By Matt Hill
While tire replacement is eventually required for any vehicle, it’s not a routine purchase like an oil change or simple tire rotation. In fact, while mileages may vary from vehicle to vehicle and certainly from driving condition to driving condition, the average new tire found on most cars can be expected to last at least 50,000 miles or longer with proper maintenance.
Although price is important, you should also consider your personal driving style, your local climate, and the primary use of your tires. For example, someone who puts 15,000 miles a year on their tires commuting and taking kids to school will have entirely different tire needs than a person who puts 10,000 miles a year on their farm truck driving on dirt roads.
The good news is that we live in an era where all the information you need to transform yourself into an educated tire consumer is right at your fingertips. Of course, it never hurts to find a reputable installer, like a local AAA Car Care Center, with the knowledge to recommend a tire that both fits your budget and ensures you can trust your vehicle’s handling in all conditions.
A good place to start researching tires is with Google. Typing your year, make, and model of vehicle into the search bar along with “new tires” will not only bring up online retailers where you can purchase tires, but will provide links to online tire catalogs which allow you to search for tires by size, by vehicle, or by brand. This way, when you do find a retailer, you’ll do so with a general idea of the kind of tire you want to buy and how much you can expect to pay.
It’s also important to consider the predominant type of driving conditions you expect your tires to handle over the course of their life. For most of us, that means tires that can handle adverse weather conditions (all-season tires), but perhaps you drive a rear-wheel-drive sports car and you want to hug turns more tightly (performance all-season or summer tires). Again, there are tires that complement each style and cater to every driving preference, so it pays to put some thought into your own preferences before you make a quick decision.
All-season tires will be your most cost-efficient option, providing you with long tread life with a comfortable ride and good traction in dry and wet conditions. Most manufacturers offer several lines of quality all-season tires, so you shouldn’t have a problem finding one that suits your budget.
Moving up from there, performance all-season tires offer the same benefits as regular all-season tires, but with improved braking, handling and steering in wet conditions.
If you drive a truck or SUV, all-terrain tires will not only provide reliable handling on pavement, but can also handle some off-road applications, as well as towing things like boats or garden trailers with ease.
Once you’ve done some research online, have a couple tire makes and models you’re considering and feel that you’ve got a good grasp on the price you can expect to pay, all that’s left is for you to do is find a retailer and installer you trust to get you set up for the road ahead.
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