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Jun 13, 2016

Things You Must Know Before Buying New Tires

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Tires are your vehicle’s most important safety feature. You need good tires for accelerating, steering, and braking. Yet, many drivers are reluctant about replacing them. Not only does shopping for tires require a lot of time and money, it also demands a lot of work as you need to check each and every detail to ensure that those new tires don’t haunt you for the next 40,000 kilometres with poor handling, road noise, and a rough ride.

What To Know Before Buying New Tires

To make your next tire shopping experience more pleasant, here are a few basics to keep in mind:

Replace tires at the right time

Tires are generally considered to be worn out when they reach 5/81 cm minimum tread depth. For wet and snowy conditions, tread less than 10/81 cm and 15/81 cm respectively means considerable loss of traction.

Replace the appropriate number of tires

If only one tire is needed due to damage, a defect, or uneven wear, it should be replaced with a tire that is similar to the other three in regard to brand, speed rating, load capacity, and line. When replacing two tires, the new tires should always go to the back, and should be of the same or better quality than the others. Replacing all four tires gives you a wider range of options.

Get the right size

All the tire details are listed on its sidewall. Replacement tires should match the details indicated in the owner’s manual or car door jamb, and not necessarily the current ones. Upsizing, or choosing a larger tire, helps to improve performance and ride quality in trucks and SUVs. But ensure that the load carrying capacity is equal or greater than indicated.

Consider the age of the tire

Tires deteriorate faster in hot climates. The age of a tire is noted as a 4-digit number following the letter sequence “DOT”, indicating the week and year of manufacture. For instance, 4312 means the 43rd week of 2012. It is recommended that you don’t use tires that are older than 6 years regardless of their condition.

Consider your driving conditions

Your choice of tires should depend on your average driving conditions. All-season tires are used by most drivers because they offer acceptable traction and performance across all driving conditions and seasons. However, their design elements are averaged, and you may need to use seasonal tires for either summer or winter. The M&S sign on the tire sidewall is a rating of the tire’s mud and snow performance for winter use. Other signs include AT (all-terrain), MT (mud terrain), AP (all-purpose), and HT (highway tread).

Purchase the best quality you can afford

There are many brands on the market, including Asian-sourced tires that are not necessarily bad. But consumer reports identified some of the favourite brands as Michelin, Continental, Goodyear, Pirelli, Cooper, Hankook, Yokohama, and Nokian.

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