Unless you have special requirements, I would suggest whatever your dealer
recommends. The company has spent a lot of time and money on these kinds of
questions. Often it's surprising how competitive the dealer's prices are for
such items - they like to keep customers coming around (may be able to tempt
them into the showroom).
So, you are suggesting I buy from the Ford dealer as opposed to Pep Boys,
Big O Tires, Sears. etc?
Locally, Rich Ford does have Rich Ford World of Wheels which sells tires.
I'll stop in and price shop.
I think that might be a slightly naοve view of the decision process
behind specifying tyres. You'll probably find a large reason behind
the choosing of a standard supplied tyre is down to the
purchasing/marketing deals offered at the time by the tyre
manufacturer. As far as I'm aware, Foci from the factory have been
supplied with tyres from Goodyear, Continental and Pirelli over the
years.... now you can't tell me that the chassis/suspension
geometry/etc. has changed that much to warrent switching suppliers???
I work for a well-known car manufacturer-backed Formula 1 team who use
Michelin tyres on the F1 cars. That car manufacturer also specifies
Michelin tyres for their new passenger cars, and I know for a fact
that that was purely a marketing decision related to the F1 operation,
and nothing to do with the merits of the tyre itself on their
I reckon your best bet would be to do a search on this forum for tyre
choices. I personally would recommend the Michelin Pilot Premacy for
When I got my Focus 2.0 Zetec in 2001 (new), it was fitted with Michelin
Pilot Primacy tyres and I have found them to be excellent. Good grip, and I
got 25000 miles out of the fronts before I had to replace them. Quite hard
driving too. The rears are still going strong.
I now have Dunlop SP tyres on the front (they didn't have Michelins in
stock) and so far they seem fine, though I don't know what they will wear
Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free.
Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com ).
I'm at 51,000 miles with Firestone Firehawks that came on my '01 ZX3. From
the tread left, I'm guessing about 60,000 will finish them. Did you find
the Michelins to be superior in traction, noise, or what? I'm about to
Less so for aftermarket, where the dealer is relating directly with the
customer. I know that my own dealer here in Eastern Ontario is quite willing
to discuss the merits of various tires. And at that level they don't take
part in corporate sweetheart deals, like the (now defunct) one between Ford
and Firestone. And the memory of that stink has, I think, made Ford the most
conscious of all the tire companies of the need for good judgement on tires.
Michelin makes fine tires, but the characteristics that make them good can
be found in many other brands. The days when indivual makes have unique
advantages are long gone, except for special needs (i.e. racing) where the
selection is much more limited. That's why I said to the initial question
"unless you have special needs".
You can bet that the dealers will be very concerned that any tires they sell
work well for the cars they sell. Their main interest is, after all, to keep
customers coming back to buy cars, not tires, and so making the cars run
nicely is going to be their big worry.
The sceptic in me suggests that they may have profit margins of the
various tyres in the back of their minds when putting forward
recommendations, but that could just be me being paranoid (which is
why I value the advice of an impartial third party, such as this
To be honest with you, I thought your original post was referring to
the recommendations of the car company itself (i.e. Ford), who would
probably say replace with the same tyre as the original.... which
itself was probably decided not by chassis engineers/test
drivers/computer simulations/whatever, but by some smarmy Ford
marketing oike over a pint of lager bought by whatever tyre
manufacturer had the highest client entertainment budget at the time.
Having said that, if you do have a good relationship with your local
dealership(which should justify an award in itself), then they know
the cars better than most other people, and with the added interest of
keeping you happy they probably would be the best people to get advice
I did. Your image of the decision-making process is very incomplete. Such
happy events may sometimes occur but they are almost never decisive. The
thing you miss is that large companies (like all large bureaucracies) have
many departments. The marketing guy has to run such decisions past
engineering, legal, and other competing staff.
The Firestone story illustrates that this is not a fool-proof process, but
as I said, Ford is the one company that is going to be concerned not to
repeat THAT mistake.
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