When your car breaks down, you expect to spend quite a bit of money to fix the problem. You don’t usually think of spending hundreds of dollars for maintenance but that’s what happens when you are buying car tires. To help you get the most from your investment, you should follow some basic tips.
Buying Car Tires: The Basics
Once a month you should be checking the wear and tear of your tires. You may not realize it but as your tires get older your car won’t handle in the same way as before. You’ll be more likely to slide, have a harder time stopping, etc. That’s why it’s important to change your tires periodically.
When you do get new tires, replace all four at the same time. The best way to extend the life of your tires is to make sure they all receive the right amount of wear and tear – if one tire is taking the brunt of the punishment it’s not going to last very long. By having new tires placed on your car and by having your tires rotated periodically during the life of those tires, you’ll be able to save yourself some money down the road.
Before buying car tires, however, you need to know which tires you need. Look at your current tires and you’ll find the information you need. You’ll see a P (that stands for passenger) followed by the tire’s width, height, and diameter. If you can’t find the number, take your car to a tire shop or auto repair shop. They’ll be able to tell you.
Make sure you get a warranty on your tires. Tires are vulnerable to punctures and damage so it’s nice to have that warranty to help you cover the costs if something happens to the tires. Go for the best warranty you can afford, but remember some warranty is better than none.
Buying Car Tires & Keeping Them in Good Shape
As mentioned above, one way to extend the life of your car tires is by having them rotated periodically. The cost is minimal, but you’ll be spreading the wear and tear over the tires more evenly. That also means when you do replace all four tires, all four tires will be in need of replacing.
Another tip is to keep your tires properly inflated. Invest in an air pressure gauge so you can’t make sure your tires are not under- or over-inflated. Both conditions can cause problems, including faster wear, increase “blow out” risk, and greater fuel usage. Tires with too much or not enough air in them also make the car unstable and harder to handle.
Finally, make sure to have your wheels aligned regularly. Wheel alignment just means the tires’ angles are adjusted. Alignment will reduce excessive tire wear and can even improve gas mileage for your vehicle. Your owner’s manual should include a recommendation for how often a wheel alignment should be done, but usually it’s once every 10,000 miles. The cost of the service is $50 to $100 for all four wheels but it will save you money in the long run.