Important Things to Know About Car Tires

By: Mechanic Advisor

The leading cause of tire failure is under inflation. Making sure that your tire pressure is up to factory specifications, will prolong the life of the tire as well as increase your safety while on the road. Under inflated tires are not always noticeable, and can also increase your fuel usage. As a general rule, you should check your owner's manual to see how much pressure your tires should have, and then check them monthly, with an accurate tire pressure gage.

When to Buy Car Tires

Checking the tread wear will make it obvious as to whether or not it's time to buy car tires. The first way to check the tread is by using the penny test. Insert a penny into the tire tread groove with Lincoln's head upside down and facing you. If you see Lincoln's entire head, then it's time for a tire replacement. Another way to check the tread is by looking at the wear indicator bar that's molded into the tire. When the bars are so visible that you can see the adjacent tread ribs, it's time to buy car tires.

These tips will help you understand a little more about the signs of tire wear and tear:

&bullWear in the center: Over-inflation
&bullWear on both edges: Under-inflation
&bullFeathered or sawtooth edges: Misalignment
&bullDips or cupping in the tread: Worn parts

Tips for Buying Passenger Car Tires

There are tons of options when it comes to passenger car tires: new car tires, cheap car tires, used car tires, discount car tires-the list goes on and on.

Many consumers worry whether or not cheap car tires, used car tires or discount car tires are safe. Your tires influence the way your car handles on the road, so this is a logical concern. With this said, as long as the tire meets the minimum safety standard, you can take your pick of whatever tire fits best into your budget.

If you choose to buy cheap car tires you must keep in mind that they might need replacing more frequently than more expensive brands. This doesn't mean that they're unsafe--it just means their life span isn't as long. Keeping the pressure right and having them rotated regularly will prolong their life.

Buying used car tires isn't necessarily the best option, but it can come in handy for a quick fix until you can afford a better set. The thing about used car tires is that it's harder to tell how much life is in them. As a general rule, use caution when purchasing used car tires.

How to Buy Passenger Car Tires

When buying car tires, it's best to think about how and where you drive. Manufacturers have multiple tire designs to give consumers multiple results such as durability, sport handling, traction and more. Your geographical location, as well as car make and model will help determine what you really need.

If possible, find a brand you're happy with and stick with it. Become familiar with your current tire's width, height and diameter. When searching through passenger car tires, look for the correct numbers, as well as 'P', for passenger vehicle and 'R' for radial. Match up the numbers and you're good to go.

It's always best to have a tire dealer or mechanic replace your tires. It requires special equipment to slip new tires over the car's wheels, so having a professional take care of it is a great way to ensure your safety while on the road.

Keep the wear on your tires even by having them rotated regularly. Even tire wear means that all four tires will need to be replaced at the same time, so budget accordingly. Take care of your car tires and they'll take care of you.

To find more automotive articles , visit MechanicAdvisor.com

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