Long gone is the day of one-size-fits-all tires. Today’s tire market is vast and includes all kinds of sizes, types and prices. So when your tire dealer asks you what type of tires you are looking for, it is best to do your homework in advance. Here is a list of some common tire types.
- Touring Tires: Excellent handling and comfort on both dry and wet pavement. Smooth and quiet.
- High-Performance Tires: For those looking for performance and handling at high speeds. Commonly used with sports cars.
- Light Truck Tires: Provide traction and durability in (some) difficult off-road driving conditions. Good for sports utility vehicles and pick-up trucks.
- Winter Tires: As the name suggests – these are tires that perform well in wet, cold, icy and snowy weather conditions. While they have good traction and handling in wet conditions, the also can be used in dry conditions.
- All-Season Tires: Decent for all seasons.
Best Brands of Tires
While many brands have a range of average to great tires, the general consensus is that the following brands consistently provide the best models: Michelin, Continental, Goodyear, Pirelli, Hankook, Cooper, Nokian and Yokohama. The tires manufactured by these companies have high ratings in grip, resistance, handling and tread life.
Of course there are some specialty tire manufacturers out there and it is best to do research on the specific brand before making a tire purchase.
How do I Know What Type of Tire I Need?
The type of tires you need depends on many factors, including the size of your vehicle, the primary purpose of your vehicle, and the most common road conditions you drive in. Before purchasing a new set of tires, consider your primary preferences and needs (as well as the worst conditions you can foresee yourself driving). Review the “Types of Tires” section above when considering your options.
The more information you can provide your tire dealer, the easier the process will be in determining the best type of tires for your needs and preferences. Another important tip: Know your tire size before heading to the dealer. This information can be found in your owner’s manual as well as the tire label located on the lid of the glove box, the driver’s door, or on the inside of the fuel hatch.
Where Should I Buy My Tires?
The best place to buy your tires depends upon a few things. While online shopping is great for just about everything, it may or may not be the best place to purchase tires – especially if you have questions and would like to show your vehicle to an expert. An in-person dealer may very well refer to you an online retailer, but it is always a good idea to meet with an expert before making an online tire purchase.
You can purchase tires from an automobile dealership, but the prices might be higher than those of an independent tire dealer. However, they may have special deals to consider. Also, auto dealerships may not be experts in tires. Conversely, there are many local, independent tire dealers that do nothing more than specialize in tires. So, it is worth your time and effort to check these places out.
Do some research on pricing and offered services before committing to your tire purchase. And, with most significant purchases, warranties are an important consideration. Make sure to understand the manufacturer’s warranties as well as any warranties on labor provided by the dealer.