How to Choose Tires for Your Car

Posted on by Defensive Driving | in Defensive Driving Tips

tiresYour tires are arguably the most important part of your car. Think about it, they are the only thing connecting your car to the road. Having well-made tires with proper treads is vital to your safety. That is why you should not take the job of purchasing new tires lightly.

But there are so many different tires!

Yes, there are a lot of them. In order to determine which ones you need to get, you first need to figure out what your needs are and what kinds of conditions you will be driving in. For most people, standard all season tires will be sufficient. They are a perfect combination of keeping your ride comfortable and quiet while handling well in both wet and dry conditions. However, if you live somewhere with extreme weather, you may want to consider several different performance tires or winter tires.

Does it matter which brand?

Most tire brands are going to work well for you. However, Consumer Reports has rated these all season tires the best:

Continental ProContact EcoPlus+
Michelin Energy Saver A/S
Hankook Optimo H727
Goodyear Assurance TripleTred

Okay, so how often do I need to replace them?

Obviously, the amount of time that a tire will last has many variables. The climate where you live and how you drive can greatly impact how long your tires will last.

Generally, though, you should replace your tires every 40,000 miles. Some tires are made to last longer, but this is a good general rule of thumb to follow.

Can’t I just look at them to know when to replace them?

Yes, physically inspecting your tires is another way to know when they need to be replaced. The hard part is remembering to actually inspect them. When inspecting your tires, you are looking for a perpendicular line that goes across the tire. If this line is visible, your tires need replacing. Or you could use the good old penny trick. All you have to do is put a penny in the tire treads and if you can see Mr. Lincoln’s head it is time to replace them.
What can I do to make them last longer?

First off, you can drive defensively instead of aggressively (check out DefensiveDriving.com to find out more). You should also be proactive about getting your car’s maintenance done on schedule, including tire rotations every 5,000-10,000 miles. As long as you inspect your tires regularly and get them rotated on schedule, you will ensure that your tires will get you where you are going safely.

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