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They just don't make things like they used to (Part 2)

A few months ago I blogged about my 14-month old TV that died unexpectedly. Unexpected because one would think a TV would last at least five years. I, being naive and optimistic, was actually hoping for at least 10 years, because, you know, my last TV is over 15 years old and still works. I am still trying to bring myself to write a complaint letter, but I am hesitant because I know exactly what will happen. Nothing.

But this week's dilemma is brought to you by tires and, apparently, PA roads, which are consistently ranked in the bottom five. But first, let me back up. About 2.5 years ago, when my car had about 26,000 miles on it, I had to replace my tires, which I believe were warranted for 60,000 miles. At that time, the guy at Flynn's told me that original tires never last long, and when combined with PA roads, my tires did as well as I could expect. Or something like that. So I painfully bought new tires, which were quite pricey thanks to my car (stupid Saturn Vue). But the guy told me although I would not get the full life out of the new ones, they were good, I would be happy, they would last awhile (wish I could remember how long he estimated), etc., etc.

You can probably tell where this story is going.

When I got my car inspected on Monday, my mechanic (not from Flynn's) said my tires barely passed inspection and would need to be replaced soon. What?! Come again? Begging pardon?

I told him the tires were only 2.5 years old and had only about 27k miles on them. He did not have much to say, since I did not buy them there.

So I called Flynn's and explained my situation. My old tires are no longer made, so to use the warranty, I had to buy tires which were slightly better, made even more expensive thanks to the rising cost of rubber and oil or something. On the upside, after a rebate, I will end up having paid about 50 percent of the price of my last set, and these tires do look as if they could ride over three feet of snow and cut through a sheet of ice. But it was an unexpected expense.

But that is almost not even the point. How can it be acceptable that tires don't last half as long as they are warranted for? I get that the roads are bad here, but c'mon. I got only about 1,000 more miles out of my last tires than I did out of the original ones. I would like to change the name Goodyear to Badyear or Badtires.

My good buddy at Flynn's, who, by the way, told me I was pretty and had a nice complexion (which he said before he proceeded to squint at every piece of paper he looked at) said I can expect to get about 35,000 to 40,000 out of these tires, which are warranted for 80,000. That is ridiculous, don't you think?!

As I said on Facebook, when the time comes for me to replace my Vue, before I decide on my final car make/model, I will shop for tires first. Seriously.

I guess I should put writing a letter to Goodyear on my to-do list...


Anonymous said…
This was an excellent post. You know, this may make me sound like a conspiracy theorist, but it seems as if things like televisions and tires are intentionally made to break down easier so that more of them can be sold more often.

Another possibility is that things just have to be made using cheaper materials because the demand is higher than it was in "days gone by". Either way, we can't be going in a good direction with this.

Forgive my anonymous name, I'm a passer by who came across your article and happened to enjoy it :)
Facie said…
Anonymous: I have thought along those same lines (things are made to be replaced often) more than a few times. I had not considered the demand angle, but it makes sense. I do think the number of cars on the road and how much more expensive it is to maintain roads play a big part.

Yes, I would agree that we are headed in the wrong way. Sigh.

Thanks for passing by!
Simon said…
If you think you have it bad, I live in the UK and am just in the process of replacing the front tyres on my car after 8,500 miles! And at £175 + tax a tyre (around $275 + tax) it's not a cheap exercise. You have it easy on the other side of the Atlantic with your long straight roads in comparison to our winding country roads!!
Anonymous said…
I came across your post from googling, "how long should tires really last." I had the SAME exact problem - my tires were warranted for 40,000 and I've only gone 26,000! I was told during my inspection that they hardly didn't pass as well. I understand totally where you are coming from and feel your pocket pain!

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