Do you need new tires? New tires are more important than you might think. Not only do tires improve the safety and handling of your vehicle, but they can even save you on gas mileage. It's not always easy to tell whether you need new tires, or how to get the best deals. Here are some tips on how to properly shop for tires.
How Do I Check if I Need Tires?
The tread of your tire is what grips the ground. If your tires are starting to look smooth and worn down, it's likely time to check to see whether you need new tires. A simple test is the "penny" test. Place a penny in the tread of your tire, with Lincoln's head pointed towards the tire. If your tire covers Lincoln's head, you're fine. If your tire does not, then your tread has worn down significantly.
Worn down tread is always dangerous, but it's even more dangerous when you're driving during the rain or poorly paved roads. Note that you should check all of your tires because your tires won't always wear evenly. In 2WD vehicles, the tires will often wear unevenly back to front. In 4WD vehicles, a single tire could still show more wear than others. It's usually recommended to replace all your tires at the same time to avoid having tires of multiple wear levels, as that can contribute to erratic handling.
Can I Buy Tires from My Mechanic?
Not only can you buy tires from your repair shop, but it's often a better deal. Your mechanic will know which types of tires your car needs and will be able to find you the best deals in the area. Many mechanics have existing relationships with auto parts shops, and may even have a stock of tires themselves.
You should always get a quote on tires, but do keep in mind that a dedicated tire shop could attempt to upsell you on tires that you don't need. A mechanic will know how you drive and how often you drive and will be able to suggest you tires that are best suited towards your car and driving environment.
What are the Recommended Tire Brands?
Depending on the type of car, SUV, or truck you have, you may have different types of recommended tires. These are going to vary by the driving you do and the size of your tires. In general, though, the following tire brands are considered to be the most popular: Michelin, Goodyear®, Bridgestone®, and Firestone®. Other popular brands include Cooper, Nitto, Toyo, Yokohama, Continental, and Pirelli.
Most large tire brands have a variety of tires ranging from the low end to the high end and depending on the amount of mileage you need them to last. For more information on getting the right tires for your vehicle, contact the experts at AutoTek.