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Discussion Starter #1
This may seem like a dumb question, but in October I leased for the first time and haven't quite learned the drill. I have a 2015 CRV EX with Dueler tires. The car is due back in 3 years with a max of 36,000 miles and it will probably have about that or a little less. You can't bring the car back with shot tires, so I am wondering - Would it make sense to buy new tires now, get the use of some really nice tires while I have the car, and then put the Duelers back on before I return the car? It seems dumb to have to replace the tires right before turning it back in and giving someone else the advantage of brand new tires. Will the Duellers go the 36,000 of nonaggressive driving and still be returnable? Just asking for experiences. I also feel there is a better tire out there than the Dueler, but if it's good for, say 80,000, I'm not going to go to the expense.

When I mention this to non-car people they look at me like I'm crazy, but I think I have a valid point? Am I crazy?
 

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Well I've never leased, but your thought is to pay for all the road wear on the tires yourself above and beyond what you're already paying for with the Duelers. After 3 years you'll have a set of tires which you may or may not be able to use on your next car but which will be a pain to get rid of if you can't. If you figure the difference between the OEMs and some better-than-Dueler tires is worth the difference in buying + 2x mounting/balancing + hassle - selling price you can get for some of your preferred tires with 35,000 miles on them, that decision is between you and your wallet.

The OEM Duelers that came with my '15 were down to 9-10/32" (1 of them was 9, the other 3 were 10) in doing about 9,000 miles on them (using cheap plastic vernier calipers). They start with 11/32" according the Bridgestone site, so the way I drive they'll probably still be just about ok after 36,000 although I'd want to replace them shortly after that. For context, the roads around here can be pretty bumpy on account of the winters we go through, and I change to Blizzaks for the snowy months.

I don't think the Duelers are bad three seasons, just that they're poor in snow/ice/slush and wear out fast compared to the competition (I had some Michelin HydroEdges on my former '97, at 70,000 miles they were still going strong). In my experience they should go the distance you need them to with perhaps 5/32" left (large error bars).

I suspect the only reason they care about the Duelers not being shot when you return it is so that they don't have to replace them before they can sell it as used. If you haven't already I'd suggest that you get them to put in writing what an acceptable remaining tread depth will be and keep track of it.
 

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I got about 32k out of the Duelers, and hated them for about 28k of that. I don't think I'd have taken them off a lease and saved them, but that's mostly because they'd have been in my way during that 3 years. If you have space to store them then I think you're plan has merit. Return it in three years with the crappy but almost new Duelers, and you'll still have a set of ~half used decent tires to either put on the next car or sell on CL if they don't fit.
 

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I think it’s a great idea.
 

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Lease terms vary, but requiring at least 5/32 on return isn't uncommon. So agree, you'll have to buy new tires for the privilege of returning the car without charge, or they may hit you up for $500 as a wear-&-tear charge if you don't. So yes, I agree, one way or another you are going to owe the cost of a set of tires. The question is pay now and have to store 4 tires and drive on what will make you happy, or drive on those OEM tires and pay up 3 years from now.

But there are other options. Sell those take-off's immediately to reduce your up-front out of pocket expense, and see what happens at the end. For instance, Honda could offer you an early lease return at 2.5 years to get you into a new Honda. When that happens they sometimes waive those wear-&-tear charges, so you could get off easy.
 

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On past leases they don't care what brand of tire is on the vehicle, just that it has the minimum amount of tread left that the book says they need to have. It really depends who the leasing company is. GM lease just did a quick walk around and signed the papers saying it was good. Took all of 3 minutes. Kia (bank lease) sent a rep to my house who spent around 30 minutes going over the vehicle doing a pre-return check. I was concerned on that one since my wife had backed in to a post and cracked the paint on the rear bumper. They said I could fix it myself or pay them the 50 bucks to do it. I opted for their fix. No dings on body rust and that damn van was busting out everywhere. Even had some dents on the hood that they took as normal wear. Ford Red Carpet was also a breeze. I was worried about the tires as well. The guy told me that as long as the wear was even and it was above the wear bars, they didn't care.

Personally I would run them till they are worn out or your lease is up. But then I don't have anywhere to store 4 tires for 3 years.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the responses. I can store the Duellers, but I would have to find a way to dispose of the used non-Duellers when I turn the car in. Food for thought.
 

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Well, the fact that you were even considering that option kind of lead me to think you would by buying/leasing another CR-V or similar with the same size wheels. You could sell them on CL if they are still good enough, or you could just toss them when you put the duellers back on. You will have got three years and 30k+ miles out of them by then, along with the comfort and safety of better tires during the lease.
 
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