Don’t buy a car without asking some questions about its tires. Here are some key ones to ask in our Car Pro Tip of the Week.
1. Does It Have Run-Flat Tires?
On the plus side, if you have a blowout or a flat, run-flats keep you driving for roughly 50 to 100 miles. The downside is that they wear out faster than normal tires, can give you a rougher ride and run about $75 more a tire to replace. They are also sometimes not as readily available in the size you need.
2. Does It Come with a Full-Size Spare?
Ask whether there’s a full-size spare tire in the trunk. Many automakers, but not all, have already done away with spares in an effort to lighten the load for better fuel economy.
3. Are the Tires Directional?
Directional tires often found on high-performance vehicles are designed to spin in only one direction. The center V-shaped tread provides better traction on wet roads. But the tire rotation price can be expensive. Unless the tires are unmounted and remounted on their wheels to accommodate use on the other side of the vehicle, directional tires are to be used on one side of the vehicle only and are intended to be rotated from the front axle to the rear axle. If different tire sizes are used on the front vs. rear axle, the tires become location-specific and prohibit tire rotation unless remounted. Either way, this will add a lot of expense to getting your tires rotated and will certainly require a specialized tire shop or service center.
4. What are the Tire Weight Load Ratings?
A question to ask if you’re going to be towing heavy loads.
5. How Important Are Looks?
This one is about personal preference. Some people prefer larger wheels and tires, especially if it’s a truck or SUV. But they cost more. So if looks aren’t that important to you stick to standard sized tires to keep replacement costs down.
For even more tire tips click out our in-depth article here.