Tire Buying Guide

The right set of tires can be the difference between getting somewhere safely and sliding to a sudden stop. Learn more about tires in this tire buying guide.

Tires 101

Whether it’s a beautiful summer day, or a snowy winter night, having the right tires for your driving conditions can make the difference between a smooth, safe drive, and white-knuckling your way down the road. The right tires will not only provide good traction to ensure a smooth, safe ride, they’ll keep your car in optimal running condition, and improve fuel efficiency and handling.

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Types of Tires


All-Season Tires

All-season tires are exactly that — they’re tires that will get you through spring, summer and fall. However, this type of tire loses elasticity when the temperature drops below 7°C, so you’ll likely need a set of winter tires when the mercury dips.

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Performance Tires

If you’re a driving enthusiast, treat yourself to a set of performance tires. This type of tire has a thicker tread for better contact with the road and a more robust composition, which creates better handling on dry, summer roads.

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Winter Tires

When winter rolls in, you’ll be glad to have a good set of winter tires. Their thicker tread ensures better grip on ice and snow, which helps you to stop sooner and maintain control of your vehicle. Winter tires aren’t just a smart choice for safe driving during Canadian winters — they’re the law in certain provinces, like Quebec.
Winter tire fact: If you think two snow tires in the front are as good as replacing all four with winter tires, think again! During the winter months, Transport Canada recommends a complete set of four winter tires, which provides better traction and safety than just two.

Tire Tips:

• Check your tires about once a month for signs of wear and changes in tread depth
• 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 +

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 +

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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Tire Specs

Service type: type of vehicle, usually “P” for passenger
Tire width: measured in mm
Aspect ratio: height-to-width ratio
Diameter: measured in inches
Load index: how much load the tire can handle
Speed rating: refers to maximum service speed
M S or M-S: the mark of an all-season tire, which can handle dry roads, wet conditions and light snow
Snow symbol: found on tires that perform at least 110% better than regular tires in mandated snow traction tests
Tread wear, traction and temperature grades: These details can be found on the interior ring
Max load: maximum weight capacity
Maximum permissible inflation pressure: maximum pressure your tire can handle
Tire ply and materials used in manufacturing: tire composition and tire plies 
This article is intended as general information. Always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.



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