In Maintenance, Safety, Tires

Tire Buying Guide

Choosing the best tire for your vehicle can be challenging. Tires go with us everywhere and although they do require replacement, it is amazing how long they last! The tires on your car are literally on the road everywhere you go and, when it does comes time to change them, you will want to purchase a tire that will meet your driving needs.

The first step to choosing tires for your vehicle is determining the style and size of your current tires and writing it down on a piece of paper. This important step will ensure the tires you are purchasing will be the correct fitment for your vehicle. If you are unsure on how to obtain your size you can always stop by your local service provider and they can walk you through it.

Once you have the size, you will want to think about tire designs, quality and warranties.

For many of us, an “All Season” tire which is a tire designed to perform in various conditions including wet and light winter driving will be a great choice. These tires will give you longer tread life than a pure summer tire and are built to give you good ride comfort and handling.

You may want to ask yourself if you like your current tires? Did they perform well in the conditions you are in? If so, that would be a great starting point for your next set of tires. If not, inform a tire professional where your tires fell short and they can help find a tire that fits your needs.

When replacing tires, MAP and vehicle manufacturers suggest that the replacement tires match or exceed the OEM speed and load rating designation. If tires of different speed rating designations are mixed on the same vehicle, the tires may vary in handling characteristics. Do not mix different speed rating designations on the same axle. It is particularly important to match all tire sizes and constructions on 4-wheel (4×4) and all-wheel (AWD) drive vehicles unless otherwise specified by vehicle manufacturer. Ideally, all four tires should be replaced at the same time. Some vehicle manufacturers restrict replacement of tires to specific brands, types, or sizes.

When replacing fewer than ALL 4 tires on a vehicle, follow the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations as to the placement of the new tires. If it is not possible to follow the vehicle manufacturer’s tire replacement recommendations, remember to replace tires on the same axle with the same size, construction, speed rating, and, if possible, similar tread pattern and put the two new tires on the rear.

Treadwear warranties. Often times we are try to save as much money as possible so be buy the cheapest tires offered. Well, you may want to think twice about it. Often times the cheapest tires have the least amount of tread warranty so they will not last as long and you will be replacing them soon than you may expect. Also, they may give you a harsh ride, produce unwanted road noise or even reducing the vehicles ability to handle. We recommend a quality tire that gives you the attributes you are looking for.

When it comes time to make the purchase, you have many options. Many consumers love to buy online and you can purchase your tires online as well. If you decide to do this, we recommend that you do your research and make sure you feel comfortable with your buying decision. If you are unsure, we recommend you go to your local service provider where a trained professional can walk you through it. If you do buy online, you can have the tires shipped to your house and some will even ship to a shop so they are there upon your arrival.

Now that it is time to purchase you are going to have your tires mounted and balance. This will ensure the wheel and tire assembly is spinning true reducing unwanted vibrations within the vehicle. You may also be offered a Road Hazard package. Road Hazard helps you when you have tire failure due to a puncture or damage with in normal driving conditions. Examples of such would be a nail or broken glass etc.. Typically, the tire manufacture warranty will not cover such issues but a Road Hazard protection may. You may want to ask for details prior to purchase.

Now that you have picked out the correct tire for you and your vehicle, you may want to think about protecting the investment by having your alignment checked. A misaligned vehicle can shorten the life of the tires dramatically so a properly aligned vehicle will ensure you get the most out of your tires. Many shops offer free alignment checks with tire purchase so ask during installation.

Now you are ready to make an informed purchase. When you are ready to purchase, call one of your local MAP Participating Facilities and start the process. Lastly, make sure that you have everything in writing. Make sure your estimate involves both parts and labor, so that you clearly know the cost of tires and the cost of installation.

Enjoy your new tires!

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Showing 9 comments
  • Dennis Sanchez

    I appreciate the advice you gave on how it is important to buy a road hazard package when purchasing new tires so that you have coverage if a tire ever gets punctured. I’m going to be buying a new car soon, and I didn’t know these plans existed. I’m going to have to talk to my dealership about this package.

  • David Norriss

    It’s great that you said that first was writing down the tire measurements so that the new ones will be the exact fit for your vehicle. People most likely get so caught up in the type of tire that they want and its accessories that they forget to write down the size of their current ones. This advice was very useful because it will help people save time when shopping for new tires.

  • Dennis Sanchez

    I appreciate the advice on making sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations when purchasing new tires. The tire’s on my son’s car are almost completely bald. It would probably be a good idea to get them replaced soon.

  • Jesse Ford

    Thanks for mentioning that tires go with us everywhere we go and you’ll want to get some that meet your needs. I think it’s a good investment to shop from a reputable store that has the ones you needs in order to get the best performance possible.

  • Henry Killingsworth

    Thank you for helping me to understand that all-season tires will give me an extended tread life. In the past couple of weeks, I have noticed that my car gets really bumpy when I drive on the highway, so I am thinking that it is time for me to get new tires. I’ll have to find a local shop that offers all-season wheels so that I can fix the bumpiness.

  • Charlotte

    The tread on my older brother’s tires is super worn down, so he needs to get new tires right away. I appreciate your tip to let a trained professional help you make your decision. I will help my brother find a reputable automotive service that can advise him on the best tires for his needs.

  • Eli

    My brother’s leaving for a long road trip in a few weeks, so he wants to make sure his car is in optimal condition. I found it helpful when you suggested we consult with an auto expert when buying new tires, and since my brother’s car tires do need replacement, I believe he’d benefit from reading your article. Thanks for the information on buying new tires for your car and how to do it effectively.

  • Taylor Abrams

    My husband and I were planning a road trip for the weekend, but he noticed a bulge in one of the tires while checking the car. Concerned about safety, he wants to find a tire repair service to inspect and fix it before we hit the road. It’s also important to be reminded that when changing less than ALL 4 tires on a car, install the new tires according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Thanks for this.

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