What You Need to Know About Choosing Tires
While all drivers know about the importance of good tires on their vehicles, many of them find replacing their tires overwhelming. With so many choices on the market for most vehicles, how does a newer owner know what to pick? What do all the terms mean? What makes one better than the other?
Today, let’s demystify the process.
Types of Tires
Tires are made for all sorts of conditions, from seasonal (like summer, winter, and all-season) to performance tires (like all-terrain, touring, or mud-terrain). And don’t forget your spare!
When deciding what type of tire you need, think about what you do with your vehicle.
- Do you do a basic commute? Then you probably just want summer, or regular, tires. Not meant for snow, these tires can handle everything else you may run into on your normal drive around town.
- Do you do a lot of off-roading or textured terrain? Then maybe you need all-terrain or mud-terrain tires. These tires can handle a harder or softer surface, like mud, sand, and rock, and drive even better when on asphalt.
- Do you prefer a smooth drive with superior handling? Then you want touring tires. With a longer life for the tread and minimal noise, you can enjoy the art of driving, unlike with other tires.
Tires come in a large variety of sizes measured by diameter, from 13 to 22 inches. There are three ways to determine what the size requirements are for your vehicle.
- Your owner’s manual will tell you exactly what size you need, but what if you don’t have one? You can also check the placard inside the driver’s door, but it’s also on the tire itself.
- Check for a combination of letters and numbers split up by a forward slash, like P215/65R15. But what does that all mean?
- The letter at the front lets you know what kind of vehicle it’s for, like “P” for a passenger car or “LT” for a light truck. The next three numbers tell you the width of the tire in millimeters. The two digits after the forward-slash tell you the height of the sidewall as a percentage of the width. And the last letter indicates the tire construction, so ‘R’ for radial. The last two numbers will tell you the diameter of your tires.
Still Not Sure? Ask a Professional
The professionals at Alaska Tire Service service Anchorage, AK, at their shop on 88th Avenue. They are ready and available to answer all your tire questions and get you back on the road quickly, safely, and cost-efficiently. Contact the office to set up an appointment for new tires today!