Sep
09

A Basic Guide to Buying Tires

Author // NPR Car Talk
Posted in // Car check engine raleigh, Check engine light raleigh, Lexus repair raleigh

Honda auto repair

As it gets closer to fall, many drivers will be checking their tires and wondering whether they’ll make it through the winter. Often, consumers try to put the expense of replacement off till spring. But since dry traction increases and wet traction decreases as tires wear out, autumn is actually the best time of year to replace tires. Here’s a brief guide on how to buy new tires:

Decoding Tires
If you’re looking at tire options, you’ll probably find a string of numbers that mean nothing to you. They might look like this: P195/60R15 87S. What does this mean, and what does it tell you about how to buy new tires for your car? The first letter indicates what type of vehicle the tire is intended for (in this case, passenger, though you might also see LT for light truck). The three-digit number that follows indicates the width of the tire in millimeters. The number after the slash identifies the aspect ratio of the sidewall to the entire tire. The next letter tells you what the tire is constructed of, and the one- or two-digit number following that indicates the diameter of the wheel (in inches) the tire is designed for.

The next number is the load index for the tire. Make sure your new tire can carry at least the same capacity as your old tire. The final number is the speed rating of the tire, which refers to its ability to dissipate or prevent heat buildup. Since driving faster (as on the highway) creates more heat, you’ll need a higher speed rating if you frequently drive on the highway or take long car trips.

Assessing Your Needs
The easiest way to get the right tire is to make a list of your habits and preferences and then talk to a professional. Do you prefer a smoother ride? Do you load heavy things into your vehicle? Do you do a lot of highway driving? What are the weather conditions you usually encounter? How important is fuel economy to you? Tires can be selected to help your vehicle meet your specific needs.

Where to Buy Tires
Going to a dealer for tires can cost twice as much as heading to your neighborhood auto body shop. Wherever you go, make sure that the mechanics are familiar with the make and model of car you drive, as well as what tires you can be choosing from.

Finally, remember that learning how to buy new tires properly and practicing good tire maintenance are just part of making sure your vehicle is safe to drive: Recent research shows that more than 3/4 of cars on the road need repairs. Further research shows that 18% of cars surveyed needed more brake fluid and 15% had low or contaminated power steering fluid, both of which contribute to unsafe driving conditions. Moreover, the overall health of your vehicle affects the lifespan of your tires, so committing to regular maintenance is just good sense and can save you money in the long run. Visit here for more.

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