Since they’re subject to an amazing amount of wear and tear, tires need replacing from time to time, since, in this case literally, the rubber meets the road. Here are some quick tips to make buying a new tire easy.
- Make sure that you really in need of new tire:
look at your current tires and check how much tread is left. If you're not sure what a tread is or how much is enough just to reach into your pocket, grope through your change. Be sure to look for uneven tread wear or flat spots a condition known as "cupping" that could indicate a problem with your vehicle's suspension. And be sure to look for bulges or other damages to the tire's sidewall, that indicates a damage to the tire's internal structure. If a tire is showing any of these conditions, it needs to be replaced.
If your driving environment or routine has changed, for example, you've moved from the Sun Belt to the Snow Belt, then you must check your tires and change them to suit the new circumstances.
- Have you been happy with your old tires?
Are you satisfied with the way your current tires ride, handle and make your car look? If the answer is "yes," your buying decision is easy. Simply replace your current set with the exact same make and model, or shop for an equivalent set of tires from another brand. All tire retailers have equivalency charts at their fingertips that allow them to recommend a tire that matches the one you're replacing.
If you are not satisfied with your current tires, or if you are dramatically changing your driving environment or routine, it's time for a change. Learn more about the range of choices available.
- Step into the marketplace:
Step into the marketplace, but do not stop your research. Start with the yellow pages. Look up a retailer who handles the exact brand of tires you are replacing and get a price quote and "time quote." The price quote is very important to you as a benchmark against which you can measure competitive quotes. The "time quote" is important because who wants to spend an entire weekend waiting at a busy shop for tires?
- Which tire are you using now:
Determine the brand and model of the tire that's currently on your vehicle. Goodyear Integrity, Firestone Affinity, and Michelin XW4 are some of the most common original equipment tires, though you could also have tires manufactured by BF Goodrich, Bridgestone, Yokohama, Continental or Toyo, among others.
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