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Buying New Tires? 5 Factors You Should Be Able To Communicate

When buying new tires, you will find a multitude of choices available. But only a few of those choices will be right for your particular vehicle and driving habits. Choosing the wrong tires can negatively impact traction and safety and can cause you to again be buying new tires much sooner than you would like.

Choosing the right tires requires looking at five critical factors:

  • Size. Tires have to fit both the width and height of the wheel, as well as the diameter that your car’s speedometer and wheel wells are designed to work with. Tire size is given in a format similar to 225/55/R16, where the first number is the width (in millimeters), the second is the sidewall height (as a percentage of the width) and the final number is the diameter of the wheel opening (in inches).
  • Load rating. Each tire can safely carry only a certain amount of weight, and you obviously want a set of tires that can support the weight of your vehicle. The maximum number of pounds a tire is rated for is either explicitly stated on the tire or given as a load index that must be looked up on a chart.
  • Speed rating. A tire’s speed rating is listed as a letter that comes right after the load index and also must be looked up on a chart. Besides being safer at higher speeds, higher speed ratings provide better traction—but also reduce tread life.
  • Tread life. Don’t like buying new tires? Then choose a set that will last a long time. Look for the “tread wear” number; choose tires with a higher number for longer tread life.
  • Tread pattern. Each tread pattern is designed to work best in certain conditions, such as snow or wet weather. Consider where and how you normally drive to choose the best tread design for your needs. You might consider getting one set of tires for winter and another for summer, if you want the best traction possible.

If you have questions about buying new tires, or about the weight and size requirements of your vehicle, contact the experts at NYE Automotive Group.

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