Replacing a complete set of tires can be one of the most expensive maintenance items you do for your car. While the price for new tires can be staggering, and you may be tempted to go for the cheapest rubber you can find, that may not be the best decision. The four tires on your car are the only points of contact between the vehicle and the road. You are dependent on them for cornering, braking, and avoiding collisions. It is vital to have quality tires that will allow you to drive safely in all conditions.
How can you tell the difference between all the different tires in the store when they all look the same to the untrained eye? Knowing a few basics can help you select tires that will keep you safe without emptying your pockets.
There are three main categories of tires that you may encounter at the tire shop.
- All-season tires are the most popular because they work well in most conditions. These tires provide good traction and handling on wet and dry roads. All-season tires also come in performance and ultra-high-performance models. These models are typically more expensive and not necessary for most daily driving.
- All-terrain tires have a blocky tread pattern that makes them a great choice for off-road vehicles. Most tires in this category are manufactured for SUVs and trucks, although they are becoming more common for smaller all-wheel-drive vehicles as well.
- Snow tires are specifically designed to handle all that Utah winters can throw at them. The tread pattern and the composition of the rubber are ideal for cold, snow-packed roads. Snow tires are perfect in the winter but should be removed during the summer to avoid excess tread wear.
Three main factors influence the price that you pay for each tire. The most significant is the size of the tire. The price quoted for a tire is usually the price for that tire in the smallest size. The size that fits your car may be much larger and, therefore, more expensive. When you are comparing pricing, make sure you are comparing tires of the same size. The recommended tire size for your vehicle is usually posted inside the driver’s side door. While it is possible to vary from that size a little, be sure to consult with a professional first to make sure the tires will fit properly before buying anything.
Specialized tires are also going to come with a higher price tag. For example, performance all-season tires will cost you more than standard all-season tires. Performance tires give sports car drivers increased handling and traction at high speeds. If you do not need these enhanced features for your daily driver, you can keep the cost down.
On the other end of the spectrum, cheap tires may not be worth the savings. Some tire manufacturers can offer their tires at deep discounts because they use lower quality components. The rubber on the tire could compromise your handling, braking, or treadwear. You are wise to beware of unknown brands at rock bottom prices. Consult with a tire expert at your local West Jordan tire shop to get a second opinion on any tires you are considering.
Tires may look eerily similar, while they may actually be drastically different. The tread pattern, the rubber composition, the internal construction, and a host of other factors influence the rate at which the tread on the tire will wear down. You can get a good estimation of how long the tire will last by looking at the treadwear warranty. This number, however, is just a rough approximation of what you can expect under ideal conditions. Your driving style, the climate you live in, how often you rotate your tires, and even the altitude can influence the tire’s actual lifespan.
A tire with a warranty to last for 80,000 miles can look very appealing, but what happens if the tire wears out after only 60,000 miles? That is when things get complicated. Tire warranties are pro-rated, and collecting on the rest of the warranty can be challenging. Tire manufacturers can ask that you provide proof that the tires wore down to 2/32 of an inch and that you performed routine maintenance on the tires to keep them running. It is always best to choose a quality tire that will last a long time to avoid buying tires frequently.
Best Bang for Your Buck
There are many places to look for tire reviews. They may not all agree on which tire is the best, but some brands that come up repeatedly as a good option for quality tires at a budget-friendly price. Here are a couple that we offer.
Based in Seoul, Korea, Hankook is one of the newer kids on the block making tires. They offer some of the most extended tread warranties. In 2019, Hankook tires represented 3.5% of new tires’ sales in the North American market. They manufacture OE (original equipment) and replacement tires in many different sizes. Audi signed a contract with them in 2019 to be the exclusive manufacturer of tires for the Q8. Their all-season Kinergy PT is well-liked and comes with a 90,000-mile warranty.
Although it is a Japanese company, Toyo maintains a presence in the United States at its headquarters in California. Like Hankook, Toyo sales in 2019 accounted for 3.4% of North American tire sales, making them a significant presence in the tire industry. Their unique Toyo rubber promises a more fuel-efficient ride using Nano Balance technology.
And the list goes on with Bridgestone, Firestone, Goodyear, Kelly, Michelin, BF Goodrich, Dunlop, Uniroyal, Continental, Hankook, and more. When you buy our Burt Brothers tire bundles, we offer an out-the-door installation package that includes mounting and balancing, valve stem replacement, free lifetime flat repairs, rotations, balancing, alignment, air pressure checks and top offs and more. We also offer a low-price guarantee.
Deciding on a new set of tires for your vehicle does not have to be a painful experience that costs you a fortune. Knowing more about your tires can help you choose a new set of tires that will meet your needs and fit your budget. If you are still unsure, visit one of our tire stores along the Wasatch Front and speak to an expert to find the right tires for your vehicle.