- SIZE: The vehicle owner's manual or the label inside the glove box, or on the door post, will give you the proper tire size. This is important information, because putting an undersized tire on your car can overheat or overload the tire, while an over sized tire can rub parts of the car.
- TYPE: Somewhat self explanatory, performance cars will require performance tires that are typically at their best on dry pavement, while pickups and SUVs will use light truck tires that are geared towards carrying heavy loads and dealing with occasional off-road conditions.
- TREAD: There are several kinds of treads. "Mud and snow" tires (with the m+s symbol) are all season tires, capable of providing good traction in snow, slush, rain, and mud. "Snow" tires are for areas with heavy or frequent snowfall. Standard highway treads are for normal driving conditions. Ask your tire dealer for advice on the best tread for your type of driving.
Tire Quality Grading
All tires must meet Federal safety standards. In addition, all new vehicle tires, except snow tires, temporary-use spares, and tires for off-road use, have three ratings on a paper label and molded on the tire sidewall. These ratings are treadwear, traction, and temperature resistance. The grading system is designed to help buyers make relative comparisons among tires. It is not a safety rating and not a guarantee that a tire will last for a prescribed number of miles or perform a certain way. It simply gives tire buyers additional information to combine with other considerations, such as price, brand loyalty, and dealer recommendations.