Tips for choosing the right tires for your vehicle
Choosing the Right Style of Tire for Your Vehicle
You don't have to be a tire expert to find the ideal tire for your vehicle, but it helps to have a professional available to assist you. Our advisors have collected a series of questions to guide you through some of the most important steps of the process.
What type of vehicle do you drive? Coupes, sedans, minivans, trucks, SUVs, CUVs, luxury vehicles and sport cars all use similar tires, so be sure to know the make, model and year of your vehicle to eliminate options that won’t work.
How do you drive? If you tend to speed or maneuver quickly, you might enjoy the trim profile and improved handling of performance tires. If a smooth ride is most important to you, consider a touring tire. Rough terrain and off-road more your style? Consider some durable all-terrain tires.
How's the weather?
Depending on where you live, "bad weather" may mean a heat wave, a downpour, or snowfall. Tires that perform well in heat might not perform well in snow and vice versa.
If the weather stays warm all year, above 75° F, a summer tire may be the best option. Temperatures mostly above 45° F? All-seasons will keep you going. But, if you live somewhere that routinely drops below 45° F for extended periods, you'll want to consider a winter tire for the cold months. If it's cold and you see plenty of snow? Look for a winter tire featuring the USTMA’s 3 Peak Mountain Snowflake Symbol.
Should I get tires identical to the ones I have?
Well, it depends. Some questions you can ask yourself are:
Do you like how your current set of tires have performed?
Did the current set last as long as you were expecting?
If you answered yes to both questions, then identical replacement tires are always a safe choice. Car manufacturers perform a lot of research before selecting a tire for their Original Equipment.
If you answered no, then what was it about the last set of tires that you were not satisfied with? Have you increased the amount of miles you drive since your last tire purchase? Would you like better traction on your new tires? Are you looking for a quieter ride and softer handling?
It's a good rule to consider at least three models of tire that will fit on your vehicle. Compare the features and benefits of them side by side. If you had a poor experience with quality, review the manufacturer's information on composition. If nothing was particularly wrong with how they handled but the road noise was overwhelming, look for tires specially designed for a quiet ride.
Most passenger tires come with a mileage warranty. Warranties are a great indicator of treadlife and overall value, but many become void if a regular maintenance routine isn't followed.
Vehicles do not always come with a spare tire, but you might not notice this until it’s too late (when you are on the side of the road with a flat). It’s important to always have a back-up plan. Tireamerica.com has a guide created to help you understand the best options for you.