Tara Crooks
Limitless Contributor

The Rubber Manufacturer's Association (RMA) has deemed June 3-9th as National Tire Safety (NTS) week. This will be the eleventh annual observance of NTS week. Whether it's dry pavement, wet highways or dreaded ice, having the right tires makes all the difference. You want a tire with a good traction rating, good rating, one that handles water, and one that is not overly priced.


So, this week ask yourself this - has it been a long while since you've checked your tires? Is your family "riding safely" on the wheels you have given them? A good rule of thumb is to give it the penny test - place a penny between the treads, with Lincoln's head facing down. If you can see the top of his head, time for new tires. Also look for cracks and punctures. Vehicle manufacturers generally recommend you replace your tires at six years. Most tire manufacturers recommend you replace your tires at 10 years. Check the manufacturer's recommendations on your specific tires.


To find a good deal on tires you need to shop around. You might be sitting on a gold mine of tire savings if you are a local Sam's Club or Costco member. The selections may be limited but these two chains are known for substantial savings on name brand tires.


You should also price tires online. This gives you some research behind your choices and can make you feel more empowered when you go into the store to actually buy the tires. Look for a number like 215/70/15 on your car's current tires. This is the tire's size. Use that number to shop online to get the best tire discounts.


You also need to price out the benefits. For example, you may pay a little more upfront, but Consumer Reports said so-called "low-rolling resistance tires" may save you money in the long-term because they cut down on the force the tire requires.

The best way to save on tires is to maintain the set you already have. Here are some tips to make your tires last longer - thus saving money in the long run:


  • Improving your driving habits comes first. Fast turns, fast starts and fast stops all cause more tire wear, as does speeding, which heats the rubber and causes faster breakdown.
  • Avoid obstacles like curbs, potholes, logs and rocks.
  • Rotate your tires every 6,000 to 8,000 miles for even wear.
  • Check the wheel alignment once a year, more often if you drive on bumpy roads.
  • Make sure the tires have the correct air pressure. Over-inflated tires make road contact with the center thread due to the weight not sitting evenly on the road contact zone and wear out faster.


In the event you are on the prowl for new tires check out the Consumer Reports Tire Buying Guide and consult it for some expert advice on when and what exactly to purchase.