Tire Shopping Tips: What You Should Know Before You Replace Your Tires

Tire Shopping Tips: What You Should Know Before You Replace Your Tires

With all the options available, shopping for new tires can feel overly complex at times. Tires come in various sizes and types, not to mention options like performance, all-terrain, all-season, low-profile, winter, and summer tires, each with a wide range of speed ratings. 

When searching for standard tires, it is important to consider certain factors. Prioritize tires with favorable ratings for handling and braking performance, as well as resistance to hydroplaning. If several tire models meet these requirements, it’s recommended to choose the one with the lowest rolling resistance. Here are some more tips to ensure you get the best tires for your needs. 

Do You Need to Replace Your Tires?

Before buying new tires, you should determine whether they’re actually needed. For example, if your car has been pulling to one side, slipping on the road, or having difficulty braking, the issue may not be worn tires. Sometimes, the issue can be as simple as adding air to underinflated tires or getting an alignment.

To determine whether your tires need to be replaced, you can perform a quick and easy test. Take a penny with Abraham Lincoln’s head facing downwards and insert it into the area of the tire with the most wear. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, it’s time to purchase new tires. Some tire experts recommend using a quarter instead of a penny for this test, but either one will give you a good idea of whether you should replace your tires. 

It’s always recommended to replace your tires before they become too worn. Overly worn or bald tires don’t have sufficient tread to grip the road and can pose a serious safety risk for you and other drivers. In addition, being proactive with your tires can help you save money and allow you to avoid settling for whatever tires are available after a sudden blowout. Instead, you can shop around and find the right tires for your needs and budget. 

It’s also important to understand that although most tires wear out before they get too old, they’re only considered safe for a number of years. Although they don’t have an official expiration date, the compounds in the synthetic rubber break down over time, putting older tires at greater risk of damage and blowouts. If your tires are more than five years old, they should be inspected; if they’re more than 10 years old, it’s best to have them replaced. 

Choosing the Right Tires

To select the right size tires for your car, you can refer to:

  • The placard inside the door jamb
  • The owner’s manual
  • The sidewall of your current tires

It’s always best to replace all four tires at the same time for optimal performance and safety—but if you do need to replace a single tire, make sure to select tires that are similar to your current tires and install new tires on the rear axle only, regardless of which wheels drive the vehicle. This will ensure you have good road traction in slippery conditions. Mismatched tires can compromise handling and performance and even damage the powertrain in all-wheel vehicles. 

If you have a four-wheel drive vehicle, however, it’s important to replace all four tires at the same time because all tires need to have the same rolling diameter to avoid binding and wheel hop between the front and rear axles.

Visit EuroCar Service for All Your Tire Needs

Choosing the wrong tires can affect how your car handles—and it can be a waste of money, so consult with your technician to ensure you’re getting the right size, type, and grade for your driving needs. We can also help you balance load requirements, performance, durability, and cost. For tire services, maintenance, and repairs, EuroCar Service has you covered! We specialize in all European vehicles, including BMWAudiLand RoverMercedesMini-CooperSaabJaguarVolkswagenVolvoSmart Car, and Fiat! Call us today at (206) 527-8828 or request an appointment online.