Car tire buying tips

December 16th, 2014

Tires in TN & VAIf your tire tread can't pass the penny test, or if there are cracks on the sidewall, indications of uneven wear or other telltale signs that your tires are past their prime, then it's time to go tire shopping. Before you set out, here are some tips.

1. First things first: know the basics. Before you shop, check your vehicle manufacturer's tire specifications, which give recommended tire size and type. These can be found in your owner’s manual or on the car’s information placard (located on the side of the driver’s door. And if you want more information on your passenger car tires, for a quick primer on understanding the code printed on their sidewalls, go here:

2. Keep it simple. If you liked your old tires, your task is simple: Just buy a new set of the same make of tires. A caveat: OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) tires can be expensive. So you may want to look for similar, but less costly, replacements.

Note: If you must replace only one tire because of damage or other problems, make sure it is the same brand and specifications as the others, or you may end up with uneven wear and impaired handling. If two tires need replacing, they should be the same size and type as the other two, and make sure they are installed on the rear axle for maximum road grip in wet conditions.

But if you have two tires with obvious wear, in addition to getting new tires, you should probably have your alignment and wheel balance checked, as wear on some tires but not others is an indicator that something is amiss with more than the tires themselves.

3. Preparation pays off. If you were dissatisfied with your old tires, what were the causes? Know what you don't want and what you do want in your next set before leaving home. Research your choices and be an informed consumer before making a purchase, which also means taking into account #4, below.

4. Use and abuse. You know the type and size tire for your vehicle and what you do and don’t want in a tire. Now consider the climate you drive in, the amount and kind of driving you do, and what sort of ride you want, and think about what you’re willing to pay to meet all your criteria. Finding tires that provide a smooth, quiet ride when used driving short distances a few times a week in pleasant weather may be easier and less expensive than finding tires that will be regularly used in challenging driving conditions and all kinds of weather, which offer a smooth, quiet ride too.

5. No pressure. Salespeople want to make sales, but you don’t want to be pressured into buying more expensive tires than you need. If you’ve done your research and come in knowing the type and size tire you need and your criteria for them, you can usually sidestep a high-pressure sales pitch. Do make sure the salesperson gives you the price for the total package, mounting, balance, etc., and not just for the tires themselves, before agreeing to terms.

If you already know what you need, you can request a quote on tires from Free Service Tire

  Tags: Tires, tread wear
  Posted in: Tires 101