How to Pick the Right Tires


                How to pick the right tires

Tires can be overwhelming if you do not know what you are looking for.  This is where having a trust worthy shop to lean on pays off.  They can help you with class, load index, speed rating, tread pattern, and warranty.  All these factors have to do with the type of driving you do with the vehicle.  Let’s break it down.  Class is simply the type of vehicle you drive, for example light truck or SUV.  Load index refers to the weight that the tires can handle.  The easiest way to put it is the higher the number the more weight the tires can handle.  For speed rating, if you are keeping it under 90 miles per hour, this should not go into your decision.  However, if you feel the need for speed on the highway the rating will come into play. 

H = 130                            T = 118                  W = 168                S = 112

  Tread pattern comes down to how you want the vehicle to handle and perform in less than perfect weather.  It also plays a factor into tire noise.  The beefier the tread pattern the more tire noise you will hear.  The amount of ribs on the tire will also have a factor in how it handles in wet conditions.  If you have separate summer and winter tires, those will be two very different tread patterns.  If you keep the same tires on year-round, you will want an All Season tire.  Warranty is something that is misinterpreted.  The longer the tire warranty is the harder the rubber is on the tire.  When a tire has a hard rubber, it usually means it does not grip as well as a softer tire.  That’s why the lower tire mileage warranty tires usually perform better in wet conditions.  A good balance of warranty and handling usually falls around the 60,000-mile range.  That will most likely be a softer rubber and give you better performance in wet conditions.  Tire mileage warranties are often difficult to redeem so it is a good idea to purchase a road hazard or tire protection plan for your tires.  However, you would want to weigh out the cost vs the coverage.  For example, we charge $15 a tire and it will basically cover you till you need new tires.  However with other shops it may be a waste of money for what you get in return.  

Lastly, I would like to talk about price.  As a shop owner I would like to think that price should not go into the decision of tires.  However, I am a realist.  I realize budget is a big factor when picking tires.  The key is to maximize the most tire for your buck.  We conduct completive price shops a few times a year on National brand tires and what we found is that we are at or below our competitors tire prices.  What separates us on price is the fees, we were at least $2 a tire lower in fees.  When you are shopping around always ask about the fees it takes to install the tires, because they will add up.  Like I stated in the second sentence, find a trust worthy shop to help you make the right decision for your vehicle.  We are more than happy to help you with any questions.  

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