What to Consider When Buying New Car Tires

Are you in need of new tires for your car? It can certainly be confusing when stepping into a tire shop and not knowing what to look for. Here are some tips for selecting the right kind of tire when you visit a tire shop

The Tire Size

Choosing the proper tire starts by understanding what size tire you need, which is essential for buying replacement tires. All you need to know is that the first set of numbers represents the height, width, and wheel size for the tire. For example, it may look like P205/60R14. You'll generally want to select the exact same size tire to go on your vehicle unless you are making modifications to the wheel size at the same time that you get new tires. 

The Load Index

The number that follows the tire size is the load index, which is how much weight the tires can hold. For example, a load index of 90 means the tires can hold 1323 lbs. You would only need to get tires with an increased load index if you plan on towing objects behind your car. However, it is a good idea to stick to what came with your vehicle. If your car was designed for towing, the load index of the tires likely had that increased load index in mind.

The Speed Rating

The letter that comes after the load index is the speed rating, which tells you how fast you can safely drive with your tires. A common speed rating for a family sedan is S, which means the tires can go up to 112 mph. While you may think that you do not need a tire that is rated for driving at over 100mph, know that tires with a better speed rating will generally handle better on the road at slower speeds. 

The Tread

There are many different tread types that you can get for your vehicle, which are typically defined by the season that they are used in. Winter tires tend to have deeper treads that help grip to the road in the snow. All-season tires will have smaller treads that help maximize the surface that touches the ground but still allows water to flow through. Performance tires have even smaller treads, but works great all year round in regions that do not have snow or much rain.

With all this information in mind, visit your local tire shop and ask for help picking out the right kind of tires for you.