With over 13,000 tire-related crashes happening each year, tire safety must be a top priority of everyday drivers. So it is essential to know which tire brands to avoid at all costs.
Many people overlook the importance of getting good car tires, which leads to severe accidents.
Most people end up buying poor tires when they compromise between the price and quality of the tires.
Choosing the right tire brand is crucial for safety and performance, as my friend learned the hard way when his car crashed due to mediocre tires.
The worst tire brands to avoid due to poor quality, safety concerns, and high noise are Firestone Destination, Falken Ziex, Carlisle, low-end General Tires, Westlake, AKS, GeoStar, Autogreen, and others.
Following our initial assessment, we conducted extensive research, including discussions with car owners and mechanics, and carried out our own rigorous testing.
This thorough approach enabled us to identify the above-listed tire brands as the least reliable and most problematic in the market.
These worst-quality tires wear out quickly, and you will soon have to invest in new tires again.
Before we begin, let’s understand how to spot a cheap tire brand.
Table of Contents
- How To Identify The Worst Tire Brand?
- List of 10 Worst Tire Brands to Avoid
- 1) Firestone Destination Tires
- 2) Falken Ziex Tires
- 3) Carlisle Tires
- 4) Low-End General Tires
- 5) Westlake Tires
- 6) AKS Tires
- 7) Goodyear – G159
- 8) GeoStar Tires
- 9) Autogreen Tires
- 10) Chaoyang Tires
- Why You Should Avoid Bad Tires?
- Do Tire Brands Really Matter?
- What Makes a Good Tire?
- Promising Durability
- Superior Traction and Grip
- Excellent Fuel Efficiency
- 7 Best Tire Brands for Optimum Performance
- 1. Michelin Tires
- 2. Continental
- 3. Cooper Tires
- 4. Bridgestone
- 5. Pirelli Tires
- 6. Yokohama
- 7. Hankook
- Are Chinese Tire Brands Worth Buying?
- How to Tell if You Need New Tires?
- When To Replace Your Tires?
- Frequently Asked Questions
- How do you check the tire manufacturing date?
- How many years do tires last?
- Steven Settles
How To Identify The Worst Tire Brand?
The easiest way to avoid getting a bad tire brand is to get one that an independent third party has thoroughly tested.
You may also read tire reviews and compare them to decide which one is the most durable.
But don’t worry, we have tested the tire brands from cheap to expensive.
So, here are some pointers for finding a low-quality tire brand.
1. Poor quality inspection:
Quality inspection for tires is vital, and without it, the tire’s durability and safety are questionable.
For consumers, identifying a quality tire involves checking for uniform tread depth, and the absence of visible defects like cracks or bulges.
Also ensure the tire has a reputable certification mark like DOT (U.S. Department of Transportation) or E-Mark (Europe Vehicle Regulation), indicating adherence to safety standards.
Tire manufacturers should always use an expert inspection for the tires.
If it’s not properly done, you will never know how strong a tire is. This means that if you are buying a cheap tire, it might be dangerous.
2. Unclear information:
Check the tires for any details on the packaging or the label. The tire brand should have a clear statement about the tire and the year it was manufactured.
Also, you can check the manufacturing date on the tire to see if it was made recently.
3. Poor tread pattern:
You should always inspect the tread patterns of the tires.
The tire tread should be well-designed and should give a firm grip on the road surface.
Tires with poor tread patterns tend to wear out quickly, resulting in higher expenses for repair or replacement.
4. Low-quality rubber:
Low-quality tires will be thin, and the sidewalls will break easily.
You will know the difference between low-quality and high-quality tires because of their thickness and durability.
5. Misfire or poor performance:
You can easily identify misfired or poorly performing tires because they will make a lot of noise while driving.
Also, if you buy a tire from a poorly equipped store, it will make a lot of noise while being inflated.
6. Bad customer service:
It is very important to check customer service before you purchase a tire.
Always buy tires from a shop or a company that has been in business for long enough to understand how customers feel about their products.
List of 10 Worst Tire Brands to Avoid
There are hundreds of cheap tire brands that exist in the marketplace. So, it is a challenging task to decide which tire brands to avoid.
Our expert review team has picked the worst tire brands based on their performance, lack of safety measures, and poor designs.
Here is our list of tire brands to stay far away from.
Lack Safety Features
Low Road Traction
Not Weather Resistent
Low-End General Tires
Low Quality Material
Low Driving Comfort
Low Dry Road Grip
Easily Gets Punctured
1) Firestone Destination Tires
Firestone is a famous US tire company that makes quality tires.
However, the quality of their Destination tires has disappointed its users. These tires are made in China from low-quality raw materials.
The Firestone Destination tires are so soft, and road bumps cause them to bend quickly.
They lack even the very basic safety features, which makes them more susceptible to bursting.
2) Falken Ziex Tires
Falken is a Japanese brand popular for making affordable tires. Recently, they have focused more on making budget tires at the cost of quality.
The Falken Ziex tires have low traction and glide down easily on wet roads or slippery surfaces. So, it is risky to use these tires in wet conditions.
3) Carlisle Tires
Carlisle Tires has manufacturing plants in the USA. But they are still making trail tires in China.
Like Firestone, they are also not immune to producing some of the cheap quality tires on the market.
The Carlisle Paddles Radial trailer tires are poorly exposed in extreme weather conditions and end up in an explosion.
4) Low-End General Tires
You may be surprised to see the name General Tires in the list of worst tire brands.
Without a doubt, it is one of the top brands in the industry. Many professional racers use them in the Nascar and Formula 1 races.
But, some cheap General tires also exist in the market, which is the exact replica of the original tires.
These low-end tires are perhaps the most deadly tires to rely on since they are manufactured with inferior-quality material.
They wear out quickly and generate too much noise on the road. Instead of buying a cheap dreadful version, always go for the original General tires.
5) Westlake Tires
A Chinese Hangzhou Zhongce Rubber Company manufactures Westlake tires.
They produce one of the cheapest tires that only perform well at the normal speed of 50 mph on a dry road.
The cheap WestLake tires get easily damaged by road bumps and potholes.
They lose the traction between the tire and the road if you exceed 60 mph.
The lifespan is also short due to early rubber aging of tires, which is around 20,000 miles.
6) AKS Tires
AKS is another Chinese tire brand. It is perhaps one of the most deadly tires ever in production. They are not only cheap in terms of costs, but in performance as well.
The AKS tires have a poor grip on dry and wet roads and quickly wear out.
7) Goodyear – G159
Goodyear is a well-known US tire brand. They produce quality and reliable tires.
Back in 2003, one of their models, G159, was associated with several accidents. Later, in 2005, the G159 design was declared defective and unsafe for driving.
However, Goodyear had already stopped manufacturing G159 15 years ago.
But these tires are still available in the market, mainly in the used form at a very reasonable price.
You must stay away from this defective model to avoid any hazards.
8) GeoStar Tires
GeoStar manufactures tires in China at a very low cost. It is famous for all-weather and all-season tires.
But these tires offer low driving comfort and don’t grip well on snow and wet roads. It also has poor steering responsiveness.
9) Autogreen Tires
The next one on our list of the worst tire brands is Autogreen Tyres. These tyres are also manufactured in Beijing, China.
It is not a durable choice as these tires are not long-lasting, and hardly complete 20,000 miles.
Uneven tread wear and vibrations at freeway speeds. It also has a low rating for grip on a dry road.
10) Chaoyang Tires
It is one of the leading Chinese rubber companies. The brand is very popular in Asia as well as in the USA. However, these tires make too much noise and wear out pretty fast.
Furthermore, it is not an option to use in extreme weather conditions as the tire will burst.
The tires are too soft, and the nail gets in, and easily gets punctured.
Why You Should Avoid Bad Tires?
Substandard tires pose a significant risk to driving safety and vehicle performance. Here’s why:
The core function of a tire is to maintain control and stability of the vehicle.
Low-quality tires may not provide sufficient grip and handling, especially in critical situations like sharp turns or sudden braking, leading to safety hazards.
Poor tires might not perform as expected, displaying issues similar to old tires even when new.
This includes problems like slipping during acceleration or difficulties in steering, which affect the overall driving experience.
Tires from lesser-known or lower-quality manufacturers may not have a lifespan of 40,000 km.
This not only impacts your wallet but also contributes to environmental waste.
Continually replacing substandard tires can become expensive over time. Additionally, they may lead to increased fuel consumption due to poor efficiency.
Do Tire Brands Really Matter?
When it comes to buying tires, the name matters a lot. This is because the brand represents the quality of the product.
You should go for the one that has a reputable image in the market. You will be able to identify the ones thoroughly examined by the experts.
The thing that you need to do before buying a tire brand is find out if they have been tested.
Tire testing companies have examined many brands of tires. It will help you avoid getting an unreliable tire brand.
What Makes a Good Tire?
Understanding what makes a good tire is crucial for every driver.
Tires are the only point of contact between your vehicle and the road, and their quality can significantly affect your driving experience and safety.
A tire’s lifespan is not just a measure of time but a reflection of its quality.
High-quality tires are crafted from a fusion of advanced materials and innovative engineering practices.
This combination results in tires that can withstand daily wear and tear, maintaining their integrity and performance for 6 to 10 years.
They resist common threats like road debris, temperature changes, and rough terrain, ensuring a longer service life and fewer replacements.
Superior Traction and Grip
At the heart of tire performance is its ability to grip the road.
The best tires are designed to maintain strong and consistent contact with different road surfaces.
Whether it’s wet asphalt, dry concrete, or uneven gravel, these tires ensure that your vehicle responds precisely to your steering.
This is crucial in adverse weather conditions such as heavy rain or snow, where tire grip becomes a critical factor in avoiding skids and maintaining control.
Excellent Fuel Efficiency
When discussing tire efficiency, it’s about more than just reducing fuel consumption.
Efficient tires are engineered to minimize rolling resistance and the friction between the tire and the road surface.
This reduction in resistance means your engine doesn’t have to work as hard, leading to smoother driving experiences and decreased fuel expenses.
In addition, tires with lower rolling resistance can indirectly reduce your carbon footprint, making them a more environmentally friendly option.
7 Best Tire Brands for Optimum Performance
A set of reliable tires is crucial for the safety and performance of your vehicle.
It doesn’t matter whether you own a small sedan, a bulky SUV, or a high-speed sports car; the right tires can make all the difference in the world.
Now that we already know which tire manufacturers to avoid let me share some of the best tire brands that have stood firm in our various tests.
1. Michelin Tires
Michelin Tires stands out for its exceptional grip and durability, offering top-notch performance in varying road conditions.
After using Michelin Tires, I can vouch for the Pilot Sport 4S’s superior traction in dry and wet conditions and the CrossClimate2’s all-season proficiency.
Despite being a premium brand with a higher price tag, Michelin’s responsive steering, smooth handling, and comprehensive warranty make it a worthy investment.
Although some may find it costly, the performance and safety offered by Michelin Tires justify the expense.
The brand offers some of the top tires in the market, excelling in quality, traction, and comfort. They provide a smooth and quiet ride backed by a comprehensive warranty.
Despite minor drawbacks like reduced traction on sharp turns and in heavy snow, their performance on dry and wet roads is impressive, making them a top choice for many drivers.
Whether you are looking for high-performance, all-season, or highway tires, Continental has a range to suit your needs.
Opt for Continental Tires for a safe, comfortable, and reliable driving experience.
3. Cooper Tires
Next on our list of most reliable tires is Cooper. The brand stands as one of the best tire brands in the industry, consistently delivering reliable tires that offer excellent traction, control, and durability.
I’ve experienced the stability and handling of their tires in varying road conditions and can affirm their top-notch performance.
Whether it’s the ultra-performance Zeon RS3-G1 or the off-road Discoverer AT3 4S, Cooper Tires ensures a strong grip, reduced noise levels, and a comfortable ride in every terrain.
You can upgrade your vehicle with these trustworthy tires for an enhanced driving experience.
Choosing the right tire for your vehicle is crucial for your safety and comfort.
Bridgestone tires stand out as a top tire brand, offering unmatched performance, durability, and comfort.
I have tested their tires and found them highly reliable in various weather conditions, except for minor setbacks in heavy snow.
Despite this, the unique features like the run-flat technology in DriveGuard and the efficient off-road drive of Dueler A/T Revo 3 make them a strong contender in the market.
The comprehensive warranty and global trust further cement Bridgestone’s position as a top tire brand. Invest in Bridgestone for a smoother, safer ride.
5. Pirelli Tires
Pirelli is undoubtedly one of the top luxury tire brands and is synonymous with quality, longevity, and innovation.
For over 150 years, they have been manufacturing tires that catch the eye of global giants like Lamborghini and McLaren and enchant driving enthusiasts worldwide.
I love features like the Pirelli Noise Cancellation System (PNCS) and Pirelli Seal Inside Technology, ensuring a quieter, puncture-resistant drive.
Their commitment to reducing rolling resistance translates to better fuel efficiency, a win for both your wallet and the environment.
Though not all models are perfect for every terrain, the overall performance and cutting-edge technology make Pirelli tires a compelling choice for those seeking luxury and reliability.
Another reliable tire brand that stands out for its eco-friendly materials, stability, and budget-friendly options is Yokohama.
These tires have limitations at high speeds and heavy snow.
However, its offerings, like the Avid Ascend and Geolandar A/T G015, equipped with advanced technologies, ensure good grip and traction under normal conditions.
For everyday use and eco-conscious drivers, it is a dependable tire company to consider.
Last but not least, we have the Hankook Tires. It is indeed one of the best tire manufacturers regarding quality and affordability.
This South Korean brand has been consistently delivering high-quality tires since the 1960s. They offer a variety of products, from summer to all-season, high-performance, and truck tires.
Thus making sure there’s something for every requirement and budget.
Notably, their Hankook Ventus V2 concept2 and Kinergy ST H735 models are commendable for their performance across different terrains and weather conditions.
However, while they excel in many aspects, some limitations exist at high speeds and heavy snow conditions.
Nonetheless, their quality rubber material, innovative technology, and excellent treadwear warranty make them a valuable investment.
Are Chinese Tire Brands Worth Buying?
It depends on the brand, but most Chinese tire brands are deadly to use.
In the last two decades, China has grown exponentially in the tire industry worldwide.
Not all Chinese brands are poor. Some top brands like Goodyear and Firestone have also outsourced their production to Chinese manufacturers.
However many Chinese tire manufacturers are making the worst tires and selling them to the market without API’s authorization.
They also make exact copies of expensive original tire models using cheap materials.
The primary focus of these Chinese brands is profit-making. So, they don’t follow any quality standards in production as well.
The Chinese tire brands have several issues, such as too much noise, low traction between the tire and the road, quick tread wear, too soft tires, shorter lifespan, lack of basic safety features, etc.
Instead of shelling dollars on cheap Chinese tires, it is better to invest in durable and trustworthy tire brands.
You should choose a brand carefully as it is a matter of safety for your vehicle and your family.
How to Tell if You Need New Tires?
Driving on bald tires can be dangerous, and it will be worse in rain or snow. The results can be tragic if you don’t replace your tires in time.
When To Replace Your Tires?
If you go to any tire store and ask the salesman about tire replacement, half of the time they will tell you yes because they want to sell you something.
So, it is imperative to check by yourself and determine if you need new tires or not.
The following are the simple ways to check it.
1. Check the Tread Depth
You can check it with the help of a tread depth gauge. If you don’t have it, you can do a traditional penny test to check the depth.
You can place a penny upside down in this process and put Lincoln’s head into the tread groove. If Lincoln’s head is still visible, it is time to replace your tires.
On the contrary, if you don’t see the forehead, it indicates that your tires are pretty good to drive on.
If the tread is down to 1/16th of an inch, it becomes unsafe to drive in adverse weather conditions. Many people prefer to replace the tire.
2. Check the Tread Wear Bar
Almost all of the tires sold in the US have tread wear bars. These are small raised bars of rubber in the groove of the tire’s tread.
If the tread comes equal to the wear bar, the tire is worn.
You need to replace it with new tires because there is insufficient tread depth to evacuate water. This tire is very dangerous on wet roads.
The deeper the grooves, the safer the tires in the snow and on wet roads would be.
3. Check Uneven tread Wear
If you notice any irregular tread wear on one side of the tire, this could indicate your wheels are misaligned.
You need a proper wheel alignment and probably replace the tires if they are worn out.
Also, talk to the tire experts if your tires are wearing unevenly.
4. Check the sidewall damages
Always pay attention to sidewall damage because it will cause the tires to shred. Driving on these tires is very dangerous.
So, you need to replace your tires as soon as possible since the sidewall damages are not repairable.
Other Brands to Avoid
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you check the tire manufacturing date?
You need to check the last four digits of the DOT code on the tire. It represents the manufacturing week and year of the tire.
The first two digits indicate the manufacturing week, and the last two tell the manufacturing year.
For instance, if the digits are 3718. It means the tire was manufactured in the 37th week of 2018.
How many years do tires last?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), tires can last between 6 to 10 years.
But make sure not to exceed the age of the tires over 10 years and replace them as soon as possible.
It is easy to get trapped by the worst tire brands because they manufacture replicas of the original brand using inferior-quality raw materials.
So it will make you believe you are getting a great deal at the lowest price.
Therefore, you must avoid all of the above-mentioned CHEAP tire brands to make your ride safer.
China is making a large number of tires without any quality standards. There are few credible Chinese brands, but most of them are crap to use.
Always inspect the condition of your tires before replacing them. Check the tread depth, tread wear bars, uneven wear, and sidewall damages.
Quick Question: Which tire brand are you currently using and how is your experience with that brand?
Steven Settles is a professional content writer with over 7 years of experience in writing for different niches, including brand reviews, technology, fitness, and more.
Currently, he is working as a content writer for WorstBrands, where he provides insightful reviews of different products, including home appliances, outdoor gear, fashion, and kitchen products. In his free time, Steven enjoys traveling and exploring new places.