I thought I’d write up this article, since we currently have some regular vehicle maintenance choices to make regarding replacement of tires since they are getting rather thin on our car. Keep in mind that when I mention mounting and balancing below I am also referring to purchasing the tires, mounting, balancing, and road hazard fee as part of the cost that I’m writing about below.
I have had this performed at the dealer where I typically get most of the maintenance done on the vehicle for several reasons. They take care of the items quickly, alert me to any potential items that that may need replacement, and they provide a courtesy shuttle so that I can drop it off to get to work on time and be picked up to return to where my vehicle is being serviced.
The cost to have tires replaced at the dealer have run approximately $650 to replace, mount and balance 4 new tires. The mileage that I have managed to get out of them seems to be 38,000-40,000 miles, which is about average. So I decided to see the cost and guarantees provided by another facility (in this case Firestone). They offered mounting and balancing 4 new tires for the price of $487 for all that work, This was for tires that had a a guarantee of 40,000 miles or they would pro-rate the wear on replacement tires if they were needed. They also offered another option at a price of $583 for mounting and balancing 4 new tires with virtually the same guarantee, except the fact that they would have a guarantee of 70,000 miles before needing replacement.
So I decided to analyze which choice to make based off of the information given above. The dealer cost is undoubtedly much higher than the tire dealer by at least $160 for effectively the same cost as the lower mileage rating. But would it be as cost effective to almost double the mileage that I could drive the vehicle before having to replace the tires again. So let’s see how much it costs for each mile that would be driven before replacement.
$487 / 40,000 = 1.22¢ per mile
$583 / 70,000 = 0.83¢ per mile
Well, there appears to be a clear winner in this analysis highlighted in green above.
Feel free to leave a comment below if you follow the same method of calculating vehicle repair expenses for all repairs, or do you do this on specific items like tires?