Depending on where you live, how you drive, and how well you maintain your vehicle, your tires are likely to last anywhere between three and five years. When it comes time for replacements, it's important to know what tires you need and how to choose between options. Our team at Apple Chevrolet of York, Pennsylvania, is here to help you understand what to look for in high-quality tires and what you can do to determine the best ones for your vehicle.

Why It's Important To Have Good Tires

Fitting a vehicle with the right tires can bring about drastic improvements in several factors. The first, of course, is safety. Good tires can securely grip the road, giving your vehicle the traction required to accelerate, turn, and stop appropriately. In dangerous conditions, such as slick roads, they can help you maintain control and prevent accidents.

Second, with high-quality tires that are properly pressurized and balanced, you're likelier to enjoy a smoother driving experience. The tires receive power appropriately and transfer that energy to the road, providing pleasurable handling free of any distracting bumps and vibrations.

The third advantage good tires provide you is fuel efficiency. Low-quality tires can make it so that your vehicle's contact with the road is inconsistent, requiring a larger power output that eats through more of your fuel. In contrast, good tires give your vehicle the right balance, so it doesn't have to use any more power than necessary to operate.

Types of Tires

When you're shopping for new tires, you may come across an array of types. Possibly the most common type is the all-season tire, which has that name because it's suitable for use throughout the year. Compared to certain other tire types, all-seasons have less traction but can last for several years given proper care and maintenance. 

There are also two types of seasonal tires that help to acclimate your vehicle to specific weather and road conditions. For example, winter tires, also known as snow tires, have relatively wide-gap treads that are suitable for icy or snowy roads, and some even feature studs that allow for better grip on such surfaces. On the other end of the seasonal spectrum are summer tires. As the name suggests, these are ideal for conditions that are common in warm-weather months. They can improve handling on wet and dry roads and, with a reduced groove pattern, make greater road contact.

Other common types of tires for most vehicle bodies are performance tires and touring tires. Performance tires have comparably large grooves that improve traction on wet roads, and touring tires are a type of all-season variety with somewhat of a wide tread that maximizes surface contact, wears rather evenly, and helps to deliver a balanced, comfortable ride. Touring tires, also called grand touring tires, are designed to deliver a comfortable ride and reliable all-season traction, with the addition of more responsive handling. They generally have a higher speed rating than all-season tires and often feature an asymmetrical tread pattern.

Some types of tires are available specifically for larger vehicles, such as SUVs and trucks. One type is the all-terrain tire, designed for those who enjoy a little off-roading. It has a complex open-tread design that maximizes grip on surfaces like mud and rock while still delivering good handling on roads. 

Characteristics of Good Tires

Although the performance you get from a set of tires depends largely on their type, higher-quality tires fulfill their intended use more consistently. A summer tire, for example, should perform well in both dry and rainy conditions. Therefore, a summer tire that fulfills its purpose may qualify as high-quality. With that in mind, there are some characteristics you can look out for to determine the quality of the tires you're interested in buying. 

When you're shopping for tires, look for options that can provide you with the following:

  • Versatility: The tires should be able to perform well on various surface types and in a range of road conditions. 
  • Practicality: A practical tire is certain to last, preferably several years. 
  • Comfort: Great tires help to produce a comfortable ride with smooth and quiet operation.

How To Choose the Right Tires for You

Given the variety of tires on the market, choosing the right ones may seem like a challenge. That said, there are certain steps you can take to ensure you make the right choice. The first step is to determine the appropriate tire size for your vehicle. Consult your vehicle owner's manual or the informational placard affixed to the interior of the driver's door to find this information.

The next step is to determine your needs. For example, ask yourself what weather conditions you're the most likely to experience. If you live in a warm climate that rarely gets colder than 45 degrees, all-season or summer tires may meet all of your needs. However, if you live in an area that experiences significant temperature fluctuations, you may want to consider a variety of tires.

Also, consider your environment because different roads may call for different tires. If you're a city driver, look for tires that provide excellent fuel economy, braking distance, and longevity. Factors such as high-speed braking distance, handling, and comfort are important if you frequently drive on highways. If you live in an area with unpaved roads, you may want to consider off-road-capable tires.

Finally, consider your driving preferences. If you're more of a leisurely driver who emphasizes comfort, aim for tires designed for smooth driving and minimum road noise. In contrast, if you're more performance-minded, look for tires with higher speed ratings that mention control and precision among their features.

If you have any questions about your vehicle's tires, please reach out to us through our contact page or by calling us at 717-885-9716. You can also stop by our dealership to discuss your needs with a parts specialist. We look forward to hearing from you and helping you find the perfect tires for your vehicle.