How to Decide What Kind of Tires to Buy

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Photo: Car and Driver

Photo: Car and Driver

Buying tires for your car is a lot like picking out a new pair of shoes. Most of the time when you go in for new ones you’ll probably stick to getting a nice comfortable pair of sneakers. Now and then you’ll want to specialize, though. If you’re going hiking, you’ll want some trail shoes or a good sturdy pair of hiking boots. If you decide to start taking care of your body and work out, you’ll need training shoes. It all depends on the current needs of your feet, and your car should be no different.

When choosing your tires, you’ll want to answer two simple questions. First, what are the worst driving conditions you will encounter? Second, what are the typical driving conditions you will encounter?

Generally, it’s a good idea to be prepared for the worst. That’s why all-season tires are such a good idea. They never leave you at a complete disadvantage if say you’re driving to the beach, cruising down the highway when a North Carolina thunderstorm comes out of nowhere.

However, it’s also great to be equipped for a more typical day, or for the conditions that you like to drive in. If you like driving through the mountains on those high, winding roads, then you’ll want tires with more grip that allow for better handling. If you take your SUV off-roading a lot or drive on dirt roads often that are prone to becoming muddy, you’ll need more rugged rubber on your wheels.

Balancing is another excellent option. If you live somewhere that changing seasons can drastically alter the road for part of the year, it’s not a bad idea to purchase two sets of tires, one for winter and one for summer. You might think that’s costly, but the set of tires you aren’t currently using won’t accumulate any wear. Both specialized sets will last longer than one regular set of all-season tires, and you won’t be compromising yourself in extreme situations.

Buying tires is an extensive decision-making process, but luckily, we have tire experts on hand at all of our dealerships. They’ll give you excellent advice and make sure you have the Leith Tire Service Advantage. We can also recommend a couple of resources we consulted while writing this post. There’s a great general information page here, on TireRack.com. Then there’s also “The Right Tires for Different Drives: A Primer on Proper Rubber,” a feature from last month’s Car and Driver.

Dealership Difference tires

Remember to stop by LeithCars.com for all your tire needs and have a great time driving.

How to Decide What Kind of Tires to Buy was last modified: December 23rd, 2014 by Chris Leith Dodge