I went in to Cassidy Tires this afternoon on my lunch hour to get my tires balanced for $50 and came out 2.5 hours later with four new tires. Apparently, the first owner of my car replaced the OEM tires with really cheap Goodyear tires that weren't exactly meant for a high performance luxury sedan. And the speed rating on one of the tires didn't quite match the other three (something that my mechanic had already pointed out to me). Hence the unstable ride that prompted my visit to the tire shop.
Anyway, I called my mechanic afterwards to give him the scoop, and he basically told me that I'd been taken to the cleaners. So, not quite believing him, I hopped onto costco.com and checked the prices. All of the options for my car would've required a special order, and the prices were pretty much in line with what I paid at Cassidy. But just to make doubly sure that I'd gotten the right tires at the right price, I hopped onto tirerack.com. The exact same tires were definitely cheaper online, but taking into account shipping costs, I really wouldn't have saved all that much money. And who wants to haul 4 tires over to a repair shop? As an added bonus, I read through the user ratings for my tires, and they were all very positive. Apparently, these particular tires provide superior performance in wet or snowy conditions.
To be honest, my car has always had terrible traction. I figured it was just normal since the car has rear wheel drive. I even thought about selling the car because I had such a horrible time with it last winter. But on the way home from Cassidy Tires, it started to rain. So, I decided to do a mini road test, and I purposefully took a few corners at high speed to see if the tires would hold. Sure enough, they did.
So, although it was an unplanned expenditure, in the long run, I probably saved some money. Because with new, grippier tires, I just eliminated one of the main reasons for trading in my car. And it all started out because my mechanic says that he doesn't do tires....