Tires are more than just wheels that allow your car to roll down the street. They are an important safety feature that impacts your car’s ability to steer, respond to changing road conditions and to stop. However, many people don’t pay enough attention to the condition of their tires and as a result they experience blow outs which can either leave them stranded on the side of the road or worse, leave them injured. To ensure performance and safety, your car’s tires need to be replaced periodically.
When to Replace Your Car’s Tires
There are a lot of signs that you can look for that indicate that your tires need to be replaced. The easiest sign to spot is tread wear. You can identify tread wear in a couple of ways. First you can visually examine the tread for areas that are smooth and discolored, and for areas where the steel cord is beginning to peak through the rubber. (Davis, 2007). Wear spots will show first at the lowest parts of the tread and on the outside edge of the tire.
Another method for testing your tread for wear is to place a penny into the tread groove. If the head on the penny is even partially covered by your tread then you tire is still okay. However, if the penny’s head is fully visible your tread has expired and your tire needs to be replaced. (http://www.answerbag.com/q_view/688707).
What to Look for When Replacing Your Tires
There are several factors that you will want to look at when you are replacing your tires. The first issue is the tire’s safety rating. (Anonymous, 2008). Safety ratings are administered by a number of organizations, however, Consumer Report seems to be one of the top agencies to use as your reference. A good replacement tire will score high in breaking, hydroplaning resistance and handling.
The next factor that you will want to look at is the tire’s warranty. (Anonymous, 2008). Warranties vary greatly by manufacturer and tire type. Generally you can expect prorated coverage based on how many miles your tires have on them. Another warranty point to look at is what damage is covered, for example, not all warranties will cover damage caused by normal daily hazards and usage.
The tire size code printed on the tire’s sidewall is something you will want to pay close attention to. This code will tell you the size of the tire and its speed rating. (Anonymous, 2008). For the best results you will want to select a tire that is the same size and that meets or exceeds the speed rating of your original tires.
Top-Rated New Tire Options
When you are selecting a replacement tire for your vehicle you have multiple rating systems that you can look at to help you find the best tire. For example, if you are looking for the best light truck tire then Fortera HL by Goodyear is your best option, at least according to Consumer Report. (http://www.mostvaluabletips.com/autos/car-tires). BF Goodrich Tires is another brand of tire that consistently wins consumer choice awards for their consistency and their safety rating. Finally, Micheline Tires are another top choice by consumers, mainly because of their reputation as a durable and safe tire. (http://www.mostvaluabletips.com/autos/car-tires).
Anonymous. (2008). “Tires: Buying Advice.” ConsumerReport.org. Retrieved from the World Wide Web 11.25.08 from http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/cars/tires-auto-parts/tires/tire-sorter-cars/how-to-choose/tire-sorter-how-to-choose.htm?EXTKEY=SP72C00&CMP=KNC-CROYPICARS&HBX_OU=51&HBX_PK=pi
Davis, Austin. (2007, June 20). “When should I replace my car tires?” My Honest Mechanic. Retrieved from the World Wide Web 11.25.08 from http://www.myhonestmechanic.com/articles/when-to-replace-my-car-tires.shtml