How to Choose the Right Car Tires
When you walk into your nearby Les Schwab tires, you’re bound to notice the sights and smell of new tires. We have rows of them to choose from. But how do you know how to choose the right car tires, especially when you’re trying to find a balance between performance, noise, comfort, wear, fuel economy, and cost?
Of course, when you drive a car you will be choosing a different set of tires than if you drive a truck, an SUV, or any off-roading type vehicle. But there are still a ton of options available to you when it comes to car tires alone.
Choosing the right car tires starts by asking yourself five questions about what you drive, how you drive, and what you need in a new set of tires.
Five Questions to Ask When Choosing New Car Tires
Question 1: What car do you drive?
This is a big factor in choosing the type of tires you need for your car. While the right tires for a 4-door sedan might look similar to those on other vehicles, every car has specific manufacturer recommendations for replacement tires. These can include load carrying capacity, traction ratings, speed ratings, and more. Take a look at your owner’s manual or consult the door-jamb sticker found on the inside of the driver’s side door.
Check out our Performance tires, including Ultra-High Performance and Summer Tires.
Question 2: Where do you drive your car?
Do you mainly drive to and from work? Are you on the highway a lot, traveling at high speeds? Do you face any rain, snow, or ice? Do you take your car on gravel roads very often? A tire’s tread can tell you a lot about what it is designed to do and help you decide which are the best tires for you.
If you experience rain and snow, the special tread compound found in all-weather tires or the design of an all-season tire can give you more grip. If you’re on the highway a lot, performance and ultra-high performance tires help provide better control and braking at high speeds.
Question 3: Do you value comfort, quiet, or both?
Tire noise can be minimized with a narrower tire and shorter tread blocks. Check out our article Want Quiet Tires? Look for These Features, for more. When you’re craving more comfort, you should look for specially constructed tires to minimize the amount of road you feel.
Question 4: Do you like to save money?
Some tires are designed to maximize fuel efficiency. While you might pay more for these types of tires, you could save money at the pump depending on how you drive.
A more certain way to save money is to choose a set of tires with a long tread life and a lower cost per mile. The longer you go before replacing them, the more you will save overall. Finally, there are lower cost, standard touring tires that can save you money today.
Les Schwab Tip: to help your tires last longer, avoid taking curves and corners too fast, avoid abrupt braking and acceleration, try not to hit curbs and potholes, and keep your tires properly inflated.
Question 5: Do you value longevity or performance?
Tread life can be directly correlated to the type of tire. All-season tires can often have a longer tread life than a set of ultra-high performance tires designed to hug the surface of the road and give you more control in corners and straightaways.
There are Trade-Offs to Consider
When it comes to choosing between comfort, control and traction, tire life, fuel economy, and cost in your tires, it’s a game of give and take. If you want more comfort, you will likely need to give up some top-end performance (if you drive a sports car). To achieve fuel economy, it might minimize some of the tire’s life or traction. The pros at Les Schwab can help you decide what is most important to you and help you narrow the options based on your budget and needs.
Final Thoughts on Choosing the Right Tires
Stop by today and our pros will ask you all the right questions to help find the right tires for your vehicle. You’ll get our best tire value promise and the peace of mind knowing that your new tires are designed to keep you safe, whether you’re commuting to work, driving to a campsite, or enjoying a drive in the country.
See Next: How to Choose the Right Truck Tires
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