New tires aren’t something most vehicle owners are anxious to spend money on, but they are the most important safety feature of any car on the road, and when it’s time… it’s time.
Here are a few tips to help make investing in new tires simple and foolproof.
1. Make sure you need new tires
Symptoms like bulging tires (when tires deflate they bulge at the sides), cracked tires, or low treads are easy symptoms pointing to the need for new tires. However, if your car is vibrating when you drive it, it could be your tires, brakes, or alignment. Be sure to have it looked at to determine the exact cause before buying tires you may not need.
2. Choose the right tire
Perhaps the biggest mistake someone can make when replacing tires is not buying the right size. On the sidewall of your tire, you’ll find a code that tells the tire’s size and capabilities.
Here’s a sample code:
P195/60R16 63H M+S
- P – Type of tire
- 195 – Width of the tire across the tread in millimeters
- 60 – Aspect ratio of the sidewall compared to the width
- R – Radial construction
- 16 – Diameter of the rim in inches
- 63 – Tire’s load rating
- H – Tire’s speed rating
- M+S – Tire is suitable for all-season driving
Your auto shop technician can easily give you tire options that will be best for your car at different price points. Just make sure you understand the differences between tires. They can be significant.
3. Know where to buy new tires
It’s always important to shop where you feel comfortable. We think buying tires from your local auto repair shop where you take your car for service is always a good idea. They know you, they know your car, and are invested in a long-term relationship with you and your car. Purchase and installation costs can vary widely, so be sure to understand what each shop includes with their tire installation so you are comparing fairly.
4. Know your vehicle’s manufacturer recommendations
Vehicle manufacturers often have a recommended tire size and type for each vehicle. This recommendation is based on the size, weight, load capacity, off-road capability, and steering for your specific vehicle. Changing the tire size and type could impact the handling of your vehicle.
Choosing the right tires includes looking at where you live, how you drive your car, and other factors as well. Evaluating different brands and options and understanding the trade-offs will help ensure that you buy the best tires for your car.