If you need to get new tires for your car you certainly want to find the best rated tires out there both for ride comfort and safety, not to mention cost. Finding the best tires can be a tricky task if you don’t know exactly what to look for. Simply looking for the best rated tires is only half the job as even the best rated tires vary in capability and value. The trick is knowing exactly how to decide which are truly the best tires for you based on your car, your predominant weather and even your driving style. Read on to learn how to decipher some of the specs you’ll see when looking at the best rated tires.
The procedure for getting the best tires, simply put, consists of the following steps..
- Decide on how many tires you need
- Decide what size you want
- Decide what type is best for you
- Decide on what speed rating you need
- Interpret the ratings to find the best tires
Pretty simple, just go through each step and narrow your choices down until you find one or two tires that you can decide on.
Let’s go through each of these steps.
Decide if you will get 1, 2 or 4 tires. Maybe you only need one tire because of a flat, check the treads on the tires and see which should be replaced. If only one or two tires need to be replaced and the others still have good tread left then go ahead and get one or two tires. Two things though, make sure the replacement tires are in the same class as the other tires, I’ll explain about class later on, and the new tires should always go on the rear.
Once you’ve decided on the number of tires you need to determine the size to get. Obviously choosing the same size as the original tires is a good move. Now, it’s popular today to get ‘low profile’ tires because they look good. Make sure though that the new tires are designed to handle the weight of your vehicle. Also, just about every vehicle today relies on it’s on board computer to control traction. Don’t deviate by more than 5% when it comes to tire size. SUVs on the other hand are generally designed to allow up to 15% oversize tires.
After you know the number and size of tires you want you should then decide on the type; all-season, high performance or snow tires. Generally choose the tire based on the harshest weather you’ll encounter. It’s also common to own two sets, winter tires and all season. Do not use snow tires in the summer since the softer rubber will wear down remarkably quickly.
Now that you know the number, the size and type of tire you want the next step is to decide on the speed rating. The ratings are S, T, U, H, V, W, Y and Z which represents the maximum speed you can go and still have a comfortable, smooth and safe ride. Seriously, if you exceed the speed rating for an extended period of time there’s a very real chance of a blow out. We’ve all seen tire scraps on the side of the highway so this happens to people.
Now, after going through the above steps you should be narrowed down to two or three different tires. Finding the best tires for you will depend on interpreting the individual ratings based on how you drive and your local weather. Take a look at the following spec sheet. It’ll list how the tire performs in different areas. Knowing your local weather can help you decide how important both snow and wet weather performance is.
As you can see this particular tire is fantastic in snow/wet weather, ride comfort is a bit low though. Use ratings like this to compare the two or three tires you’re considering to make your final choice.
If you still can’t decide lets look at cost/value. A little trick you can use is to divide the cost per tire by the expected mileage, this will give you the cost per mile. You can make your final decision based on this.
Filed Under: Cars