The Perfect Tire Changing Guide: When, What, and Why

Tire Changing Guide | 26th Street Auto Center

Changing tires might not sound like the most exciting topic, but it's crucial knowledge when it comes to your safety on the road and optimizing your vehicle's performance. Let's take you on a fact-filled guide with everything you need to know about tires.

When Should I Change My Tires - 3 Main Factors 

#1 Tread Depth

Tread depth is one of the primary indicators of when it's time to change your tires. The tread is the texture that comes into contact with the road. Over time, as you drive, the tread gradually wears down. You can use a tread depth gauge (or the penny test) to check your tire's tread depth.

  • Tread Depth Gauge: This handy tool is designed to accurately measure tread depth. Place it into the tread groove, and it will show you the remaining tread depth in millimeters or inches.
  • Penny Test: If you don't have a tread depth gauge, a simple trick is to use a penny. Insert a penny into the tire's tread with Lincoln's head facing downward. If you can see the top of Lincoln's head, your tire's tread is too shallow, and it's time for a replacement.

#2 Age

Tire aging is a less-known but equally crucial factor. They deteriorate over time due to exposure to the elements, even if they have plenty of tread left. This aging process can make them less safe. You can find the manufacture date on the sidewall, usually in the form of a four-digit code (e.g., 0519, which means the tire was made in the fifth week of 2019). Most manufacturers don't recommend using the same set of wheels for more than 4–5 years, so keep that in mind.

#3 Seasonal Changes:

Understanding when to switch between different types of tires is vital for maintaining optimal traction and safety throughout the year.

  • These tires are designed for warm weather, providing excellent grip on dry and wet roads. They are ideal for spring and summer but become less effective in cold or snowy conditions.
  • All-season tires are versatile and suitable for regions with mild weather changes. They provide decent traction in various conditions but might not excel in extreme heat or cold.
  • Winter tires are engineered to perform exceptionally well in cold, icy, and snowy conditions. It's recommended to switch to winter tires when temperatures consistently drop below 45°F (7°C).

What Tires are Best for Each Season

As you might have guessed, different seasons require different tires. For example, when spring starts to fade into summer, you will need to change into a set of summer ones. Or if you live in an area with a climate that doesn't change that much throughout the year, all-season tires will do you wonders. 

While it's simple, most people overlook this fact and run the same pair until they wear out - don't be one of them!

What Tires Are Best for Each Vehicle Type

Not all vehicles are created equal, and neither are their tire needs. We'll break down which tires are best for different types of vehicles, including:

  • Sedans: Explore the tire options that provide a smooth and comfortable ride for your everyday car.
  • SUVs and Crossovers: Discover the tires that offer the ideal balance between on-road comfort and off-road capability.
  • Trucks: Learn about the tires designed to handle heavy loads and challenging terrain while maximizing traction.
  • Sports Cars: Find out how sports car tires can improve your cornering and handling and why they're a must for performance vehicles.

Need a new set of tires? 26th Street Auto Center is here to help - just give us a call, and we will get you in the shop! While you are at it, consider looking at our detailing and ceramic coating procedures.

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