tire tips

When it comes to your car, finding the best tires for your money can go a long way to help ensure that you and your family’s drive is a safe one. Though often overlooked, a car’s tires play an important role in driving safely. The ability to control and handle a car in large part depends on the quality and condition of its tires. The longer the tread life of a tire, the longer it will last.

The tread life not only depends on its quality, but will vary by kind of car, tire type (such as all-season or summer tires), if you drive aggressively, and the type of roads and weather conditions regularly driven on. With regular tire maintenance and responsible driving habits, you can get the maximum rated mileage out of a set of tires. Then, when it’s time to shop, always shop for the best tires for your money.

Tips for Maximum Mileage
If you are reading this then you know that tires are expensive to replace. One way to get as many miles out of them as possible is to check your tire pressure regularly. It will extend the life of the tires. How? Tires can lose up to one PSI (pound per square inch) of air per month, more so during a cold snap. The PSI should be checked monthly. Underinflated tires can result in poor handling, lower gas mileage, premature wear of the tread, and even a disastrous blowout. Find the recommended tire pressure for your car by checking the owner’s manual or simply check the metal placard on your car’s door frame, and keep it at that recommended level always.

Physically inspect tires regularly, particularly before leaving on road trips. When washing the car or when checking tire pressure, do a physical check of your tires, too. Look for signs of tread wear, and any cracks or bulges. Objects such as nails, screws, glass, or stone can become embedded in a tire and lead to a slow leak. If any of those objects have punctured a tire’s sidewall, you should replace the tire immediately. Don’t hold off on replacing worn tires. These days most have wear bars between the treads to gauge the tread depth. If it is equal to or below the bar, then it’s time for new tires.

To get the most miles out your tires, rotate them every 6,000 to 8,000 miles or the recommended rotation mileage listed in the car’s manual. Check with the local tire dealer where you purchased them to see if they offer free tire rotation. Many do. If not, tire rotations are fairly inexpensive.

Never exceed the recommended maximum weight load found in the car’s manual or printed on the metal placard inside the door frame. Overloading can affect the car’s handling and steering. Too much weight on worn tires can even result in tire failure. You can also slip a penny upside down between the tread. If you can see the top of Abraham Lincoln’s head, time to buy new tires.

Choosing the Best Tires for Your Money
When it’s time to replace your tires, buy similar replacements that match the size and rating as recommended in the vehicle’s manual. If you are looking for budget tires, then summer tires are for you. Though they are less expensive than all-season tires, there is a reason: summer tires have little tread and are only good for 20,000-25,000 miles before replacing. And if you are traveling from the desert to the mountains it is highly recommended to purchase all-season tires. They have more tread and are rated to three times as more miles than summer tires. Depending on the brand, the kind of vehicle you own, and how you drive your car, you can expect the tires to last approximately 60,000-75,000.

General all-season tires are in the range of $60 each. Keep in mind when shopping, many tire dealers offer tire deals and bundles on 2 or 4 tires. Also, ask for add-ons like free rotations when you bring your car in to be serviced. All of that said, here are the top, most cost-effective all-season tires and best buys for your money:

  1. General Tire AltiMAX RT43
  2. Kumho Solus TA71
  3. Milestar MS932 Sport
  4. Cooper CS3 Touring
  5. Michelin Defender LTX M/S
  6. Yokohama AVID Ascend

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