Car Care Tips

Tips to keep your car on the road.

June 7, 2018

How to Pick the Right Tires for Your Car

How to pick the right tires for your car.

Not all tires are created equal. Every vehicle and every person drives differently, meaning that every car requires a different type of tire.

So, how do you pick the right tires for your car? We spoke with Meagan Harp, Call Center Manager at Virginia Tire & Auto, to gain some insight. Meagan’s team serves as the gateway between customers and all of the Virginia Tire & Auto locations. It’s their job to book appointments, arrange valet service, and more importantly, recommend tires.

Meagan reiterated the importance of choosing the correct tires for your vehicle and suggested a few factors that affect which tires you should choose.

Wondering How to Pick the Right Tires for Your Car ? 5 Factors to Consider

1. The type of car you drive

The fact is, different makes and models require different tires.

This might be obvious when comparing an SUV to a sedan. SUV tires are larger and will require a different load rating than a sedan’s would. Load rating defines how much weight a tire is equipped to carry at its industry-specified pressure. Load ratings are expressed differently depending on the type of tire – sometimes in numerical form and sometimes alphabetically. Each load rating will have a corresponding maximum load pressure measured in pounds per square inch (psi).

Even when you’re looking at the same vehicle, tires can vary widely. Take a Toyota Corolla for example. Corollas can have 4-5 different sized tires for each make and model. 

2. What tires you currently have

If you’re ready for new tires, it’s important to know what type and size of tire are currently on your vehicle.

Although you might be tempted to get the exact same set, you should ask yourself a few questions to evaluate their effectiveness. How long did your tires last? Did you experience frequent issues requiring unexpected repairs? Did you adequately maintain your tires?

Answering these questions will help the experts at Virginia Tire & Auto evaluate the quality of your current tires and help you choose the best option for your next set.

Read: How to Tell if You Need New Tires

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 vary widely depending on how many miles you drive. Those who rarely drive and just need to get from point A to point B will have different tire requirements than heavy commuters.

Similarly, your commuting habits will significantly affect the lifespan and health of your tires. For example, Virginia commuters might not drive long distances every day, 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 the most congested traffic spot in the country. Averaging nearly four traffic jams a day, commuters who continually navigate this crowded area will most likely see abnormal tire wear.

Read: Car Maintenance is Crucial for Northern Virginia Commuters: Here’s Why

4. Your driving style

Do you frequent high-traffic areas like the I-95 South corridor or do you often find yourself 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 are other habits to which your tires will not respond well.

However, if you do 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 last and 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
  • Performance & Handling
  • Smooth, Comfortable Ride
  • All-Season Capability

Based on your answers to these questions, 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, ensuring that we have the tires your vehicle needs.

Ready for New Tires?

At Virginia Tire & Auto, it’s our priority to ensure that 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 speak with one of our representatives.

What can we help you with?