Is there anything worse than getting a flat? It doesn’t matter if it’s 99 degrees or 10 below. Either way, it can be a real pain to get out and change. One way to avoid this situation is to always keep an eye on your tires. A quick inspection can help you determine if it’s time to buy a new set. In this article we’ll discuss what you should look for when inspecting your tires and buying a new set of tires.
A quick glance at your tires, as you get in the vehicle, isn’t enough. You need to really inspect them to determine if you need a new set. Start out by looking for any flat spots. These flat spots can occur if you hit your brakes too fast, while trying to avoid that cute little squirrel that likes to play chicken. To get the best view, you will need to move your car just a little bit so you can see all the way around the tires. Next, check for any rubbing on the outside wall. It happens to the best of us, you rush to leave the parking lot and bam, you scrub the curb. This can have a huge impact on the lifespan of your tires. While these areas of the tires may be easy to see, you also need to look at the inside wall. You can turn your wheels or crawl under your car for a better look. If your tires are wearing on the inside edge, but look fine everywhere else, you not only need new tires, but an alignment as well. Last, but not least, check the tread. Get out your trusty penny and stick Lincoln in there upside down. If you can still see his head, you need new tires.
What Kind of Tires Do You Need?
There are tires created for all sorts of climates. If you live in the northeast, you may want to consider investing in snow and ice and good weather tires. It may be a pain to have them switched out twice a year, but you’ll be safer. If you live out on the west coast, good weather tires are going to be your best bet. For most people though, all weather tires are the best choice. In other words, your region’s climate will play a huge role in which tires you select.
Buying a Quality Set
There is something you should look for no matter what quality the tires are and that’s the date code. Manufacturers don’t make it easy for consumers to determine how old a set of tires is. In fact, they use a Tire Identification Code. The code consists of letters and numbers and will vary depending on when the tire was made. Tires made before 2000 will have their manufacturer’s date listed in the last three numbers. Tires made after 2000 use four numbers. For example, if the number reads 518, the tires were manufactured during the 51st week of 1998. If the code reads 2208, they were made during the 22nd week of 2008. It pays to understand these numbers. Shops have been known to keep tires on their shelves longer than they should. Old sets could be dry rotted and will tear apart on the highway.
When looking for high quality tires, you will want to consider your type of vehicle. This will help you determine which features best suit your needs. For example, SUV drivers may want tires that resist cuts and tears from rocks. But, there is one feature every car owner should look for and that’s the tread life of the tires. High quality companies will offer a warranty that the tires will last throughout the specified tread life. For example, the tires may have a tread life of 50,000 miles. Last, but not least, shop with a company that offers free rotation after so many miles. It’s a small expense, but it’s the sign of a great company. Speaking of great companies, you can’t go wrong with Goodyear, Michelin, and Firestone.