Tire Buying Guide

June 18th, 2015

Tires are one of the most important safety features on your vehicle so it's important that you properly maintain and replace them as needed. Buying tires is often an intimidating experience, but when armed with a little information you'll be able to approach the process with enough knowledge and confidence to be sure you're getting exactly what you need. The following tire buying tips are all you'll need to make an informed decision.

  1. Do you really need new tires? The first step in the tire buying process is to make sure you actually do need new tires. It's important to regularly check your tires for tread wear and damage. In addition, if your tire is more than 5 years old, it's a good idea to have it professionally inspected. You can find the date a tire was manufactured on the sidewall of the tire. If you aren't sure where to find the date, check out our quick reference guide to reading a tire sidewall.
  2. Make sure your car is in good shape. If your current tires have signs of uneven tread wear, it could indicate that the car has an alignment or suspension issue. You want to make sure these issues are taken care of before you put on new tires. If not, the new tires will wear quickly and unevenly.
  3. Determine the correct tire size and type. This information will be on the tire you currently have on the vehicle, but it's also good to check with your owner's manual.
  4. Take time to think about your driving habits. It's important your new tires meet your driving needs. Different tires are made for different driving styles. The more information you can provide your tire dealer, the better they will be able to help you select the best tire. Some things to consider are:
    1. Where do you usually drive? Stop and go traffic wears down tire rubber quickly. So if you live in the city your tires may wear out faster than someone in a rural area.
    2. How many miles do you usually drive? If you regularly drive long distances, then you may need tires with a longer tread ware life. Tires that run at higher speeds for long distances will wear out faster than tires that drive shorter distances.
    3. How long are you planning on keeping the vehicle? If you plan to keep it for a while, you may want to invest more money into a tire that offers longer tread wear.
    4. How important to you are things like road noise and fuel economy?
  5. Consider the wheels on your vehicle. Wheels contribute to more than just appearance. When you increase the wheel size, the diameter of the tire has to remain the same as the original tires – this means that as the wheel size goes up, the sidewalls of the tire get shorter. A tire with shorter sidewalls is less able to absorb bumps and pavement irregularities, which affects comfort and noise.

Buying new tires is often an unwanted expense, but you do get what you pay for when it comes to tires. A poor choice in replacement tires could haunt you every driving day for the next 3 to 6 years. To make sure you're getting the best tires at the best price, contact your local Dekalb Tire.

  Posted in: Tires 101