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Hunter Phillips
Hunter Phillips

Best Way To Buy New Tires

Few people like buying new tires. They are one of the more expensive maintenance items on a car, choosing the right ones for your vehicle can be confusing, and it can take a big chunk out of your day to get them installed.

best way to buy new tires

You have to do it though, as driving on worn tires with little tread left is unsafe and can leave you stranded on the side of the road. You should plan on spending at minimum a few hundred dollars to buy a set of tires and have them installed on your vehicle.

Our article on ways to tell it is time for new tires is an excellent guide to the warning signs that you should look out for with worn tires. You should also check your tire pressures and visually inspect your tires for punctures, uneven wear, and worn tread.

There's more to selecting the right tires than finding some that fit and slapping them on your ride. You need to look at your vehicle's minimum requirements, how you drive, your expectations for tire life, the weather where you do most of your driving, and the surfaces you travel on.

Your tires do more than just carry the weight of your car. They are expected to give you traction when you need to get going, allow the car to steer with confidence, and have maximum grip when you brake. They have to do all that in dry or wet conditions, without making too much noise or hurting your fuel economy.

Most mainstream passenger cars come from the factory on some form of all-season tires. Some performance models are equipped with summer tires, which don't have much grip in wet weather and have even worse performance in winter weather. Keep the typical weather conditions where you drive in mind to avoid choosing tires that compromise your safety.

The placard on the door pillar behind the driver and your owners manual will spell out the minimum tire requirements for your vehicle, as well as the air pressures that the tires should contain. Other requirements are more subjective, and you need to decide which attributes are most important.

If they didn't corner with confidence, you could look for more aggressive high-performance rubber. Was winter traction a problem? Maybe you need more capable all-season tires, or a set of winter tires just to use during the cold months. If your current tires were perfect, the buying process will be quite a lot simpler.

It is best to be a bit conservative when changing from one tire type to another. If you want a bit more of a performance edge for your sedan, maybe shift from the Grand Touring tire that it came with to a new set of performance all-season tires. Jumping to an ultra-high performance summer tire would likely be a waste of money, as your sedan will only handle so well, no matter what type of tires are on it.

Most mainstream tires will come with a treadwear warranty. While that number might give you some guidance about the expected life of the tire in comparison to others from the same manufacturer, it is often a number fashioned by their marketing department.

There are lots of places to buy car tires, and each comes with positives and negatives. The most important factors are finding a shop you can trust that will give you a good deal in a timely manner without cutting corners.

To get new tires fast and cheap, you may have to give up on getting specific brands or types. If you want something unique, you'll probably have to wait a while and pay more. Before you accept any tire deal, you should look at online reviews, especially from owners of the same vehicle that you are buying your tires for. While it is easy to find low prices on cheap tires, they might wear quickly, ride poorly, or have other performance issues that explain their low cost.

The downsides of buying online include the time and expense that it takes to get the tires delivered to you or a local installer. If the tire is damaged or not right for your vehicle when it arrives, there can be return shipping charges and delays.

For buyers with convenience at the top of their wish lists, many car dealerships now sell tires. Buying at a dealer can save you a lot of time, as you can get your tires installed at the same time as you have an oil change or other service performed.

When buying tires, some costly extras can add up to an unwelcome surprise. Some are necessary; some are not. You'll have to pay installation charges, disposal fees for your old tires, taxes, and the cost of new tire stems (which should be replaced when you buy new tires).

Some tire retailers include a separate charge to fill your tires with nitrogen, which stays in your tire longer. Others (such as Costco) include it for free. If it is just a couple bucks per tire, it's probably worth it. If they want tens or hundreds of dollars for the service, it's time to decline politely.

Some tire retailers include road hazard warranties (which are different from tread life warranties) as part of the installation cost, while others charge extra. Road hazard warranties typically cover things like flat tires and other failures unrelated to tire wear. Some include roadside assistance.

Before you leave the shop, take a look at each of your wheels and new tires. Sometimes wheels can be damaged in the installation process, and you want any damage noted. If your new tires have a directional tread pattern, make sure that they are all oriented the right way. Everybody makes mistakes now and then, and it is better to catch them before you drive away.

It often takes TPMS sensors a few miles to sense the air pressure in new tires. If the pressures aren't close to matching the numbers on the door placard, or one tire is way off, head back to the shop to get the air pressures adjusted or determine what is wrong.

Wheel misalignment is a common cause of improper tire wear. You can protect your expensive new tire purchase by getting a four-wheel alignment around the time you get your tires. Some tire shops and most auto dealership service departments have the equipment to perform the service.

Now that you have new tires, you want to take good care of them. That means watching your tire pressures and occasionally inspecting them for uneven wear, sidewall damage, or punctures that can develop into leaks and leave you stranded.

If you're in the market for new tires, you can visit to find the right tires for your vehicle. The expert researchers and journalists of U.S. News Best Cars can help you answer your car buying and ownership questions. Our new car rankings and reviews will help you find the best ride for your needs and lifestyle, while our used car rankings can assist you in finding affordable pre-owned options.

Yes, tires can all look alike. They are round. They are made of rubber. They have treads. And they are perhaps THE most important safety feature of your vehicle. Just like shoes, tires are made by multiple companies including Bridgestone, Continental, Goodyear, Michelin, Hercules, Dunlop, Yokohama, and more. And like designer shoes, choosing the right tire brand depends on so many facets of your vehicle and driving habits.

When you do finally take the step to shop around (see below), most tire dealers will ask the make, model, and year of your car. But you may still have different size options as well. Your choices may include bigger tires fill the wheel well, or smaller less expensive tires.

Or, you can order your tires through Amazon or a third party supplier like Tire Rack or Tirebuyer; these sites promise the lowest possible price and are great for people who have a favorite mechanic or can handle the installation themselves.

NTB stands for National Tire & Battery. It has more than 600 stores nationwide, which sell a wide variety of tires (including Goodyear, Bridgestone and Firestone Tires). It's owned by the TBC Corporation, which gets an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, though NTB does not have a separate BBB rating.

You can use its online search to find locations near you and then shop tires based on the year, make and model of your vehicle, by size and by tire brand. It advertises that it offers "brand name tires at the guaranteed lowest price," and continuously runs deals, discounts and rebates on tires. It also offers tire and wheel packages and has a "visualizer," which you can use to see what the particular tire and wheel combination might look like on your car. In order to buy tires from NTB you have to be near a tire store. It doesn't ship to consumers.

When you get your tires installed at an NTB or affiliated service center you get a few warranties and perks. It offers a 30-day ride guarantee that allows you to drive on your new tires for 30 days. If you don't like them, you can trade them for something else (full value). It also offers a Road Hazard Warranty, for an added price, which it doesn't disclose on its site because costs vary based on the tires you purchase.

NTB offers a unique feature in that when you purchase tires from it you get free, lifetime tire rotation at any NTB or TBC retailer. NTB locations only go as far west as Texas, however, and most locations are in the South and Southeast US. It operates in 26 states.

Discount Tire is a bit of a hybrid in the online/brick-and-mortar tire space. While you can purchase tires online, through its site Discount Tire Direct, you can have them drop-shipped to your local Discount Tire or America's Tire shop (the name is different depending on where in the country you live). You can also choose to shop in-store at a Discount Tire as well.

If you aren't sure which tires would work for your vehicle, Discount Tire offers Treadwell, an in-house system that uses data from customers as well as real-world testing data (like that which Tire Rack creates) to help you find the right tires for your needs. You put in your vehicle year, make and model, how many miles you drive per year, and the ZIP code you drive in, and the system gives you a number of suggestions based on your input. You can prioritize handling, stopping distance, the life of the tire, and comfort and noise, and the system will give you a recommended list. Discount Tire offers free ground shipping in the 48 contiguous states. 041b061a72


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