Selecting new tires is an important decision that affects safety and handling on the road. For the best results, make sure you buy the right tires for your car. Not sure where to start? Just follow these tips.
Decide When to Replace Your Tires
You know it’s time when the tread depth reaches below 2/32 inch. To help you determine precise tread depth, insert a penny into a tire groove with Lincoln facing upside-down. As a general rule of thumb, the tire is dangerously worn and needs replacing when you can see all of Lincoln’s head above the tread.
If your tires are irregularly worn, this also indicates the need to replace them.
Determine How Many Tires You Need
Under normal conditions, we recommend replacing all four tires at once to prevent issues with irregular wear. If you only need to replace one or two tires due to damage, defect or poor wear, be sure to choose new tires that match the brand, line, speed rating and load capacity of the other remaining tires. The knowledgeable mechanics at Scott’s Fort Collins Auto & Repair can make sure this happens.
Choose a Tire Size
The most obvious choice is to select tires in the same size as the ones you’re replacing. However, you may be able to improve the ride and performance of your vehicle by choosing a different tire size. We can help you make the right decision based on the improvements you’re hoping to see. Your choices include:
- Lower profile tires: Small cars often experience improved ride quality and handling if you choose lower profile tires. These are characterized by wider treads and lower sidewalls.
- Plus size tires: For improved tire response and handling, you may want plus size tires. These are the same height as standard tires, but the sidewalls are shorter.
- Taller, wider tires: Known as upsizing, choosing a taller, wider tire is popular among SUV and truck owners. These tires improve ride quality, vehicle performance, traction, appearance and load-carrying capacity.
Consider the Climate
Most people in Fort Collins purchase all-season tires for acceptable performance in most road conditions. This prevents the need to change out your tires multiple times a year.
However, all-season tires must make compromises to work decently in every condition from bone-dry summers to icy winters. This is why, with Northern Colorado’s snowy winter climate, it may be beneficial to choose all-season tires for wet springs, dry summers and transitional falls, and then switch to winter tires to handle icy, snow-packed conditions. This tip is especially relevant if you regularly drive up into the Rockies for skiing or other wintertime fun.
Buy Tires with the Best Value
Finding the best value doesn’t necessarily mean buying the cheapest tires you can find. In fact, buying more expensive replacements actually tends to be the most cost effective.
If you have mileage guarantees to compare between low-, mid- and high-quality brands, it’s easy to calculate your savings over the life of a high-end tire. Another way to ensure you get a good deal is to divide the tire’s tread wear rating by the price. For the best value, pick the tire with the highest number after doing this simple calculation. Keep in mind this tip only works when comparing tires from the same brand, since there’s no industry standard for scoring tire wear.
Compare Speed Ratings
Tires with lower speed ratings are less expensive, but they reduce a vehicle’s handling and make it unsafe to drive at freeway speeds. This is why it’s important to choose tires with at least the same speed rating as the original set. You can also select a higher speed rating to improve vehicle handling.
Consider Specialized Designs
As more car, truck and SUV designs roll off the lot, tire manufacturers respond with specialized designs. Examples include long-wearing, easy-riding, style-conscious and ultra-high performance tires. Any of these specialty types can improve the performance of your vehicle.
With so many tire choices, it’s no surprise if you feel overwhelmed. Fortunately, you can rely on the expertise of Scott’s Fort Collins Auto & Repair to help you make the best selection. We’re your one-stop-shop for everything tire-related, whether you simply need a rotation and alignment or a whole new set of tires.
Receive a free estimate and schedule an appointment for your new tires today. You can also call ahead at (970) 682-4202. Don’t forget – we offer free loaner cars on qualifying repairs for your convenience.