Choosing the Right Tires

When it comes to purchasing new tires for your car, the choices can seem endless. However, it doesn’t have to be a confusing process if you do a little research and know what you are looking for ahead of time. There are five key components to consider when purchasing new tires. Understanding what they are will give you an advantage when you head to the tire store:

Tire Wear: You need to go beyond the manufacturer’s tire wear ratings to understand the truth behind how long a tire will last, since manufacturers use different standards for testing – making it difficult to compare between different brands. A better idea is to look at the Uniform Tire Quality Grading rating. These independent tests are done under U.S. Department of Transportation-approved guidelines and give you a better baseline for comparing the expected rate of tire wear.

Weather Requirements: People who live in warm weather states probably won’t need to worry about purchasing tires based on winter weather. However, this should be a consideration for drivers in other parts of the country. Wet-weather tires are a must in the Pacific Northwest, while people in the Midwest and Northeast might want to consider all-weather tires for additional traction during the snowy season.

Tire Profile: A lower-profile tire will often give a bumpy and uncomfortable ride. The trade-off is looks and performance versus comfort. For the everyday passenger car, you are better off with a higher-profile tire.

Speed Rating:
This is one element that you can ignore, since even the lowest speed rated tires are adequate for speeds under 100 mph – and it’s highly unlikely that you’ll be going faster than that in your passenger car (at least, legally).

Noise: You want a smooth ride in your car, and different tires make different levels of noise. However, there is no one rating for this, so you’ll have to rely on feedback on tire review websites and salespeople to give you a sense of how noisy a tire is.

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