Every driver eventually needs to buy new tires. For the average person this purchase is so rare that it’s difficult to really know which is the best passenger car tires to get. If you go out and read car tire reviews you’re 1/2 way there, although tire reviews will certainly point you towards some of the best passenger car tires available they won’t tell you if they are truly the best one for you. Read on to learn how to decide which are the best passenger car tires for you to buy.
First off you’ll need to decide how many tires you need. It’s not automatically four, especially if you’re replacing a tire because of a flat. Here’s a tip though, if you’re not replacing all four make sure the tires you get are the same class as what you have on your car now. Also, if you’re replacing two tires make sure they go on the drive axle.
Once you know how many you need to get you need to decide on what size to get. Obviously if you’re only getting 1 or 2 tires you’ll want to get the same size but if you’re getting four you do have the option of getting a different size. It’s popular these days to get low profile tires, I have to admit they do look good but there are considerations. You really need to make sure the new tires can handle the weight of your vehicle, it’ll be listed on the tire specs page. Also, many people don’t realize that today’s modern vehicles are all computerized and using a different size tire can affect things like mileage, traction control and even the speedometer. Check this out before you get different size tires. Generally speaking a car can deviate by about 5% with no problems while an SUV can go up to 15%. Now for me I deviated in width, my car had traction issues in rain and snow so I went with new tires 2 inches wider that the original ones, more rubber on the road as it were.
Once you know how many tires you need and the size you want to get you need to decide what type to get. There are all season tires, snow tires, high performance and ultra high performance.
Here’s a quick simple breakdown of what this means..
all season tires are just that, good for all seasons. Take note that these tires won’t excel at anything, they’re adequate. Personally I don’t use all season tires.
Snow tires. Once again, pretty self explanatory, these are wonderful in the snow, not so good on dry pavement. You can’t use snow tires all year round since the softer rubber will wear down extremely quickly on dry pavement.
High performance tires, these are great for dry summer driving. low noise and great handling, horrible in snow and not so great in rain. I have these on my car about 9 months out of the year and switch to snow tires in December.
Ultra high performance tires. Once again, these excel in dry weather but suck in the snow. These tires use harder rubber than all season tires so they are downright dangerous in the snow, they’re also a bit noisier than all season tires. They do however give you incredible handling and traction.
Now it’s entirely acceptable to use all season tires year round, lots of people do. But if you’re a bit skittish about driving in the winter it’ll really make a difference if you use snow tires for winter driving. Make sure you put your all season tires back on in March or so.
The last thing to decide is the speed rating of the tires you want to get. The ratings are S,T,U,H,V,W,Y and Z. These ratings determine the maximum safe speed you can drive the tire at, go over this and there is a real chance of bursting the tire.
Now, here’s a little trick to determine what the true cost is of some of the best passenger car tires you’ll find out there. Divide the cost of the tire by the expected mileage and you’ll get a cost per mile. Most tires hover around 1.5 cents per mile, use this formulat to help you make the decision between two similar tires.
Filed Under: Cars