Choosing the right set of tires for your vehicle can be overwhelming.
There are so many varieties of tires. How do you know what will work best for your car and your driving needs? And how much should you pay?
Here is our breakdown of the things you will need to consider when shopping for car tires.
Your car is designed to handle optimally with a specific tire size and speed rating in mind.
Another important consideration is tread wear, a number which indicates how many miles you can drive on the tires before they wear out.
You can find information regarding the optimal size, speed rating and tread wear by looking at the sidewall of the tires you now have. In addition, it’s a good idea to check your owner’s manual. And to be absolutely certain that you choose the right tires for your car, try looking up the make and model online to make sure that all these numbers match up.
The numbers on the sidewall contain all this information if you know how to read it.
For example, a set of numbers that looks like P225/55R17 indicates the tire size. A letter of the alphabet near the end indicates the tire’s speed rating.
Next you’ll need to decide what type of tire best fits your driving needs. There are several categories to choose from.
1. All-Season Tires - These are the best all-around tires, providing good handling and traction on wet roads. They also stand up well to high mileage.
2. Performance All-Season Tires - These can help your car handle better when going around sharp corners. They’re often used with newer cars.
3. Summer Tires - These tires handle best in moderate-to-hot temperatures, so they are great if you live in a warmer climate.
4. Winter/Snow Tires - These tires have deeper tread and a better grip, making them ideal for snowy and icy conditions. They can be pricey and may not handle as smoothly as other kinds of tires, but they are well worth it if you live in an area that gets snow all winter long.
For your tires to work the way they are supposed to, all four tires should be almost identical. If one or more of the tires is different from the others, this can become a safety concern, since different parts of the car will respond in different ways, making it more difficult for you to control.
If you only need to replace one tire, ensure that it exactly matches the size, speed rating, and brand. This is not an area in which you should try to save your money, because paying for a cheaper tire that doesn’t match will ultimately end up costing more.
If you are replacing two of the four tires, they don’t necessarily have to be identical to the other two, but they should be the same size and type.
Choosing the right car tires can be tricky, but by carefully considering your car’s requirements and your own driving needs, you can feel confident of getting the best possible performance.