Depending on their quality, tires can keep you on or off the road. They provide safety for you and your family while on the road. When buying tires, you need to make sure they are strong and durable enough to keep you safe on the road.
Tires provide your car’s direct contact with the road. How they grip it to keep the car moving steadily along at various speeds ultimately depends on their quality and whether they are properly inflated. Before buying new tires at a tire shop, you might find the following must-know tips helpful.
1. Tires Are Made of Different Levels of Quality
Tires may look alike, but they are not. Besides the fact that they feature treads and are round and made of rubber, any claim to similarity ends there. Since they are manufactured by various companies, quality varies from one brand to another. The right tire will ultimately depend on your driving habits and your vehicle. For instance, you will need winter tires for non-slip driving during winter to improve traction while driving in the snow.
On the other hand, summer driving calls for rigid, tough rubber that can withstand the heat and guarantee superior performance. Most people, however, prefer all-weather tires that provide a good driving experience during most seasons.
2. Replace Worn Tires
You can tell the state of your tires by just looking at them, all five of them. Yes, the spare is important too. If you see any sign of damage, replace them. Driving on worn or damaged tires can expose you and your family to great danger.
3. Understand the Tire Codes
Choosing the right tire is easy, but you will have to stoop low enough to be able to read the code on the side of your tire. The code features a combination of numbers and letters that represent the type, performance and size of the tire. The first three digits indicate the width of the tire, while the next two digits preceded by a slash is the tire’s aspect ratio. This number expresses the height of your tire as a percentage of its width.
R, on the other hand, stands for radial and refers to layers that run radially across the tire. The last digits after R represent the diameter of a wheel, which is measured from one end of a wheel to the other.
4. Size Matters
Larger tires are more expensive than small ones. Of importance, however, is to ensure the tires adhere to the recommended speed rating. They should provide safe driving even at the highest recommended speeds. The tires should also be able to accommodate your car’s weight. Getting the appropriate tire size is very key, and all you have to do is to stoop low enough to read the codes.
5. Shop Around
Armed with exact specifications of the kind of tires you are looking for, check out a couple of dealerships for the best prices. Be careful about extremely low prices as they could be for retreads.
If you come across a dealer you like but their prices are a bit higher, ask them if they can match a lower price from another dealer. Chances are they will. You might want to choose to buy from a local dealer since the shop will be more conveniently located.
6. Pay Attention to Expert Reviews
You might want to read what the experts have to say about various types of tires. Chances are you will be pleasantly surprised to find some differently branded inexpensive tires that are as good as their premium counterparts. However, in most cases, you will get what you pay for.
When buying new tires, you cannot afford to make mistakes. Depending on driving conditions and your car’s size, it is always a good idea to check the sidewall of your tire for specifications on the type of tire you should buy.