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Common buying questions


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Common buying questions

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When should I think about new tires?

For the most enjoyable driving experience, it's important to replace worn tires. Optimum traction helps provide responsive handling for a smooth, reliable ride. To determine when you should start shopping, follow these simple steps.

  • First, test the tread. Pinch a Lincoln-head penny between your thumb and forefinger, so that the top of Lincoln's head is showing.
  • Place the top of Lincoln's head into one of the tire tread grooves – try to measure at the deepest point within the tread.
  • If any part of Lincoln's head is obscured by the tread, your tires have enough tread. However, if you can see above Lincoln's head, you're ready for a new tire.
  • You should always check your tires in several tread locations. Be sure to check the inner, outer, and middle grooves of each tire, as tires can wear differently on each side due to improper wheel alignment and/or low inflation.
  • For a free inspection by Dunlop experts, visit a Tire & Service Network location.
What should I consider when choosing a tire?

Below are a few considerations that make choosing a tire simpler.

  • Look for tires that excel in tests for braking, handling, and resistance to hydroplaning.
  • Tread style, ride comfort, noise, rolling resistance, and warranty can help narrow your choice. Comparative tread-life tests demonstrate that a manufacturer's warranty doesn't always reflect how a tire will wear, but when used as an estimate, it's an important piece to review.
  • Choose a vehicle tire based on where you live, weather and terrain issues, what performance expectations you have, and what your vehicle requires.
What can I do with old tires?

Termed “end-of-life tires,” 90% of old tires are recycled for energy recovery in the U.S., Europe, and Japan. Through the Tire & Service Network, the disposal of your tires will be handled for a small fee that they use to ship the tires in bulk to third-party entities. The tires are then burned to power cement kilns or are ground into asphalt.1

1 Goodyear 2010 Corporate Responsibility Report

Why should I purchase four tires at once?

For optimum handling and control, Dunlop recommends fitment of four tires of the same type and size, unless otherwise specified by the vehicle manufacturer. Additional guidelines and recommendations:

  • All tires on a vehicle should be of similar tread pattern, and have the same performance rating, speed rating, size, and construction, unless the vehicle was engineered for front and rear tires of different sizes.
  • If purchasing fewer than four tires, fit the newest tires on the rear axle. Never mix sizes and types on the same axle.
  • If radials and non-radials must be fitted to the same vehicle, fit radials on rear axle. If tires of different profiles must be fitted, fit widest tires on rear axle. Never mix radials and non-radials on the same axle.
  • When fitting snow tires or all-weather tires to performance vehicles, always fit in sets of four.
What are plus-size tires?

An option on many new car models or a later upgrade, the Plus One/Plus Two sizing concept retains the overall diameter of a vehicle's existing tire and wheel assembly by increasing the wheel diameter and reducing the aspect ratio (sidewall height). It's important to know that the plus-size tire/wheel assembly:

  • Has the same revolutions per mile, so speedometer and odometer readings, gearing, and engine computers are virtually unaffected.
  • Offers higher levels of cornering power, increased steering response, and improved stability.
  • Must retain the original overall diameter and have enough clearance in the wheel well to accommodate its entire range of wheel/suspension travel and steering lock.
How should I store my tires?

To protect your tires from heat, light, moisture, ozone, and deformation during storage, remove the tires from the vehicle, place them in plastic bags, and stack them in a cool, dark place. Leaving tires on a vehicle in contact with the ground or other surface for an extended period can result in air loss and excessive deflection, which can cause permanent flat spots.

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