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Tire Education - Tires 101

Selecting the Right Tires for Your Vehicle

With hundreds of name brand and economy tire models available on the market today, how do you choose the right tires for your car or truck? It’s really not that difficult, if you start by considering your:

  • Vehicle type
  • Tire category
  • Tire size

Vehicle Type

Auto tire models are broadly divided into:

  • Passenger – for sedans, coupes, and minivans. They have the broadest range of performance categories.
  • Light Truck/SUV – engineered to handle heavier loads. Many are designed for both on and off-road use. Pickups, SUVs, full-size vans, and the new crossover vehicles all use these heavy-duty tires.

Tire Categories

Manufacturers and retailers classify tires by seasonal use and handling characteristics, including:

  • All-Season – are original equipment on most cars, minivans, and some pickup trucks. Replacement all-season tires offer acceptable handling, noise, tread life and value, but don’t excel in any one area. All-season tires are engineered for:   Year-round use; All temperatures; All weather conditions; All surfaces.
  • Touring – are designed for sporty sedans and coupes. Handling characteristics include:  A smooth, quiet ride; Excellent dry pavement traction and steering response; Good wet weather traction; Sophisticated look.

  • Performance – are standard equipment on sports cars. Performance tires are further subdivided into high, ultra high, maximum, and extreme performance categories, as well as models engineered for track and competition use. They deliver:   Maximum dry street grip and steering response; High speed handling; Acceptable wet weather performance (some models); Sport styling.
  • Winter/Snow – look for the mountain snowflake emblem stamped on the sidewall. All-season tires are designated M+S, M/S, or MS for “mud and snow,” but are not true snow tires. Winter tires for passenger cars and trucks offer:   Softer, stickier rubber formulated for temperatures below 45 degrees; Maximum grip on cold pavement, snow, and ice; Tread patterns designed to grip and release snow.

  • Off-Road – For light trucks and SUVs. Available in on/off-road and dedicated off-road tread patterns. These rugged tires are designed for:   Construction sites; Dirt roads and trails; Deep mud and loose soil.

Tire Size

The tire specifications for your vehicle can be found:

  • In your owner’s manual
  • Printed on the vehicle placard—usually a sticker on the driver’s door post, the edge of the driver’s door, or inside the fuel door.

The manufacturer provides tire size and other information for your original tires and optional replacement tires.

Reading a Tire

You can find out a lot about a tire by checking the codes on the sidewall.

When to Replace Your Tires

We recommend that you start shopping for new tires when your tread wears to 4/32 inch. This is just enough tread to sluice away water and keep your tires in contact with the pavement. The most common tread depth on new tires is 10/32 inch. The legal minimum in most states is 2/32 inch.

  • The Quarter Test. A Washington quarter, placed upside down in the tread grooves at several points, is a handy gauge for safe tread depth. From the coin edge to the top of Washington’s head is 4/32 inch.
  • The Penny Test. To be legal in most states, your tires must pass the Lincoln penny test. From the coin edge to the top of Lincoln’s head is 2/32 inch.
  • Wear Bars. Manufacturer’s place wear bars in the grooves between tire treads. Replace your tires before the tread wears flush with the bars.

Even on dry pavement, it takes longer to stop with bald tires. On wet pavement, you might not be able to avoid a hazard in time.

Taking Care of Your Tires

Your tires take care of you, so take care of your tires. They will last longer and save you money on gas, if you follow these tips:

  • Keep your tires inflated to the correct pressure. Your vehicle won’t handle well if your cars are too soft or too hard. Under or over inflation can even cause a blowout. Consult your owner’s manual or check the vehicle placard for the specified PSI (pounds per square inch) for your tires. (See Tire Size above.) Properly inflated wear tires wear evenly and can help you get up to 3% better gas mileage.
  • Rotate your tires. This helps ensure that your tires wear evenly. Most tire manufacturers recommend a 6,000-8,000 mile interval. It’s convenient to rotate your tires when you’re in for an oil change.
  • Periodic alignment checks. You won’t notice by looking at them, but rough roads can knock your wheels slightly out of alignment. They fight each other, reduce fuel efficiency, and cause premature tread wear.
  • Periodic suspension checks. Worn shocks, struts, and other suspension components can also shorten tire life.

With a Name Like Ours, You Know We Know Tires

  • We carry all major tire brands and have thousands of passenger, light truck, SUV and performance models in stock and ready for you!
  • We back our tires by a 30-day buy and try guarantee. Our On The Rim & Out The Door® pricing means no hidden costs for you and FREE installation.
  • Request an appointment online today. We're open evenings, weekends and most holidays.

Our On The Rim & Out The Door® pricing INCLUDES FREE INSTALLATION. Most others charge an average of $25 per tire MORE to install a set of four tires!* We will beat anyone's total tire price for the same, in-stock tire! Competitively priced to all major retailers. All our tires come with a 30-day ride guarantee, and 1-year price protection!

Mounting & Balancing INCLUDED!
Alignment Check INCLUDED!
Standard Valve Stems INCLUDED!
Lifetime Rotation INCLUDED!
30 Day Ride Guarantee INCLUDED!
1 Year Price Guarantee INCLUDED!
For four installed tires vs. a competitor that does not include installation services. Assumes 6 tire rotations over the life of the tires.

Note: TPMS/Stem Kit if required is an additional cost per tire.

Each day we shop our competitor’s stores and, if necessary, we’ll adjust our prices to ensure they are the lowest TOTAL prices in the area. Product for product, quality for quality, service for service. If you find a better price on tires or automotive service, we guarantee to beat the competitor's price before you buy. If, within1 Year of your purchase, you find the exact same in-stock tire or automotive service's TOTAL price advertised for less than ours, we’ll refund the difference.



We are so confident of our top quality tires, if you are not pleased with your purchase in the first 30 days or 500 miles, whichever comes first, you may return your undamaged tires and exchange them for any others of equal value, or receive a full refund. No questions asked. What’s the gimmick? There is none. We just want you as a customer for life. See store for additional details.

Protect Your Engine With Regular Oil Changes

Oil changes are an integral part of your vehicle’s routine maintenance schedule. Regular oil changes help keep your vehicle on the road longer in every sense of the word - by improving gas mileage, protecting your engine and its service life, and maintaining your vehicle manufacturer’s warranty.

Request an appointment for an oil change today. 

Does my car need an oil change?

Knowing when to change oil is critical to maintaining your vehicle’s health and service life. Many vehicles have an oil life monitoring system that indicates when it’s time. Refer to your owner's manual.  Or, ask the expert technicians at Monro for a free print out of your vehicle manufacture’s scheduled maintenance recommendations.


Your Vehicle and Motor Oil: FAQ

What are the benefits of regular oil changes?

Regular oil changes will improve your gas mileage, help maintain your vehicle manufacturer’s warranty, and protect your engine and extend its service life. Not to mention, avoiding a $2,000 engine repair is never a bad thing!

Should I use conventional or synthetic oil?

Today’s full synthetic and synthetic-mineral blends are excellent for tough conditions such as stop-and-go driving, frequent trips, and towing. And for engine fills and top-offs, they are considered equivalent or superior to conventional oil. In fact, many newer car and truck models specify synthetic oil.

Speak to your Ken Towery technician about the best oil brand and grade for your car or truck and type of driving.

Visit our Conventional vs. Synthetic Oil page to see a quick video on making the right oil choice and print Synthetic Oil Change coupons.

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Ken Towery
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