tires

Your car needs a new set of tires to carry you through winter or maybe just an all season renewal? Here some tips to help you pick the right set.

Things To Consider

Treadwear Grade

A government-required number that indicates a tire’s expected wear. A grade of 300 denotes a tire that will wear three times as well as a tire graded 100. But the numbers are assigned by tire manufacturers, not an independent third party.

Load Index

Shorthand for the weight each tire can carry safely. The 94 here means 1,477 pounds per tire—pretty typical for a midsized car tire. That’s the maximum tire load.

Traction and Temperature Scores

Those scores denote a tire’s wet-stopping ability and temperature resistance. For traction, AA is best, C is worst. For temperature resistance, scores range from a (best) to C.

Manufacture Date Code

Every tire has a Department of Transportation (DOT) number following the letters on the sidewall. The last four digits determine the week and year the tire was made; for example, the digits 2315 would signify that the tire was made during the 23rd week of 2015. Don't buy tires more than a couple of years old.

Picking The Right Tire Type

All-Season Car Tires

For small cars to light-duty SUVs and pickups.

Ultra-High Performance Tires

Upscale sedans or sporty vehicles. Provide good handling and responsive steering in wet and dry conditions.

Performance Winter & Snow Tires

has sizes that fit all cars using UHP all-season.

Winter & Snow Tires

Winter/snow offer superior grip to go, stop, and corner in cold, inclement weather.

Performance All-Season Car Tires

Higher speed rating than standard all-season tires.

All-Terrain Truck Tires

Engineered for more heavy-duty applications. Suitable for use on paved roads and light off-road use.

Truck Winter & Snow Tires

Heavy load SUVs or pickups.

All-Season Truck Tires

Heavy load SUVs or pickups.

Tire Maintenance Tips

Check the air pressure each month when the tires are cold.

Look for cracks, cuts, or bulges in the sidewall or tread and replace tires that have them.

Stay within the vehicle's weight capacity listed on the doorjamb placard.

Be sure that they're inflated to the air pressures listed on the placard on the doorjamb or inside the glove compartment or fuel-filler door.

Best Brands

Michelin

Goodyear

Bridgestone

Yokohama

Pirelli