Victoria Car & Vehicle Maintenance - Tires & Wheels - Tire Buying Checklist
Tire Buying Checklist
Regardless of where you get new tires, there are some things to keep in mind:
- Know the size and type of tire recommended by your Owner's Manual.
- Determine your needs and priorities, based on type of driving and your preference for a softer or firmer ride.
- Make sure you purchase a tire that is capable of supporting the load and driving your vehicle might demand. Don't buy a passenger-car tire if you need a light-truck tire.
- Don't buy more tire than you need. Don't let an overly aggressive salesman upgrade your tire needs from what is recommended in the Owner's Manual.
- Selecting the right tire balances ride quality, noise suppression, fuel economy, wear, load capability, and cost. Use the tire-store expert's recommendation to select a tire that is the right balance of each.
- The automotive after-market industry is pushing "plus sizing," which involves mounting bigger wheels and tires on a vehicle to enhance the look or improve handling. You get better cornering response and traction at the expense of a harsher ride. This can also understate speedometer speeds and car mileage (speeding ticket anyone?)
- The new wheel and tire combination should be within 3% +/- the original tire diameter.
- Make sure that the tire and wheel are approved for use on your vehicle.
- Make sure that the replacement tire has the same load-carrying capacity.
- Make sure that a new tire placard is installed to inform future owners of the correct tire pressure.