Whether you need a new set of wheels or want to upgrade to a set of performance tires, you may be wondering how to go about selecting the right tires for your vehicle safely. If the thought of getting brand new tires begin to give you anxiety or frighten you the way going up the steps of the Empire State Building does, take a deep breath.
There is a right and a wrong way to select new tires and all the insider secrets you need to know are really not as complicated as you might think. This is true whether you are looking for street racing tires, off road tires, low profile tires or tires with thick treads.
Buying new cars with confidence, after all, involves knowing a few basic things. In other words, selecting the right tires for your vehicle isn’t rocket science. Many consumers make the mistake of buying the wrong size for their vehicle. The good news is that there are codes on your tire’s sidewall that tell you exactly what tire to get to replace your own tires. You will probably want to change your tires when you have gone through high mileage or a blowout. The fact is, it is better to get those tires changed before you really need to, for your safety.
The Type of Tires You Want
The first question that the tire shop will most likely ask you is what type of tires you are looking for. The answer will depend on the conditions you will be driving in as well as the type of vehicle you own. If you are looking for great handling and comfort, you can ask for touring tires. On dry or wet pavements, touring tires provide great dependability. They offer a quiet ride and smooth performance handling.
High performance tires, on the other hand, are what to ask for if you drive a sports car. These are made to perform well with higher speeds in both wet and dry weather. These are made out of a softer rubber compound for better grip, particularly on high speed corners.
If your vehicle is an SUV or a pick-up truck, find light truck tires that help provide traction and durability in off-road driving. For on-road comfort, ask for SUV tires. Commercial lighter truck tires are what you want when you own a vehicle for commercial use. These are great for driving through mud and dirt frequently.
All-season tires satisfy the needs of most conditions on the road. On the other hand, winter tires are great for snowy, wet and icy weather. These are optimal for traction and handling in wet conditions. Off-road tires are perfect for those who hardly drive on the road.
The Size of Your Tires
Save time by knowing the size of your tires and even your wheels (rims). Make an educated purchase when you know the size you need. This can be found on the tire label or the owner’s manual. You might also find it in the fuel hatch, the glove box lid or the driver’s doorjamb. Check the sidewall of your tires as well to get the right size.
Mud And Snow
The M and S letters indicate Mud and Snow. These means the tires meet the standards of the manufacturer for use in mud and snow. This mark also indicates that your tire can be used in all four seasons.
Your tire’s speed rating tells you the speed in which your tires work best. This ranges from the lowest, Q to the highest, Z If you see the rating H, this falls somewhere in between. Use similar ratings or greater than your original tires if you want to maintain your vehicle’s speed capability.
This tells you how much weight your tires can carry when inflated at their maximum. Don’t buy tires with load indexes that are less than the original tire of your vehicle.
On that note, it is also a bad idea to go about selecting the right tires for your vehicle and finding a set that is actually smaller in size to your original tire size. If you want a size that is different than the original or you want an upgrade, talk to a tire retailer like Keys Tire, Lube & Auto Repair for best results.