If you’re in the market for a new tires, the first thing you need to do is find out what size tire you need. And don’t just glance at it and say “Looks like medium-size to me.” Just kidding. Fortunately, it’s not all that difficult to do and there are several ways you can find out exactly what tire size you need without taking random stabs in the dark.
- Read the sidewall of the tire itself. Unless your tire’s been destroyed by a run-flat or a blowout, you should be able to read the brand and size of your tire right on its exterior sidewall. But sometimes these numbers can be a bit obscured by time and road gunk, and the fact that this information is usually printed in black lettering may not help matters. See Technical Information below if you are interested in learning more about what a sidewall number represents.
- Keep in mind, just because you can read the information on the tire sidewall, the tire(s) may or may not be the correct rated tire for your car. This is especially the case if the car had a previous owner or aftermarket rims were installed. Its best to thumb through your owner’s manual. If your car’s had replacement rims installed or has had any suspension work to make room for bigger tires, forget what the manual says.
- If you haven’t had any after-market work done or the car was purchased used, but you no longer have your manual handy, you can find your original equipment tire size by swinging your driver’s side door open and reading the sticker that’s placed there when the car is manufactured. This will tell you your proper tire size, and even how much air you should be running in your tires for the smoothest drive.
- If all else fails, you can determine what size tire you need simply by talking to an auto mechanic and asking them to look it up for you. Most auto shops will have this information in reference books or in their computer system. All you need to provide them with is the year, make and model of your car and they’ll be able to point you in the right direction. Need a good mechanic, start with Openbay where you can compare pricing and book service from quality local shops with the click of a button.