4 Tricks for Tacoma Tire Shoppers
Choosing the right tires for your car is an important decision, as they are vital for safety. They are the only part of your vehicle that touches the ground, and they have a huge impact on braking, turning, or driving on a wet road. A set of high quality tires provides the necessary responsiveness for avoiding obstacles, making sudden stops, and holding on to the road in different weather conditions. Quality tires make the difference between stopping safely and rear-ending a car in front of you when travelling at a speed of 30 mph. These are some key considerations when shopping for new tires.
1. When Do I Need New Tires?
In normal road conditions, tires are considered worn out at 2/32-inch minimum tread depth. In wet conditions, 4/32-inch or less tread depth represents a significant loss of wet traction, because of shallower grooves. Traction in snowy conditions diminishes at 6/32-inch tread. Given that the state of Washington is prone to rainfall throughout the year, it is a good idea to replace your tires as soon as they begin to wear noticeably. In addition, any irregular wear means immediate tire replacement.
2. How Many Tires Do I Need to Replace?
Replacing all four tires is the best case scenario, but if you have budget constraints you have a couple of options. If only one tire is damaged, then you can replace it with one that is a similar brand, line, tread, and load capacity to the three remaining ones. If you need two tires, replace them with those of similar or better quality, placing the new tires on the rear of the vehicle, as they provide the driver with more control on wet roads. The deeper treaded tires are better at withstanding hydroplaning.
3. Do I Need Winter Tires?
A good rule of thumb is that if you live in an area where the winter temperatures regularly fall below 45 degrees Farenheit, you should invest in a set of winter tires. While all-season tires are capable of handling a variety of road conditions — even light snow — winter tires are built specifically to handle ice, slush, and heavy snow. All-season tires can harden in low temperatures, lessening the traction between the road and your tires. Winter tires use special rubber compounds that remain malleable in the cold, giving them improved grip and braking in snowy conditions.
4. What Do I Look For When Choosing New Tires?
First, you need to know your tire size when shopping for new tires. You can find this on the sidewall of your old tire, in your driver’s manual, or on the inside of the driver side door. Some shops stock old, unused tires, so it is important to check the age code before making a purchase. This code is a four-digit number following a letter sequence that begins with DOT. This indicates the week and year the tire was manufactured.
Shopping for new tires can be a daunting task, as there are so many variables to consider. However, with the right information and a few guidelines, you should be able to complete this without too much trouble.
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