Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tire Reviews and Comparison Tips

Tires need to be replaced a number of times during the lifetime of a vehicle. Even with advances in tire technology, tread life will vary by vehicle type, tire type such as AWD and 4X4 tires, driving habits, road conditions and weather conditions.

If your need for new tires has been determined after thoroughly inspecting and maintaining tires, identify the best tires for your vehicle and driving demands. Your local tire discounter can help determine this with you but there are some tips on how to choose that you should always consider.

How to Choose New Tires

1. Put safety first. Find tires that do well in braking, handling, hydroplaning resistance testing. Weather conditions should also be considered to learn about the tires traction and performance in snow and ice so that you can keep your passengers safe on the road.

2. Do your research. The Internet provides many great resources for researching tire attributes and tire reviews but the key to find the best prices is comparison shop. Visit your local tire stores when comparison shopping to find the best tire price for your vehicle because prices are not always listed online. Some tire retailers, like Belle Tire, can actually help you online, over the phone or even right in the store to check other tire stores’ prices on your behalf.

Also, independent tire reviews such as from ConsumersReports.com, perform tread life tests on tires that show that a manufacturer's warranty doesn't always indicate how a tire will wear. These independent tire reviews are great sources for nonbiased information that can help with your decision buying your next set of tires.

3. Understand what you are getting and avoid "hidden charges." Once you have researched tire reviews and decided on the tires that suit you and your vehicle the best the technician should detail all charges associated with the tire installation. Many times tire dealers do not include installation fees and tire warranty charges in the tire price quote. Make sure that your comparison shopping gets you out the door with more value, services and protection with every tire installation.

Here is a list of what you should expect with every tire installation:
* Lifetime Alignment Checks – The alignment of your car is important to extending the wear and performance from your tires, and it’s vital to steering performance.
* Nitrogen Tire Inflation - Nitrogen is a safe, more stable alternative to filling your tires with air because it leaks out naturally much more slowly and does not react to changes in outside temperature.
* Lifetime Tire Rotation - The purpose for regular rotation is to achieve more uniform tread wear on all tires on your vehicle.
* Lifetime Spin Balancing - Every time a tire is fitted to a wheel, it should be balanced.
* Lifetime Flat Repairs – Flats happen. If your tire can be repaired, trust a tire retailer who is there for you when you need them with free flat repairs.
* A 36 Month Pro-Rated Road Hazard Warranty – Tire retailers such as Belle Tire offer a warranty to replace a damaged tire on your vehicle when an unexpected event occurs that ruins the tire, such as running over debris or potholes.
* Mounting Tires - Your tires should be professionally mounted by expert tire installers.
* Tire Disposal – Consider the environment and make sure that 100% of the tire is recycled and not put in a landfill.
* Rubber Valve Stems - The rubber valve stem, although a small part of the tire and wheel assembly, it is one of the most important parts.
* Hand Torque of Wheels - Many tire stores rely only on an air wrench to mount your tires and wheel but, by hand-torquing each lug nut to make sure that your tire and wheel assembly are securely fastened your safety is still the top priority.

4. Understand the kind of tire you need. Choose a tire type and size to suit your vehicle and driving conditions. The largest percentage of consumers will be satisfied with regular and high-performance all-season tires, but models for SUVs and other trucks and 4X4 or AWD vehicles are different than those for cars and minivans. Researching tire reviews and performing your own tire comparison will help get your rolling again.

About Belle Tire
Allen Park, Mich.-based Belle Tire was founded in 1922 when it opened the first Belle Tire location in Detroit, Mich. Today, the company has expanded to 80 locations across Michigan and Ohio. Belle Tire offers discount tires and variety of car care needs, ranging from auto glass repair, auto glass replacement, brakes, alignments, batteries, shocks and struts, exhaust system repair, batteries, and oil changes. For more information about Belle Tire, visit http://www.belletire.com/. Join the Belle Tire Advantage today, http://belletireadvantage.com/.

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