How to Buy Tires – What You Need to Know

You took the time to go through the process of choosing and buying a car that you like. However, taking the time to choose the right tires for your vehicle is just as important as the vehicle you’re driving. Tires are one of the most important components of your vehicle. They help you travel from point A to point B, improve your gas mileage, and change the ride quality of your vehicle. Here at Germain Cars, we’re going to answer the most common concerns people have when it comes to maintaining their tires.


How often should I replace my tires?

There are a number of factors that decide when you should replace your tires. Some of these factors include the type of vehicle you own, how well you maintain your tires, as well as where and how you drive it. The average life of tires is somewhere between 25,000 and 50,000 miles before they need to be replaced. These numbers are only averages and responsible drivers should check their vehicle’s owner manual to see how often and in what manner their tires should be replaced. Car owners should also be aware of the basics of tire wear, how to test for tire wear, and how well you care for your tires.

What happens if I don’t replace my tires?

By not replacing your tires, you expose yourself to unnecessary risk, place more stress on your vehicle and reduce your gas mileage and overall performance. For example, during rain, the grooves embedded in your tires help channel the water away and help reduce the chance of hydroplaning. Driving on worn tires reduces your stopping power and ability to completely control of your vehicle. Replacing your tires will give an overall better driving experience, decrease road noise, improve ride quality, and save you money at the pump.

3 Factors to Consider When Selecting Tires


Tires are put to the test in difficult situations like rain, snow, potholes, and roads with uneven pavement. When choosing the right tires for your vehicle, you’ll want to make sure that your tires are as reliable as the manufacturer recommendations. Remember to keep in mind not all tires are equal.


Buying tires is an expense that no one wants to put on their list, but by purchasing quality tires – you’ll save yourself a lot of money down the road.


Your tires should reflect your style. Do you like a comfortable drive or precision handling for those twisty roads? Make sure you factor this into your decision making process for your tires.

When to Rotate Your Tires

It’s important for your tires to be occasionally rotated so that they wear unevenly. For example, front tires tend to wear more on the outside edges because when you turn, the tire leans over. Rotating your tires should happen every 3,000-6,000 miles and help eliminate premature tire wear.

3 Functions of a Tire Rotation:

  • Air pressure will be checked and adjusted as necessary
  • Brakes will be checked
  • Each tire and wheel will be moved to a location where it will wear most evenly

How to Measure Your Tire Tread

Although your brakes stop the wheels from turning, it’s the tread that grips the surface and actually brings your car to a stop. For safety purposes, it’s imperative that you measure the tread of the tires.

The Penny Test

The most popular way to measure the tread of tires is with the penny test. You simply insert a penny into the center of the tread between two ridges on the tire. Lincoln’s head on the penny should be facing down. If you can see the top of the head or space above the head, you should replace your tires immediately.

Use a Depth Gauge

A great tool to measure tread is a depth gage. It is simple to use and is easily available at auto parts shops. Even though they are cheap, they are a great investment to make. A depth gage often provides a more accurate measurement than the other methods listed here.

Visual Check

Take a look at the tread wear bars which are the little rubber bridges in the grooves between the ridges. If the bars are level with the tread pattern it typically means there is only 1/16th of an inch of tread remaining and must be replaced.