Whenever you’re changing the tires on your car, you’re often met with a huge range of options. OEM tires are usually one of these options – if you can find them and your dealership offers replacement tires.
With that said, OEM tires are not necessarily the best option for everyone. Keep reading below to figure out if these are the right tires for you.
What Are OEM Tires?
OEM tires are the original tires that came with your car. Typically, these tires are designed with your car in mind. However, that doesn’t necessarily make them the best choice for everyone. For instance, they also tend to have a shorter lifespan than other tires out there. In fact, these tires typically last half as long as some other options.
Keep reading below for everything you might need to know about OEM tires.
Are OEM Tires Good?
In many cases, OEM tires are lower-quality than tires you might purchase yourself. However, some OEM tires are quite good. In most cases, it largely depends on the car you’re purchasing.
Generally, these tires are much less durable than other tires out there. While some original tires do last to 50,000 miles, they generally start to show a lot of wear after 20,000 miles. Therefore, they will need to be changed sooner than other tires might.
However, that really isn’t money out of your pocket, since these tires are pretty much “free.” After all, they came on your car.
Usually, these tires are designed for all-around driving – not one specific thing. Therefore, they tend to be okay at all weather conditions, but not particularly great at any one thing.
Therefore, I highly recommend you purchase winter and/or summer tires if your location calls for them. Usually, OEM tires just aren’t a suitable replacement in these circumstances.
Furthermore, OEM tires were designed specifically for your car. In many cases, this means that the tire may be better for your car than other tires out there. In many cases, companies spend a lot of money getting OEM tires developed.
Typically, OEM tires will do a great job at maximizing your car’s performance for this reason.
With that said, that doesn’t mean that everyone will be happy with their OEM tires. If you’re looking for something specific, OEM tires probably won’t have you covered.
Generally, they’re designed for the average driver, which may be a category that you don’t fall into.
Usually, your only option in these circumstances is to purchase an aftermarket tire that fits what you want a bit better.
Another significant downside of OEM tires is that getting replacement tires can be challenging.
In many cases, these tires go through a lot of different tread variations, so you likely won’t be able to find the exact same tire if you need a replacement.
Many of these differences are practically unnoticeable. However, it is still important to know that they are there. After all, some may be significant and affect how the tire works – even if most aren’t.
Therefore, OEM tires are necessarily “good,” but they aren’t bad either. It largely depends on who you are and what you’re looking for.
Why Are OEM Tires So Bad?
OEM tires have a bad reputation in the car world. In many cases, these tires are not designed for vehicle enthusiasts. Instead, they are designed for your average driver in mind.
However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that they are bad tires. You just can’t expect them to perform tasks that they weren’t designed for. In other words, they are not performance tires in the least.
If you’re looking for performance tires, you’ll likely need to purchase aftermarket tires elsewhere.
Specifically, OEM tires are designed to provide a smooth and quiet ride. Therefore, they often have less tread than other tires, which can affect handling and performance.
However, if you’re the average driver, then you may find emphasize exactly what you’re looking for.
In many cases, upgrading your car’s tire can seriously improve your tire’s handling and traction. However, you may or may not need this boost, depending on what you’re doing.
With that said, there is little for most people to gain by choosing to purchase new tires, especially for the money you need to spend to upgrade your wheels.
When you’re given decent-quality wheels already on your car, you may have little reason to upgrade them.
However, these tires are generally not as long-lasting as your average tires, so you will end up needing to replace them sooner rather than later anyway.
Are OEM Tires the Same as Aftermarket?
No. In fact, they’re basically the complete opposite. Typically, OEM tires are used to describe those that you get on your car when you purchase it. In other words, they’re the default tires that you drive off the lot with.
On the other hand, aftermarket tires are those you purchase after you buy the car. You’ll likely need to purchase aftermarket tires if your tires wear down or if you’re looking for something a bit more specific.
However, you can purchase OEM tire replacements, though these may not be exactly the same as your original tires.
Generally, OEM replacement tires are actually a bit controversial. Many people will argue for OEM replacement tires, while others will encourage you to purchase aftermarket tires. Again, it seems to be largely dependent on who you talk to.
How Do I Know If My Tires are OEM?
Usually, the only way to figure out if your car’s tires are OEM is to figure out the OEM tires for your vehicle and then compare that info to the actual tires on your car.
Firstly, you’ll need your exact vehicle trim, which you can find on the back of the vehicle or in the manual – if you don’t already know it.
Next, your best guess is to do a quick Google search. While you can ask your dealership, Googling it is often easier and more accurate. Just because they sold the car at some point doesn’t mean they know what tires were on it.
To know more about tires, you can also read our posts on why are tires expensive, how quiet tires work, and how long do mud tires last.
Generally speaking, OEM tires range in quality substantially. Some cars may have very good OEM tires, while others don’t at all. Either way, there is generally very little incentive to change these tires, since they have to come on your car anyway.
Still, you may find yourself changing these tires sooner rather than later, as they don’t tend to last nearly as long as most other tires on the market.