Tires are one of those things that will wear over time and have to be replaced. Getting the right tire for your car, truck, or SUV is important because there are characteristics about the tires that can affect the way your car handles or performs. When it is time to consider a new set of tires for your vehicle, take a trip to the local tire shop and get some professional advice before you buy.
Getting the Right Size Tires
Every car, truck, or SUV on the road has a recommended tire size that the manufacturer lists in the owner's manual or on a sticker on the door jam of the driver's door. The sticker includes the rim size, the tire size, and optional tires for the vehicle as recommended by the builder. Often, there are other sizes that could be used, but the specified tires are the ones that are designed to work properly on the vehicle. The wrong size and aspect ratio of the tire might be enough to cause the vehicle to not handle properly and could be unsafe to drive. Using the specified tires is the best option.
Speed Ratings and Sport Tires
There are cars that have very specific tires on them that are rated for performance. Sports cars often use a tire with a short, stiff sidewall and a higher speed rating than a passenger car because they react differently than passenger tires. The short sidewall allows the car to corner much harder without rolling the tire over and popping the tire loose from the bead on the wheel. Some cars require a sport tire and others just recommend them, so if you are not sure what you need, talk with the dealer at the tire shop about what you have and what you might be able to substitute onto the car.
Truck Tires and Weight Ratings
Just like the sports car that needs a performance tire, there are a lot of trucks on the road that need to have a tire rated to carry the load the truck was designed to hold. Just like on your car, the tire requirements and options are listed in the owner's manual and on the driver's door, but if you have altered the truck with a lift kit, you might want a larger tire than recommended. As long as the tire is rated for more weight than required, you will be okay. Using a tire that is too small or lightweight is just asking for problems, so make sure you are getting the right tire for the job at hand. Again, if you are not sure, talk to the service manager at the local tire shop and see what they recommend for your vehicle.