Frequently Asked Tire Questions

Categories: Tires 101

A List of Next Tires Most Frequently Asked Tire Questions

Thank you for shopping with Next Tires, where we proudly offer a simple, tire shopping experience. We know you have lots of options when shopping for tires, whether online or locally. We also understand, having all of these choices can, at times, be overwhelming. This is why we created Next Tires: to offer customers a hassle-free way to learn about, shop for and save money, and time, when buying new tires online!

As part of the Next Tires Difference and in an effort to answer your questions more efficiently, below is a list of our most frequently asked tire questions. But before we begin, here are a few tips to help you find what you need, even faster, while extending the life of your tires:

(i) First, by speaking with a Next Tires Customer Assistant, you’ll get answers specific to your situation and budget. So, for the best and answers to your questions, contact Next Tires at 1-800-713-4728 or

(ii) Second, Tire Check Tuesday is a Next Tires Cares Initiative encouraging weekly, visual inspections of your tires. More frequent checks will help you catch and correct any potential issues early, helping extend the life of your tires, saving you time and money in the long run.

For example, spotting an issue in your tread or sidewall in seven days, versus thirty days, will limit the damage to the tire and go a long way towards extending its life on the road.

(iii) Lastly, check this FAQ’s page regularly for updates to Next Tires list of most popular questions. And please, keep sending us great questions to answer. We’re here to help!

Thanks for allowing us to help you find the best tires for your money! Ok, let’s get back to the list of most frequently asked questions and answers.

Did You Know? 1 in 10 people shop for and buy new tires online. These savvy, online tire buyers experience an average savings of $100 – $200 per set. This is compared to a similar, in-store purchase of four tires. So, are you ready to make that 2 in 10? Ok then, let’s get started!

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How Does It Work, Buying New Tires For Sale Online?

#1 – Shop for new car or truck tires based on your vehicle’s tire size(s). You can search for your vehicles tire size using the Enter Tire Size search feature on the Home and Shop pages, Blog posts, or by using the Top Sizes & Brands menu in the main header.

For a more complete list of the most poplar tire sizes, covering most drivers on the road today, read Popular Tire Sizes.

Use the Enter Tire Size search feature found on the Home and Shop pages or on Blog posts.

#2 – Buy your new discount tires. Once added to your cart, you’ll see the additional savings, including any manufacturer rebates or Next Tires Promotions, like Free Shipping, or other discount tire deals.

Use Top Sizes & Brands menu in the main header or Popular Sizes post to select your car, truck or SUV tire size.

#3 – Ship your tires somewhere you, or someone you trust, will be available to sign for them upon delivery. Your tracking number(s) will be provided once your tires ship.

#4 – Installation of your new tires, once received, will be performed by your local, certified tire professional. For more on the installation of your new tires, read Who Will Install My Tires?

Congratulations, you just saved a bunch of money on new tires! And that’s really all there is to it. For more on the process of buying tires online at Next Tires, read Buying Tires Online: How The Next Tires Experience Works.

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How Much Money Can I Really Save Buying Tires Online?

Did You Know? The average online tire buyer can save between $100 – $200 on a set of new tires, shipped and installed, versus a similar purchase made in-store. Now that’s real savings! “But how,” you ask? Here are a few reasons why the savings are greater when buying new tires online:

  • Online tire stores have access to larger, more diverse inventories, which means more options to choose from, ensuring you get the best tires for your money.
  • Larger inventories allow tire manufacturers and online stores to offer greater savings with deals, promotions and rewards, like Buy 3 Get 1 Free, Instant and Mail-In Rebates, Prepaid Cash Cards, and so much more.
  • Online tire stores have less overhead, which allows Next Tires to pass along additional savings to you, the customer!

For more on the money you can save when buying new tires for sale online, read Save Buying Discount Tires Online.

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How Often Should I Check The Air Pressure In My Tires?

The air pressure in your tires, including the spare tire, should be checked, at least, monthly with an air pressure gauge, and always before road trips. For the best results, check your tires when they are cold or have been idle for, at least, two hours.

At Next Tires, we encourage more frequent, weekly, visual inspections, on Tire Check Tuesday, to help you notice any damage, changes in tire pressure or vehicle performance, or irregular tread wear, sooner than later. To learn more about checking and and adjusting tire pressure, read How To Check And Adjust Tire Pressure.

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What Is The Correct Air Pressure For My Tires?

The air pressure in your tires is measured in pounds per square inch (psi) or kiloPascals (kPa). The automaker determines proper tire inflation levels.

The manufacturer’s tire pressure recommendations are most often found in the vehicle’s owner’s manual and on the driver’s side, door jamb. In some cars and trucks, it may also be found in the glove box, or on the gas tank fill-door.

The Tire Information Placard. Most commonly found on the driver’s side door jamb, it displays the manufacturer’s tire recommendations, including air pressure.

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Which Is Better For My Tires: Nitrogen vs. Air?

The short answer is, nitrogen. It’s more stable, making it better for the overall life and performance of your tires, and car or truck (i.e. even tread wear, better fuel economy). But, you’ll need access to local tire stores that offer nitrogen-filling and service.

Readily-available nitrogen is important, because once you’ve put nitrogen in your tires, it’s best to keep filling them with nitrogen, and not mixing in regular air. To learn more about the differences in the types of air, and the best uses for each choice, read Air vs. Nitrogen – Which Is Better In Your Tires?

How To Choose Air vs. Nitrogen For Your Tires -
If you’re running nitrogen-filled tires you’ll want to make sure you continue to fill your tires with nitrogen versus air to prevent increased tread wear on your new tires.

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How Do I Fix A Flat Tire?

A flat tire sucks but it doesn’t always mean you need a new tire. You may only need to fix your tire. Below are a few options for diagnosing, fixing, and replacing a flat tire.

Next Notes: Next Tires recommends tire repairs and services be handled by certified tire professionals. This is the best and safest option available, for proper tire installation, maintenance and repair, and to maximize the tread life of your tires.

Option #1: After making sure your tire is safe to drive on, head to the nearest tire store where your local tire professional will inspect the tire for damage to make sure the tire’s integrity has not been compromised.

After making sure the tire is safe to repair and continue using, the certified tire professional will install internal tire patches. Depending on where you live, these patches usually cost between $5 and $20. Most tire shops will have you back on the road in 30 minutes or less.

Option #2: If it’s unsafe to drive any further on the flat tire, Next Tires recommends putting on your spare tire or calling roadside assistance (i.e. AAA) to help you install your spare tire, or give you a lift to your local tire shop. The longer a flat is driven on, the greater the chances the tire may be damaged beyond repair.

Full Size Hankook Spare Tire -
If it’s unsafe to drive any further on the flat tire, Next Tires recommends pulling over safely and putting on your spare tire.

Option #3: If you’re unable to get to your local tire professional and you need to have your tire fixed immediately, albeit temporarily, you can pick up tire plugs from most local auto parts stores, such as AutoZone, Napa Auto Parts and O’Reilly Auto, or from larger discount stores or big box retailers, like Wal-Mart or Target.

For more on diagnosing, fixing and replacing a flat tire, read How To Repair a Flat or Punctured Tire.

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Can I Drive On A Flat Tire That Does Not Have Run-Flat Technology?

No. You should not drive on flat tires without Run Flat technology. Driving on a flat tire increases the chances the tire will be damaged beyond repair.

In the event of a drop in your tire’s air pressure, depending on the road conditions and the manufacturer’s technology, today’s Run Flat tires are designed to support the load of the vehicle, driving up to 50 – 100 miles, at a maximum speed of 50 mph. Standard tires do not have this technology.

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Can I Use Run Flat Tires Without A Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)?

No. Because Run-Flat tires are so good at masking the loss of air, they require a tire pressure monitoring system to alert the driver of the tire’s lost air pressure. Without the TPMS system, you may not notice the under-inflation of your tire(s), which may lead to additional tire and wheel damage.

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How Can I Tell When I Need New Tires?

Your certified tire professional should replace worn tires when 2/32nds of an inch (or less) of tread remains, as indicated by the tread wear indicators, the Penny Test, or similar tread depth tests. Besides being extremely unsafe, in most states, it’s illegal to drive with less than 2/32nds of an inch of remaining tread depth.

Next Notes: The following guide, tools and tests, will help you measure your tire’s tread depth, maximize the tread life of your tires, and determine when you need new tires.

What tread depth is safe to drive on and when should I buy new tires?
Understand your tread depth to determine when it’s time to replace your car or truck tires. Tires with 2/32nds of tread or less, should be replaced immediately.

Tread wear indicators, also called wear bars, are located at the base of the main grooves and are spaced around the tire. When the wear bars are even with the tread, the tire is worn out and should be replaced.

Tread Wear Indicators or Bars on the Pirelli P Zero Nero GT high performance, all-season tires for sale at

The Penny Test is another simple, tire test for measuring tread wear. Take a penny and place it with the top of Lincoln’s head down, in the tread groove. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, then it’s time to replace your tires.

Use the penny test to check you tires tread depth.
Use the penny test to measure your tread and determine if your tires are safe to drive on.

A tire tread depth gauge measures the depth of a tires tread, usually in 32nds of an inch. You may purchase a tire tread gauge at most auto parts stores, or online, for a few dollars.

Measure your tires tread depth with a tread depth gauge.
Use a tire tread gauge to measure your tires tread depth. At 2/32nds of an inch or less, it’s time to purchase new tires.

For more information on understanding your tire’s tread, read When Should I Buy New Tires For My Car?

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When Should I Replace My Spare Tire?

All tires with 2/32nds of tread or less, should be replaced immediately. If you have tires that are 10+ years old from the date of manufacture, including spare tires, they should be replaced with new tires as a safety precaution, even if the tire hasn’t reached its treadwear limit.

The last four digits of the DOT code (found on the tire’s sidewall) identify the tire’s age. For example, a DOT code ending with “0713” indicates a tire was made in the 7th week (February) of 2013.

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How And When Should I Rotate My Tires?

Rotating your tires regularly is an important part of tire maintenance that extends the life of your tires and improves your vehicle’s performance. Refer to your vehicle’s owner’s manual, or the tire manufacturer’s warranty for recommendations.

If no tire rotation period is specified, tires should be rotated every 4,000 – 6,000 miles. A growing number of certified mechanics are offering tire rotations with oil changes, to help save you time and money.

Because each tire supports different weights, based on your vehicle, and the loads being carried and towed, unequal weight distribution causes different tread wear rates. Rotating your tires regularly extends each tire’s tread life.

Regular tire rotations will extend the life of your tires while improving the performance of your car, truck or SUV.

If your tires show uneven wear, ask your certified tire professional or mechanic to check for and correct any imbalance, misalignment, or other mechanical problems before rotation. After tire rotation, check and adjust tire inflation pressures based on the recommendation of the vehicle manufacturer.

For more on the care and maintenance of your new tires, read How Do I Care For My Tires?

Next Notes: DO NOT include the Temporary Spare in your tire rotation. It is only for use in emergency and temporary situations. Full Size Spare tires, like those found on Jeeps and pickup trucks, may be included in regular tire rotations.

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Why Should My Tires Be Balanced?

Proper tire balancing is important for peak, vehicle performance and longer, tread life. When tires and wheels aren’t properly balanced, you may notice unusual tread wear, or a vibration while driving.

An imbalanced tire will negatively affect the life of the wheel, tire and suspension. Have your certified tire professional balance your tires every time they are installed, rotated, or when a balance weight is removed.

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Why Are My Tires Wearing Out So Quickly?

A tire’s tread wear life is determined by many factors, including:

  • How and where you drive, and the condition of those roads;
  • The vehicle you have and how well you maintain it; and,
  • The type of tires on your vehicle and how well you maintain them.

Because there are so many factors involved, it’s difficult to accurately determine a tire’s tread life or mileage expectancy. Check your tire manufacturer’s warranty to determine the length and conditions of coverage.

Toyo Versado Noir with full depth siping and uneven tread wear, after 52K miles driven in Northern California and Nevada.

Below is a list of things to look for if you notice premature or uneven tire tread wear:

  • Tie rod wear is usually indicated by tire feathering. You’ll notice this when one side of the tire is more clearly worn than the other.
  • Cupping is an uneven wearing of your tires due to an irregular bouncing of your wheel. In most cases bad shocks are the problem.
  • When there’s excessive center tread wear, you may have over inflated tires.
  • When there is excessive wear on the tire’s outer treads you may have under inflated tires.

For additional tips to help prevent premature tire wear, read What Causes Premature Tire Wear?

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How Can I Extend The Life of My Tires?

Properly maintained tires are important for a more comfortable ride and longer tread life. The following checklist will help you extend the life of your tires:

  • Have your new tires balanced every time they are: mounted on the wheels; repaired or rotated; or when, a balance weight is removed.
  • Rotate your tires following the schedule in your vehicle’s owner’s manual or as required by the tire manufacturer’s warranty. If no tire rotation period is specified, tires should be rotated every 4,000 – 6,000 miles.
  • Tire Check Tuesday: Next Tires recommends visually inspecting your tires weekly. Doing this more frequently will allow you to catch and correct any issues, sooner than later.
  • Carefully inspect your tires tread and valve assemblies for any damage, like cuts, punctures, snags, or irregular tire wear.
  • At the first sign of irregular tread wear, have the balance and alignment on your wheels and tires checked, and if needed fixed, by a certified tire professional.
  • Check your tire pressure (at least) monthly, and before road trips, with a tire pressure gauge to ensure proper inflation. For the best results, your tires should be cold, or idle for at least 2 hours.
  • Avoid: fast turns on curves and around corners; fast starts (e.g. burnouts) and sudden stops; and, driving on uneven surfaces, road edges, curbs, in potholes, or other obstructions.
  • Drive safely and don’t speed. Higher speeds can generate excessive heat, which increases the rate of tire wear.

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What Should I Look For When Inspecting My Tires?

Regular tire inspections will help you find any issues with your tire’s, sooner than later. This helps extend the life of your tires and keeps you and your passengers safe. When inspecting your tires, things to look for include:

  • Foreign Objects: Check for glass, bits of metal, nails, screws, small stones, and any other blunt or sharp objects that might be wedged into the tire’s tread or sidewall. Visit your certified tire professional to have your tire(s) inspected, and repaired or replaced if needed.
  • Irregular or Uneven Tread Wear: Possible causes may include: over or under inflated tires; improperly balanced tires; poor tire rotation habits; bad wheel alignment; and, worn suspension components. Visit your certified tire professional to have your tire(s) inspected, and repaired or replaced if needed.
  • Slow Leaks: A tire can lose 1 – 4 psi of air each month. If you find you’re adding air more frequently, you should have your wheels and tires checked. If necessary, have them repaired or replaced.
  • Tread or Sidewall Damage: Any bulges, cracks, cuts, holes, punctures and splits in the tire’s tread or sidewall may be an indication of more serious problems, and the tire(s) may need to be replaced.
  • Valve Stem Assembly: Check the valve stems and caps for cracks, cuts, or holes that may allow air to leak. Have them repaired or replaced if needed.
  • Worn or Bald Tread: Bald tires have a tendency to skid and slide on the road and are more likely to be damaged by road hazards. DO NOT drive with less than 2/32nds of an inch deep; anything less is unsafe and considered illegal in most states. At this point your tires should be replaced immediately.

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Can I Mix Tire Types On My Car, Truck or SUV?

For the best, all-around performance, you should always install the same tire type in all four, wheel positions. Tires of different sizes, constructions, and stages of wear may negatively impact vehicle handling and stability.

Next Notes: Some vehicles are intentionally fitted with different size wheels and tires on the front-axle versus the rear-axle. This is known as a staggered fitment.

For four, wheel drive vehicles, if no instructions for tire (size) mixing appear in the your vehicle’s owner’s manual, observe the following guidelines:

  • DO NOT mix tire sizes. All four tires must be branded with the same tire size.
  • DO NOT mix radial-ply and bias-ply tires. All four tires must be either radial-ply or bias-ply.
  • Make sure that the outside circumference of all four tires are within 1 inch of each other.
  • DO NOT mix tread patterns, such as all-terrain and all-season.

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Next Tires Is Committed To Helping You… Save!

Thank you for allowing us to share with you these money saving, tire buying, and tire maintenance tips. We hope you’re now more comfortable shopping for tires for sale online at!

Remember, check this page regularly for updates to the Next Tires List of Tire FAQ’s. And keep sending us great questions to answer. We’re here to help!

If you have any questions while shopping for new tires, call us at 1-800-713-4728. You can also email us at We appreciate the opportunity to help you save some money and earn your business as a Next Tires customer! For a limited time, shop our new tires for sale and Save w/ Free Shipping and the Next Tires Risk Free Guarantee.** We look forward to helping you save money on your next set of tires!

**Next Tires Risk-Free Guarantee: We guarantee the products you purchase will fit your vehicle. For a limited time, save money with Free Shipping on all new tires for sale online. See cart for details. Discounts applied at checkout. Have your tires installed by your local mechanic or professional tire installation center. Excellent Service. Top Brands. Great Deals. Affordable Prices. High Quality, Cheap Tires. Hassle-Free Delivery & more… Experience The Next Tires Difference!