wise advise. I came home after an afternoon at the station and told my father about a man who drove in with tires so bald you could see the underlying belts. The mechanic pointed out that the car was an accident waiting to happen. The driver told the mechanic to put on "the cheapest tires you got" pointing at some re-treads on a tire rack. The mechanic advised him that the re-treads were used for spare tires and not for continual driving. The driver said he didn't care, just put them on. After balancing the tires, we installed them. I remember very distinctly that the mechanic wrote on the bill of sale, "As-is, no warranty whatsoever." A few weeks later one of the front tires blew on the highway...the man lost control, bounced off the guard rail, overturned and slid into another car. The reason I know this as the car he was driving was towed to our service station. My father just happened to be at the station having his car filled with gas when the mangled wreck was brought in. I said, "That's the car with the re-treads Phil (the lead mechanic) told the man not to use except for a spare." And that is when my father gave me some very sage advice: "Tires and brakes are you life-line; never, ever go cheap with tires or brakes"

Over the years I have learned the following:

  1. Always buy good tires that fit where you live. Lots of rain? Then get good tires that channel the water away from the tire to reduce the chance of hydroplaning.

  2. Want performance tires? Remember the majority of performance tires are made for dry, smooth roads. And many are "soft" hence tread wears out quickly.

  3. Always have the same tread design, especially with radials, on all four tires. Mixing tread designs increases gas mileage, road noise and vibration.

  4. Always buy top-of-the-line brake parts, don't go cheap. Remember, drilled rotors dissipate heat faster than solid rotors.

  5. Brake pads should match your style of driving and what type of vehicle you drive. There are pros and cons for Organic, Semi-Metallic and Ceramic brake pads. See: https://www.autoanything.com/resources/what-are-the-best-brake-pads-ceramic-or-semi-metallic/

BOTTOM LINE, get the best brake pads for your particular vehicle and driving style; don't go cheap.

Comments (7)
No. 1-5
KeithV
KeithV

I, and Wilwood, disagree on drilled rotors. they do not improve performance and actually make things worse. Porsche come with drilled rotors you say? Yeah and the racers take them off immediately.

Manny Ramirez 24
Manny Ramirez 24

great tips

Angelodarko
Angelodarko

Agreed maintenance is key

dirty dan
dirty dan

Very nice article, the two things that are the most important

Techsus
Techsus

Excellent example. I advise same consistently to questions about brakes/tires. Commonly the person asking advice will argue w/ the comback that OEM brake pads/rotors or Michelin tires are "too expensive."