When shopping for new tires for your car or truck everyone wants to know the best place to buy tires. There are over 12,000 tire stores in the United States. Combined they sell over 200 million tires per year. Some people are looking for the cheapest tires they can find, some are looking for the best performance tires available. No matter what you’re looking for you will find a tire shop here on our website that has what you need.
What information do I need to buy replacement tires for my car?
There are a few things you need to know before calling around for tire prices. Tire shops will want to know the year, make and model of your vehicle. In addition, the same model often has different size tires depending on which tire and wheel package was ordered.
First, take a look at the tires currently on your car and note the information located on the tire sidewall. You will need this information when you start shopping for tires.
Write down the brand of the tires currently on your vehicle. Some tires also have a sub-brand, the Goodyear Eagle tire is such an example. You will find a sequence of letters and numbers on the tire, write these numbers down. See chart at right to see what it all means.
You can also check the tire sticker on the inside driver’s door to see what size tires your car came with from the factory. The information on this tag also gives us the optimum tire air pressure for your vehicle.
How to read tire size on the tire sidewall
For example, when you see P185/75R14 82S:
- The P is for passenger tire. If there was an LT here it would be for light truck, an MS designation is for mud and snow
- 185 millimeters is the width of the tire and 75 is the ratio of the height to the width of the tire
- R is for radial
- The inside diameter of the tire is 14 inches
- 82 is the load ratio, or how much weight the tire is designed to handle
- S is the speed rating (see chart below)
Are you happy with the tires you have now? Maybe your tires are just worn out and need replacement. Maybe you need tires that will give you better control in snowy or icy conditions. Touring tires will have a longer tread life than performance tires, which have softer rubber. No matter what your needs are, it’s best to talk with a tire expert, tell them what type of driving you do and they will help you pick the right tire for your car or truck.
How important is the tire brand?
There are many brands of tires to choose from, every manufacturer makes dozens of styles of tires to meet the needs of driving conditions and type of vehicle. Most brands of tires, including Goodyear and Michelin, have different levels of value in the number of miles the tire is designed to last. There are tires rated for 30,000 miles, 50,000 miles and more. The important thing is that the tire you choose for your car or truck must meet the requirements of your vehicle and driving style.
Mounting and balancing your tires
Most of the tire stores charge for mounting and balancing tires, this is standard. When shopping for tires be sure to ask how much this costs. Expect to pay more for mounting if you have oversize tires and/or custom wheels, especially oversize wheels with low profile sport tires. There could also be an additional charge if you need new valve stems. I’ve always liked the stainless steel valve stems, less chance of failure.
Nitrogen Filled Tires - Do I really need it?
Nitrogen filled tires provide the most consistent pressure available to the everyday driver. Studies reveal that nitrogen increases fuel efficiency by maintaining the tire’s suggested “contact path” with the surface. Tires filled with nitrogen have a longer tread life, improved safety, and reduced tire maintenance.