The tires on your vehicle are the only link between your vehicle and the road surface.
Therefore, it’s important to choose a tire that is going to be as reliable as the rest of your vehicle. Rest assured that tire technology is better than ever and our associates are ready and able to find you tires that fit your needs.
First and foremost, be sure to always match the speed rating and size of the tires with what the manufacturer originally placed on your vehicle. This information can be found on the original equipment (OE) sticker on the frame of your driver side door. This will ensure that your vehicle performs like the manufacturer intended.
Finding the Right Tires for Your Driving Needs
There are a few different things to consider about the way you drive and what you want out of your tires that will affect which tires are right for you.
Treadwear Mileage Warranty
If you drive your vehicle often, or plan on keeping it for a long period of time, you’ll want to be sure you purchase tires that have a high treadwear mileage warranty. The “Good, Better, Best” theory comes into affect here. While a 60,000-mile treadwear warranty is good, a 75,000-mile warranty is better and a 90,000-mile warranty is best. Divide the price of each different tire by the number of miles it’s warrantied for to find the best bang for your buck. Also, consider that you’ll have to replace a 40,000-mile tire twice in the time it will take to wear out one set of 80,000-mile tires. The more expensive tire with the longer warranty may actually be less expensive in the long run.
Just keep in mind that you’ll need to replace your tires every five years. If you don’t drive much, you may end up replacing your 80,000-mile tires in five years without having used half of their tread.
You must replace your old tires with a set that has a speed rating that is equal to or higher than the speed rating of your car or truck’s OE tires. This will ensure that your vehicle will handle as well as it was meant to.
Speed ratings affect a tire’s performance. A tire with a higher speed rating will give your car tighter steering response and better traction at high speeds, but will have a shorter tread life than a tire with a lower speed rating. If you are a driving enthusiast who wants crisp steering response and tight handling, go with a higher speed-rated tire.
Speed ratings tell you the top speed a tire can safely maintain. For just about any street car, an H-rated tire will be more than adequate, unless the car will actually go faster than 150 mph. But for racing and high performance applications, a V-rated or higher speed rating is best. These tires have less sidewall flex and help you corner with more precision and jump out of your turns.
The most common speed ratings you’ll come across on the majority of tires are shown in the list below.
Q = 99 mph
S = 112 mph
T = 118 mph
U = 124 mph
H = 130 mph
V = up to 149 mph
Z = 149 mph and above
W = 168 mph
Y = 186 mph
Weather and Road Conditions
Midwest winters can be brutal, so make sure you have a tire that will handle the snow. Snow tires are the best choice. If you live in an area where the winters are snowy and the summers are dry and hot, you should invest in a pair of all-season or summer tires for spring and summer, and a pair of winter tires for when the snow hits. Running a set of all-season tires year-round in an area with intense winters is not ideal. An all-season tire will give you better traction in winter than a summer tire, but not the best. The deeper the siping, or grooves in the tire, the more snow traction the tire will have.
The more grooves that a tire tread has running towards the outer edge, the better its wet traction. If you live in a rainy area, or just want to be prepared for storms, go with a tire that has good wet traction.
Ride Comfort and Road Noise
A low profile, high speed rating tire might look more stylish and give you better handling, but can actually make your vehicle ride rougher. This is because the stiffer, shorter sidewalls don’t absorb as much of the impact from the road as higher profile tires do.
A tire with large, aggressive tread blocks and wide grooves will produce more road noise at highway speeds than a tire with a tighter, smoother tread face. If you do mostly city driving, you probably won’t be driving fast enough to notice this difference. However, if you do a lot of highway driving, you may want to consider how loud a tire is before you purchase it.
The most important thing customers should do after purchasing tires is continually protect their investment. Proper maintenance of your tires is critical to the life of the tire. The most important factors in tire care are: maintaining proper inflation pressure and checking it often, proper vehicle loading, regular inspections and good driving habits.
When you purchase new tires, you should also get a wheel alignment. This will prevent any premature wearing on your tires tires and a properly aligned vehicle will help keep the manufacturer’s limited treadwear warranty valid. Be sure your tires are rotated and balanced at every other oil change to also ensure your tires are wearing evenly. We offer free lifetime re-balance and rotation on any set of tires we sell.
Finally, you may want to consider purchasing our Road Hazard Protection to protect your tires should one of your tires be damaged by a road hazard like a nail or pothole. As always, rely on your local auto mechanic for advice with your vehicle.