Tire Do’s and Don’ts

DO pick the right tire dealer

When the time comes to shop for tires, many people go to the dealership or their local mechanic — but these businesses often carry a limited number of brands or tire models. Here at Brian McLean Chevrolet Buick GMC (or) Downtown Tyee Chevrolet Buick GMC we are a full-service tire dealer and we carry a wide range of brand names and will be familiar with local weather and road conditions. Talk to our service advisors about the type of driving you do and get our recommendations.

DON’T spend too little on your tires

Cheap, poorly-designed tires can make for longer stopping distances and less control in an emergency maneuver. All tires have traction ratings (AA, A, B or C) stamped right on the tire itself — buy tires with an A or AA rating.

DO have realistic expectations

Tires, like most things in life, are a trade-off. Performance tires tend to wear out faster, while tires that give a more comfortable ride may be less agile in the corners.

DON’T spend too much on your tires

As with most things, a name brand on a tire costs more. Well-known name brands do tend to provide a consistently high level of quality, but there are lesser-known tire manufacturers that produce excellent products at lower prices. Recommendations from a tire dealer you trust are a great way to find good tires.

DO buy four tires at once

New tires generally grip the road better than tires that have some miles on them. It’s best to replace all four tires at once, but if you must replace them in pairs, put the new tires on the back (regardless of whether the car is front- or rear-wheel-drive). This will help the car retain its stability and predictability in a panic swerve. (Older tires on the rear will make the car more likely to spin out.)
Rotating the tires every 10,000 to 12,000 kilometers will ensure that they wear at the same rate, allowing you to get the most return on your investment and ensure that all four tires will be ready for replacement at the same time.

NEVER replace a single tire — if a tire is damaged and cannot be repaired, replace it as well as its mate on the other side of the car.

DON’T assume OEM is best

OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) tires are the ones fitted to your car at the factory, but buying the same type of tire as a replacement isn’t always the best choice. Manufacturers look for a tire that will provide acceptable performance in all conditions from Okanagan summers to Alberta winters. They may choose a tire that emphasizes comfort over handling or handling over tread life. As a consumer, you can do better by shopping around.

DO buy two sets of tires

Most cars come with all-season tires. Imagine using the same pair of shoes for jogging, hiking, tramping through snow, and ballet dancing, and you’ll understand the problem inherent with all-season tires.
If you live where it snows, buy a set of proper snow tires (also known as winter tires) and use them in the winter. All-season tires are designed to handle all weather conditions, but they aren’t optimized for any particular one. Snow tires are designed for one thing and one thing only: Keeping your car going where you point it when temperatures are low and the roads are covered in snow and ice. By using snow tires in the winter, you can opt for a “summer” tire better suited to your tastes — be that a quieter, more comfortable ride, better handling, improved rain performance or longer tread-life.