When people shop for something these days their first move is typically to check prices online. Tire buying is no different. If you look for tires online, you will undoubtedly find some great low prices, but unless you know exactly what you need, you are taking a risk. Even if you are shopping for a specific tire, it may still be a gamble. If the wrong tires are sent or you have problems with them, working with an online retailer to get things right could be very time-consuming and complicated.
When you are in need of new tires you need to think about more than price. Before starting the tire buying process, here are some things to consider:
1. Vehicle Manufacturer Recommendations
The manufacturer of your vehicle will have specific recommendations regarding the best tire selection for that vehicle’s safety and performance.
2. Regional Climate
Think about the weather in your area. Do you have much rain or snow fall? Choose the safest selection to handle the road conditions you most often see.
3. Ride Quality
Many models will look great on your car, but not all tires will provide a smooth and comfortable ride or solid handling.
4. UTQG Rating
The U.S. Department of Transportation requires tire manufacturers to grade their tires under the UTQG (Uniform Tire Quality Grading) labeling system and establish ratings for tread wear, traction and temperature resistance.
5. Tread Design
Tread design varies between tire brands and models. Some are actually noisier than others. If you do a lot of highway driving, you should consider consider this. Your tire dealer can help you decide on the best tread design for you.
6. Buy a Full Set
Be sure to replace all of your tires at once for optimal performance and even tread wear.
7. Trust a Local Source
Buying from a local source will give you the confidence that you are getting the right tires, and have a trusted place to go if and when you need support.
8. Protect your Investment
After your tires installed be sure to have related checks such as alignment and balance. It is possible for a vehicle maintenance problem that caused your old set of tires to wear out too rapidly will also ruin your new tires.
When tire buying, it is helpful to have the guidance of a knowledgeable tire dealer who can recommend the type of tire that will best fit your vehicle, driving style and desired price point. Trust a tire dealer who asks you questions about the type of driving you do and guides you in understanding factors such as tread wear, ride and handling, and driving conditions.