All The Basics You Need To Know Before You Buy A Tire
Looking for good car tires? First, familiarize yourself with the standard type of car tire that your car manufacturer had fitted onto the vehicle when you bought the car. Do not deviate from these specifications when you buy replacement tires unless you have made modifications which necessitate changes. Search the web or tire directories and websites to find the best online tire deals for you.
Buying the Best Tires in Simple Ways
Search online for car tires near me. Google may show you results based on your location. You can go to tire directories or other similar websites and do a search by your location and the type of tire that you need. You can even do a search for cheap tire sale online.
The simplest way to choose a good replacement tire is to note down the tire specs printed on the tire sidewall of the tires – that came with your car when you bought it.
How to Read the Sidewall Symbols
On the tire’s sidewall, you may see numbers and letters that signify different factors. Generally, the main tire specs are on the outer circumference. The printed symbols on the inner circumference give more details including the Department of Transportation compliant Tire Identification Number.
- Tire Type: The tires specs start with a one- or two-letter code – P for Passenger-metric tires, LT for Light Truck tire, ST for Special Trailer, and T for Temporary.
- Tire Section Width: After the type, comes the section width measurement in millimeters. This is the width of the tire from sidewall to sidewall.
- Aspect Ratio: It is the nominal section height compared to the section width, given as a percentage of the section width. Higher numbers indicate a higher sidewall ensuring more comfort, lower numbers indicate shorter sidewall with better handling.
- Construction: The next letter stands for construction type. R – Radial, B – Bias.
- Rim Diameter: The next two numbers indicate the rim diameter in inches. This is the diameter for which the tire was sized. Don’t change this, even if you change brands.
Generally, when you shop for tires, if you note down the specs up to this, it might be enough to find suitable tires. For instance, you can search for tires sale 245 70 17. This indicates a tire with a sectional width of 245mm, 70% aspect ratio, and 17-inch rim diameter. However, there are other details printed on the sidewall adjacent to these numbers.
- Load Index: The next two or three numbers indicate the load-carrying capacity. You need to consult a Load Index chart to find the actual load capacity.
- Speed Rating: The letter following the Load Index denotes speed rating, the maximum speed the tire can maintain for a long time. This indicates temperature rating too. Heat builds up in the tire as it keeps moving for long periods of time. The Speed Rating also indicates the tire’s ability to dissipate heat. The higher the speed it can handle, the more heat-resistant it is. Consult a Speed Rating Chart to translate the numbers. For instance, U indicates 124 mph, V indicates 149 mph.
Besides this, you need to decide whether you need winter tires for the cold season, whether an all-season tire will fit your needs, or whether you need summer tires. If you often travel on different terrains, you may need an All-terrain tire.