Our tires are the only item on our vehicles that actually touch the road surface. When we realize our safe driving literally rests on them, it makes buying new tires a much more important decision. Here are our Wiygul Automotive Clinic top tips for making sure you are buying the safest new tire for your vehicle.
Get the manufacturer’s recommendation for the size and type of factory-installed tire from your vehicle owner’s manual. If they are satisfactory and within your price-range, they are a sure bet. Make sure the new tires have the same or greater load bearing capacity as tires you are replacing. Passenger cars, small trucks, and SUVs may perform differently with the same tire. Check to be sure you are choosing between similarly categorized tires.
Select the tire that presents the best compromise between safety and performance. A few tire store buzz words you will encounter: fuel economy rating, tire wear patterns, passenger compartment ride quality, and outside noise suppression.
Factor in daily driving conditions and weather cycles. People buying tires in Northern Virginia face driving in extreme weather on occasion, whereas those in the upper Midwest might drive more in frozen or snowy conditions.
Ultimately we buy tires for their traction. And while most tires look alike to the average consumer, the internal construction can make all the difference in the way the tires perform and for how long. Find a trusted local mechanic or tire store to offer professional advice based on first-hand knowledge and experience. After you do your homework, they can help you sort through the information and make the best choice.
Even after buying new tires, remember to check your tire pressure every month and keep your tires inflated to their proper PSI. This small bit of regular maintenance will keep your tires at top performance and extend their safe, useful life.