Expert Tire Buying Tips
Ready to outfit your ride with some new tires but overwhelmed with all the options? Here are the key considerations to ensure your choice truly excels when the rubber meets the road.
Size is important.
Even the most expensive tires won’t be any good if they don’t fit your vehicle. Be sure to only look for appropriately sized tires for your vehicle. How? Locate the tire size on your tire’s sidewall or the driver’s door placard along with the tire pressure.
Know which type you want.
The type of tire you need is based on the type of vehicle you have, your usage of the vehicle and your geographic location.
Passenger tires (“P” prefix on the tire size) vs. Light truck (“LT” prefix on the tire size.)
- Passenger tires can work on all car types. They boast the least rolling resistance, best traction, a quiet ride and a lower price tag than light truck tires.
- Light truck tires are designed to have higher-load carrying capacities and are typically found on SUVs and pickups. They should be utilized if you plan to drive on rugged terrain like mud roads, rough gravel or off-road. While they work better in those conditions, they have more road noise on the highway and a rougher feel through the steering wheel.
Winter tires should be purchased if you are likely to be driving in an area that receives snow and freezing temperatures while touring tires may be a good choice for those who live in year-round warm conditions, like South Florida. Another option is summer tires, which provide more grip on wet and dry roads, at the expense of a harsher ride, and zero traction in the snow.
Go for quality and brand name.
More expensive tires are typically designed to be more efficient, durable and longer lasting than less expensive tires so don’t go for the cheapest set. By spending a little more, you can improve your fuel economy, safety and the length of life for your tires.
Look for well-known brands such as BF Goodrich, Bridgestone, Continental, Firestone, Goodyear, Hankook, Michelin, Mokian, and Pirelli. The key is to buy the highest quality tire possible that you can afford.
Consider the speed rating.
A tire with a higher speed rating is able to dissipate more heat on long highway trips. That is something to consider if you often find yourself traversing the interstates.
Check out the reviews.
Go online and do a little research about your potential tires. Specifically, be sure to look for the longevity of the tire, its impact on fuel economy, the road noise it makes and any problems that users report.
When in doubt, go for the OEM’s recommendation.
Typically, the original equipment tire was chosen to highlight your vehicle’s good features and smooth any weaknesses. A repair shop will be able to recommend alternatives if the originals are not available.
Your tires are the most important safety feature on your vehicle. Take time with your selection and don’t be afraid to enlist the services of a professional to help educate you on your options.
Griffin Auto Care is a full-service automotive repair and body shop. From general maintenance to complete collision repair to custom fabrication & accessories, we service all brands and will treat your car with the utmost care and professionalism. To make an appointment for your vehicle, please contact Griffin Auto Care or call 561-659-0765.