While all tires might look the same, they are different from each other. There are different types of tires made for various purposes and terrain. It is essential to know which kind of tire works best for your vehicle. If you live in cold regions, you’ll need winter tires with soft rubber for better grip on slippery surfaces. For those living in tropical regions, opting for summer tires made with durable rubber is the best option.
Apart from these types, there are all-weather tires that function in all seasons. One must also consult a specialist before opting for a particular set of tires for the vehicle.
The penny test
One of the important aspects to consider when buying tires is to know when to change them. Like any product or service, tires also have a shelf life, and knowing if they are old, worn out, or damaged will make your life safer on the road. Just try the penny test to check the condition of the tires . Take a penny and place it on the tread groove upside down, with the head of the figure going into the gap, toward the center of the tire. If the head is not partially hidden by the tire, it is time to replace them. It is recommended to speak to a professional to confirm and go ahead with your replacement.
Replace or upgrade
It is also important to now understand if you need to replace the same type of tire with a new set or upgrade them. While replacing is easy, upgrading tires is tricky. This requires a lot of research, analysis, and, most importantly, a professional opinion to know which tires will suit the best. Another aspect to consider is the tire size that would be compatible with your car or if they are even available and necessary. An upgrade does not always necessarily mean better. So speak to an expert before jumping to make any decisions.
Knowing the right tire size and choosing the right ones is the next step in the buying process. The size is usually written in a series of numbers and letters.
An example includes – 245/40-R18. According to this, the first set of numbers shows the width of the tire in millimeters, at the widest point of the tire; the number after the slash determines the aspect ratio, which includes how tall the sidewall is as compared to the width in percentage. It is usually understood that the higher the number, the taller the sidewall. The last set of numbers is the diameter of the wheel, measured in inches, on which the tire can be mounted. The letter “R” indicates radial; most of the tires available today are radial. Usually, SUVs and sedans have taller sidewalls, like 45-60, while sports cars have shorter sidewalls ranging from 30 to 40.
This important information can tell you how long your tires will last after buying. Basically, it can calculate how many miles they can run before they start to wither and need a replacement again. It becomes crucial information, especially if you are buying expensive tires and need to understand how often you need to make that purchase to stay safe on the road. The tread wear rating is usually listed on the tire sidewall, so you can look at that to understand how well they will last on the road. However, sometimes the information may not be accurate. Instead of just relying on the rank, it is better to look at the tread life warranty that the manufacturer provides. While not all tires have this warranty, it is important to check for this, apart from the usual manufacturing quality or defect warranties. It is understood that, more often than not, the mileage listed in the tread life warranty is more accurate than the mileage that will be provided by the new tires. If the tires wear out before that, you can speak to the manufacturer for a credit that can be used to buy a new set of tires.
There are some automakers who fit run-flat tires as opposed to conventional ones. The benefit of having these tires is that the vehicle can continue to run at a low speed for short distances, which allows the driver to reach a repair shop or home to get it checked by a mechanic, instead of feeling abandoned in the middle of the road. However, the downside is that it becomes harder to navigate the vehicle when there is a puncture, especially on terrain that is not plain but rough.
If you are buying some truck tires, be sure to maintain the tires well to avoid regular replacements. Rotate the tire regularly, get the wheels aligned, keep the tire pressure consistent, keep the wheels and tires clean and always perform pre-trip inspections to avoid any tire-related accidents.