Do you know the most important safety feature on your car? Hint: It’s your tires, which provide the only connection between the road and your vehicle. And, without the right tires installed, features like electronic stability control and anti-lock brakes are more or less a moot point.
But while driving on a reliable set of tires is critical to motorist and passenger safety, most of us don’t really understand them. With that in mind, here are a few common questions about tire buying, along with some advice you might find helpful, when it’s time to buy a new set for your own car.
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Do Tire Brands Matter?
To keep it short and simple, “yes.” In particular, poorly-designed and cheap tires offer less control and require increased stopping distances in emergencies. Conversely, name-brand tires, like those sold by Toyo, offer a consistent level of quality compared to other non-brand or cheaply-made options. Remember, when it’s time to buy a new set of tires for your vehicle, be sure to look for ones stamped with an A or AA rating.
Is it OK to Purchase Just One Tire?
Keep in mind new tires grip the road better than those that have been driven on for tens of thousands of miles. With that in mind, experts suggest replacing all four tires at the same time. Now, if that’s not in the cards for whatever reason, your next best option is to replace them in pairs, with the newest ones installed on the rear of your vehicle.
Doing this will help your car retain predictability and stability, whereas you’ll have a higher likelihood of spinning out of control when driving on older, balder tires. Additionally, rotating your tires every 5,000 to 7,000 miles can help prolong their lifespan and ensure all four wear evenly.
How Do You Extend the Life of a Tire?
Just because you’ve purchased new tires recently doesn’t mean they no longer require maintenance. In addition to rotating your tires regularly, checking your tire pressure on a routine basis is essential to prolonging their life. Checking your alignment can also benefit your tires.
In addition to these practices, one of the simplest ways to extend the lifespan of your tires is by driving responsibly. For example, avoid taking corners and curves at high speeds, as well as hitting curbs and potholes. Also, keep in mind abrupt braking and accelerating causes excessive heat that can quickly create worn tires.
Do Different Cars Require Different Tires?
Most vehicles sold today come standard with all-season tires. These tires are equipped to handle a variety of road conditions, but not all. If you live somewhere that regularly experiences cold climates or severe weather conditions, investing in all-season tires may not be the best option.
If this is the case, you’ll instead need to outfit your vehicle with winter tires that can stand up to freezing temperatures and severe road conditions. Additionally, trucks may require all-terrain or off-road tires. Truthfully, it’s all dependent on where you travel and the type of driving you do on a regular basis.
Your tires are the most important safety feature on your vehicle. From knowing the different types of tires on the market to extending tire lifespan, these tips can ensure you’re in for a safe ride.