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Most drivers would agree road conditions and the general quality of a road surface have the most dramatic effect on tires. While this is true to a certain extent, what many drivers overlook is the effect weather can have on tire durability and effectiveness. After all, weather affects a tire even when the car isn't being driven. So how can drivers choose the right tires for their climate?
Many manufacturers recommend changing your vehicle's tires to match the season. While this might seem counter-intuitive from an economy standpoint, swapping tires can be made cost-effective with a little advanced preparation.
Having the right tires for cold, rainy or icy weather is a must in parts of the country where several months of the year make road conditions frequently hazardous (and you can get Sears coupons here to lower the price a bit). While this is an obvious consideration for those regions, hot weather tires shouldn't be overlooked. Gas mileage can be dramatically affected by improper inflation, and temperature fluctuation can lead to tires gradually losing pressure over time.
Tires built to withstand long commutes are different from tires that are designed to offer higher performance and better handling. Be certain you have chosen the right design for your vehicle. Performance tires might seem like the obvious choice for climates where handling is a bigger concern, but over time, performance tires can also wear out much faster than tires designed for more sustained driving.
This can become an especially expensive concern when tire and wheel accessories are taken into consideration. By and large, most performance tires are not designed to work well with chains or on rough roads. Furthermore, reconsider those all-weather tires, as more specialized tires for your particular conditions (snow, off-roading, commuting) will have a substantial impact on the life and performance of your tires.
As with any other technical subject, it's always a good idea to start with the manual. Vehicle manufacturers choose the original tires for a vehicle based on a variety of tests that would be cost prohibitive for an individual driver to conduct. When it doubt, it is often an excellent idea to consult a dealer or a manufacturer's representative and ask. They will often have recommendations that might not be as obvious to an individual driver that could save you a great deal of future time and trouble.
Tires are one of those things most people don't think twice about, but when fuel economy, safety and overall vehicle expenses are taken into consideration, they are just as important as any other accessory for your vehicle. There are numerous resources available for drivers, and most of them are easily obtained and inexpensive.