When it comes to shopping for car tires, the first place you look for research should be your vehicle’s owner manual. This booklet documents the specifications of the tires you need for your vehicle. No one tire is universal between vehicles, for example. Performance tires are designed for light and fast vehicles, just as truck tires are meant for bearing the burden of large and powerful vehicles.
Once you’ve identified the tire you need for your vehicle, then you can begin reading through reviews and consumer ratings on individual tires. Consider the following elements of an ideal tire.
Car tires are designed with tread patterns that facilitate greater traction when driving. The design of treads enables you to maximize grip with the road, rather than skidding when turning. Proper treading can even help in preventing hydroplaning during rainy weather. Each tire has its own unique treads, but the best tires are those that utilize effective engineering practices for such things as removing water from the tire surface for better traction.
Season or Terrain
Car tire manufacturers design these products for a specific range of uses, which means you should know what conditions you plan to drive in. Beyond the obvious answer of getting from Point A to Point B, there are custom-built products, meant for specific terrain types, such as mud tires or winter tires. Usage outside of these terrain types can cause different types of wear, and specific tires are often expensive enough to warrant removal when you aren’t planning mudding trips or when winter is over.
Much as we would like all elements of a car to remain permanent and indestructible, tires, like the rest of your car, wear with time. The treads on a tire gradually wear away after prolonged use and begin to expose tread wear bars, a precursor to tires popping. You can easily track when a tire needs to be replaced simply by the total number of miles you’ve driven with them in place. A typical tire can last anywhere from 50,000 to more than 70,000 miles. It's important to find a quality tire guaranteed to last or at least have a decent warranty where replacements can be obtained for little-to-no cost.
Purchasing the right tires for your car is an investment in your vehicle’s health and safety for its passengers. Not only do you need the assurance that a tire will get you from Point A to Point B, but you need to know it’s a quality investment that won’t damage your car’s alignment, suspension and other critical elements. Doing your research is a huge step in becoming more educated about what makes a good tire and what best suits your car’s needs.
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