Tire Buying Guide
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• Place a penny into the shallowest tread groove with the Queen’s head downwards: If you can still see her head, it’s time to replace your tire
• If you notice any cuts, punctures, or loss of air pressure, then it’s time to change your tires
• Even though your tires might wear out at different times, it’s best to replace all tires at once to maintain handling, balance, and traction
• If you’re only replacing one tire, match it as closely as you can to your other tires for better handling and stability
• If you can’t find the exact tire, choose a similar tire that shares the same speed rating, handling and traction characteristics
• Check your tire pressure at least once a month, and make sure your tires are cool; heat could throw off the reading
• You can find your tire size in the owner’s manual, the tire placard inside the driver’s door, or the sidewall of your current tires
Traction is rated in four different grades: AA, A, B, and C — with C being the lowest rating. This refers to the tire’s performance in stopping on wet pavement under controlled government testing.
Temperature ratings range from A to B to C — again, C is the lowest rating. This rating refers to a tire’s ability to release heat under load, and tires with lower ratings have more of a chance of failure due to heating issues.
Tread Wear +
Unlike traction and temperature, tread wear ratings are not a measure of safety, but rather a three-digit number that predicts how long your tire will last. For example, a tire with a tread wear rating of 200 would be expected to last twice as long as a tire with a tread wear rating of 100. Things like driving style and routine maintenance can affect how long your tires last.
Tire Pressure +
It’s important to measure your tire pressure regularly. The right amount of air pressure helps your tires to wear longer, gives you greater gas mileage, and provides better handling. Changes in temperature and altitude can affect your air pressure, as well as general use. This is why it’s so important to check your tire air pressure at least once a month.
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