How to Shop for New Tires
July 30, 2012
Ever experience what it feels like to have a vehicle hydroplane? The person behind the wheel gets consumed with an overwhelming fear of having little control or traction of his/her vehicle, can easily be avoided if he/she invests in a quality set of tires. Each tire brand and style has its own purpose, and an important one at that. Tires are the base for everyone’s safety and also affect the vehicles general wear and tear.
How Do I Know What Tires are Best for My Vehicle?
Before purchasing a new set of tires, there are several items to be considered. First, make a note of the type of tires that initially came with the vehicle (the OE tires, or original equipment) to acquire the best, all-around performance.
Next, find out the type of rubber compound and the speed-rating assigned to that tire model. Higher compound rubber tends to have an increased lifespan and noticeably more traction. High compound tires are more durable and allow for better navigation in inclement weather.
Softer compounds tend to make less road noise and offer a smoother ride; however, need to be replaced more frequently. They are generally manufactured for sports cars. Consumers should also keep in mind the “Three Ts,” tread wear, temperature and traction.
“You Get What You Pay For”
Weather in the Midwest is unpredictable. We experience rain, snow, sleet and excruciatingly hot asphalt, so it is recommended to have a higher density tire. Gerry Oakes, the Parts Director at Performance Automotive Group who has been in the industry for nearly 40 years said, “It boils down to performance and safety. The tire is the only thing between you and the road. You want to have the best contact with the road as you can.”
This may mean spending a little more for quality and better tread depth. Consumers who purchase lower-quality tires end up needing replacements more frequently and ultimately spending more than what a quality set would have cost them initially.
Why would I Purchase from a Dealership and not a Tire Shop or Online?
There are benefits to purchasing tires from local auto dealers rather a small tire shop. Dealerships are able to do warranty work while smaller tire companies are not. Some businesses will not administer warranties unless the product was purchased from them directly. Purchasing online might be a bit cheaper, but in order to take full advantage of factory warranty, it is better to buy from a local dealership that can provide warranty service.
Auto dealers also have the tools and capability of researching the OE tires that are recommended to achieve best performance of any vehicle. Not to mention the peace of mind that there are trained, certified technicians with product knowledge who perform all maintenance work.
Mr. Oakes said that several times throughout the year, dealerships offer rebates for certain tire brands, aside from ordinary sales and special promotions. Performance Automotive Group dealers offer competitive pricing. Remember to ask a service advisor for any current or upcoming tire promotions to get the best quality for a better deal.
For additional tire rating information to understand components of a tire and how they operate visit Safercar.gov.