Advice on Buying New Tires

Buying New Tires? What You Need to Know to Keep Rolling

When it comes to replacing the tires on your car or truck, it can be a bit of an investment. You may be tempted to choose a cheaper set to save money, but quality matters in this instance. If you do some research and find a good value on tires, you can ensure they last a long time and give you good performance throughout their lifetimes. Our tire professionals at Kennedy Transmission can give you options that offer the best long-term value within your immediate budget.


Not All Tires Are Created Equal

To achieve the best possible performance from your tires, purchase a set that matches the season you are driving in. First: consider what the climate is like where you live and where you usually drive. Places like Minnesota have dry summers and snowy winters. That means it’s a good idea to go with dedicated summer and winter tires and swap them out each spring and fall. But what are the differences in these types of tires?

  • Summer tires work best in hot temperatures. The tread is engineered for good traction on dry or rainy roads. However, the rubber compound in summer tires gets stiff when temperatures drop below 45°F, and snow and mud can pack into the tread and reduce tire traction.
  • Winter tires offer good traction on snowy surfaces. The tread actually throws snow off of the tire as the wheel turns. And the rubber compound in a winter tire is soft, so it will remain flexible in temperatures below 45°F. But at higher temperatures, the softer rubber wears down rapidly.
  • All-season tires sacrifice some of the performance of summer or winter tires, but they maintain adequate traction in either extremely hot or cold weather.
  • All-terrain tires can handle the extra wear of off-road use while still giving an adequate performance on streets and highways. There are a number of grades to choose from, whether you are only an occasional off-road explorer or a serious rock climber.

Make sure to choose the type of tire that best fits your preferred driving style and location in order to keep your car running safely and at peak performance.


The Problem with Custom Wheels

A car can be as much of a fashion statement as it is a vehicle.  Over the years, custom wheels grew in popularity. While it’s tempting to slap the largest, most outrageous wheels you can onto your car, most drivers don’t realize that this can be a hazard if not done properly. The rolling diameter of your new tires – the overall height of the tire while on your car – must be close to what came from the factory in order for your car or truck anti-lock brakes and stability control systems to work properly.

The computer that controls these systems calibrates to a certain size tire. When you go bigger (or smaller), this computer doesn’t recognize what changes you’ve made, so it can’t tell how fast you’re going. When that happens, it sends wrong commands to the brakes and traction control because it’s still using the wrong tire size. If you do choose to go with a different rolling diameter, make sure a trained professional reprograms your car or truck engine control computer for the new tire size.


Have Your Tires Inspected by the Experts at Kennedy

When replacing the tires on your two-wheel drive vehicle, it’s essential to always replace both tires on the same axle, and always put the new tires on the rear so you don’t fishtail in a turn. All-wheel drive vehicles you should replace all four tires at the same time so that braking and traction control systems work as intended. At Kennedy Transmission, our tire professionals can spot the tell-tale signs of tire wear and will recommend the right type of replacement tires to fit your needs. Find a location near you and bring your car or truck by for an inspection today!

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