Where to get tires, and what to get?

I'm a transplant from the West Coast that's only been here a couple years, and it's now reached the point that my car (a RAV-4 also from the West Coast) needs new tires before heading into the winter season, ideally something a bit more suited to the climate (probably some kind of year round type rather than dedicated snow tires)

The challenge is I don't know a damn thing about cars or tires to know what I should be looking in terms of brand, style, etc., nor where I should go to get a decent deal and customer service. I'm skittish because I've been screwed by a bunch of mechanics all over the city and don't want to walk into yet another place that clocks my cluelessness and takes advantage of it.

Any recommendations for tire shops and what I should be looking for that can handle Rochester city street/highway driving?


I had a good experience getting mine at Dunn Tire on Empire Blvd. in Webster. (I have all-seasons, no snow tires). If you buy them there, they'll do free tire rotations for you periodically. You can make appointments with them online, which I appreciate.


I buy from dunn its been good, nice website too.


They pulled a major bait and switch on me. First claimed that the tires that showed in stock online weren’t available, then offered to “upgrade” me for the same price. Problem is, the new tires were already the same price, and had a much shorter warranty. When I called them on it, including screenshots of the website, suddenly my original tires were in stock after all. I’ve heard plenty of good reviews about Dunn, but my experience was quite different.


https://www.tirerack.com/upgrade-garage/what-is-the-threepeak-mountain-snowflake-symbol if you want a year round tire that’s still really good in snow, look for this symbol. We got Falken wild peak A/T tires on her CRV, and they’re fantastic. https://www.tirerack.com/tires/falken-wildpeak-a-t-trail


I have the Falken Wildpeak tires on my 2008 RAV4 and love them.


Count me as another vote for Falken Wildpeak AT3s they are great tires


Fully agree, and will throw Toyo Celsius into the mix. I've used those a ton and really like them. Coincidentally also using Wild Peaks right now and have no +/- for either, just went with a better deal at the time.


Tirerack.com They have a large selection with a lot of research and customer ratings. They also have a network of trusted installers you can choose from and will ship to them for free. I've never had a bad experience with them.


This. Bought tires from them a few years back. You put in your make and model on the site and it will only show you tires that will fit. A customer service rep even called after I placed my order to make sure that what I picked would work for what I needed it to be for the wheels I was also buying with them. Super satisfied.


If you buy wheels (rims) as well, tirerack will mount them for free (didn't see an extra fee and they came mounted). Not sure this makes sense with snow tires (if you can find used original wheels I'd use them), but I just needed summer tires and it made more sense to buy wheels as well. Without the wheels you get to pay the mounting fees every 6 months. Or just buy really good all season tires.


Costco has done pretty well by me for tires (on sale). I'm a transplant from Florida and I've gotten by just fine with all season tires on my Camry variant. Drive slow if you're nervous, give yourself extra space to break, avoid slamming on the breaks if at all possible, and keep an emergency kit in your car (shelf stable snacks, water/Pedialyte, a blanket, jumper cables, battery pack, and maybe kitty litter for traction if you get stuck).


Don’t bother with snow tires. Get Michelin CrossClimate2 tires, which you can use year round, and are very good in the snow. Have Dunn Tire put them on.


I second crossclimate 2’s. Put a set on my wife’s hatchback, 2 years in they still have at least half thier tread and are crazy good in snow while not being awful and mushy in the summer.


Love the Michelin CrossClimate2 tires, the best tires I’ve ever driven on, and I’ve been driving for more than 40 years in multiple vehicles and weather conditions. Got them at Costco with $150 manufacturer rebate.


i am thinking of getting Cross Climate 2's when it's time to replace my tires. Read great things about them. Question, I'm concerned that they might be noisy with what appears to be an aggressive tread. What's your experience?


Another poster in this thread also loves them, but won’t buy again because of the noise. The noise doesn’t bother me, and the performance far outweighs that issue for me. Great, great tires.


Michelin defender 2 from costco pretty nice too. 80k mileage


It makes sense to get a set of rims along with your snow tires, it could save you over $150/yr between dismount & remount 2 x 4 tires at $20 each. The easiest way to do this is go on tire rack and pick out a set of snows & rims and have them shipped to an installer of your choice. You're probably looking at $1000-1500 but consider it done for 5+ seasons. The alternate method is to find out your car's tire size & wheel bolt pattern and go looking on FB marketplace and Craigslist. I recently found a set of 4 used snows on rims for $120. The tires will need replacement in 2 years but it's a perfect solution for me. There's some inherent risk in buying used anything but also potential for huge cost savings. If you decide to get new ones, tire rack has a lot of reviews - look for ones with a lot of sample size. I personally have good luck with General for mid grade and Michelin & Nokian on the top end. Nokians might not be for sale on tire rack but they're probably the best brand you can get and should be on a competitor site like discount tire direct


\+1 Michelin Cross Climate tires. I personally use AGR automotive for mounting and balancing because they're honest, fairly priced, and use top of the line Hunter balancing equipment.


Another vote for the michellin cross climate 2. Unless you're needing to drive during storms before the plows are out, you should be set if your rav4 has awd or 4wd. If you really want snow tires go to bjs. They will install them in the winter and then put on your regular tires in the spring for no charge. Did this with a minivan (2wd) and have gotten 4 or 5 winters with the one set of tires.


I recommend Costco. While they run good sales, I can often find similar prices elsewhere. The real reason to go to Costco over other places is that they rotate and rebalance the tires you buy there for no extra charge. The best all season tires money can buy are Michelin CrossClimate2.... The rock in the snow. They are made with a new type of rubber that stays pliable in the cold. The biggest tradeoff with them is they are noisy. I have them, and the performance is nothing short of amazing, but I will not get them again due to the noise issue.


Dunn Tire offers several free services at all their locations too! They include rotate, rebalance, alignment check, and a bunch I can’t remember 🙃


Good to know.... One advantage with Costco, is that you can get the rotation/rebalance done while you shop.


You can read some pretty reliable reviews at tirerack.com even if you don’t buy from them.


I only buy from tire rack now. I have a shop on mt read put them on


Get a set of snow tires & a set of non-winter tires. You aren't putting mileage on the tire that isn't being used. The only cost is the extra set of rims or the twice yearly shop switches them over. Not a huge price for a much better performance upgrade.


Getting snow tires is an investment that I will never go back from.


I highly recommend dedicated winter tires for Rochester winters. Either get a separate set of rims for them or if you buy them at most BJs they will swap them on/of the same set of rims each season for free.


I just moved from Texas. This post is helpful


Fine, I'll start the yearly argument over this: all seasons are perfectly fine over the winter for most people. I liked my Continental All Pros. Hate my Pirellis.


MOST people who live here aren't transplants from the west coast facing their first winter in Rochester..


It can snow in Cali, I didn't want to assume. I've seen how Orange County drives in the rain, lol. But there are regions who can be used to it.


This is exactly why I commented to disagree. It's insane to think that a winter in California is anything like what we get here in Rochester. Op doesn't know what snow is as far as I'm concerned because they've never seen an inch an hour drop for a full day. That doesn't happen in California. They get a few inches a year.. not a few inches overnight.


My own experiences are why I’ll keep buying snow tires. One in particular stands out: we had a night where is started snowing and didn’t let up for a while, and the hill on 286 became a parking lot of stuck vehicles. I mean there were literally over a dozen cars stock between the bottom of the hill and the 590 ramps, in both lanes / shoulders, and I was able to weave my way through them at low speeds and get up the hill where so many others couldn’t. (I had no means of helping anyone and figured I would likely also get stuck and further clog the road if I tried to stop, which is why I just continued on.) After that, I vowed never to go another winter without snow tires. Even if they bail you out of just one sticky situation, they pay for themselves in my opinion.


This. Go to any shop, ask for “all season” tires. No chain is going to gouge you, they may upsell you in a better tire but shit…it’s a better tire. Buy what’s in your price range.


This person is from California. That’s a recipe for disaster. It’s also highly dependent on vehicle. If you don’t put on dedicated snow tires on say a Corolla then god speed to you come January. I’m sure you can get by but… why? It will make your life much easier, especially if you do have to drive in a blizzard.


It's prohibitively expensive to maintain a set of snow tires and most people are fine without them. There's plenty of places in Cali it snows.


And a few where it snows more than here. Take South Lake Tahoe for one example.


Getting in a crash because you cheaped out on tires is also prohibitively expensive. And if you rotate correctly you get a good 3-4 years out of them. And while I am aware it snows in California, im guessing this person isn’t from those locations, because if they were they wouldn’t be asking this question and would know you really should have snow tires. To each their own. I tried to do it for a winter and felt it wasn’t worth the risk. The extra control you get is worth it IMO. Plus I drive up to northern Ny too often to not have them with all the ice they can get.


Getting snow tires is kind of like getting a bidet: at first you think, "who needs that", then you experience it and can't go back.


They don't have to be. I buy my winter tires at BJs and they swap them on/off each season on the same rims for free.


It's like $700 spread over 3-5 years, unless you're a mega-miler




Absolutely, I'm still running the OEM summer tires in my '17 lol. I dont drive much lol.


The only real cost is an additional hundreds of dollars


Lol I needed a good laugh. And in no way is it just $700. Most tirerack pricing for decent tires is in the $800 range. Add mounting, balancing and 2x annual trips to rotate them you're looking at over $1k with sales tax and fees most likely.


I've had a MINI Cooper as my daily driver with all seasons for the last ten years, lol. Never gotten myself stuck or spun out. Not everyone can or wants to afford the expense of swapping out snow tires every year when a good pair of all seasons will suffice.


A lot of the tire shops around here are gonna really gouge you, your best bet is doing some research about what tires do best on your model RAV-4 and then ordering them online. This might sound odd but Brockport walmart was by far the cheapest option to get my summer tires mounted after I bought them.


Best option. Dedicated winter tires on cheap wheels. Second: ultra high quality all season. Check tire rack .com. discount tire direct . Com, consumer reports.


I’ve always found Seasonal Auto on East Henrietta Rd in Henrietta to be reliable and trustworthy. Been going there for 20 yrs


Goodyear assurance all weather ready. It's a mix between all season and winter.


Go to the Dunn Tire on Buffalo Road in Gates!!! The guys there are all really cool. Super knowledgeable and capable. Anything they can’t do, which isn’t much, they’ll be able to recommend you a good place that can. Heck, one of the techs drives a VW Golf with a turbo, and I’ve seen his rebuilt engine. Did it himself. You will not be disappointed with the service you receive 😊


I recommend Wilbert's near Penfield. They hooked me up with some awesome pre owned tires. Very helpful people.


Uneeda Tire Shop


This should be a lot higher in the thread. They can set you up with used tires, order you new tires, or install tires for you if you bring them in. Don't let them being in the inner city sacre you away, the prices are competitive and they know their stuff. They don't do suspension, or alignments, or anything else. Literally all they do is tires. They made a slight shimmy go away simply by rebalancing a tire that a chain tire shop told me I needed an alignment to fix. Uneeda Tire gets my vote.


You can't go wrong with Bridgestone Blizzaks for winter tires, they've been the gold standard for decades. You should absolutely have winter tires. You can get by without them, but they make a truly remarkable difference. Tires will contribute far more to your safety and control of the vehicle than something like AWD, which only helps traction when accelerating and does nothing otherwise. Buy them anywhere, usually if you buy them from a tire shop like Mavis they will install them for free.




I've lived in snow my whole life and never had snow tires even with a FWD vehicle. I've been using Continental DWS for years now and have nothing but great things to say about the brand and the tire. I'm not sure if there's a model for your car that is in the same vein but any Continental All season tire will do you justice here. It's not like Buffalo where you drive on fresh snow several times a week for weeks in a row.


As a Tire Industry™️ professional, I give you my assurance that there are pleeeeeeeenty of options for a RAV4 😊


Right I was saying that I'm not sure if they make the Conti Extremecontact DWS 06 for SUVs. I'm sure there's plenty of good options.


Oh right. Got it Yes. There are definitely DWS06 options for SUVs. Hope this helps!


Doesn't help me. I drive a Mazda haha. Just saying it's a tire that I absolutely endorse personally.


Mazda gang!! Mine is a van with three pedals 🥰


Thanks for all the tips, folks. I think I'm going to go with Toyo Celsius II tires, since they're an all-season tire that still carries the the Three Peak Mountain Snowflake winter rating, have decent Tire Rack reviews, and are relatively cheap for broke people like me.


Everyone saying get snow tires are dead wrong. You have a RAV4 which should be all wheel drive. You just need a decent set of all seasons and you'll be fine. Still tires don't save you from other people crashing into you. Plus we've been having really mild Winters lately.


There's quite a bit of rav4s that were sold front wheel drive. Even here in the northeast. But a good set of all seasons with good siping will be fine.


Jiffy lube in Henrietta , right next to the old movie theatre. All of my good friends work there and are all car enthusiasts at heart so you will be taken care of. If you end up going , ask for Jerry and tell them Jordan sent you 👍🏻


Any Ford dealer will match or beat any advertised or written quote.


Walmart or BJs whichever is cheaper


For all season comfort and performance get some Michelin Defenders (BJs usually has great deals on them) try to avoid Dunn, Firestone and Monro, they are terrible Mavis on Empire Blvd is good and there are great independent shops like Redi Imports. Nokian WRG, Toyo Celsius, Falken Aklimate, Hanook Kinergy. - all excellent true all season choices


AGR Automotive. Awesome shop and reasonable prices. You can buy on tire rack and get them shipped to the shop. Also do four snows. You won’t be disappointed.


Discount Tire Direct current promotions: [https://www.discounttiredirect.com/promotions](https://www.discounttiredirect.com/promotions) Discount Tire Direct bought TireRack in 2021, but they still operate both websites independently, so you can shop against each ones. If you find a deal you like on DTD, you can see if a local tire shop will match it for you. For local installation, narrow down your choices to shops that use Hunter Roadforce balancing equipment: [https://www.hunter.com/find-equipment/](https://www.hunter.com/find-equipment/)


Sad to see no one mention Lewis Tire 😔


AVOID HUDSON AVE WALMART. Any money you save will be offset by the time and frustration dealing with the most incompetent customer service.


I do tires as a side gig. If interested, dm me.


I just ordered mine from Baris Auto in Fairport, New York. They were very fair, and very transparent. I ordered the Nokians with a set of wheels.


well you have been here "a couple of years” I suggest a good start would be look at your brand style of your current tires and replace them with the same type. -jmho


I recommend Tire Trax on East Main Street in the city. They have a great selection of tires both new and used to fit your budget.


If you’re near orleans county I’d go to transit tire on rt 104. If not I’ve found Walmart to have good prices.


I just put my second second of Goodyear Assurance Weatherreadys on my wife's Ford Escape. They're very capable in the winter while still being comfortable and quiet in dry conditions. https://www.tirerack.com/tires/goodyear-assurance-weatherready


Seconding every Wildpeak recommendation here. Put a set on my forester and won’t go back.


I have a Honda CRV and get by just fine with All Seaasons. See Andy at Mr. Tire on 3543 W Henrietta rd. The one next to the Hots place and the Tesla dealer as there's two on W Henrietta. He's a no bs kind of guy but he'll definitely take care of you.


I've always gone to Firestone in elm ridge center. Reasonably priced and they don't ever try and sell you something you don't need


I buy mine from the Walmart tire center clearance. Got 4 brand new all weather tires for around $200.


Wilbert in webster.