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Private: The Right Tires for Your Car

driving in autumn

Did you know that fall is the best time to buy tires? According to J.C. Tire, they found numerous customers make the mistake of waiting until the spring to purchase new tires. The mechanics in their shop disclosed to us, “As a tire wears out, dry traction increases and wet (rain or snow) traction decreases making fall the best time for this purchase.” Frugal Living more specifically suggests that the month of October is the best time to buy tires because they are typically on sale to encourage consumers to prepare their car for winter.

How do you know what kind of tires you need?

You can look in your owner’s manual, or if you look on the sidewall of your tire you will find a code. This code can help you determine what size and type of tires to buy. Rene from J.C. Tire, helped us breakdown this sample code:

P195/60R16 63H M+S:

  • P – Type of tire (P-is a passenger tire, LT-is a light truck tire)
  • 195 – Width of the tire across the tread in millimeters
  • 60 – Aspect ratio of the sidewall compared to the width
  • R – Construction used (R-is radical construction, B-is belted bias construction, D-is diagonal bias construction)
  • 16 – Diameter of the rim in inches
  • 63 – Tire’s load rating
  • H – Tire’s speed rating
  • M+S – Tire is suitable for all-season driving

How do you know if you are purchasing quality tires?

Gary from Aero Motors stated you should pay close attention to the Department of Transportation (DOT) Serial Number located on the sidewall of the tire. The DOT number holds information that discloses the “born on” date of the tire, and where exactly the tire was manufactured. It is exceptionally important to know how long ago the tires were made when you are purchasing discount tires or tires on sale. This guarantees you are not purchasing tires that were made an extremely long time ago that could potentially be recalled or rotted.

How do you read a DOT number?

Here is an example of a DOT number broken down into what each section means:

DOT H2 CX 2AF 2713:

  • DOT – Identifies the beginning of the DOT number
  • H2– The place the tire was manufactured
  • CX – The tire’s size code
  • 2AF – The type of tire (optional)
  • 2713 – The week and year the tire was manufactured. In this example it was manufactured in the 27th week of 2013.

Do you need to buy all four tires?

You do not have to buy all four tires at one time. If you happen to run over something and need just one tire that is fine. If you can only afford to purchase two and plan on buying the other two at a later date that is okay too. If you do buy two new tires, your mechanic will typically put them on the rear of your car. Find out how much tires may cost you by heading over to where you can search by your vehicle type or tire size.

Tip: Gary from Aero Motors expressed these important suggestions based on the type of vehicle you have. All-wheel drive vehicles require equal tread depth in order for it to work properly. This means matching low tire tread with a new tire tread could damage the system. On four-wheel drive vehicles it’s important to match axles. For example, you can have a new set on the rear and old tires on the front as long as the tread depths are near equal on each axle.  This avoids potential damage to the self-locking splines on the four-wheel drive system.

How do you know if you even need new tires?

The best way to determine if you need new tires is to take your car to the shop first. Here, an expert mechanic can see if there is an alignment issue or if you really do need new tires, and if so, how many.

What all comes with the tires?

When you buy your tires, be sure to ask what services come with the purchase. While some establishments do not offer any, some offer rotations or repairs. Krietz Auto has a great deal when you buy tires from them; they offer free lifetime rotations and tire repairs. They state on their FAQ page that “Our tires should be rotated every other oil change, or every 6,000 miles. Neglecting to rotate tires is a major cause of premature tire wear.”

It is important to note that you should figure out your budget before making a major purchase. Are you willing to pay for expensive tires that will last longer, or will you go with the cheaper option that typically will not last as long? This price verses quality issue is a major factor when considering purchasing tires.

Short on funds, but need to make car repairs? Mariner Finance can help! We make loans for any reason, and will work with you to find a solution that best fits your budget and needs. Contact your local Mariner Finance branch today to speak with a knowledgeable member of our staff and get the money you need today!

The information provided in this article does not constitute financial advice and is provided for educational purposes only without any express or implied warranty of any kind. This article is not intended as legal, tax, investment, or any other advice, and Mariner Finance does not offer credit repair services. Consider talking with an appropriate qualified professional for specific advice. Blog posts are for informational purposes only.