At some point, tires on one’s vehicle need to be changed.

It could be wear.

It could be a flat.

It could be to obtain some additional performance.

It could be because of looks.

Tires? Looks?

That is a surprising—and possibly disturbing—finding in the J.D. Power 2022 U.S. Original Equipment Tire Customer Satisfaction Study.

“High levels of satisfaction typically yield loyalty”—and Michelin, Goodyear, Pirelli, BF Goodrich and Firestone all rack up good numbers in that context—“but we’re seeing many owners purchase replacement tires based on a narrow focus, such as solely on appearance or price,” said Brent Gruber, senior director of global automotive, J.D. Power.

Sure, price is one thing, especially with the rise in prices of everything (yes, petroleum is not only used to make gasoline, but tires, too).

But appearance?

When faced with a tire change, keep these words from Gruber in mind:

“Tires are a highly engineered component of the vehicle—designed to very exact specifications—which influence how that vehicle performs. With tire replacement, there’s a risk of negating some of those key characteristics and product benefits if expert recommendations aren’t utilized.”

They may not be attractive. But that’s not the point.

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