When it comes to choosing new tires for your vehicle, you might be faced with a tough decision: American tires or import tires?
The truth is, most people don’t know the difference between the two and the internet doesn’t really help in solving this question as it’s full of confussing information.
The truth is that it shouldn’t be this difficult to make a choice, at least that’s what I think.
That’s why I’ve put together this article to compare the two options and help you make an informed decision. I’ll break down the pros and cons of each, so you can decide which option is best for you and your vehicle.
So, whether you’re in the market for new tires or just curious about the options available to you, read on!
American Made Tires vs Import Tires
There are four factors that I consider essential when it comes to tires and that will help you learn about the differences and similarities of American made tires vs import tires.
Here they are:
1. Manufacturing Location
One of the main differences between import and American-made options is where they are manufactured.
Some American tire companies manufacture their tires right here in the US, while others are foreign companies that manufacture tires in the US or abroad and then import them.
It’s worth noting that brands that make tires in the USA typically use high quality materials and employ highly skilled laborers and advanced technologies.
This allows them to manufacture the best tires possible that guarantee better traction, longer lifespan and improved safety, but it also means that the price will be higher.
On the other hand, import tires are often made in cheaper countries with medium to low quality materials.
This allows foreign tire manufacturers to produce a cheaper, lower-quality tire is that it will be more affordable. The thing is that this tire may not perform as well, it could wear out faster and be less safe.
Tires, oh tires!
They may not be the most exciting topic, but they play a vital role in keeping us safe on the road.
Quality is key when it comes to tires, and here’s why:
- Driving with a bald tire can cause an accident and put you and your family at risk as they don’t have enough tread, which makes it hard to drive on wet or slippery roads and increases the risk of accidents.
When it comes to American-made tires, many folks believe they are of higher quality than their imported counterparts.
There two main reasons for this:
American tire manufacturers are held to stricter safety and performance standards than those in other countries where import tires are manufactured.
Also, American manufacturers often use higher-quality materials and employ state-of-the-art technology in their manufacturing process, which substantially improves the end-quality of their tires.
Price is definitely a big consideration for many people.
Not everyone is looking for the absolute highest quality tire, but they still want something that will get the job done and last for a while, especially if it’s cheaper.
That’s where import tires come in – they’re made in countries where wages are lower and materials may not be as high-quality. This allows them to be sold at a lower price point, making them a great option for those who are on a budget.
On the opposite, American made tires are held to a higher manufacturing standard.
They’re made with top-quality materials and skilled labor, which means they’re going to cost a bit more. However, they will last a long time and perform well in all sorts of conditions as they are of higher quality (as mentioned earlier).
Nothing beats the feeling of being a patriot and supporting the American economy!
On that note, spending your hard-earned dollars on American made products, like tires, is a great way to give back to the economy and support American workers.
Not only will you be a patriot, but you’ll be happy to know that American made tires are made with top-notch materials and the highest standards in mind, using skilled American labor that earns fair wages.
Plus, American made tires often come with a strong warranty, ensuring that the tire will perform as expected, thus guaranteeing the replacement or repair of the tire in case of any defects or issues in a certain period of time.
Now, choosing import tires over American-made options is not necessarily unpatriotic, but it does mean that you are choosing to support the economy and workers of another country rather than supporting your own.
Importing tires means that the money you spend is going towards the economy and workers of that country, rather than supporting American workers and businesses.
American Made Tires vs Import Tires: Best Choice?
As a car owner that has testes hundreds of tires in my life, I’d stay that the answer to this question ultimately comes down to your budget and what you expect from your tires.
If you’re looking for the absolute best, and you also see supporting the American economy as a bonus, then American made tires are definitely worth considering.
These tires are made to the highest standards, using top-notch materials and skilled labor, ensuring that they are built to last.
However, they can be a bit more expensive than import tires, so it’s good to keep that in mind.
Now, if you’re on a tight budget or you don’t expect top-of-the-line performance from your tires, import tires might be a better choice.
These tires are manufactured in countries where wages are lower and materials may not be as high-quality, making them more affordable. They may not be as durable as American tires, but they are still a functional and cost-effective option.
|American Made Tires
|Sense of Patriotism
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some frequent questions that always come up with me and my car-enthusiastic friends when discussing tires and tire brands.
Let me give it a shot and try to answer most of them.
Are USA made tires better?
Yes, at least in my opinion, USA made tires are the best of the best.
They are known for their quality across the board. They are made with high-quality materials (e.g. rubber compounds, steel reinforcements and reliable inner liners) and advanced technologies, using skilled labor that earns fair wages.
This means they may have a higher price point, which might suck for some people that are short on cash, but you’re getting a tire that is built to last.
What tires are actually made in the USA?
There’s a bit of debate about what actually qualifies as “made in the USA.”
Some folks believe that for a tire to be American made, it must be made in the USA with USA laborers. Others believe that as long as the company that makes the tires is based in the USA, it counts as an American made tire.
Personally, I believe that the tire needs only to be manufactured in the USA by American laborers to be considered American made.
There are a few tire brands that manufacture tires in the USA, let’s discuss them:
- Goodyear, for example, manufactures tires in Danville, Virginia and Fayetteville, North Carolina.
- Cooper Tires manufactures in Findlay, Ohio and Texarkana, Arkansas.
- Michelin is another major tire brand that manufactures tires in the USA, with manufacturing facilities in South Carolina and Oklahoma
How do you tell if a tire is made in the USA?
It’s pretty easy to find out.
All tires have a code printed on the sidewall that shares specific information about the tire such as size, maximum speed, age, and origin.
To determine the manufacturing origin, you’ll need to look for the code “DOT”.
After the “DOT” code, you’ll find three letters.
These three letters are the code for the plant where the tire was manufactured.
To find out if a tire was made in the USA, you can take a look at the DOT plant code chart, it will give you the specific plant where the tire was made.
Here’s a video that tells you this step by step:
Is there really a difference in tire brands?
Yes, there is definitely a difference between tire brands. I mean, when it comes to tires, you generally get what you pay for.
Lower quality materials and cheaper prices can be a tempting combination when it comes to tires, but it’s important to remember that you often get what you pay for.
Cheaper tires may not handle well in varying conditions and have a shorter lifespan compared to higher-end tires, so it’s important to weigh the pros and cons before making a purchase.
For example, lower quality tires may not handle as well in wet or icy conditions, which can be a serious safety concern. They may also wear out more quickly and need to be replaced sooner, ultimately costing you more in the long run.
On the other hand, higher-end tires are made with better materials and often have better tread patterns and designs, which can improve their performance in different conditions.
A perfect example of a high quality brand is Goodyear. As an American brand, they use only the best materials to manufacture high-quality tires that are designed to perform in any condition. The key to their success? Most Goodyear tires are made in the USA, using state-of-the-art facilities and the highest standards.