Here are all the facts you need to know when buying new tires

There comes a time when every car owner needs to buy a new set of tires. With so many brands and types of tires on the market, you may be wondering how you select the best ones for your vehicle. That’s what this blog post is all about. We’re going to give you all the facts you need to know about buying tires.

How do you know when you need to buy new tires?

First and foremost, it’s important to know when you need to buy new tires. Remember, they are what holds your vehicle to the road. If your car’s tires don’t have enough tread, your vehicle won’t have a lot of traction. It actually becomes quite dangerous as heavily worn and balding tires put you at greater risk for blowouts and accidents. You need that tread depth to help keep you from sliding all over the road during inclement weather.

Once a month, make a habit of checking the air pressure in your tires and inspecting the tread depth and wear. The best way to measure tread depth is with a gauge. If you don’t have one, you can use the old standby… a penny. Simply insert a penny into a tire tread groove making sure Abraham Lincoln’s head is facing down and toward you. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head, your tires need to be replaced.

What kind of tires should you buy?

It all depends on what you are looking for in a tire and your budget. If you liked the way your current tires performed on your vehicle, you can always buy the same brand and model. If you think you want to try a different brand or you have some budget constraints, there are a few things to take into consideration:

  • Load Index – In simple terms, the load index is the amount of weight the tires car support at maximum air pressure. Passenger car tires have a load index that is less than the load index you would need for a light-duty truck (found on pickups and SUVs). Very important to remember is that you should never install tires that have a lower load index than the tires that were installed on your vehicle at the factory.
  • Rim Diameter – You’ll want to make sure the tires fit properly on the rims.
  • Speed Rating – As you drive your vehicle, the tires heat up. The speed rating determines the tire’s ability to prevent heat build-up. A tire heats up more when you are driving long distance on the highway than it does when you are driving around town. If you will be doing a lot of highway driving, you may want to select a tire that has a higher speed rating.

The easiest way to select new tires is to ask your Shade Tree Garage auto technician. All of our team members can help you select the best tire for your driving needs and your budget. If you have your auto maintenance done at our shop on a regular basis, we will also let you know when it’s time to replace the tires.

What is the Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) and why do I need it?

Your vehicle is equipped with a Tire Pressure Monitoring System that is designed to let you know when the air pressure in your tires is too low. When your tires are being replaced, the TPMS will need to be reset. If your vehicle’s dashboard is alerting you to the fact that the TPMS is faulty, you will have to have this part replaced when you replace your tires. To learn more about this safety feature, click on this link (link to TPMS blog article.

Should you have the wheels aligned when the tires are replaced?

Yes. It’s a good idea to have the wheels aligned when you have new tires installed. If you don’t, bad alignment will cause your new tires to wear out quicker than they should. When we install your tires, we will mount and balance them using our state-of-the-art Hunter equipment. We can also perform an alignment for you.

Remember, we can answer all the questions you may have about purchasing new tires for your vehicle. You can buy them through us – we carry Michelin tires. If you buy them on-line, like Tire Rack, you can have the tires shipped to us and we can install them for you. Click here to schedule an appointment to have your tires replaced at our auto repair shop in Morristown, NJ.

Why buy your tires from Shade Tree Garage?

We offer competitive pricing on tires because we are able to source them from multiple vendors. If we can’t beat an on-line tire vendor’s price, you can purchase the tires from the, have them shipped to Shade Tree Garage and we will install them for you. This is beneficial to you because it means you will receive the best price on the best tires for your vehicle.

When you have us install your tires, you are taking advantage of our expertise and the specialized equipment we utilize. All our tires are mounted and balanced using state-of-the-art made by Hunter Engineering. This is especially important because it means there won’t be any marks on your wheels.  The tires will be balanced to single grams eliminating most vibration problems. On the more difficult ones, the tires can be force matched to the wheels fixing the most stubborn vibrations.

Check out these YouTube videos on how tires are installed and balanced.

photo credit: Clearly Ambiguous Tired via photopin (license)