The Importance of Good Tires
Maintaining Good Tires is Essential to Vehicle Performance
Tires are one of the most important components on your vehicle. Therefore selecting a good set and keeping them in top condition should be a prime consideration no matter what the age of your vehicle. Many drivers, however, don’t give them a second thought until the tread becomes bald or another safety issue occurs. Nevertheless, paying attention to your tires is key as they represent your vehicle’s direct contact with the road.
How well your vehicle is constructed, what type of engine, its horsepower, speed and acceleration are all affected by tires as they can alter vehicle performance. In addition to paying attention to tire condition, you should also know the difference between good and not so good tires, tire sizes and weather conditions specified for the tires you buy.
One, Two or a Set?
Often, through no fault of their own, drivers will run into hazards such as nail and other debris that punctures or otherwise ruins tires. When a repair is impossible and your remaining tires have sufficient tread depth, try to purchase a new tire that will match the other three, in other words one of the same brand, line, size and speed rating. When one tire doesn’t match, you risk the possibility of one end of your vehicle not handling properly.
If two tires need replacing and the tread remains sufficient on the remaining pair, your best bet is to buy the same tires. While identical tires are preferable, replacing a pair with tires that are of the same size and type are acceptable. Be guided by your dealer on the best placement for your new tires. For example, front-wheel drive vehicles put more stress on their front tires.
Drivers have the greatest flexibility when all four tires wear out at the same time. If you were happy with your tires, replace them with the same ones. However, if you want better tread wear, handling or intend on keeping your vehicles for many years, review different types until you find one that fits your needs.
When to Replace
Tires are considered legally worn when less than 2/32-inch of tread remains. All tires sold in North American have wear bars that are essentially molded indicators across the tread pattern to help drivers visually connect that their tires no longer meet minimum tread depth requirements. Be aware, however, that traction and handling decreases greatly long before tires reach this point and should be replaced as soon as handling becomes problematic.