How to Choose the Right Tires for Your Car

Buying new tires for your car can be easy and enjoyable, but how do you know you're getting the right tires for your vehicle?
 
Most people drop their vehicle off at the dealership or local mechanic and have them fit their car with the tires on sale with no knowledge on the tires themselves. Typically, the tires work fine, but there are instances when someone is looking to make a quick dollar and fits you with tires that aren't suitable for your car. 
 
Through proper knowledge of tire type, tire size, and your specific preferences in a tire, you can narrow your list of tires. Here are 3 tips to help the ordinary person choose the right tires for their car.

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1. Know the Tire Type
 
Tires generally fall into three main categories: summer, winter, and all-season. Most consumers buy all-season tires because they don't want to change their tires with the season. However, depending on where you live and the terrain you drive on, you may need a more specialized tire for your car. 
 
All-season tires give a well-rounded performance on braking, traction, and handling. Summer tires specialize in handling and dry/wet braking but have a dismal performance in the snow. 
 
Winter tires conquer the snow with excellent traction but fall short when it comes to braking ability on the open road. 
 
Each tire category has a range of performance differences. Ask the service center which type is right for the roads in your area.
 
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2. Know the Correct Size Tire
 
First, before you take your car into the shop, refer to your owner’s manual or the driver’s side place card in the door jamb to find out the recommended tire size for your car. The other option, if your tires aren’t too weathered, is to find the numbers on the side of the tire. The numbers should look like this: P225/70R16 91S. 
 
Deciphering this may be difficult but all it takes is a little explaining. The "P" represents that this tire is meant for passenger type vehicles. This includes cars, minivans, and SUVs. If you see "LT," that means the tires are meant for a light truck. "T" means temporary and is on spare tires. 
 
The next significant number is the rim size. In our example P225/70R16 91S, 16 represents a tire that would fit a rim with a 16-inch diameter. 
 
The final grouping represents the speed rating of the tire. In our example P225/70R16 91S, 91S represents that this tire’s max speed is 91mph based of the laboratory speed tests. This does not mean you should drive your car 91mph! Still, follow the recommended speed limits on the road.
 
3. Prioritize What You Want in a Tire
 
According to a Consumer Reports study, most consumers choose a direct replacement tire when the car isn't too old. As the vehicle gets older consumers will switch the tire based on performance and price.
 
If you still aren't too sure what specific tire you should get, many manufacturers rate their tires on their websites based on performance. Many online retailers, local dealers, and tire companies have great deals on parts, but once you have picked out your desired tire, shop around to find the lowest price.
 
In conclusion, basic tire knowledge not only can help you find the best tire for your vehicle, but can also save you money in the long run. If you have further questions about which tire is best for your vehicle, swing by Kia of Kennesaw and talk to their friendly and knowledgeable staff. Between your newfound knowledge and their experience, you can drive away assured that your vehicle will be fitted with the perfect tires.
 
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