A new tire purchase isn’t something to take lightly. Tires are a big investment, and they play a critical role in the safety, reliability, and performance of your vehicle. Here’s what you need to think about before you make a buying decision.
Your car’s manufacturer recommends a particular tire size for optimal performance and safety. This information is usually available in your owner’s manual, and it’s typically attached to a metal plate on the inside of the driver’s door. Choose one with the proper height, width, and aspect ratio for your car. Also, invest in a set of matching tires for the best possible driving experience. Appropriately sized wheels can improve your vehicle’s handling and its gas mileage.
Warranties and Fine-Print Details
Most new tires include mileage warranties that cover things like defects and damage. These warranties vary depending on the type, the manufacturer, and the retailer. Look for one that covers at least 50,000 miles of driving, and always read the fine print for details regarding possible replacement costs, limitations, and other stipulations to ensure the best value. Some warranties also include free maintenance services and flat repair for more peace of mind.
Tires may begin to weather and wear before they ever make it to your car. Hot environments, like many warehouses, are especially hard on them. Inspect new wheels before you commit to purchase to ensure a set that has plenty of life left. According to most safety experts and car manufacturers, they last about six years, no more than ten, regardless of driving conditions. A manufacturing date is included in the tire code. It is the four-digit number at the end of the tire’s Department of Transportation information, consisting of two digits that correspond to the week and two digits that relate the year.
Climate and Weather Conditions
Your local weather and typical driving conditions play a significant role in helping you choose the best type of wheels. All-season wheels are typically the best decision if you live someplace where there are snowy winters and rain throughout the year. Compare ratings on braking distance, traction, and stability. It’s best to choose the model that best suits your typical driving environment.
Personal Driving Style
Your personal preferences and driving habits are also important when you’re choosing a new set of wheels. Look for low rolling resistance to get the best gas mileage around town, or opt for higher speed ratings if you spend most of your commute on the freeway.
The right set of tires can keep your family safe and make your drive time more enjoyable. Take the time to research your options, and discuss your needs with a knowledgeable retailer before you buy a new set.