Tire shopping guide

A tire is a covering that is ring shaped fitted around a wheel to shield it. It allows vehicles to perform better since it provides a flexible cushion for absorbing shock. It also keeps the wheel in contact with the ground. Many of us want to buy the cheapest wheels on the market but they are not always the best. When purchasing a tire, buy one that is fitting for your wheel. For vehicles with Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems, its usually difficult to plus size your wheels. Its also more expensive. This however should not necessarily affect the kind of tire purchased. When purchasing a tire, check the:

Manufacturers instructions
Look for the tire placard in the vehicle. Here, the manufacturer guides you on the best tires for your vehicle. The manufacturer gives you the size, tire pressures, seating capacity, amount of load it should carry and the speed limit. Before purchasing the tire, list down the make and specifications from the manufacturer, what roads you use, what brand you want and whether you want to change it, whether you are a fast or slow driver and how much money you are willing to spend.

Type of tire
Type of tire you buy is determined by the weather and location you live. The best tires are usually the all-season tires; they are convenient on any type of road. Ensure the tires you are buying fit the dimensions of your wheel. This can be checked on the sidewalls of your tire or on the manual.

Sidewall tips
Check out the brand, size and design of your tires if you are replacing them. The first 3 numbers on the sidewall represent the width of the tire in millimeters. The next two represent the aspect ratio, that is, the ratio between the height and the width of the tire. The letter that follows represents the diameter of the wheel. The next numbers represent the amount of weight the tire can carry. The last letter represents the speed at which the tire should move.

Age of tires
Make sure you do not buy old tires by checking the age on the tire. Its usually denoted by DOT and four numbers. The first two numbers denote the week the tires were made. The last two numbers represent the year the tires were made. Remember also that tires with high mileage last longer.

There are many different dealers selling tires so before buying, window shop for the best discounts. Look for sales persons that are knowledgeable, ready to help and with the best price. If you cannot afford to replace the four tires at once, always put the new tires at the rear. If you can afford all four wheels at once, the better. Also choose a retailer who provides free rotation as you purchase the tires. New tires do not necessarily need alignment always. Remember to rotate your wheels every once in a while to allow for even wear.