TIRE BUYING GUIDE 2020
Getting ready to purchase tires for your car? This tire buying guide will give you all the information you need to purchase the right tires for your car and your lifestyle. From determining the right time to buy new tires, to making sure you pick the right size and type for your vehicle, the Z Tire Express Tire Buying Guide has you covered.
Z Tire Express Makes it Easy!
WHEN DO I NEED TO BUY NEW TIRES?
Below are the two most common ways to check for worn tires:
1. Penny Test
To test to see if your tread has been worn out, place a penny into the most shallow tread groove with Lincoln’s head facing down. If the top of his head is still visible, then the tire needs to be replaced.
2. Look for the wear bars
The wear bars are the narrow bands that appear in the grooves across the tread of the tire. When the wear bars are even with the depth of the tread, that means that only 2/32-inch of tread is remaining. If you are able to see the wear bars, then you tire needs to be replaced.
HOW DO I PICK THE RIGHT TIRE SIZE?
How to analyze the sidewall
|Speed Rating||Test Speed (Not Recomended Speed)|
|Q||Up to 100 MPH|
|S||Up to 112 MPH|
|T||Up to 118 MPH|
|U||Up to 124 MPH|
|H||Up to 130 MPH|
|V||Up to 149 MPH|
|W||Up to 168 MPH|
|Y||Up to 186 MPH|
|Z||149 MPH and Higher|
HOW MANY TIRES DO I NEED?
Once you have determined that your tires are in need of replacement you can now figure out how many tires to replace. Most people replace tires in sets of two or four. But it is possible for you to replace one tire (if you have a flat) or three tires as well.
When replacing one tire
You are going to want to find an exact match for the damaged or worn tire. That means you want to replace it with the exact brand, model, speed rating and load capacity. (Information about these items is in the next section) If you use a different tire than what was previously on there, you put your vehicle at risk for poor handling, pulling and instability.
When replacing two tires
You are going to want to replace with the same or better-quality tire. It is suggested that you buy two of the same tires when replacing. That way they should wear evenly and perform in line with one another. It is also suggested that you mount the new tires on the rear of the car (if rear wheel drive) or front of your car (if front wheel drive), and move the older tires to the front/rear of the car. This is because the newer tires have a deeper tread which helps with hydroplaning resistance so they can grip the road better than your older tires. You can then steer to compensate for the lower wet traction worn front tires to safely control your vehicle.
When replacing three tires
When replacing three tires, you will want to follow the same rules as replacing two tires. You will want to put the two newer tires in the back and move the older tire to the front. It is best to keep the rear tires the same and the front tires the same. So when replacing three, you want to make sure the two in the rear are the same tire, and that the new one up front is the same as the older tire that is currently on the vehicle. However, if there isn’t much tread life left on the one older tire, it would be best just to replace all four at that point.
When replacing four tires
When replacing four tires
WHAT TIRES BEST MATCH MY DRIVING CONDITIONS?
Worst possible driving conditions
If you use more than one set of tires and wheels; for example summer tires for summer and snow tires for the winter, you can select tires that will exactly meet your needs. However, if you use just one set for every season, you may get great performance under certain conditions but comprise on performance during other conditions. So it is important for you to match your tires based on the worst possible conditions you may expect to encounter.
Typical driving conditions
Balance the worst and the typical
If both conditions seem very similar, one set of tires is all you need. If you infrequently encounter snowy or hazardous conditions, you may want to select an all-season tire, which is the preferred tire type in the South. If your worst conditions appear more frequently you may want to consider two sets of tires.
Types of Tires
What you want to do first, is identify the kind of vehicle you are buying tires for. Or if you are in need of winter tires. Then you will want to choose a tire that best suits your needs.
Passenger tires are the most cost-effective tires available. They have all the main attributes one could look for in a tire; smooth ride, long wear, low noise, etc. However if you are looking for something a little better, but still not as pricey as a sport/luxury car tire, you can opt for a Touring Tire. These tires offer enhanced performance combined with excellent ride quality. They usually have a slightly lower profile and wider tread than an equivalent passenger tire, which helps the Touring Tire to handle and perform better at higher speeds.
The best way to decide which SUV/Truck tire you need is to figure out what you plan on driving on the most: on-highway, on/off highway (all-terrain) and off-highway (off road). On-highway tires have more of a rib tread design and off-highway tires have more of an aggressive blocky or chunky tread design. Make sure you pay attention to load index and speed rating when you choose the tire the best suits your needs.
All-Purpose (AP) Tires
These tires come factory installed on many of today’s vehicles due to their smooth highway ride and good all-season traction.
Sport Truck Tires
The days of studded winter tires seem to be over. But if you drive in winter conditions, you will want a tire that can handle a wide range of winter conditions such as snow, ice, slush, rain to freezing rain, and of course dry highways. Winter tires utilize tread compounds that remain soft and pliable in the cold for reliable snow and ice traction without the need for studs. Please remember that winter tires should be purchased in sets of four.
Tire Buying Guide...
So that about does it. We covered when you need to get new tires, how many tires to purchase, understanding tire sizes, and how to pick a tire for your specific driving conditions. Hopefully we made the process easy enough for you. Don’t forget to check out some of the Tire Brands we carry!
However, if you are ready, come on over to Z Tire Express and buy yourself some sweet new tires! We hope our Tire Buying Guide has helped you out today!