When you’re spinning out of control on an icy patch of road, it’s too late to think about buying tyres for your car. Now’s the time, before the first winter storm, to get those new treads. In the process, you want to keep your finances under control as well. So follow these tips when you are making a search for tyres and improve your chances for finding the highest quality tyres at the best price:
Buy the Appropriate Tyre for Your Vehicle
Do you drive a sedan, an SUV, a truck or a zippy sports car? What you drive affects what kind of tyres you’ll need. What type of road conditions do you drive in? Wet, snowy or icy? Mountainous or flat?
- All-weather tyres These are often the least expensive with the best traction for all types of weather. They’ll give you the most for your money. Look at the wear rating. These tyres perform adequately in snow but not as well as special winter “snow” tyres.
- Performance tyres If you own a sports car, you’ll need these. Follow the manufacturer’s advice on which type of tyre will allow the best handling for your vehicle. Depending on the type, these may not give you the traction you’ll need for wet roads or snowy/icy conditions. They are more expensive because the tyres are speed rated. The wider tyre generates ultimate dry weather traction by providing more road friction. But this increased traction results in lower gas mileage and less tyre life.
- All-terrain tyres If you own a truck, you need tyres that will get you through anything. Whether it’s a water-logged dirt road or a muddy field. These are high friction with a lot of surface area. The tread is flexible in order to expel mud.
Do you need special winter tyres? If your car has high performance tyres and you live in a northern climate, yes. But ask your dealer first.
Replace Tyres in Pairs
Don’t mismatch tyres. They’ll wear differently and possibly cause your car to sway to one side or vibrate. And when you replace tyres, start with the rear tyres. They will give you the best traction.
Read Your Vehicle Owner’s Manual
It will tell you the type of tyre you should put on your car. It’s best to stick with the type of tyres that were originally on the vehicle.
When should you change a tyre?
- When you notice steering wheel vibration, a harsh ride or breaking problems. Your tyres may be warped, bowed or have flat spots. Check with your mechanic, because those symptoms could also be related to shock, break or suspension problems.
- Be sure to change tyres in the fall, if possible. New tyres provide the greatest traction for winter driving.
- Make sure a certified tyre techinican does the work for you. They have the equipment and knowledge. This is not a do-it-yourself project. Safety is what matters most.
And the bottom line? Don’t scrimp on tyres. The best quality, not the lowest price is most important. But sometimes the lowest price tyres will last longer than more expensive ones.
Finally, check your tyres often. Having properly inflated tyres can beef up your gas mileage by three percent.