I can think of several things I would rather buy, but it looks like a new set of tires is going to be at the top of the list. There are many factors to consider before making this investment. Here is a quick guide to finding, buying, and maintaining your new tires.
Do you need new tires? Take a close look at your tires and determine if you actually need new tires. Tread is the best place to look. You can measure the depth using an old penny or by looking at the tread wear indicators built into most tires. If your tread is worn down to less than 2/32 of an inch you need new tires.
Who to buy new tires from can be a challenge. One option is the car dealer, but they are often the most expensive. You will have better luck with a tire retailer or local auto shop. Always check for promotions and coupons going on in your area. Tire sellers will often run specials on mounting, balancing, and rotating tires when you purchase a new set of tires from their location.
Now it is time to select the right size tire. Most tires are branded with a number that tells you all about the product you are about to purchase. For example, P195/70R15 43H M+S, shows you the type, width, aspect ratio, diameter, tire speed rating, and indicates the tire is an all-season tire. That’s a lot of information in a small space! For most of us, these numbers can be confusing and a little intimidating. The good news is most tire shops offer a handy tool that lets you select your vehicle make, model, and year and the tool finds the tires that will fit your vehicle.
Now you know what tires will fit and where to look for them, but what tire is going to fit into your life? Weather, driving habits, and your own personal preference can all play a role in making this decision. If you live in an area that gets snow you might consider an all-season or winter tire. But if you experience sun all year round this might not be the best choice. Know what type of tire you want! Do you need high-speed performance, a comfortable ride, traction in snow, durability in high temperatures, or the ability to carry heavy loads?
Once you purchase your perfect set of tires, don’t forget to protect your investment. Regular maintenance is key. After your tires have been selected and mounted by a professional technician, you will want to make sure to keep your tire pressure in check. Always refer to the specifications for your particular tire but PSI should normally be 30-35. Tire rotations, wheel alignments, and tire balancing will also be regular maintenance items you should keep in mind.
I hope this helps you make your next tire purchase. Remember to check your tread to determine if you need new tires, pick a trustworthy dealer, and hunt down those deals. The right type of tire can change your driving experience and deliver the results you want. With proper care and preparation, your new tires can take you anywhere and with proper maintenance, you can make them last.