We are often asked these two questions: When do you need to replace your car tires? And when you need to replace your tires, how do you pick the right tires for your car? We put together this very short Post to answer these questions for members of our Community.
Tires are one of the most important parts of the car. Despite their importance, many people neglect their maintenance and replace them only after they have become dangerously unsafe. In fact, a study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) showed that 9% of crashes in the US involved a vehicle with a tire issue before the crash. We can relate. During college, our Chief Scientist decided against spending $300 to replace his bald rear tires. While driving to the grocery store on a rainy day, the rear end of his car swung out around the corner and slammed into a curb, causing $2,300 worth of damage. You know what would have prevented that? $300 worth of new tires. Again, do as we say…
There are lots of issues to consider when preparing to replace your tires. Although this is not a tire selection guide, we offer a few important tips that will help you find the right set of tires for your car if you care about Driving2Save. (If you are looking for the stickiest, least-durable, dry-weather-only performance tire, this Post is not for you). We wrote this brief FAQ to give you a very quick overview of the process. If you want more information, please visit the NHTSA and review its detailed Tires page.
How do you check your tires?
At Driving2Save.com, we explain the easiest way to check and maintain tire pressure. You should also monitor the tread depth on your tires when you check your tire pressure.
When should you replace your tires?
In general, tires should be replaced when they have 2/32 of an inch left of tread and they should be replaced with tires that are of equal or better quality than what the manufacturer specifies. Also, if the sides of the tires are cracked or there are visible bulges, consider having a tire expert inspect them to be safe.
There are so many different kinds of tires, how do you pick?
Most tires generally fall within these categories: summer performance, all-season, and winter. Within each category, there are many subcategories, such as performance all-season. All-season tires fit most people’s driving needs.
In recent years, manufacturers have introduced low rolling resistance tires (LRRTs) that feature an ECO compound that helps reduce rolling resistance and thus reduces fuel consumption. In some cases, LRRTs can save you 1-2 MPG. We encourage everyone to look at LRRTs, but especially those drivers who do a lot of commuting or highway driving.
Which tire you should pick depends on your driving conditions, vehicle type and where you live. You should also consider warranty and lifespan. It is very expensive to replace tires every 18-24 months.
At Driving2Save, we love driving, but also care about the environment and our pocketbooks. Therefore, we look for the best blend of all-season performance and fuel economy savings, such as the Hankook Ventus S1 Noble2. Other highly rated and fuel efficient tires include Continental PureContact and the Michelin Premier A/S.
Where can I get these tires?
Most tire retailers carry the brands noted above and other LRRT manufacturers. You can also order tires online and have them shipped to a certified installer using TireBuyer.com (which takes the hassle out of ordering tires online). Or you can use Amazon and ship them to your home or your preferred mechanic.
If Amazon or another company delivers tires to me, how do I install them?
Tire installations are meant for professionals with the rights tools, so please don’t try this at home! Many tire retailers and car dealer service departments will happily install tires for you.