Matters When Choosing Tires
are extremely important to your vehicle's performance and safety. After all, it
is only those four patches of rubber that connect you to the road.
you check tire pressure, which of course you do every week, make sure there is
enough tread on the tire to operate safely and that the tires are wearing normally.
All grooves should be visible and you can check the tread using a Lincoln-head
penny. Insert the penny, head first, into the most worn part of the tire. If the
tread is not deep enough to at least touch the top of Lincoln's head, it's time
to replace your tires. If you see the treadwear warning bars across the tire,
it's way past time to replace that tire.
this is the first time you've ever replaced those tires, the most important place
to start is to replace your current tires with tires of the type and same size.
Having the right size tire is the most critical element affecting the ride comfort
and safe handling of your car.
that are too large could cause serious handling and steering problems," said
John Buettner, director of Technical Services, Tire Association of North America.
do you find that information? Start by studying the writing on the wall, the sidewall
of your current tires, that is. Embossed on the side of every tire is important
information regarding the tire and its size. It's contained in a series of nine
numbers and letters, such as P215/65R15. "P" means a passenger-car tire.
Light-truck tires have the letters LT, instead of P, preceding the size designation.
However, most light pickups, sport-utility vehicles and vans use passenger-car
tires. The next three digits "215" are the tire's cross-section width
in millimeters. Pay special attention to the two numbers listed before the letter
"R." These two numbers designate the tire's aspect ratio — the ratio
of the height to the width of the tire. For example, a tire with the size designation
of P215/65R15 has an aspect ratio of 65, meaning the tire is 65 percent high as
it is wide. "R" means a radial tire, which is virtually the only tire
design sold today. The next two digits, 15, are the diameter of the wheel on which
the tire fits, in inches.
important to double check this information, especially if you have bought a used
car. Used cars could have the wrong size tires because the previous owner may
not have followed the manufacturer's tire recommendations. You can find the information
in the owner's manual, the placard which is typically located on the door jamb,
glove box or inside of the fuel filler door. Although there are many categories
of tires, most likely your vehicle came with "all-season" radial tires.
important to replace all four tires at the same time to maintain the traction
balance from front to rear. If you are on a budget and thinking of buying only
two tires "consult your tire expert and or vehicle manufacturer for best
position for your type of vehicle. This may differ but as a rule they should go
on the axle that is driving the vehicle. However, this can vary according to
type of vehicle" said Buettner.