So You Need New Tires? Where Do You Start?

Apr 12, 2017

We know tires are the things on your car that make contact with the road, but do they actually affect performance? Very much so. Tires influence how quickly a vehicle can stop, how smooth and quiet a ride is, how accurately a vehicle can make turns, and more. So having a good, reliable set of tires can transform a vehicle in more ways than one. So we sat down with some tire experts to get answers to some of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to tires. Check out their responses below! 

01. How can a car owner tell when it’s time to purchase new tires?

Monro Muffler Brake, Inc 

Bad tires might cause your car to handle differently—vibrate or pull to one side. Usually, though, it’s up to you to check your tires periodically for signs of damage, wear, and deterioration. Cuts anywhere on a tire can’t be safely repaired. The same is true for punctures in the sidewall and holes in the center tread that are larger than ¼ inch in diameter. 

The tire industry has long emphasized the consumers’ role in the regular care and maintenance of their tires. (Tire care and service manuals are available from RMA on its website, 

02. Depending on where you live is it smart to have different tires for summer and winter?


Many manufacturers make tires that are designated as “All Season.” If your vehicle takes a tire size that doesn’t give that option, summer and winter tires are a good idea. 

03. How can different types of tires affect car performance?

Express Oil Change & Tire Engineers

 A soft tire has great traction and handling and you will find this in an Ultra High Performance(UHP) tire.  Unfortunately, the longevity is minimal.  If one changes to a tire that will last longer, the traction and handling of the vehicle will decrease significantly.  If one changes to a tire that is “Off Road,” the tire will not ride as quietly as a highway tread tire, but looks more aggressive and performs much better in gravel and other non-paved surfaces.  This is commonly done on four wheel drive trucks because of application.  

The tires components and construction will determine the feedback and performance of the vehicle. The manufacture places a plaque inside the drivers doorframe, which contains the correct tire size, performance rating and load rating for the vehicle. This is the optimum tire for the vehicle. 

04. What are the most important factors when purchasing new tires?

Monro Muffler Brake, Inc. 

The number one factor is how you intend to use your vehicle. With a daily driver, for example, safety might be your top consideration, but for a commuter car, a smooth, quiet ride. Work, tow and off road vehicles require tougher tread, stiffer sidewalls, and heavier load ratings than light duty trucks or SUVs that stay primarily on pavement. Geography and driving season are additional variables. Motorists in New England often run two sets of tires—touring tires in summer and snow tires in winter. Dedicated winter tires are manufactured with a softer, stickier rubber that maintains grip in temperatures below 45 degrees. Stopping distances on snowy pavement with winter tires are considerably shorter with winter tires, even on bare pavement, than with all-season or summer tires. And, of course, winter tires are designed with snow tread. Look for the mountain snowflake emblem on the tire sidewall.

05. What affects how long your tire tread lasts for?

Express Oil Change & Tire Engineers

Regular maintenance on tire pressure, alignment, and tire rotation are basic items that must be done regularly.  In addition it is wise to obtain thorough vehicle inspection during these services to make sure all steering and suspension components are at OEM requirements.

06. How often should a spare tire be replaced?


Tires should be removed from service for several reasons, including tread worn down to minimum depth, signs of damage (cuts, cracks, bulges, vibration, etc.) or signs of abuse (under inflation, overloading, etc.). That is why it is recommended to have tires, including spares, inspected regularly. A monthly maintenance inspection, for which the consumer must be primarily responsible, should focus on proper inflation pressure, tread wear and tire damage. 

07. Do you have to replace all four tires at once? Why or why not?

Monro Muffler Brake, Inc.

It depends. With four-wheel and all-wheel drive vehicles, it’s best to replace the tires as a set of four. Unmatched tires with different rolling circumferences can stress and even damage drivetrain components, particularly differentials and couplings. On two-wheel drive vehicles, this is not as big an issue. The two best tires—the ones with the most tread—should always be installed on the rear axle. This is true for any vehicle. Otherwise, you risk “oversteering,” a situation where the better tires on the steering wheels grip the road more firmly and the looser rear tires allow the vehicle to spin out.

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Tags: Maintenance, DIY




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