Tires. Many of us think that if they’re round, have visible tread, hold air and are grippy – they’re good. But the truth is, not all tires are right for all vehicles – or even all conditions. So before you plunk down your hard-earned cash on a set of tires that may or may not be right for your new or used car, your city or the way you drive, take heed and follow these simple buying tips:
Get the basics
Before starting your shopping trip, check your owner’s manual and the information placard on the inside of the car’s door. They contain critical information about the type and size of tire that’s recommended by the manufacturer.
Know the code
Every letter and number on a tire’s sidewall means something – and it’s important that you know what that “something” is. Edmonds does a good job of thoroughly explaining the primary markings, and Wikipedia houses an exhaustive list of the additional markings that you may encounter.
Consider your spare
If your spare tire is old, treadworn, or cracked, it might be worthwhile to invest in a new spare tire, as well. And if your negotiation skills are sharp, you might even be able to wheel and deal on the cost of the fifth tire with the manager or owner of the shop.
Get your car aligned
If you put new tires on a misaligned car – or even one with bad shocks – the tires won’t wear evenly and they’ll wear quickly, which will put you in the position of shopping for new tires sooner than you’d probably like.
Contemplate fuel economy
Every time you put new tires on your car you’ll likely impact its fuel economy. In fact, according to Bill VandeWater at Bridgestone Firestone North America, “consumers can see a 15 to 20 percent difference in their fuel economy depending on the tire they select.” If fuel economy is a concern, read the reviews, manufacturer’s product description and talk with your tire tech about how each option you’re considering might affect your car’s overall MPG.
Finally, if you don’t have an immediate need and can wait for a sale, you’ll likely find the best ones in April and October, as well as throughout the spring and summer during long holiday weekends, such as Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day.
BIO: Rose Fox – Rose is a guest author who just loves to write. She occupies her time word smithing about everything from New York to new cars, from farming to pharmaceuticals.