Sears Guardsman Tires...average tires for average drivers.

by Mark
(Chicago suburbs, Illinois)

So you need new tires but don't want to sell the wife or kids to get them? Have no desire to race, slalom through corners, or drive like a maniac generally? You might want to check out Sears "Guardsman" (Sears brand) tires. These are M & S (mud/snow) rated general purpose tires made for Sears by Cooper Tires. Nothing fancy, but so far I've had them on two cars (89 Chevy Celebrity & '92 Oldsmobile Delta 88). They fit the bill for tires without lumps, bumps, or cords showing and they held up to daily driving in an urban area well. A pity Sears has closed their nearby store and Auto Care Center; I'd would have bought two more for my 2001 Ford Taurus.

Again, these are BASIC tires to get you safely from Point A to Point B. They held up well to bumps and small potholes (which can wreck ANY tire), held their balancing, and improved handling of both cars. (Here's a tip: Old tire sidewalls weaken from wear and weathering, changing the ability of the tire to grab the pavement, and how they react to steering). The M & S rating helped with rain and snow driving (hey, it's the Chicago area; we get 3 seasons in a day!), although I never pushed them to "Ludicrous Speed" (Thanks, Mel Brooks).

The only odd part of these tires was the noise/vibration they generated on my Olds on the rear wheels. It was bad to ride with the rear windows down, because the noise/vibration was distracting and almost painful. HOWEVER, the Olds had more miles than ANYTHING I ever owned and it may have been old rear struts/suspension parts altering how the tire held the road and responded to bumps, or setting up a harmonic vibration.

Unlike some of their low-priced competitors (you can keyword search any tire brand & name (i.e. Bigwheel "Cowabunga XT", etc.) the Guardsman tires seem to have few complaints compared to low-price offerings by Douglas, Falken, and Primewell.

Remember, you're putting tires on a personal car to get you where you need to go safely; NOT putting tires on a Formula 1 race car!
Guardsman aren't the best tire, but they may be the best tire for those who need to save a few dollars while buying a decent 40,000 mile tire.

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