As previously mentioned in part one of our Tire Buying Guide, fall is the best time of the year to buy new tires. If you’re not sure if you need new tires, click here. If you do need new tires, the next step is to choose the right tires for your car. To help make the process easy, we explain where to find this information and how to choose the best tires at the shop.
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 radial 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.
Need new tires before winter hits, but short on funds? Mariner Finance is here for your financing needs! Contact your local Mariner Finance branch to speak with a knowledgeable member of our staff and get the money you need today!
†We offer personal loans from $1,000 to $25,000, with loans terms from 12 to 60 months. Minimum and maximum amounts dependent on an applicant’s state of residence and the underwriting of the loan. Loans between $1,500 and $15,000 may be funded online. Loans greater than $15,000 or less than $1,500 are funded through our branch network. Specific interest rates and fees are determined as permitted under applicable state law and depend upon loan amount, term, and the applicant’s ability to meet our credit criteria, including, but not limited to, credit history, income, debt payment obligations, and other factors such as availability of collateral. Not all rates and loan amounts are available in all states. Additional fees may apply to some loan offers; some state required and/or permitted fees may be treated as prepaid finance charges. Any such charges shall be in addition to the loan amount requested and/or approved and shall be fully disclosed to the applicant on his/her loan agreement. Not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rates or larger loan amounts, which may require a first lien on a motor vehicle not more than ten years old titled in the applicant’s name with valid insurance. Our loan by phone and online closing process requires a compatible mobile or computer device on which you can access your email and electronic documents. Not all loan types are eligible for loan by phone or online loan closing.
To help the government fight the funding of terrorism and money laundering activities, Federal law requires all financial institutions to obtain, verify, and record information that identifies each person who opens an account. As a result, under our customer identification program, we must ask for your name, street address, mailing address, date of birth, and other information that will allow us to identify you. We may also ask to see your driver's license or other identifying documents.
For any stated annual percentage rate (“APR”), the APR represents the cost of credit as a yearly rate and will be determined based upon an applicant’s credit at the time of application, subject to state law limits. A range of APR’s may be applicable, subject to state law limits and individual underwriting. Not all applicants will qualify for a lower rate. APR’s are generally higher on loans not secured by a vehicle, and the lowest rates typically apply to the most creditworthy borrowers. All terms and conditions of a loan offer, including the APR, will be disclosed during the application process. As an example, with an amount financed of $5,000.00 the borrower receives $5,000.00 at an APR of 29.99% and an interest rate of 28.77% which includes a finance charge of $3,640.96. Under these terms, the borrower would make 48 monthly payments of $180.02, for a total of payments of $8,640.96. The amount financed may not be the net proceeds paid if charges other than interest are included in the loan.
*The process uses a “soft” credit inquiry to determine whether a loan offer is available, which does not impact your credit score. If you continue with the application process online and accept a loan offer, or are referred to a branch and continue your application there, we will pull your credit report and credit score again using a “hard” credit inquiry. This “hard” credit inquiry may impact your credit score.