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Introduction to 12 Tire Buying Tips

Cutaway of a Bridgestone Potenza. Here you can see the main components: the inner liner, the fabric and steel belts, the bead, the tread, and the sidewall.

Courtesy of Bridgestone Firestone

Tires have been a vehicle's most important safety feature for more than 100 years. After all, they are a vehicle's only contact with the road. Even the brawniest engine, strongest brakes, and most advanced anti-skid system are at the mercy of the tire's grip on the road. Every move a driver makes with the steering wheel, brake or gas pedal is transmitted to the road through the four notepad-sized contact patches of the tires.

So, if a consumer has tires that are worn, under-inflated, or not suited to the environment, they put themselves, their vehicle, and others at risk. But most drivers don't know enough about tires to make an educated purchase. For some, the choice comes down to price and availability. Others buy tires based on appearance or reputation.

We've compiled a list of 12 areas you should consider when purchasing new tires. If you're looking to save money, get the best fuel economy, make an informed decision, or buy the best quality tire then this article is for you. This list will cover the basic information you should understand to select the right tires for your vehicle and give you an understanding of how tires function.

Go on to the next page to learn some of the basics about tires.

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