Between your car and the road there’s just one thing and it’s your tires. Think about that for a moment. You can have the best car on earth but it may perform poorly if it doesn’t have a set of good tires on it. This article will provide you with some basic information when it’s the time to get a new set of tires.
When it comes to the point where you need to replace the tires on your car, there are several ways to go. First, you may elect to get the exact size and type that came on the vehicle when it was new. On the other hand, you might consider going to a better quality tire or one that improves handling that’s still the same size as the factory tire. Third possibility is you may want to install a slightly larger tire.
The service technicians at East Hills Subaru of Roslyn, NY, a local Subaru dealer, gave us a short list of what you should think about before entering a tire store.
Weather requirements: Most of us live in a climate where inclement weather occurs occasionally. Clearly if you live in say, Washington or Oregon, you’ll want to look more closely at a capable wet-weather tire than if you’re in Arizona or Nevada. For those of you in Snow Belt states, some kind of four-season type of tire will be the minimum you should consider.
Tread life considerations: What’s your idea of how long a set of tires should last? Keep in mind that in some instances, a tire’s wear rating is done through manufacturer testing and may not be the most accurate representation. One way to get a handle on a tire’s projected life expectancy is to look at part of the UTQG (Uniform Tire Quality Grading) rating. It is marked on the tire. For example, a tire grade of 150 wears 50 percent longer than a tire graded 100.
Speed rating: Speed ratings signify the safe top speed of a tire under ideal conditions. For just about any street car, a V-rated tire will be more than adequate. Usually, most ultra-high performance handling tires have a speed rating of at least V, so while you might want the ultimate handling of that type of tire, be aware that part of what you’re paying for (the speed rating) is something you’ll never use.
Ride quality: A low-profile tire such as a 50 or a 40-series looks great, but can be harsh over bumps or potholes when compared to a 55 or 60. Lower profile tires expose the wheel to damage more easily. Lower profile tires also have stiffer sidewalls, which improves handling but increases rides harshness.
These days it’s tough to buy truly bad tires. There are so many good ones out there that you will usually have several possibilities from which to choose.