5 Things to Know About Buying Tires
**1- When is it time to buy new tires?
**The simple answer is that you can use your old tires as long as they hold air and have tread. The legal limit is 2/32” of tread remaining, but as a matter of safety in extreme conditions, think about buying tires sooner.
- When the tread is down to 4/32”, channeling water becomes difficult and can cause you to hydroplane on wet road conditions. Consider buying new tires when tread reaches 4/32”.
- Tires older than five years can get stiff, and even though they may have plenty of tread left, the tire will not grab well if you need to break suddenly. New tires have better stopping power.
CarSoup.com Tire Tip: Use a penny to measure 2/32” and a quarter to measure 4/32”. Slip the coin into the tread groove with the president’s face upside down. If you can see all of his head, it’s time to start looking for new tires!
**2- What do I buy?
**In general, all-season tires work well for everybody. The exception is northern climates in the winter; all-season tires work well for all wheel drive (AWD) vehicles but light cars and rear-drive vehicles need snow tires.
**3- Are the cheapest tires good enough?
**You are much better off spending an extra $100 ($25 per tire) and getting better tires. Not only are they better quality, but they are also a better value because they will last much longer.
**4- But the warranty says they are good for 90,000 miles.
**Don’t confuse the warranty for life expectancy. It just means that if your tire lasts until 90,000 miles, you are still covered for defective workmanship. Burton recommends buying a better tire and getting road hazard coverage on your insurance. That way you can get a new tire if you run over a nail.
**5- How do I maintain new tires?
**Keep them properly inflated, of course. Rotate the tires every 10,000 miles, because the front tires wear out three times faster than the rear tires. Also, keep them aligned. An unaligned tire can form an irregularity that will stay with the tire forever.