If you’ve ever had a flat tire, you know how frustrating it can be to need new tires in a hurry. Buying car tires can be stressful and expensive, especially if it’s unexpected.
It doesn’t have to be, though. With a little bit of research, you’ll know exactly what to look for, and replacing old tires will be a breeze.
Car tires are a surprisingly complex product, so there are a lot of factors to consider before purchase. Follow this guide to learn the key factors you need to know before buying new car tires.
1. Tire Size
The first thing you need to consider when buying car tires is the size of the tire you need. Tire size determines your vehicle’s load capacity, the grip strength of your wheels, and more.
Your car should have a recommended tire size, so check your owner’s manual.
Size is about more than making sure your new car tires fit, though. In addition to the specifications in your owner’s manual, you should also consider a tire’s width and profile.
These measurements are the ones that most affect your vehicle’s performance. A wider tire has more contact with the road, resulting in better overall grip.
A vehicle tire provider like OZZYTYRES will offer tires of various sizes, so you should be able to find a good fit for your car.
2. Tread Type
Size isn’t the only thing that differentiates types of tires; different kinds of treads can also impact a tire’s performance. Most tires offer symmetrical treads, but asymmetrical treads are available as well.
Symmetrical treads offer decent performance and tend to make less noise than other tread types.
One specific tread type uses directional, v-shaped patterns to disperse water more easily, making them more useful when driving in the rain. Winter tires operate on a similar principle.
There are also asymmetrical tires, which are a bit better suited to bad weather conditions than symmetrical tires without an increase in noise.
3. Which Brand
As is true of many products, the brand makes a difference when you’re looking to buy new car tires. Research brands carefully, keeping an eye out for ones with particularly good (or bad) reputations.
Check to see which tire brands wear out the fastest or have other documented performance issues. Of course, you should also make sure that a brand offers the type of tire you want.
This shouldn’t be a problem with most larger brands, which offer a wide variety of tire types. Smaller names may have a more limited selection.
4. Speed Rating
A tire’s speed rating lets you know the maximum speed a tire can perform at safely. Most tires are rated S or T, which are cleared for 112 and 188 miles per hour, respectively.
You might think that you can safely ignore speed ratings; after all, most people don’t need to drive faster than 118 miles per hour in their day-to-day life.
The thing is, a speed rating reflects a brand-new tire’s capabilities in a perfect environment. Once the rubber actually meets the road, that maximum speed is going to drop a bit.
Ratings can also indicate certain things about the tire itself. For instance, higher ratings usually offer better performance, but the tread wears out faster.
5. Conditions in Your Area
What are road conditions like in your area? Do you have to deal with a lot of ice and snow? If so, you might want to get a set of winter tires, which have a special tread that makes them better at handling those conditions.
On the other hand, if you live in a dry, hot area, you’re not going to get much benefit from those kinds of specialty tires.
Think about how long your commute is and if you’re in a lot of start-and-stop traffic. Those factors can also affect what types of tires will best suit your needs.
6. Tire Age
Much like car batteries, you need to be wary about the age of the tires you purchase. Just because a tire is sitting in a shop doesn’t mean it’s brand new; it could have been manufactured quite some time ago.
Rubber softens over time, so even if a tire hasn’t been in use, it might have lost some of its capabilities simply by sitting around.
A few years shouldn’t make a huge difference, but a good rule of thumb is to avoid tires that are over six years old. The age should be printed on the tire itself.
7. Price and Warranties
This one is a given–you don’t want to overspend on your tires. Do some research and determine what a fair price is for the tire you want; that will help you avoid any inflated prices.
When comparing tire prices, you should also take the tire’s warranty into account.
Most tires have a manufacturer’s warranty of some kind; you should make sure you thoroughly understand what your warranty does and does not cover. Many warranties offer surprisingly little coverage.
If you can find a tire with a solid warranty, it’s worth paying a little extra for that added layer of security.
8. How Many to Buy
This is the eternal question that all people must ask themselves when replacing old tires: just one, or all four? There are pros and cons to each approach.
The biggest issue with buying four tires at once is, obviously, the cost. Tires aren’t cheap to begin with, and buying four at once is a significant expenditure.
The benefit is that you can make sure all of your tires match and are at peak efficiency, both of which will contribute to a smoother ride.
Buying four tires at once is also a decent way to future-proof; if one of your tires is giving you trouble, it’s a good bet that other tires of the same age will start going out, too. By replacing them all, you save yourself some time.
Make the Right Choice When Buying Car Tires
Buying car tires can seem like a hassle, but if you know what you’re looking for, the process is much smoother. New tires also keep you safe and improve your car’s performance, so don’t neglect this important bit of maintenance!
Are you looking for more ways to improve or fine-tune your vehicle? Visit our automobile blog!