What Should I Consider When Buying New Tires?

Eric Tallberg

Step one before buying new tires for a vehicle would be to consult the owner’s manual with the vehicle for which the tires are intended. Specific tire information is included in the owner’s manual for every vehicle manufactured in the world. This information is essential when buying tires of any sort, car tires, truck tires, motorcycle tires, all-terrain vehicle (ATV) tires, etc.

Load capacity should be considered when buying new tires.
Load capacity should be considered when buying new tires.

If the owner’s manual can’t be located, simply look at the tires presently on the vehicle. Note down all the relevant information that is stamped into the tires themselves. Chances are if the tires have been on the vehicle for thousands of trouble-free miles, they are the exact size and type of new tires needed.

When buying new tires, it is important to inquire about the retailer's warranty regarding the repair of future tire damage.
When buying new tires, it is important to inquire about the retailer's warranty regarding the repair of future tire damage.

In any case, the purchase of new auto tires is predicated on a number of factors. First, determine the way the vehicle is ordinarily driven. A lot of high speed driving means buying tires with a higher speed rating. As well, weather and road conditions, especially snow, ice, and mud should also be considered when purchasing tires. A tire with deeply-grooved, chunky tread is a good snow, mud, and off-road tire, but will be noisy on the highway.

The tread on a new tire is important to consider, especially when driving in wintry conditions.
The tread on a new tire is important to consider, especially when driving in wintry conditions.

Load capacity is another factor in buying new tires. The load capacity of specific tires is usually noted on both the vehicle owner’s manual, and on the tire tag. The tire tag is a sticker located on the tread of all new tires.

If you drive in the snow often, consider buying tires with deep grooves for better traction.
If you drive in the snow often, consider buying tires with deep grooves for better traction.

In these days of more economical driving habits, several tire manufacturers now offer low-rolling-resistance tires that are alleged to save on fuel. These tires are, obviously a bit more expensive than regular tires. However, fuel savings are claimed to make up for the extra cost of the tires within a few months.

The grade of a tire is another consideration, with higher grade tires wearing better than lower grade. Generally, the higher the tire grade, the more the tires will cost. Since a grade is not stamped on a tire, or on a tire tag, research and price comparison is usually the best method to determine tire grade. Essentially, a new tire with a warranty of 40,000 miles (64,373.76 km) or better is a higher-grade tire. Many internet sites are sources of sound information on differing grades of auto tires.

One additional note, most new tires are sold with warranty coverage built into the tire price. Virtually all reputable auto repair experts warn against purchasing an extended warranty on new tires. Inexpensive as they may seem, extended warranties for new tires, while not exactly a scam, are, 98% of the time, simply an unjustified and unnecessary expense.

Most reputable auto repair experts warn against purchasing an extended warranty on new tires.
Most reputable auto repair experts warn against purchasing an extended warranty on new tires.

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Discussion Comments

Drentel

@Laotionne - Buying only two new tires at a time is fine with some cars, probably with most cars, but this method can cause a problem with some cars, too. There are some vehicles that need to have tires that have worn evenly. This is yet another reason to make sure you keep your car aligned and the tires properly inflated, so that all tires are is almost identical condition.

Also, with front wheel drive cars and trucks the tires on the front are doing most of the work and wearing much more quickly, so you might want to keep an eye on the front tires to make sure they are not wearing too far down before you replace them with new tires.

With some 4-wheel drive vehicles, all of the tires need to be at the same level of wear in order to prevent any damage to the 4-wheel drive system.

Feryll

@Laotionne - When I was in high school and college and on a tight budget I would buy two tires at a time all of the time. I certainly didn't notice any problems with the handling of the vehicles because of this. The new tires didn't seem to wear out any sooner because of extra pressure either.

My basic routine was that I would buy new tires and put them on the front of the car and then move the ones from the front to the back. Other than moving the tires to the back when I bought new ones, I did not rotate/move the tires

Laotionne

New tires are so expensive that I have gotten into the habit of buying them two at a time. Is there a benefit to having all of the tires at the same wearing point, or is it okay to buy them two at time and have two used and two new ones on the car?

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