Making Sense of Tire Ratings

What's the scoop on tire ratings? ...

Want to know about tire ratings?

Everybody knows ratings for movies are from G to XXX. These ratings automatically give an idea of what kind of movie you might see. A person might even get a little excited; have their heart rate increase before going to an R or X-rated movie, but the truth about tire ratings is not so sexy.

from Tire Ratings on Tire Information World

Before a movie rating is given, somebody somewhere has to review the movie. When it comes to tires, who are the people that rate tires? There are so many brands and most of the people selling the tires will rate their tires the best. Others might say, "I thought tire ratings had something to do with the numbers on the side of the tire."

Here is the scoop.

The numbers on the side of the tires are not provided to cause a blood pressure increase. For many people, these numbers only produce a dumbfounded look and little understanding about the tire. For sake of explanation, a tire that has P215/65R 15 95S stamped on the sidewall will help you understand your tires and tells the type of vehicle the tire should go on, size, rim diameter, load indexing information and speed ratings.See Guide to reading tire sidewall markings to learn more about this.

There is another ratings system in place when it comes to tires. Simply put, do the tires you buy for your car have value, are they rated high for safety, wear, and performance. Those of the kind of ratings consumers want to know.

In 2008, the scoop on top rated tires goes something like this:  Yokohama Avid TRZ, Falken Ziex ZE512, and BF Goodrich Traction T/A were the top rated all-purpose tires.

The three tire brands listed above got top marks for how well the tires performed.

  • How did they perform for wet and dry acceleration and braking?
  • Did they produce a comfortable ride?
  • Were the noise levels produced acceptable?
  • Are they affordable and a good value for the buck?
  • Finally, to achieve the above is it necessary to give up tread life or shorter warranty periods?

Now when you're shopping for tires and you realize that there were over 125 all-purpose top rated tires in 2008, what do you do?

Come up with your own rating system

Ask yourself what you want from your tire. Decide for yourself:

  1. What kind of ride and noise level you expect,
  2. The kind of tread wear you expect,
  3. What are your safety considerations?
  4. What types of weather you will be driving in most of the time.
  5. How much money are you willing to spend to get what want.

With your list in hand  compare your requirements with what the reviewer considered and pick the best candidates base on your criteria … not the overall rankings which the raters invented.

Going to the movies and buying tires are two different events. At the same time, knowing your ratings for both will help you get what is best for you.

While the movie reviewers create the movie ratings for you, your will have to be the reviewer of tires before you can create your own rating system.

Once you do your homework, you will definitely beat that dumbfounded look at the check out counter of your local tire store. You will know what is important to you and secondly, you will know that all tire ratings are not created equal.

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Other useful links

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