For virtually all Americans, their vehicle is the first or second most important and expensive purchase they will make in a lifetime. A car, truck or SUV enables you to transport yourself, those you love, precious cargo, tools and necessary accessories to your home, your workplace, your favorite recreational area and your bucket list destinations.
You lavish tender, loving care on your vehicle. It is a symbol of who you are, of what is important to you. As much as you want your vehicle to return your devotion, it can be no more useful or reliable to you than the tires you furnish for it. The tires you select also indicate the value you place on transportation, safety, reliability and even appearance.
A Significant, Often Undervalued, Purchase
Considering the importance of a vehicle to the average person, it is somewhat ironic that the first concern drivers express when choosing tires is how much they cost. By way of comparison, remember that auto insurance is going to set a driver back thousands of dollars a year. Tires, which on average last three to five years, cost much less than a year’s worth of insurance.
The price of new rubber for your vehicle should be one of your least concerns, especially in this age of easy tire financing. In reality, there are multiple tools available for purchasing the ideal tires your vehicle will eventually require. Tires can be thought of as one of the essential vehicular items whose acquisition often requires financial support.
Considerations When Choosing Tires
The closer you get to tires, particularly when you take a look at the letters, symbols and numbers listed on their sidewalls, the more you realize just how different they are. Tires are engineered for specific uses. The more you know about these, the better you will be able to select the suitable set for your vehicle:
- Width, aspect ratio and diameter. These are the big three numbers that dictate, first of all, whether or not a tire will fit your vehicle.
- Load/speed rating. This is a letter that designates the maximum long-term speed your tire can sustain.
- Treadwear designation. Since not all tires have a mileage warranty, you can get a good idea of a tire’s life expectancy by looking at the sidewall treadwear number.
Caring for the Tires That Take Care of You
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that in 2019—the most recent year for which data is available, over 600 people die in accidents directly related to their tires. The NHTSA also stresses that taking care of your vehicle’s tires can not only be a lifesaver but also has several other significant benefits.
The number one important factor in caring for your tires is proper inflation, which correlates to saving about 11¢ per gallon of gas. Keeping the right air pressure in your tire on average increases their service by more than 4500 miles.
Having good tires on your vehicle will not guarantee that it runs smoothly and gets you where you want to go. Having bad tires, however, guarantees it will not.
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