When buying a new car, the tires that come with it are often the last thing on your mind, and that’s fair. You often wonder how many airbags a car has, but rarely who makes them. Even how well the car stops, but not about what type of brake pads it comes with. The reason why is because you trust the designers and engineers who built your new car to know what they are doing. However, tires wear out and will need to be replaced, leaving you in charge of the only thing that keeps your car connected to the road.
When in the market for tires, you will be shocked at how many shapes, sizes, and styles a simple tire comes in. Even the price differences alone can make your head spin; but have no fear, I can lend a helping hand. Before we get started, the quality of a tire will affect almost every aspect of the tire. Things to look at are the brand name, ratings of noise, tread wear, and performance in various driving conditions.
Buying tires can be simple if you know what you are looking at. The first thing is what size tire your car requires. To find this, look for either the tag on the door of your car or on the tire itself. There should be a number that looks similar to P215/45R/17, but what does all of this mean. Breaking it down, “P” stands for Passenger meaning it is a Passenger car tire. “215” is the overall width of the tire, meaning a “215” is 215 millimeters wide. “45” is the aspect ratio or height of the tire. To explain this better, the height of the tire is 45% of 215 mm, or in this case 96.75 mm. The “R” is the construction of the tire, which in this case is a Radial tire, which is the most common tire you will see on the market. Finally is “17” which is the size of the wheel, once again in this case is a 17” wheel. The final thing that most buyers should be concerned with is the build date of the tire. Near the tire size, there should be a small black oval with 4 numbers embossed into it, looking something like 1618. This tells you when the tire is made, in this case, the 16th week of 2018, or the week of April 15th 2018. The reason why this is important is the tires shelf life and safe use on the road. On average, you should not use a tire that is older than 6 years as the structure can break down causing a blow out, which could cause the driver to lose control.
For most consumer vehicles, the tires are pretty run of the mill in terms of performance. Most of the tires will see all weather conditions, from rain to snow to dry roads, so choosing a well versed tire is the best option. However there are certain tires designed for specific uses, such as snow tires. Snow tires are often made of a softer rubber which provides better traction even in freezing cold temperatures. They are also designed to hold snow to utilize the natural bonding ability of snow. On the other hand, there are performance oriented tires for sportier driving vehicles. These tires are often made of a stickier rubber compound which provides excellent traction, however they are usually poor performing in wet or icy conditions.
Finding the right tire to not only fit your car, but also your budget can be a task. If you need any help or direction, any Quirk Service location will not only be able to help you choose the best tire, but also get them installed and get you back on the road as quick as possible.