Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Winter Tires - The Saga Continues... and ends

So I had a nice plan to get a set of 16" X-Ice 3's from Costco for $970 on winter rims.... then today I called Kia just to make sure they would be a good fit and not have any warranty issues.  I remember when I bought the car it came with larger brakes which I thought was nice.  The thing I didn't account for is that those larger brakes would mean I needed larger rims to clear the brake callipers.

So they called me back shortly after saying they tried to fit 6" rims on a EX Luxury with no luck and the 17" steel rims would not fit but they had some 17" alloys that would fit..... and cost $210 a piece.  SO for the low price of $1640 + tax and installation I could get some 17" winter tires on alloy rims.  After slowing my increased heart rate I said thanks for the info but NO.  They also mentioned that if I damage my original rims it would cost about $600 to replace one, I guess as a last ditch effort to sell me the 17" wheel/rim package.... thanks but I'll pass.

So on to plan B.... keep my nice rims on all year round and bite the bullet on a set of 18" winter tires.  I wasn't looking forward to ugly black rims anyway so it was partly a blessing.  The unknown factor is how much a set of 18" winter tires would set me back.  I was headed to Costco tonight anyway for a cheap propane fill up (I still can't believe they only charge $12 to fill a tank), so a trip to the tire center was in order.

I gave them the size (225/45/18) and they said it would be a special order but all that meant is I would have to pay up front as opposed to paying when I pick them up, no big deal. They didn't have any X-Ice 3's in my size but they did have some Blizzaks they could order in.  They would be  $218 each as opposed to $140 for the 16"  version so they were more expensive but not prohibitively so and I didn't have to buy rims now.  There was still $70 off a set so all in with $15 installation fee per tire (which includes nitrogen and a 60 month road hazard warranty) the total was just north of $1,000.  I was ready to commit $970 to the X-Ice 3's so I guess that wasn't too bad and my rims won't look like crap for half the year.

In the end I think it all worked out well, can't wait to try them out after our first snowfall of the year!

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