Guide to Buying Tires
When you need tires
- Check whether your tires need to be changed by checking the tread depth every 3,000 miles. Check the depth by sliding a penny into the tire groove upside down, with Lincoln's face towards you. If you can see all of Lincoln's head then you need to replace the tires.
Find out the size of your current tire by checking its sidewall. Tires generally have two numbers that identify the tire width and the aspect ratio. On most tires these numbers have the formats P### and ##R##. The sequence starting with P indicates the tire width, and the sequence containing the R indicates the aspect ratio.
What type of tires
- Choose the correct tire type for your car and driving habits. Consider when you normally drive your car and in what conditions. There are several types of tires, including all-season tires, winter tires, those better for wet conditions and those more appropriate for dry, hot areas. Choosing the correct tire for the conditions you drive in will not only extend the life of your tires but also prevent accidents due to traction issues. Knowing the exact conditions in which you will most often be driving will help a retailer in choosing the correct tire for you.
How many tires
- It is recommended that you buy a new tire for each wheel of the car to prevent uneven wearing of the tires. Having tires that are unevenly worn can cause new tires to wear faster, and unevenly as well. Mixing new and old tires will also affect the car's alignment. If you cannot afford four new tires, buy two instead and make sure that they are installed on the vehicle's rear axle. Having the new tires installed at the back of the vehicle will prevent it from fishtailing during wet conditions and help the car grip the road better.
When purchasing your new tires make sure to check what kind of warranty the retailer or manufacturer offers. Check whether the first tire rotation is included with the price of the tire, and find out what kinds of defects will get you a new tire free of charge.