Choosing the Right Tire - Lakewood Firestone

November 25th, 2013

Choosing the Right TireWe know you've heard it before, but it's critical enough to repeat: the tires you choose for your vehicle are important. It is critical to understand that the tires on your vehicle are the one single link to the road surface. To keep the rest of your vehicle performing at its peak, your tires are the very foundation of your vehicle.

Different quality tires will last for different periods of time, depending on wear and tear. Regular maintenance is key to longer tread life, but tread wears down over time and with use. Once you get to the point where you need to replace your tires, there are several choices that you can make. The easiest choice is get the exact size and make that originally came on the vehicle, when it was new. Beyond that, you might consider going to a better quality tire or one that improves dry and/or wet handling that's still the same size as the original tire. Depending on the original fitment of your vehicle, you may upgrade from standard tires to all-season tires, or seasonally switch between standard and winter tires, etc.

Another choice could be to switch to a different wheel and the reasons for doing that are numerous. Some people merely want a different look for the wheel while using the same tires that came on the original wheels. Switching out wheels is also an option for high-performance or racing vehicles, lifted vehicles, or lowered vehicles. In most of these instances, not only will the wheel size change, but the tire size changes along with it.

Choosing the tire that's right for your vehicle and your needs involves some considerations. Know your expected needs and driving uses. This consideration is important to overall driving performance and our tire shop will help you determine your tire needs before you purchase. Make sure you communicate what your daily driving is like (i.e. highway or city driving, slick road conditions or other road hazards you may typically encounter) and allow our tire professionals to advise you based on your driving needs. Consider weather conditions, when you select your tires. Unless you live in a temperate climate, with mild winters and few storms, you will want to look at tires that can improve safety in inclement weather. For areas with heavy rainfall, you’ll want to look at tires rated for wet conditions, or for areas with harsh winters, snow tires. All-season tires are a great selection, but don’t have the same built in safety, as tires rated for more extreme inclement weather. Some tread designs are noisier than others and this varies significantly between tire brands and tread designs. If most of your driving is on lower-speed city streets, then this won't be much of a factor. For highway driving, you'll want to consider your options, especially if you're driving an SUV on pavement most of the time. Noise reducing tires can be found in all shapes and sizes, so ask your mechanic, if they are right for you.

Our trusted mechanics / tire professionals will be able to determine the right size and kind of tire that will be best for your vehicle. Communication, again, is key. We can help you determine how to factor in tread life, ride, handling, and driving conditions to help you pin point, which of these options are most important to you. Ask about tire life, warranties, and keep in mind, many tire brands offer rebates and discounts, when you buy four at a time.

Always remember to be straightforward with what you really need and factor it in with that ever-present budget consideration, and you'll be well prepared, when it comes to keeping your car or truck on the ground.

  Posted in: Tires 101