Tires are one of the most important parts of a car, and if one plans on driving for a long period of time, it will become necessary sooner or later to figure out how tires should be evaluated when they are purchased. This is a valuable skill that should not be neglected by any serious drivers or drivers who wish to become more skilled at working on their vehicles and staying safe on the road.
It is not a good idea to simply trust one’s mechanic or give a tire one’s seal of approval based on a gut feeling, as this is risky. Beyond being risky, one can also wind up paying far more than necessary while also being significantly limited in tire purchasing options.
The truth of the matter is that evaluating the quality of a car’s tires is not a very complex matter, and once one has acquired such skills, they can be retained for decades until one decides to give up driving in old age. Here are some tips and suggestions regarding quick and effective evaluations of tires when buying them.
First of all, it is essential to understand one’s needs when purchasing tires. The kind of car one is buying tires for will naturally impact the tires chosen. However, one might not consider other factors that also play a role, such as how often one intends to drive and the quality of the roads on which one will be driving.
Take time to answer these questions before heading out to the tire store, as they will help one get off in the right direction before starting to browse through specific tires. For example, drivers of compact cars should look for passenger tires. These will typically be marked with a large “P” on the side of the tire, which is known as the sidewall.
Regarding driving distance, there are going to be tires that are rated to travel for many more miles than other tires. Since short and long distance tires can look alike at first glance to the untrained eye, it is a good idea to start out with knowledge or at least an estimation of how far one drives in a month and in a year, as this will clue one in to how long certain tires can be used before they will need to be replaced.
Of course, one might already be driving with tires that are working well and that simply need to be replaced since they have become worn down through old age and heavy use. If this is the case, it is a good idea to just replace these tires with identical or updated models. Make sure all of the specifications of the current tires are identical to the specifications of the new tires, as they might not fit well or ride safely otherwise.
The specifications are typically provided through codes that are imprinted on the tires. One factor to keep in mind from the start is the proper load index. This refers to how much weight the tire can safely handle before increasing its risk of a blowout. Overestimating the load index is fine, but underestimating it is not. Also keep the speed rating of the tire in mind, as this will impact one’s city and highway driving to a significant degree.