If you have owned a car for more than a couple of years, you probably have had to buy tires. I know the first time I had to buy them I was so overwhelmed with all the options that I had no clue what I was doing. I used think that as long as there were tires on the car I was good. I used to be part of the 83% of drivers that didn’t really know why tires matter. My mechanic was a family friend so he helped me, but without him I’d be lost between the thread, all season, mileage warranties and so much more. Cooper Tires recently sent me 4 of their tires, so I could see how they really matter.
The vehicle that needed the tires the most was our truck. It’s not a small one at that, we always joke around that she’s a big girl a Dodge Ram 1500 then they put a lift kit on it (before we bought it). For what we needed it for meant we needed Cooper’s Discoverer AT/3 275/60R20 Tires. We used to live in WI, so it’s strange not having to think about snow tires. To ensure that they were put on correctly we went to our mechanic and had them put on (I do highly recommend this).
Cooper Tires gives the description of the Discoverer A/T3 as being ideal all terrain, living in the desert definitely falls under the all terrain. We never know if we are going to be on asphalt, dirt or a combination of dirt and rocks. So off-roading capabilities is a must have for our truck.
If you do live in the colder states and need snow tires, it is best to put all 4 on, but if not then at least install 2 on the rear axle positions. This is idea since the tires are built for braking and driving in snow and ice. Trust me, you don’t want bad tires when it’s snowing out. It’s so easy to slip and slide. I have before and it was scary.
As soon as we got in the truck with the new tires I could tell a difference. The old ones weren’t bald or anything, but I could definitely feel a difference. The ride was a lot smoother, and for me that is a huge deal. I used to feel every bump that we hit, and since the new tires were installed I don’t feel them as much. I used to think to check the thread you use a quarter (don’t remember where I heard this, but it just stuck out to me). That isn’t correct, you actually use a penny. According to Cooper Tires this is what you do:
- Insert the edge of a U.S. penny in the tire tread, with Lincoln’s head down.
- If the top of Lincoln’s head is covered by tread, there is at least a minimum acceptable amount of tread.
- If the top of his head is visible at any point around the tire, it is time to replace the tire.
- Tires contain “wear bars” in the grooves of the tire tread which show up when only 2/32nds of an inch (1.6 mm) tread is remaining. At this stage, your tires must be replaced immediately. Tires worn beyond this stage are dangerous.
One thing that I have learned and always done before a big trip is to check the pressure. My vehicles let me know when they are low, but I feel better if I check them anyway especially if i’m driving hours away from home. I keep the tire gauge in my glove box at all times so I know where it is and can get it easily. For the best safety, check this at least once a month if you aren’t taking big trips.
- Be sure to check air pressure when tires are cool (minimum three hours after driving).
- Find manufacturer’s recommended air pressure located on the vehicle doorjamb, glove box, fuel door or the owner’s manual.
- Note: the tire pressure listed on the tire sidewall is the maximum pressure,not the recommended pressure
- Remove the valve cap and take the tire gauge and press firmly on valve stem.
- If the reading is lower than the recommended level, add air and check again
- Over inflated? Push on the metal valve core in the center of the valve with the nub on the back of the tire gauge
- to release air, and check again.
- Once recommended pressure is reached, replace valve cap
Overall safety is what matters when driving. You don’t want something as simple as a tire to risk your families lives. The Discoverer A/T3 may not be the perfect tire for your vehicle, but I know that Cooper Tires has one that is exactly what you need. With Father’s Day coming up it’s a perfect time to get dad that new set he’s probably been wanting. Now that I know more about “tires matter” I won’t have to rely on my husband to tell me it’s time to replace them.