How to Buy Tires

Bridgestone Tire Clinic | Tire Talk


Throughout the life of your vehicle, your tires will need to be replaced, and that’s not a small investment. For many consumers, knowing the ins and outs of buying tires can be overwhelming, so we’ve put together a practical tire buying guide so you’ll have the information you need to make an educated and confident decision.

How to buy tires

How Do I Know When It's Time to Buy New Tires?

The best way to know whether or not it’s time to buy new tires for your vehicle is to have them inspected by a trained professional, but there are many ways to check the tires by yourself. To meet legal safety standards, a tire’s tread needs to be a least 1.6mm deep. If the tires do not meet the 1.6mm standard or are close to not meeting it, you should replace your tires. Tires should also be free of sidewall damage and irregular wear for optimal performance and safety.

You can check your tires on your own through a visual inspection. Start with the tread — the grooves around the tire that make contact with the road surface. Make sure the tire tread is deep enough and that it’s worn evenly all the way around without any irregularities. All DOT-regulated tires feature built-in tread wear indicators called “wear bars” that will help you see when the tread is getting worn out. These indicators can be found in various places throughout the tread and will appear when the tread is worn to 1.6mm. You should also examine the sidewall of each tire to ensure there is no visible damage.

If your tires pass these tests, you may not need to buy new tires just yet. It’s a good idea to reassess the tread every few thousand kilometres or once a month, and even more often if you’re putting a lot of wear on your vehicle or driving for long distances.

How to Determine Correct Tire Size

Once you know it’s time to buy tires, the next question you’ll need to answer is what size tires are correct for your vehicle. You can find this information in a few different places: on a placard inside your car’s doorjamb or petrol tank hatch, in your owner’s manual, or on the sidewall of your current tires. If you’re unsure of how to read tire measurements from your tire walls, this article walks you through the steps.  

How Do I Know Which Tires Are a Good Fit For My Car?

Next, you’ll need to decide which tires will work the best for your particular needs and driving preferences. Start by assessing your driving habits. Do you typically stick to city and highway driving or do you hear the call of off-roading adventures? Are you fuel conscious?

Once you have a good idea of what’s important to you and your vehicle’s driving needs, you can match up your driving style with your perfect tire type:

Performance Tires

Performance tires are developed for driver who demands good handling and response in both wet and dry road conditions. These tires after equipped with proven high-speed stability with great braking performance for the street or racing track.

Comfort & Touring Tires

Touring tires are suitable for drivers who are particular about quietness and comfort. The tires are developed with noise dampening technology to reduce road noise, providing the best in-car experience.

Fuel-Saving Tyres

Fuel-saving tires are built for low rolling resistance performance, allowing the vehicle to travel further with lesser petrol consumption.

Do I Have to Replace All Four Tires at Once?

Another question many people buying tires have is whether or not they need to replace all four tires at once. The simple answer is yes. Since your tires affect the performance and handling of your vehicle, it’s important for them to be as identical as possible. If your tires don’t match, it’s possible that one end of your vehicle won’t be able to respond as quickly as the other, making it difficult to control.

Your tires are what keep your vehicle connected to the road, so having an even surface is vital.

If you must only replace one or two tires, select tires that are similar to what is currently installed on your vehicle. You should only consider tires that are within the same category as your existing tires. New tires should only be installed on the rear axle.

Which Are Better, New or Used Tires?

While it seems like there is some advantage to buying used tires—namely a lower price point—there are a lot of risks associated with it as well. Since you don’t know the history of the tires, it can be difficult to know whether or not they’ve been previously patched because of puncture or tears, which can mean the tire is more prone to leaks or blowouts. Used tires might also have uneven wear which can compromise their handling and safety. Used tires may need to be replaced much sooner than new tires.

It is best to only replace tires with new tires of the same category, brand, size, and speed rating.

What Should I Ask the Dealer?

Once you know the general type and size of tire you want, it’s important to also know what to ask the dealer to make certain you’re choosing the best tire option for your vehicle. Add on maintenance services, such as tire rotation and balancing, along with your new tires. Request for the dealer to outline each manufacturer’s warranty and replacement options to make certain your new investment is protected in the long run. Be sure to ask about any specials they might be offering.

With these tire buying tips in hand, you should be well on your way to making a confident decision when it comes to picking out new tires.