Theoretically, shopping for tires should be easy – as long as you are prepared to swap out your old ones for more of the same. When you want to explore the different tire options out there, things can get difficult. There’s a fair amount to take in and understand, from deciphering tire sizing and standards to figuring out the best tires for every situation.
Making Sense of the Letters and Numbers.
For the average driver, the tire size formula doesn’t make much sense – and we totally understand that. That’s why we have our tire geeks here at Freedom Toyota of Hamburg to help you understand all of your tire options and find the right fit for your car, your lifestyle, and your driving habits.
A common tire you might see will have stamping on the side. It looks like a jumble – it may read something like P215/65R15 90H. For the normal person? Not exactly easy to understand. However, it breaks down to a point that any layman can understand.
Matching Tire to Purpose.
Unless you’ve ordered specific performance or off-road rubber for the new vehicle you’re picking up from Freedom Toyota of Hamburg, your ride is coming from the factory with all-season tires. They’re a great mix of fuel efficiency, good tread life, year-round performance, and a quiet and composed ride.
That being said, being good at many things often means not being great in any particular area. That’s why drivers have a number of options to choose from.
Think about what you want the tires for, and how much time you want to spend with your vehicle in the shop. Do you really need off-road tires if you just spend one or two days a year rolling through the fields to park for the local fair? Do you want to spend the time to swap out tires between summer and winter? Are you prepared to have to be extremely cautious taking high-performance slicks out in the rain? These are answers you’ll need to think on.
To Mix, or Not to Mix?
It might sound like a good idea to go with the cheapest available tire at the time, or to just replace a single tire that needs replacing. It’s the least expensive way to get back on the road, quick.
Don’t be tempted.
Whether you’re doing heavy city traffic or long highway miles in Hamburg, your tires wear over time. They will wear unevenly. Having two different tires on the same axle will lead to different handling characteristics, and your vehicle won’t perform as it should.
You should avoid mixing tires with different tread patterns, different construction, or different purpose – for instance, don’t mix run-flat and non-run-flat tires, and don’t mix winter, summer, and all-season tires together. Staggered sizing should be avoided, and done only if that is how the vehicle came from the factory to begin with.
Even with everything else the same, we also advise against mixing manufacturers. While we have full confidence in all the brands we stock here at Freedom Toyota of Hamburg, they do have slight differences from one to the other, ranging from wear rate and patterns and handling capabilities to small tread difference. Go with one brand and stick with it.
Go with What You Got.
All of this have your head spinning?
Quite often, your best bet is to just roll with what your vehicle came with. Vehicle manufacturers aren’t shipping cars off the line with bad rubber – they want to send out a product that is the best fit for their vehicle, and for the driving they’re expecting out of it.
Our team of experts here at Freedom Toyota of Hamburg can help you to sort through the different tire options, and find the right fit for the vehicle you have, the weather we deal with throughout the year, and the type of performance you are looking for. It’s what we do, and what we’re good at.
Want to learn more about the different tire options available for your vehicle? Ready to replace your tires? Contact our staff at Freedom Toyota of Hamburg for more information!