How to Choose the Right Tires for Your Car
Shopping for tires can get really overwhelming really fast. What tire size fits your car? What are the best tires on the market? What features do you need to stay safe on the road? How do you get the best value for your money?
We know it’s confusing to pick the right tires for your car—that’s why we have tire experts on call to help you decide! But before you give us a call, take a moment to think about these 5 factors.
Wondering How to Choose the Right Tires for Your Car? 5 Factors to Consider
1. The Type Of Car Your Drive
Before you start shopping for tires, figure out what kind of tires fit your vehicle. Different makes and models require different tires, so make sure you’re looking at the right tire type for your car. And keep in mind that even when you’re looking at the same vehicle model, tires can vary widely. Take a Toyota Corolla for example: Corollas can need up to 5 different sized tires depending on the trim package.
The size of your car will impact the type of tires you need as well. For example, an SUV will need light truck tires with a higher load index than a sedan’s passenger/touring tires. A tire load index defines how much weight a tire is equipped to carry at its industry-specified pressure. Each load index number will have a corresponding maximum load pressure measured in pounds per square inch (psi).
Not sure what type of tire your car needs? Check out your car’s owner’s manual, look at the sticker inside the driver-side door, or find the numbers on your current set of tires.
2. What Tires You Currently Have
If you’re in the market to buy new tires, it’s important to first know what type and size are currently on your vehicle. Once you’ve figured that out, ask yourself a few questions to figure out if you need to make a change.
- How long did your current tires last? Did they last as long as you expected them to?
- Did you experience frequent issues requiring unexpected repairs?
- Did you like their handling and performance?
- Have your driving needs changed since your last tire purchase?
If you are happy with your current tires, shopping is easy: buy the same model you already have! But if you’re ready to mix it up, talk to us! The tire experts at Virginia Tire & Auto will help you evaluate the quality of your current tires and choose the best option for your next set.
3. How Many Miles You Drive A Year
It’s important to take your daily commute into consideration when shopping for new tires.
The right tires for your vehicle may depend on how many miles you drive each year. Those who rarely drive and just need to get from Point A to Point B will have different tire requirements than heavy commuters.
Your commuting habits will also significantly affect the lifespan and health of your tires. For example, Northern Virginia commuters might not drive long distances every day or travel at high speeds, but they’re frequently stuck in stop-and-go traffic. In fact, the I-95 South corridor that runs through Prince William, Fairfax, and Stafford counties is one of the most congested traffic spots in the country. Averaging nearly four traffic jams a day, commuters who regularly navigate this crowded area will most likely see abnormal tire wear.
4. Your Driving Style
Do you frequent high-traffic areas like I-95 or I-66, or are you more likely to be cruising along open highway roads? Where and how you drive will affect which tires are right for your vehicle.
Tires respond well to sustained speeds on smooth surfaces like highways, while short, stop-and-go trips tend to wear on your tires more. Pulling heavy loads or trailers, hard cornering, aggressive acceleration, and speeding over bumps and potholes will also shorten the lifespan of your tires.
If you find yourself practicing some of these driving habits, it’s important to be honest during the discovery process—it’s vital to choose tires that can handle your personal driving style.
5. What You Want Your Tires to Do
The final question you’ll want to think about before investing in a new set of tires is what benefits you’re looking for. Benefits can include but are not limited to:
- Longevity (Mileage)
- Performance & Handling
- Smooth, Comfortable Ride
- Wet Braking
- Fuel Efficiency
- All-Terrain/Off-Road Traction
You also need to choose the right tires for your climate. If you live somewhere warm, you’ll want to look at all-season or summer tires. In a seasonal climate like Virginia, we recommend that you buy a set of all-season tires to use year-round or switch between summer and winter tires. For drivers regularly dealing with freezing temperatures, ice and snow, definitely invest in a set of winter tires to use during colder months.
Ready for New Tires?
In any given tire size, there’s anywhere from 20–100 tires to choose from, ranging in capabilities and qualities. Virginia Tire & Auto offers all major tire brands, guaranteeing that we have the tires your vehicle needs.
It’s our priority to make sure your vehicle is outfitted with the safest, most appropriate tires. Find your tires today using our online search tool or give us a call at 855.425.3677 to get a recommendation from our tire experts.