Car Tires

Guide: How to Choose New Car Tires

How to Choose New Tires for Your Vehicle


Suppose you own a vehicle, whether a truck, car, or van, you should know how to choose new tires suitable for your car. This is one of the most important things you need to see if you own a car because tires carry the total weight of your vehicle. For your information, a regular car weighs around 1.6 tons. If you cannot imagine this weight, you can compare it to the combined weight of 30 people of average build.

Aside from supporting the weight of your vehicle, car tires, together with the suspension system, absorb road shocks. This means that your car tires and suspension system reduce the bumps you feel when driving on rough terrain.

Car tires also help the car to stop when you step on the brakes. In addition, the rough surface of your tires provides traction on an even surface like city streets or open highways.

Choosing the right tires is essential for your car to run smoothly. Below is a list of tips and ideas for choosing new vehicle tires.

Tire sizes

For ordinary people, determining the size of their tires is challenging. As a result, car owners often rely on their mechanics to choose the right tire size. However, knowing how to read tire sizes is essential to choose the right kind of tire for your vehicle.

Tire sizes come in a specific format, including numbers, letters, and slashes. One example of tire size is P185/60R16, where P stands for "passenger" and R for "radial." Almost all tires you buy will have the letter P in the tire size format. The number 185 is the width of the tire measured in millimeters, while 60 is the ratio of the tire's height to its width. Radial corresponds to the tire's inner diameter in inches. It is also the wheel's diameter. Sometimes, the letter R is omitted because all tires are radial. The number 16 is the diameter of the inner tire or the wheel in inches.

You have to understand that tire sizing is not very strict. For example, if the tire size has P225 as the width, it does not matter if you choose P215. Just make sure you choose something that does not differ much from the recommended size.

Most auto shops have a database of car models, brands, and their corresponding tire sizes, among other details and information. You can also use an online wheel/tire calculator, which will give you the recommended size based on a few details about your car that you need to provide.

Weather conditions

You should buy the right kind of tires based on the weather condition. Summer tires are tires that are ideal for, well, summer use. Driving in the rain or snow with summer tires is not advisable. Summer tires are high-performance tires in terms of their grip levels. They are excellent on dry pavement and are ideal for high-speed use. However, they do not last for a long time and have a low rating for treadwear.

If you drive your vehicle all year round, you should consider buying all-season tires. As the name suggests, all-season tires can be used on dry, wet, or icy roads. This means you can use them in summer, during the rainy season, and in winter. Speed and treadwear ratings vary from tire to tire. However, they almost have the exact grip level as summer tires.

There are also all-season tires like light truck tires used for hauling or towing heavy and oversized loads. These are ideal for off-road use but can be used in the summer and winter seasons up to a certain extent.

Snow tires are particular tires that allow you to drive in snowy conditions. The tires are softer and have the right kind of traction that you need for driving on snow. These tires can be expensive, and they come in limited sizes. However, these tires are perfect for vehicles used in snowy areas.

If you live in a place with zero snowfall, you do not need to buy snow tires because you will not have any use for them. On the other hand, if it lightly snows in your area in winter, you should consider buying all-season tires.

Speed rating

A tire's speed rating gives you an idea of how fast you can drive the car using that specific tire. For example, if you drive your car fast, you should use a tire to handle the extra heat caused by friction. High-speed tires can also take low-speed driving. The ratings are indicated by capital letters and found on every tire's side. The speed ratings start with the letter A and end in the letter (Y). Speed ratings W, Y, and (Y) are higher than speed ratings Z. Speed rating A is the lowest.

This is how you read the rating. For instance, the speed rating L corresponds to a maximum of 75 mph or 120 km/h. This means that this is the maximum speed that the tire can safely handle. You cannot go any faster than 75 mph, but you can go slower. The letter Z rating can handle 149+ mph or 240+ km/h. Finally, there is an additional speed rating (Y), which means that the tire can handle a driving speed of 186+ mph or 300+ km/h.

You need to understand that this is not necessarily in alphabetical order, like in the speed rating Z, W, and Y, where Z is the lowest and Y is the highest. Speed rating H is also between U, and V. Specific types of cars require specific speed ratings to maximize the car's efficiency and features. It would help to choose tires with the correct speed rating for your safety.

Road noise

The wrong kind of tires contributes to the car's noise on the road. If you do not want to get uncomfortable stares from other drivers and pedestrians, you should choose the right tires to reduce the road noise your car produces. Generally speaking, tread and rubber composition affect the tires' noise level. The better the traction, the noisier the vehicle will be.

To help you make an intelligent decision when choosing quiet tires, you should go to a tire dealer that offers different tires for other car models and brands. You can also visit a website where you can read reviews written by car owners and manufacturers to give you a better idea about a specific type of tire for your vehicle.

Reducing the noise your tires produce will significantly reduce your stress level when driving. This will also make it easier for you to make quick decisions when going or having a conversation with someone.

Ride quality

There is one crucial factor that affects the ride quality of tires, and that is the profile. According to studies, low-profile tires offer better ride quality. Low-profile tires are those that have a smaller aspect ratio which corresponds to the height of the sidewall. If you go back to the section of this article that discusses the size of tires, the aspect ratio is that number in the middle, right after the slash. The lower the number, the shorter the height of the sidewall. The sidewall is that part of the tire that connects the tread and the bead. This is where you will find information about the tire, such as the manufacturer's name, size, and so on.

Low-profile tires offer better ride quality because they give you better handling and control from the steering wheel. Low-profile tires also improve your car's ability to stop when you step on the brakes, improving your ride quality and safety.

For car enthusiasts, low-profile tires also look much sleeker. Therefore, they are often used on sports cars and other vehicles with oversized wheels like Cadillacs. However, it is still essential to understand your car's needs and not just use tires with a low aspect ratio.

Tire warranty


When buying new tires, it is essential to consider the warranty offered by the dealer or manufacturer. Warranties protect you in case your tires get damaged even when properly installed and used or in case of premature wear.

Before buying tires, you need to ask the dealer if they come with warranty service. You should also ask what type of damage the warranty covers.

All tire manufacturers offer a tread-life warranty to their buyers. Tires have an estimated mileage limit. If you find out that the tread is starting to look worn way before this mileage limit is reached, you may go to your dealer for a replacement. Road hazard warranties include damages caused by sharp objects on the road, like nails or shards of glass. If you get a flat tire because of these road hazards within the duration of your warranty, you can contact the dealer or manufacturer, who will shoulder the repair expenses.

The manufacturer's defect warranty covers damages caused by the manufacturer's error, like poor workmanship or the use of low-quality materials. Reputable manufacturers offer this type of warranty for the tire's whole lifespan.

There is also a promotional warranty where you get to try new tires for a 30-day promotional period. More often than not, this is a get-your-money-back guarantee that attracts customers into purchasing the tire.

Tire manufacturer

Aside from the tire specifications, it is also important to buy tires made by a reputable company. Some good brands of tires are Goodyear and Michelin. They are buying from these manufacturers guarantees that you will get high-quality performance from your tires and choose the right kind of tires for your vehicle. Reputable tire manufacturers have been in the business for many years and keep making tires suitable for different car models and types.

You can read reviews written by car owners and car manufacturers. Car owners will give you an idea of how a specific brand of tires performs. Car manufacturers will also partner with reputable tire companies. These car companies will recommend certain tire brands to their customers because they believe these tires will perform exceptionally when used on their cars. Reputable tire manufacturers also collaborate with car manufacturers in terms of marketing and advertising their products and in terms of their products' engineering.

Aside from reading reviews by customers and car manufacturers, it would help if you also chose a tire manufacturer that offers a warranty for their products. Companies that provide excellent warranty coverage for their products only mean that they believe in their product's quality and performance. Be wary of those tires that are not covered by warranty or have brief coverage periods.

Aside from the manufacturer, it is also important to buy tires from a reputable dealer. The dealer is the one that serves as the middle man between the manufacturer and buyer. You can purchase your tires from local tire dealers, whether a nationwide chain or a small shop owned by a local resident. You can ask the owner or salesperson questions about the tires you are buying and which ones you should choose for your own car.

Aside from your local tire dealer, you can also go to discount tire sellers that sell wholesale tires at low prices. You can also buy tires per piece; the price is still much lower than when you buy them from a regular tire dealer. The only drawback is that these discount retailers usually do not have an offline shop, and you have no choice but to place your order online and wait for the tire to be delivered right to your doorstep.