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December 16, 2009


   Tire shopping can be very confusing these days. There are so many brands and so many options. What tires are the best bang for the buck for your vehicle? Do you need those two hundred dollar performance tires for your minivan? Should we be thinking about mileage ratings? Are the tires you are about to purchase good for all seasons? Do the tires fit my driving habits? We are going to look at all of these questions to help you be better informed on your next tire purchase.

Driving Habits - Our driving habits are the most important factor in determining what tires to purchase for our vehicle. Is our vehicle basic transportation to and from work? How many miles do we drive each day? and finally do we drive highway miles, back roads and do conditions change drastically with the seasons?

   For most of us our vehicle is the basic transportation to and from work, in this case we need to look at where we live and the driving conditions that we are encountering. If you live in an area where there are many hills and turns you need to keep in mind that these conditions will affect the wear on your tires, going up and down hills for example causes more stress on your entire car including your tires, The weight of the vehicle will al transfer to the front or back depending on if you are going up or down. We also should look at weather conditions. Does it rain a lot, snow in the winter (some drivers run separate snow tires for winter driving) or is it a hot area where our tires are exposed to above normal temperatures.

   Is our vehicle a sports car and do we drive it like one? Do we need our tires to perform when cornering and braking under extreme driving conditions? These are all things to consider when purchasing tires.


Tire Types - Now lets' look at Tire ratings for a minute without getting into too much detail. A performance tire for example is designed to handle extreme driving at high rates of speed, cornering and braking. This type of tire is not the type of tire we need on our grocery getter or minivan and if we purchase this type of tire we are wasting our money for these types of vehicles. A performance tire has a different type of compound that makes the tire sticky on the road. because of this the compound is softer and the tires wear about much faster than normal tires, not to mention performance tires are generally much more expensive.

   All season tires on the other hand are a general purpose tire, depending on the tire most of these types of tires are rated for longevity and typically have mileage ratings from 40,000 miles to 80,000 miles. Keep in mind that these are ratings and not guaranteed, remember the mileage you get out of a set of tires totally depends on some important factors such as driving conditions, weight of vehicle, vehicle alignment and driving habits. All season tires are made to handle what we call here in Vermont three seasons and are not usually very well in the snow.

   Winter tires or snow tires are a whole different animal, Much like performance tires these tires are made with a special compound that keeps the tire soft during cold temperatures for traction. Snow tires are also designed more aggressive so that you have traction in the winter. However keep in mind that using snow tires in the summer when it is warm will cause the tires to wear very rapidly and is not recommended.


Conclusion - So we have talked about driving habits and touched on some tire types. Again I want to mention that you need to look at what you drive and how you drive it to determine what you need for tires. The important thing to remember is if you spend two hundred dollars per tire for a performance tire for your focus and you use the car for a daily driver then you are wasting your money. First off the all season tires is probably half the price and secondly they will last 2 -3 times longer.


For a full selection of tires of all types, ratings and sizes please visit http://www.barretire.com . You will be able to shop for tires by vehicle, tire size or brand with our easy to use tools to make your tire shopping experience actually enjoyable.


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