New Tires? No Problem! Here Are 4 Things You Need to Know
To say that a lot is riding on your tires is an understatement.
They’re your car’s most important safety feature.
After all, your engine, brakes, and all other systems are dependent on your tires’ grip on the road.
When the time comes to buy new ones, you need to know how to go about it.
Here’s the information you need to make the best choice.
1. Choose the right size
You may (or may not!) have noticed that there’s a code on the side of each of your tires.
This string of letters and numerals actually tells you a lot about the tire.
Let’s break down this code: P195/60R16 63H M+S
- P tells you what kind of tire it is. In this case, it’s a passenger car. If you see the letters “LT,” you’ll know it’s a tire for a light-truck or an SUV.
- 195 is the width of the tire in millimeters, across the tread.
- 60 represents the aspect ratio of the sidewall compared to the width.
- R stands for “radial.” This refers to the way the tire is made.
- 16 is the rim diameter in inches.
- 63 refers to the tire’s load rating, or how much weight it can carry. Note: This is a numerical formula and doesn’t stand for 63 pounds.
- H is the tire’s speed rating and how quickly and efficiently it can dissipate heat.
- M+S stands for “mud and snow” – in other words, it’s an all-season tire.
Don’t worry, your vehicle owner’s manual will provide you with the type of tire you need to buy.
2. Where to buy?
You have a lot of options when it comes to buying but they’re not all created equal.
You can go to the dealership at which you bought your vehicle to get new tires, but be forewarned that it could end up costing you twice as much as your other option.
Your best bet is to patronize a local shop where the prices are reasonable and the sales manager can help you make a good choice.
3. Think about fuel efficiency
The tire you choose can affect your fuels efficiency by as much as 15-20%.
How much you save at the pumps will also depend on other factors, too, such as keeping the tires properly inflated and the way that you drive.
4. Always refer to your owner’s manual
When all is said and done, your vehicle owner’s manual will never steer you wrong.
It has the best information about the maintenance timelines and parts that are compatible with your car – including your tires.
Get the right help
At Conrad’s, our expert technicians have the answers you need to all of your tire questions.