Choosing the Right Tire
In this article you will learn about buying the right type of tires for your vehicle based on the type of vehicle you drive, environment you drive in, your personal driving habits and, just as importantly as rating the best tires, tell you how to avoid picking the wrong ones. Learn how to select between tire names such as mud and snow, touring, and all season, and find the best tire rated for your weather, roads, vehicle and driving style.
"How do I know what kind of tires I need for my vehicle?", you ask. I think a lot of us know that tires represent more than just something round to have our cars roll on, don't we? If you don't, then it probably won't be all that long before you find out the hard way... by a loss of performance, tire failure or an accident and possibly all of the above. Most people begin to notice some difference when their tires get worn down and it isn't until then that they ever give their tires any thought whatsoever. Proper tire maintenance is very important and can greatly delay the wearing process that destroys the safety and performance of your vehicle. I'm guessing, though, that you're reading this article now to help you get new or replacement tires for your vehicle and that the maintenance horse is already out of the barn, so to speak. Alright then, we'll proceed with first things first.
A good place to start involves reviewing the exact tires (OEM, or original equipment of manufacturer) that came with your vehicle when it was brand new. Car companies actually build entire suspensions around a particular tire with particular ratings that make the best match to achieve the best possible performance for the type of driving the vehicle was designed for. Steering, shocks, struts, springs, brakes and all the rest of the suspension are tuned to get the most out of the tire and let the tire get the most out of the suspension. Changing that perfect match can have severe effects on the safety and performance of your car.
To find out what the OEM tires for you car are, you can check with the local dealership that sells your brand of car, the local tire stores, or look on an interactive tire sales website. Be sure to know your make, model, and year of manufacture. Don't be surprised to find a few tires noted as OEM because sometimes a car company can use a variety of tire makes or styles. It will also be very helpful to learn how to identify the tire beyond knowing that they are 15 inch, for example. The sidewall of your tire tells a very in-depth story about its capabilities that include performance in different conditions such as cornering, speed, wet, dry, mud or snow; even how long they will last in terms of miles and when they were made. To learn everything about your tire specification ratings based on the tire's sidewall codes, read those specific tire FAQs. It may seem that you can't go wrong by going with OEM, but if your driving conditions and vehicle use can challenge performance limits, then there may be many reasons to buy different tires. Be careful, though, with your newfound education. "Upgrading" tires may not only not produce the desired results, it could actually backfire. For example, going to a higher speed-rated tire does not mean that driving at the top rated speed is safe. You see, the suspension might not be adequate for that speed even if the tire is, and that nice smooth ride you used to get may now be very rough. Besides speed-rated, there are several other possible tire types that may appeal to you and your particular driving habits and conditions.