At Prestige Auto Tech
we understand that replacing your car’s tires can be a harrowing, and confusing affair. There are dozens of tire brands, compound formulations, ratings, and numbers to keep track of, so how do you know you are making the right tire choices for you and your car?
However, none of this should be a problem if you are dealing with a reputable tire shop, and at Prestige Auto Tech we pride ourselves on the fact that we provide accurate, reliable advice on tire choices that will keep you safe, and on the road for the expected life of the tires you buy. So if you are looking to replace your tires, here are some tips on what to look out for, as well as some advice on tire safety and maintenance that will make your tires last for as long as they should.
Check the date of manufacture
Tires have a limited shelf life, which is why the date of a tire’s manufacture is molded into the sidewalls of all tires. Therefore, when you replace your tires it is crucially important to check that the tires you buy have not reached their sell-by dates.
You need to make sure that tires are no older than about two years, although some tire manufacturers claim that their products are perfectly safe after having been in storage for as long as four to five years. However, storage conditions at some tire shops are a lot less than ideal, with moisture and UV radiation from sunlight that are not controlled.
Since UV radiation degrades the rubber compound of tires, it is the single biggest factor that damages tires in storage. The really bad news is however that this type of damage is often invisible to the naked eye, so make absolutely sure you only buy tires that fall within the allowed storage window.
Only buy premium brands
While there is a market for cheaper tires, we do not recommend that you buy anything but premium, trusted tire brands. Premium tires may be more expensive initially, but they will save you significant amounts of money in both premature tire replacement costs, and fuel, since premium tyres are designed to decrease the wheels’ rolling resistance.
Only buy what you need
Prestige Auto Tech provides high quality wheel balancing and alignment services, and while we would appreciate your business, we would rather you get the tires that suits your car than perform endless wheel alignments on your car because someone sold you unsuitable tires.
For instance, uni-directional tires work better on powerful, high-end cars than on compact runabouts. Uni-directional tires can only work on one side of a vehicle, meaning that they cannot be rotated in the same way that tires meant for all-purpose use can be. Moreover, unidirectional tires usually have traction and speed ratings the limits of which can never be achieved with a compact car, meaning that if you buy uni-directional tires, you will be paying for benefits that you cannot use.
Maintain wheel alignment
If your car’s alignment is out of specification, it hardly matters what type of tires you buy, since poor alignment will destroy a set of expensive tires as easily as it will a set of cheap tires. At Prestige Auto Tech, we can inspect your alignment and correct all faults when you have replaced your tires to ensure that you get the most out of your new tires, regardless of the car, tire brand, or the age of your vehicle.
Maintain correct tire pressures
You have no doubt heard this a million times before, but after wheel alignment, maintaining the correct pressures in your tires is still the best way to preserve and extend the life of your tires. Never rely on the Tire Pressure Monitoring System of your car to keep the tires at the correct pressures; these systems are notoriously inaccurate, and your tires could be under-inflated by as much as 25% before the system will activate a warning light.
The most reliable way to monitor your tire pressures is to buy a good quality digital tire pressure gauge with which to check your tires once a week. Tire pressure gauges are available for a few dollars at almost any auto parts store, but the money spent will save you hundreds of dollars in unnecessary tire replacements.
At Prestige Auto Tech, we can run a quick diagnostic check on your car’s Tire Pressure Monitoring System to ensure that it works properly. The last thing we want when you leave our shop after an alignment is for the system to fail to register incorrect tire pressures, which can (and will) drastically reduce the life of your new tires.