Buying new tires is probably the most dreaded of all regular car maintenance tasks. Failing to upkeep them is essential, however, as the health of your tires has a lot to do with the safety of the vehicle. Waiting too long to replace them often results in surprise flats or even a dangerous reduction of traction. It doesn’t have to be a frustrating or expensive event, though. Let’s explore what to know before you buy your next tire to make doing so simpler.
Determine Your Needs
The most important part of what to know before you buy your next tire is what options are available to you. It’s less about brand and style and more about what hardware your vehicle will accept. Unfortunately, tires are one industry that hasn’t adapted to a single standardized size or system. Every care producer uses a different size, width, and even bolt layout. To figure out what type of tire you need, write down the model, year, and make of your car.
Next, look at the tires you currently have installed. Every tire will either be stamped or embossed with a series of numbers and letters. Jot down this information as it indicates what tires will fit your vehicle. Finally, decide on the type of tire you’ll need based on where and how you drive. Dealers usually provide a wide selection of looks and tread styles that are suited to different driving conditions. Depending on your region, a pricier all-weather tire may be a better choice than some of the lighter treads found on urban tires. Work trucks and vans often benefit from the deeper all-terrain tread for better traction on and off the road.
Deciding on a Tire Dealer
For many people, deciding on a tire dealer often happens at the last second. Obviously, this is not ideal. It’s always best to plan and view new tires as simply a regular bill that occurs less frequently. In this way, you’ll have time to price different tire dealers. Buying tires before your current ones become a problem also gives you control over when the money is spent and allows you to save up for the cost as needed. Changing tires should never be any more a hassle than oil changes or topping up fluids—it’s simply part of good vehicle maintenance.