Tires are an essential part of any vehicle. Much like shoes for a person, tires are the one thing between you and the ground, so it’s critical you buy the right type of tire for your car. After all, you wouldn’t play football in high heels or go for a run in sandals!
That said, picking out a new pair of shoes is probably an easier task than purchasing the right type of tires for your vehicle. When picking out tires, there are a few things to consider:
1. Tread Life – You’ll want to buy tires with a high tread life so you don’t need to buy new tires in a year or two. The easiest way to evaluate tread expectations is by examining a tire’s Uniform Tire Quality Grading (UTQG). Every manufacturer is required by law to test its tires in order to establish a UTQG rating. The higher the rating, the longer the tread life and quality of the tire. Although the tests can’t account for all variables (like temperature, road conditions, or speed), the UTQG rating provides a good basis to help determine the quality of each tire.
2. Remember the Weather – The type of tire you purchase is directly related where you live. Say, for example, you live in Arizona or Texas. You’ll want a tire that can preform and hold tread at above average temperatures. In Washington and Oregon, they look for tires that preform well during wet conditions. Since Minnesota experiences all four seasons, you’ll want to make sure you purchase a versatile tire that can keep you safe throughout the year. Ask a technician for more information if you need help determining which tire is best for your local weather conditions.
3. Stick with what works – Before you head into the shop to purchase a new set of wheels, take a look at what you currently have on your car. If they held their tread well, consider buying the same tire model this time around. You can also peruse the Internet or ask a trained service expert which types of tires are common for your vehicle. Also, for more information about tire size and speed rating, check out this helpful article.
4. Buy a Complete Set – You’ve probably had your car in the shop on at least one occasion where the mechanic says your front tires are running low on tread. You may be tempted to buy two new tires to fix the problem, but this could actually make the situation worse. See, tire tread wears out differently for a variety of reasons. Usually, the tires on the front of your car wear out faster as they are tasked with shouldering the majority of the engine’s weight. Also, unless you always ride with a friend, your front-left tire generally wears out the fastest because of the additional weight of the driver. The less tread left on the tire, the more susceptible you are to experiencing a dangerous blowout. If you end up only buying two new tires, your car’s alignment could be damaged if they aren’t the same size as your old tires. Instead, buy four tires at a time and get in the habit of regularly rotating your tires so the tread wears evenly.
These tips can help you make your decision when shopping for new tires. Also, if you’re wondering if your current tires should be changed, check out our previous blog on preparing your car for a road trip. In that blog we provide a simple test for checking if you have a safe amount of tread on your tire.
If you’re in the market for new tires, or you simply want to talk with an experienced auto technician, give us a call at (952) 933-0735.
Related source: Edmunds.com
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