How to Buy the Best All-Season Tires

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How to Buy the Best All-Season Tires
All-season tires are actually only good year-round in certain climates. They are ideal for light snow, wet, and dry road conditions. Here’s how to choose right right all-season car tires, how to price them out, and how to install them safely.

Find out what size and type of tire is recommended by the car manufacturer

Step 1: Locate your car’s owner’s manual. It’s probably in your glove box.
Step 2: Turn to the page that lists the recommended tire specifications. The recommended tire size is listed on the sticker on the door jam of the driver’s door, but the driver’s manual will give you more detailed information.
  • Note: If you have custom rims on your car, get the width, profile, wheel size, load and speed rating off the tires that you have currently. They are listed in that order right on the tire.

Determine which manufacturer’s all-season tires are best

Step 1: Research which manufacturers have the highest ratings. Consumer Reports has done the research on the most well-known brands.
  • Tip: All-season tires are designed for climates where temperatures rarely fall below 45 degrees Fahrenheit.
Step 2: Take a look at online customer reviews. Amazon is a great site for this. Click on the all-season tires you are interested in to see the tire’s rating and to read customer reviews.

Do some window shopping

Step 1: Go online to sites that sell tires to find prices. Many shops, like Pep Boys, have user-friendly sites so that you can find out what they sell.
  • Tip: Tires with a treadwear grade of 200 will wear two times better than a grade of 100. An AA traction rating and A temperature resistance are best. These numbers are stamped on the tire.
Step 2: Look for tire sales. Tire shops, like Firestone advertise tire sales online.
Step 3: Visit area tire shops. They have tires on the showroom floor for you to browse.

Determine how many tires you can afford

Step 1: Multiply the price of your preferred all-season tires by two and by four. Replacing all four tires is recommended; however, you can replace only two at a time if your budget is too tight for all four.
Step 2: Call local mechanic shops to find out how much they charge for mounting and balancing your tires. Get their price for doing two tires and four tires.
  • Note: Mounting means putting the tire on the rim. Balancing means making sure the wheel is evenly balanced for a smooth ride and even tire wear.
Step 3: Subtract these figures from the amount of money you have in your budget to spend on tires.

Buy your tires and have them put on the car

Step 1: Buy your tires. Buy them online, if that’s where you find the best prices. If you can get them cheaper through the tire shop, get them there.
They’ll often give you a discount on the cost of tires if you have them mount, balance, and put the tires on your car.
Step 2: Make an appointment with the local mechanic. Set a time for a technician or tire shop to have the tires mounted on your rims, balanced, and put on the car.
Step 3: Take your car to the shop. Be prepared to leave it there for at least a few hours. Some shops can get them done for you while you wait, but it is better if you can simply leave the car and come back later.
The easiest and often least expensive way to buy all-season tires is to simply buy them through a local tire shop. It is always best to shop around for the best deals, though, and do a little research to make sure you are getting good, reliable car tires.