Choosing a set of tires for your current vehicle can be tricky business if you’ve never done it before. When taking things purely at face value, all tires more or less look the same. Granted, there are variations in size and tread pattern, but how are you supposed to know which tire is the right fit for your vehicle?
In this entry, we will break down how to find the right tires for your vehicle, how to narrow your choices down to just one, and how to maximize your budget. But first, let’s discuss some best practices when it comes to changing out old tires for new ones. Getting educated about your tires is great for longtime vehicle owners and for those who are shopping for new cars for sale in Houston.
Some Things You Should Know About Switching Out Tires
Most people don’t want to change out their tires; they’re doing it because they have to. One of the most common motivators for a tire switch is the infamous flat tire. Do you switch out all four tires or do you simply replace the flat one and call it good?
The answer to that is entirely dependent on tread level. If your remaining tires are in good condition and have plenty of tread left, you should be clear to change out just the one tire. However, if you put a lot of mileage on your current tires, it’s highly recommended that you switch out all four of them and start fresh.
Another thing that can make tire shopping tricky is that the front tires and the back tires aren’t usually the same size. This is the case with vehicles by Mercedes-Benz and several other brands of vehicle, which is a big reason the tire shopping process can get confusing.
How to Shop for New Tires
First thing’s first – find out what size and type of tires that your vehicle can use. There are a few ways you can go about this:
- Check the tires section of your owner’s manual
- Call your dealership or local tire retailer to have them look it up
- Search the internet for your year, make, and model of vehicle with “tire size” in the search criteria
The tire size will appear as a combination of numbers and letters. For example: 225/45R17. This is the same alpha-numeric combination that will appear on the side of the tire. The numbers denote the section width and the height of the sidewall of the tire, just as an FYI.
Once you have your tire info, you’re officially ready to kick off your search. This is the part where things can feel a bit overwhelming because there will be several different tire brands that make your specific size of tire. Additionally, your size of tire will be offered in numerous tread patterns. Here are some best practices on how to navigate tire shopping.
- Go with a trusted brand: The tire brands that have been in business a long time usually have a decent track record of making a good product. Michelin, Bridgestone, Goodyear, and other mainstays in the tire world are a safe bet.
- Pick the appropriate tread: The tread on your tire is going to have a lot of influence on how your car performs. This includes things like acceleration, cornering, grip on slick surfaces, and even gas mileage. All that information should be covered in the tire’s product description. If you need further assistance, you can always talk to your local tire shop about which tires they recommend for your vehicle and driving style. All season tires are usually the safe bet.
- Make sure your tires are under warranty: There’s nothing worse than getting a new set of tires and encountering a rogue nail that pops one of them. This is exactly where having a warranty comes in handy. Most sets of new tires by the big-name manufacturers come with a warranty that covers unexpected flats. Just make sure to read the warranty carefully. Tires under warranty usually have to be rotated on a strict schedule to keep the warranty valid.
- Try to find a deal: Never pay full price for tires. You’ll be kicking yourself later. If you search hard enough, you’re bound to find a deal or an online coupon you can use on a new set of tires. Many places will run a “buy three tires get the fourth free” special, and they usually run it around the holidays.
All Set on Tires? Maybe it’s Time for a Car Upgrade
Maybe you’re not thinking about replacing your tires right now. In fact, you might be considering replacing the entire vehicle altogether. For those of you who are thinking about upgrading your vehicle, you can kick off your search by Googling the phrase “new cars for sale near me,” or you can search by the particular year, make, and model of the vehicle. That should bring back numerous search results that meet your criteria. Once you have that, you can contact your local dealership to arrange a test drive. There’s truly nothing better to kick off the new year than a brand-new ride.