These 4 Tips Can Save You Some Trouble When Buying New Tires

To protect your vehicle and its occupants, it is essential to regularly maintain the tires on your car and replace them when they begin to show signs of age and deterioration. When you have reliable tires on your vehicle, you don’t have to worry about unnecessary flats or blowouts, ensuring you get to your intended destination safely.

With so many choices on the market of differing sizes, performance grades, and price points, it is often difficult to determine the best tire for your specific vehicle. If the tire tread is wearing out or your vehicle is experiencing poor handling, it may be time to replace your tires. But, before you do, there are four things to keep in mind that can make buying new tires easier.

1. Cheap tires aren’t always better or safer

A group of Good Year tires laid out, possibly for people buying new tires.
Good Year tires | Getty Images

Tires are essential to your vehicle and protect you from road imperfections and obstructions. While it may be tempting to purchase cheap tires, the decision could cost you much more in the long run. Tires that have poor performance ratings and low-quality tread can result in dangerous conditions.

Safety concerns aside, cheap tires are not durable and will need to be replaced more frequently, eliminating any cost savings experienced on the original purchase.

Also, buying new tires that are not the right fit for your car can lower gas mileage and not have the capability to reduce road noise often found with higher-end tires.

Investing in a good set of tires will ensure your vehicle has the traction needed during inclement weather and when encountering hazardous road conditions. Keeping you and your passengers safe while traveling is more important than saving a few dollars on sub-par tires.

2. Age matters when buying new tires

Over time, tires begin to wear out, especially in areas that experience high temperatures and extreme heat. According to Access Auto Insurance, most manufacturers recommend replacing tires after six years, regardless of their condition.

Before investing in a new set of tires, it’s essential to check the manufacturing date to ensure you are getting a tire that will last. The age code can be found imprinted on the rubber. It is a four-digit number followed by a letter sequence that begins with DOT. The numbers indicate the week and year of production. For example, 1222 means the 12th week of 2022.

3. Choosing the right size when buying new tires

It is imperative to buy new tires designed for your specific vehicle. Consider your most frequent driving conditions and select tires that offer the best performance, traction, ride comfort, and handling to meet your needs. 

Always consult your owner’s manual to determine the proper size tire for your car’s make and model. The sidewall of a tire will have a sequence of numbers to indicate the type, width, aspect ratio, style, and wheel diameter.

Never attempt driving on a tire that is not fitted correctly to your vehicle. If you must drive on a spare (donut), get the tire replaced as soon as possible to ensure optimal performance and safety.

4. Warranty

Most automakers advertise tire warranties that cover between 50,000 to 100,000 miles. While this may appear generous, it is important to read the fine print on any warranty offer. Most companies will not cover the cost of repair or replacement for tires that show premature wear or signs of neglect.

Most warranties require vehicle owners to prove they rotated and aligned their tires every 5,000 to 7,500 miles, kept them properly inflated, and followed a routine maintenance plan designated by a predetermined set of guidelines. We recommend keeping all service records to ensure a warranty is honored.

RELATED: Do You Have to Replace All 4 Tires at Once?