Simple guide to changing your car tires
Tires are the most important of any other part of your automobile. No matter how good your engine is, it won’t mean much without the tires. Ever ran out of fuel or had a breakdown? Now you see what I mean. Your car rolled on still. Be that as it may, you cannot omit one in the expense of the other. The purpose will be defeated if you had new wheels and a rocky engine. Tire care is therefore of paramount importance in the life of a vehicle.
Signs That Your Car Needs New Tires
- The Treads. This is the main pointer to worn out tires. Car manufacturers recommend that you change your tires once the tread groove reaches 1/16 inch (1.59 millimeters) shallow. Such measurements require precision but you don’t necessarily need to be a professional to tell. Most new tires comes with an in-built gauge “tread wear bars” that are very conspicuous when your tire wears out. They seem to meet your treads at 90 degrees and are softer that the entire rubber material. Otherwise, you can use a penny. Tend to move Lincoln coin into the tread groove head first, facing your way. If you can see his entire head, it’s not safe to drive in them. If your drive on moist and slippery grounds almost all the times, you need twice these measurements. Another way to tell is by use of calipers.
- Cracked and Chipped Sides. Cracks are worse than worn out treads and can be easily spotted. Regularly check your tires for visible signs of beyond-the-surface tracks. Such are likely to burst under little pressure while on the move and they need immediate attention. Let your mechanic advice accordingly.
- Sidewall Bulges. These are mostly caused by forcing your car up a curb or by driving through a huge pothole. The internal mainframe gets an abnormal expansion thus allowing air pressure to the rubber. When they close up on a normal road condition, the air tries to force its way through the flexible rubber forming a “bubble”. Since the mainframe has been compromised, the tire needs replacement as soon as possible failure to which the bulge will grow to a dangerous “mole hill” which can erupt anytime.
Choosing The Right Tires
Fitting your vehicle with the right tires means saving money, minding your safety, your fuel economy and a guaranteed service that will last you for a while. Your car tire carries a lot of information on its sidewalls that is mostly assumed but could be very useful for tire maintenance and, in this instance, changing. This includes in coded numbers its size, type and speed ratings among others.
For example, a P175/70R13 60H M+S code means:
- (P) P-Metric tire, a standard used to make tires meant for passenger vehicles in America. Other first letters could be an LT (for Light Trucks) or a C (for Commercial vehicles).
- (175) stands for the tire width in millimeter,
- (70) after the forward slash – percentage representation of the sidewall’s height to the tire’s width. In this example, it means that your tire’s sidewall height is 122.5mm i.e. 70% of 175mm.
- (R) stands for the radial construction of the inner layers of the tire. It is so common to find this kind of tire design.
- (13) is the diameter in inches of the wheel that the tire is intended to fit in.
- (60H) which is distinctively separated from the other part of the code stands for load index and the letter stands for the speed rating, where in this case, H represents 130 on a speed chart.
- M+S means the tire is made for Mud and Snow conditions or technically, all-season tire.
Once you understand that, you could choose to change all your tires, a pair or just one.
- All tires. If all tires have worn out uniformly, you have taken good care of them. This choice will give you a range of options to select from. Depending on the service of your old tires have given you, you might want to replace them with a new set of the same category. Either way, you can upgrade to a plus-size (shorter sidewall, wider treads but same tire height) or a lower profile series, meaning, wider tire width, smaller sidewall height but the tire height and the car-tire clearance remains the same. Up-sizing is basically choosing a larger tire commonly done for jeeps, trucks and SUVs. Car-tire clearance and suspension details must be maintained.
- One Set. Replace with equal or higher quality but same size. The new set should be put in the rear axle.
- One Tire. Replace with a tire of the same brand, size, load index and speed rating. The new tire should have the same tread-depth as the others to make sure they all wear out evenly.
Caring for your tires to make sure they last
- Wheel Alignment. Every time you have a tire change, have the mechanical components of the tires and wheels checked, especially if your tires didn’t wear out at the same time. Poor alignment means you will go back shopping sooner than you expected.
- Tire pressure. A car running on under-inflated tires will wear them out quickly. Regularly check your car tires to maintain the right pressure, mostly indicated on the inside of the driver’s door, glove-box door or the owner’s manual. The readings on the tires sidewall should oftenly be ignored.
- Regular Rotation. It is recommended that you interchange your tires after every 5000-7000 miles to make sure they wear out evenly. Most owners’ manual has a rotational pattern. This is a sure way of saving money since you will most probably replace all tires at once.
How to save when buying tires
Shopping for affordable tires is every car owners’ desire. It is possible to save money when buying tires for your car. Below are some suggestions worth considering:
- Rebates – there are a lot of tire companies that give rebates to their clients. This is an amount that is returned to the buyer after full payment is made. Buyers in these companies are given coupons that entitle them to claim their rebates.
- Negotiate with the seller – Most car tire sellers will allow their potential buyers a bargain on the tires marked price. By negotiating, you are likely to have a few bucks dropped from the initial price.
- Shop around for deals, rebates and sales promotions – there are car tire sellers that offer deals to their buyers. Most of these deals are geared towards attracting customers to their shops. The deals and offers can prove to be a great save for car owners seeking to buy car tires.
- Large retailers like WalMart, Sears are also a good option for those who want to avail some discounts. These stores focus on providing cheap prices along with great future deals that will bind the customer to them for a lifetime
- Avoid tires that come with warranties- Warranties are great when attached to other household goods. However, when it comes to car tires, a warranty only serves to inflate the prices. Seek to buy tires without warranties.