Replacing car tires is one of the most expensive yet important maintenance items when you own a car. For most car owners, the experience can also be quite daunting, especially when faced with an array of tire brands, sizes and types to choose from.
Unfortunately, every car owner must go through this experience at some point. But how do you know when it’s time to replace your tires? How do you choose the right tires for your car? And more importantly, where can you find quality tires?
Below is a quick tire-buying guide that answers all these questions and more.
When is the Best Time to Replace Your Tires?
Advances in car tire technology have considerably improved tire quality and durability. In the past, a puncture would almost always guarantee a tire replacement. But today, quality tires can still be repaired after a puncture, depending on the severity of the hole and the state of your tires.
It’s best to check your tires at least once a month to assess safety. Perform a visual inspection and check for signs of damage, such as punctures and worn treads.
You can conduct the following tests to assess the condition of your car tires:
The Penny Test
You can perform the simple yet effective Penny Test to check if your tire treads are still deep enough and roadworthy. Grab a penny and insert the coin head first inside the tire groove on the most worn part of your tires.
Pay close attention to the top of Lincoln’s head. If it disappears, your tread is still above 2/32″ – the recommended minimum tread depth on your tires. But if you can still see his entire head, it could be time for a replacement.
Check the Production Date
If you’re not traveling too often, then your tires may still have a good amount of tread depth on them. However, they can still be considered unsafe to drive on if it’s been several years since they were purchased or manufactured.
Although tires don’t technically have an expiration date, the compound in the tires can change after some time, making them unsafe. After about five years, they should be carefully inspected to ensure this isn’t the case. But if it’s been more than 10 years, there’s a good chance that this has already happened, so getting it replaced is the best course of action.
To confirm the tire’s age, check its sidewall for its production date. This will help you determine its actual age.
What to Consider
Once you’ve confirmed that you need a replacement, things get even more complicated, as not all tires are made equally – and not all tires are made for your car. Finding the right tire replacement is crucial to optimize your car’s performance and ensure your safety.
To find the best tires for your car, you will need to consider the following:
While all tires serve more or less the same function in your car, different types also exist, each serving a different purpose. When replacing your car’s tires, experts recommend replacing them with a similar type to match your car’s size and speed rating. This is why it helps to know what type of car tires you have.
The following are some of the most common tire types used by today’s cars:
For Sedans, Minivans and Crossovers (CUVs):
All-Season Tires: Maximizes comfort by providing the most traction for all seasons.
Touring Tires: Performance-based tires that offer the smooth-driving benefits of all-season tires while providing additional boosts to performance, such as higher speed ratings and responsive handling.
Summer Tires: Designed to work best in warm weather conditions, offering responsive handling and smooth grip during dry and wet weather.
Performance Tires: Boast even higher speed ratings than touring tires while providing additional support, especially during wet weather conditions.
For Trucks and Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs):
Highway Tires: Designed to provide heavier vehicles with a smoother ride even at increased speeds.
All-Terrain or Mud-Terrain Tires: Come with complex tread patterns that help support the vehicle while driving in off-road conditions, such as sand, mud, dirt or gravel.
Rib Tires: Can help boost the vehicle’s fuel efficiency by providing good traction in various weather conditions.
Replacement tires must always be the same size as the ones they are replacing and must be done following the vehicle and tire manufacturer’s recommendations. Essentially, the size of your new tires must always match your vehicle’s specifications, as it can alter your ride significantly, particularly the ride height and speedometer readings.
Choosing a larger tire size than intended for your car means it can have higher ground clearance and a slight increase in top speed. However, it can also lead to slower acceleration and inaccurate readings on your speedometer.
Therefore, your replacement tires must match the ones they’re replacing. In some cases, you’re better off choosing the same tires from the same tire brands if you don’t want any drastic changes to your drive.
There are three ways to know this information:
By looking at your driver’s manual
By looking at the inside of your vehicle’s driver-side door well
By reading the information printed on your tires
Enjoy a Comfortable Driving Experience with Berryman Products
If you’re dealing with tire problems, replacement is always the best course of action. However, in emergencies when a replacement tire is unavailable, you can rely on quick fixes like tire sealers and emergency tire repair kits to seal punctured tires from thorns, small nails and other sharp objects until you can find available replacements.
Ensuring a safe and comfortable driving experience begins with understanding your vehicle and what it needs to provide you with such an experience. This includes understanding what tires you need and what is available to find the best tires for your vehicle.
And if you’re looking for the best products to ensure your vehicle’s efficient performance on the road, look no further than Berryman Products. For over 100 years, we have supplied motorists and car enthusiasts with quality, innovative products that help improve or maintain vehicle performance. If you want to learn more about our products, message us or check out our product catalog here.