When it’s time to replace your tires, there are a couple of things you should consider before you go to a tire dealer.
There are several types of tires available to suit your driving habits, your vehicle and the road conditions where you live. Choosing the right tire is important because it’s where your car meets the road. Tires provide the traction for stopping, cornering and they help absorb road bumps to give you a smooth, safe and comfortable ride.
Performance tires are designed to really hold the road. They provide crisp, responsive handling but you may sacrifice some ride comfort.
All-season tires are one of the most popular tires sold today. They are designed to handle dry and wet pavement and a small amount of snow.
Winter tires are specially constructed to provide traction on snow-covered roads. Winter tires remain pliable in cold weather and have a more aggressive tread design to give you better traction.
Off-road tires are designed for highway comfort and rugged enough for the backwoods trail. They provide grip and traction in mud, turf and a smooth ride on the highway.
Purchasing tires is a big investment so you want to ensure that you maximize their life. Here are some tips to help you prolong tire life, improve gas mileage and have a superior driving experience.
* Tires wear differently on the front because of the scraping they receive as they turn to steer your car. To get the most out of your tires you should rotate them every 10,000 kilometers, or as recommended in your owner?s manual. This will help make the tires wear more evenly, resulting in increased safety and consistency.
* You should check your tire pressure once a month. Since air is a gas you should check the pressure when the tires are cold which means you should not have driven your car more than 2 kilometers, or within the last three hours.
* When purchasing new tires it is important to do so in pairs or sets of four because mixing new tires with old or different types can lead to poor handling and compromise your safety. It is also important that they are the same size, speed rating and that the load carrying capability meets or exceeds your original tires load capacity.
* New tires require a break-in period. When tires are manufactured, a lubricant is applied to prevent them from sticking to their mold. Some of this lubricant will remain on your tire that can affect traction when starting, stopping and or cornering.
* Does your tire have excessive wear in the centre? This may indicate that your tire is over inflated.
* Does your tire squeal when cornering? This may indicate that your tire pressure is low.
* Does your vehicle handle poorly or do you experience a rough ride? This can be associated with tires that are over inflated.
* Does your tire have a narrow rubber stripe (Wear Bars) running across the tire? This indicates that your tire has reached a point that, by law, you must replace them.
* Does your tire have tread wear on the outside edges? This would suggest that your tire is under inflated. Under inflation will cause the tire to run hot and possible failure as well as contribute to poor handling and reduced fuel economy.