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How to Choose Tires for Any Vehicle

Jul 19, 2008
Even though most vehicle tires look rather similar at first glance, there are actually quite a few different types of tires. Furthermore, the type of tires that a person chooses to purchase for his vehicle can affect the safety of the vehicle as well as how well the vehicle handles on the road.

Contrary to what some people may think, tires should not be selected merely by price, availability, or even
by only looking at the size of the tires needed for the vehicle. There are many other criteria that should be considered.

First of all, yes, a person does need to know the size of tires that the manufacturer recommends for his vehicle. This is usually denoted by a series of letters and numbers, such as P205/55R16 94V. This size can be found in the owner's manual.

Tire safety ratings of various brands are an important consideration. This information can be found online. Look for brands that did well in tests for resistance to hydroplaning and braking as well as day-to-day handling. Check out the manufacturer's warranties as well. Most cover only normal use, though not damages caused by potholes or other road hazards.

It is also important to purchase fresh tires; in other words, choose tires that have been manufactured more recently not ones that have been sitting on a dealer's lot for over three years. Look for this information on the tire's sidewall. There will be a code beginning with the letters "DOT" (Department of Transportation). The numbers following those letters indicate when the tire was manufactured. The last four digits correspond to the week and year of manufacture. For instance, the number 2707 would mean that the tire was manufactured during the 27th week of 2007.

A person can opt for one of three different types of tires for his car: all-season, performance all-season, or ultra performance tires. The best tires for any person depend upon how the person drives and the type of performance he wants from his vehicle.

All-season tires come in just about any size. These tires provide year-round traction, and they have long tread wear. Performance all-season tires are similar; however, they are shorter and wider than regular all-season tires. Also, performance all-season tires have a higher speed rating. Ultra performance tires are sportier tires, providing excellent handling in wet and dry conditions. However, these do not have as much tread wear, nor do they provide as comfortable as a ride as the other two types of tires.

Many people also opt for winter tires in snowy and icy weather. The edges of the treads of these tires grip much better on snow and ice but, regular snow tires can wear down quickly on regular terrain. Performance winter tires fare much better on both icy and regular terrain.

Trucks and SUV's sometimes require special tires as well due to their size and usage. People can choose all-season tires, which are typically good in most conditions, or all-terrain tires, which are more suited for driving on all types of terrain.

With all of the varieties of tires available, a person needs to consider all of his options carefully before choosing. Your trusted mechanic or service center can provide you with recommendations.
About the Author
If you are looking for honest advice, prioritized repairs, options on repairs, maximized fuel economy, and a good feeling with who you are doing business with go to www.westsideautopros.com
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