OEM tires are factory-mounted tires by vehicle manufacturers. So, basically, those tires are the first tires of your vehicle. You may probably realize that the OEM tires of your vehicle are always better than the replacement ones. Well, you’re not being obsessive. As a former Bridgestone Engineer, I can confidently say that’s true. But why? Let’s analyze the process and see the reasons beneath this!
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Factory tire is the other name of OEM tires. In my point of view, this name fits better to these tires. Though worth reminding, I’ll use OEM tires for this article.
Are Factory Installed Tires Differently?
No, they’re doing it in the same way with your dealer. However, unlike your dealer, factories pay attention to using proper torque to compress tires’ bolts. That might seem insignificant, yet, I’ve seen a lot of cracked bolts. One cracked bolt isn’t crucial but a couple of them may cost your life.
How do I know My Tires are OEM?
You can’t understand if your tires are OEM or not. However, some manufacturers use specific marking systems on tires’ sidewalls. For instance, if you have a Goodyear tire and it has an ‘MGT’ marking on the sidewall, that means this tire is approved by Maserati.
Tire Homologotion Codes: https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tiretech/techpage.jsp?techid=23
Should You Use OEM Tires?
Even though OEM tires have a good reputation in the market, none of them can last forever. So, at some point, you should replace your tire. The good news is you don’t have to replace your tire with the same brand and pattern. You can use a tire with the same functionality. Though worth reminding, the below points should be taken into the consideration.
- Try to use the same size – This item isn’t essential. However, we always recommend using the vehicle’s owner manual sizes(you may look inside the drivers’ door jam)
- Pay attention to load and speed index
- Define what do you expect from tire clearly
- Changing rim size should be your last option. Use this only for massive changes and don’t forget to consult the vehicle manufacturer
Here is an original tire finder tool: https://simpletire.com/learn/tire-buying-guides/find-your-original-tires
Are OEM Tires Inferior?
The ‘OEM tires are inferior’ argument is completely delusive. Tires can’t be perfect in every aspect. That’s the first thing that I’ve learned in Bridgestone. In this equation, you should sacrifice from some points to get better on others.
- OEM tires are definitely offers smoother ride
- OEM tires have definitely better handling
- OEM tires have definitely better grip
- OEM tires have definitely better traction
- Replacement tires definitely last longer
Tire manufacturers need to pass the homologation process of vehicle manufacturers. In this process, vehicle manufacturers ask for a couple of things.
- Uniformity(Key of handling)
The above 3 points are key for vehicle manufacturers. Therefore, tire manufacturers tend to use softer rubber for OEM tires. In a conclusion, OEM tires generally can’t last long as replacement tires. Yet, they’re better in other aspects.
Note: In this section, I assume that OEM and replacement tires are the same(for instance, both are Michelin Defender T+H)
Does OEM Tires Have Warranty?
Yes, they do. Though, if you’ll manage your warranty process via your vehicle’s manufacturer, you may accelerate your process.
OEM vs Replacement Tires
|You have a chance to choose
|If you’ll define your needs, they overperform OEM tires
The comparison of OEM and replacement tires are a bit kinky. However, I can confidently say that OEM tires are more reliable. Manufacturers allocate the tires with the highest test results and send these tires to vehicle manufacturers. Though worth reminding, the tread life test isn’t part of this process.
OEM tires are produced in lower limit ranges. So, their error margin is exceedingly low compared to replacement tires.
In that case, I can’t say that OEM tires are better in every aspect. However, they’re above average on any one of them. That makes them trustworthy.
In my point of view, all vehicles should use their OEM tires at the end of their tread life. They may wear quickly, though, you can easily specify your needs in this term.
- LT sizes have stronger sidewalls. That feature makes them more durable. Yet, these tires offer a rougher ride. (LT vs P-Metric tires)
- XL sizes tend to carry more load and offer better handling. Hence, if you’ll go with p-metric sizes, they might be a better pick for hauling and towing( XL vs SL tires)
- Please pay attention to the load index & load range and speed index. These metrics are essential if you expect decent tread life
- There isn’t a bad tire in the market right now, you should just know what to expect from tires
I hope this article was helpful. If you need any further questions, please leave them in the below section.