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Everything you need to know to be safe on the road

  Tires 101: Everything you need to know to be safe on the road Good tires that are in good condition are essential for safe driving. Every driver should know a little about how to assess their tires and how to buy new ones when needed.

How do I know when I need new tires?

There are some things that may indicate that you need new tires. First, if your tires are older, you may need to replace them (experts say anywhere between 6-10 years). At the very least, you should get them checked out. The second method is what is called the "ear test". Put a penny in the groove on your tire, and if the tread does not reach the top of Abe Lincoln's head, it means that it is very worn and that your tires are in trouble. Finally, if you simply have no idea if you need new tires, just ask! Be sure to use a mechanic you trust, and if they suggest you replace one or more tires, have them explain their reasoning.

Do I need winter tires or will year-round tires do?

Most experts agree that winter or studded snow tires make a significant difference for those who regularly drive in severe winter weather. If you live in a climate that sees real snow, ice and sub-zero temperatures, and you can afford snow tires, it's definitely worth it. If you live in a temperate climate, all weather tires should be good.

Do I have to replace all four tires at once?

Not necessarily. Sometimes one or more of your tires wear out and need to be replaced faster than the others. A good mechanic will tell you which tires are still decent and which ones definitely need to be replaced.

How do I know what type of tire I need?

Your vehicle manual describes the basic specifications and requirements required for the tires of your car. Then it depends on the performance, durability and other factors that are important to you. Consult consumer reports, read customer reviews and research to find the best options for your car, lifestyle and budget.

What are the tips for buying tires?

There are some things that can help you get the best possible price on a set of new tires. If it is not urgent to replace tires, it may be worth waiting for a better price. Contact your local tire dealer to find out if they have any upcoming sales or seasonal deals. Another easy way to save money is to do some shopping. Once you have decided which tires you need, just call three or four places to get an average price and negotiate the best deal.

Are you ready for a flat tire?

As long as you are thinking about tires, it might be a good time to think about what you would do if one of them went flat. When getting your tires checked or replaced, make sure you also look at your spare parts and make sure they are in decent condition and that the air pressure is OK. Make sure you have the tools to change tires and know how to use them. Do not neglect your tires this winter, and they will not neglect you.

For any of your car insurance questions, call or contact Keller-Brown Insurance Services today.

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