Hoosiers wait longer to replace tires as prices rise

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Good tires on your vehicle help you keep you and your family protected on the road. But, as the price of tires becomes more inflated, more drivers are waiting longer to replace them.

Any expert will tell you that tires are one of the most important things on your car. They determine your gas mileage, wear and tear, and keep you on the road. But, with the huge spike in prices over the past few years, Fox 59 found some drivers who say they have no choice but to wait until the bitter end.

Nobody knows how much new tires cost these days more than Jasmin Pettiford.

“I’m on VA disability, so, I only get $1,600 a month, so, a fourth of that has gone for tires, and then I still have to pay rent and everything else. Basically it’s eat or ride safely,” said Pettiford.

She was in desperate need because one of the tires that came off her car was down to the threading—the ultimate danger.

“And, I’d been riding on it for at least three weeks, waiting for a paycheck,” she said.

According to AAA, in 2011, there was a nearly 16 percent increase in prices. In 2012, prices jumped a little more than 4 percent. This year, they’re unchanged, but still expensive. The reason for the spike? The price of oil and other resources that go in to manufacturing tires has gone up.

Kent Hoffman at Discount Tire on Michigan Road in Indianapolis showed us an example of how long many drivers are waiting before replacing their tires.

“You’ve got cords exposed on the inside edge. All it takes is a good pothole to blow the tire out,” he said.

According to Hoffman, that’s dangerous enough on dry roads. But if the streets get wet, you could be in even more trouble.

“Your ability to evacuate water, the tread (up there) is gone. So, if you hit any standing water, you’re just gliding right through it,” he said.

Even though Pettiford’s new tires are on her car, she says her safety is a bittersweet feeling because of the expense.

“I feel safer driving it, but, now it is a matter of making a payment to keep the truck and the tires,” she said.

Recently, a tire expert told Fox 59 that a way to save money is to buy a brand of tire that may not be from the big names. The less expensive brands are just as safe—as long as they are the same size. The best advice is to check with your favorite tire retailer.