Questions? Feedback? powered by Olark live chat software

Understanding the Tire Sniffer Letter Grade

When it comes to tires -
Letter grades are a better representation of quality than those wimpy little stars ever could be. Here's how they work:
Understanding The Letter Grades


The Tire Sniffer Letter Grades and Price Tiers work together to provide users with an instantaneous snapshot of a tire's price and quality placement among it's peers -

...With the added bonus of sniffing out spectacular deals!


While stars are great and grand, they just don't cut the mustard when it comes to representing a tire and all it's characteristics.  Stars are vague, imprecise & speculative.  Tire consumers do not need more unclear information than they've already come across - they need precision.  With an instantly recognizable & understandable grading scale - the Letter Grading system - our users get a much faster, deeper representation of a tire's quality resulting in better, more informed choices.  Hopefully, the grades don't elicit too many unpleasant memories of poor school performance.  But, we're sure everyone was an A+ student, right?


Letter grades range from A+ down to C-


***We've refrained from D's and F's because, in the real world, all tires sold in the USA must meet all U.S. (FMVSS) Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.  So, no tire really ever 'fails'. (Do tires come apart, burst or spontaneously combust etc. - it's veeeeeery rare - and because of that reality, no grades below C-.)


Applying a familiar letter grading system shatters time waste and unveils uncovered savings by combining:

  • Price (what consumers are paying for the tire)
  • Driver Satisfaction (consumers overall experience with the tire)
  • Value (what you are getting for what you are paying for)

These 3 characteristics together = the Tire Sniffer Grade.


Key Points: 

Be sure to compare the Tire Sniffer Grades within 1 ONE price tier only.  (check out what price tiers are, here.)

  • Do not compare a letter graded tire from one price tier to another letter graded tire in a different price tier.
  • Think of the Price Tiers as Grade Levels - You wouldn't compare a 2nd graders A+ to a 3rd graders A+.
  • As expected, doing so will lead to inaccurate comparisons.

I.E:  Do not compare a Tire Sniffer Grade in a 2 $$ price tier to a Tire Sniffer Grade in a 1 $ or 3 $$$ price tier.  



Example of the tire details module from a 225/45R17's size search results page.

Example of the tire details module from a 225/45R17's size search results page.


Tire Comparison in example below: click to view >>


How To Use the Tire Sniffer Letter Grade:

  1. You have Tire A with a 1 $ Price Tier and a Tire Sniffer Grade B+
  2. You have Tire B with a 2 $$ Price Tier and a Tire Sniffer Grade B+.
  • Since both have the same Letter Grade, they bring the same comparative value based upon their cost & respective price tiers.
  • However, they do not share the same qualities:  mileage expectancy, material composition, performance etc.
  • I.E - Tire B with 2 $$ will be more expensive and will most likely be a better product in the sense that it will last longer and drive better compared to Tire A with 1 $$.


Implementing the Price Tier:  (view the 2 provided tire examples from above)

Let's say you're comparing 2 tires.
Both are quoted at $100 per tire from a local retailer.  Price Tiers display (Tire A:  $$)  |  (Tire B:  $$$)  

  • From this effectively quick comparison, you are getting a better value with Tire B.  
  • In this case, the Price Tier comparison says that Tire B at $$$ is typically priced higher.  Simply put, you're getting a best deal on that tire at $100.



Without the Letter Grades - There is no way correctly differentiate tires, uncover amazing deals or any other desired comparison.  This is why shops and consumers are comparing apples to oranges like Michelin tires to General tires or Cordovan's to Kumho's instead of apples to apples (quickly check apples to apples, here).

Weather used solo or in conjunction with the Price Tiers, the ability to quickly yet fully understand a tire's most important attributes are represented with these 2 simple yet powerful symbols.  $ and Letters.

  • Be sure to breeze through the Price Tiers article.