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New Tires 101: What to Expect


For every car owner, the time will come when they need a new set of tires. Since they can be a significant investment, it's crucial to understand how to assess your tire's condition and recognize when new tires are needed. Firestone Direct is here to help car owners navigate the process from choosing the right set of tires to what to expect during installation. 


Here’s what you need to know if you’re thinking about buying a new set of tires.


Signs it's Time for a New Set of Tires

Your driving habits, road conditions, and tire type can all affect how long a set of tires lasts. While the average tire lifespan can be anywhere from 5 to 10 years, each set is slightly different. Keep an eye out for these signs it’s time to replace your tires: 

  • Reduced tread depth: For safety, a tire’s tread has to be at least 2/32” deep. To check this yourself, try the penny test. Insert a penny into the tread groove, with Lincoln’s head facing down. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, your tires need to be replaced. 
  • Uneven wear: Check the tread for uneven wear patterns. Uneven wear can be a sign of misalignment, improper inflation, or suspension issues, and it may be time to replace your tires or schedule an inspection to diagnose what is causing uneven wear.
  • Cracks and bulges: Check for any visible cracks or bulges on the sidewall of the tire. These can be caused by potholes, impacts, or age-related deterioration, and they indicate that the tire needs replacement.
  • Age of tires: Even if the tires appear to be in good condition, we recommend replacing them once they hit the 10-year mark. 

The best way to know for sure if it’s time for new tires is to have them inspected by a professional. Tire condition can also reveal a lot about your vehicle as a whole, so we recommend having your tires inspected at least a few times annually.

Get Started

Get started with Firestone Direct

Firestone Direct mobile mechanics have everything they need to complete your tire installation on-site wherever you are, and get you back on the road with brand new tires. Learn more about our mobile tire installation appointments.

Choosing New Tires

So, you’ve decided you’re ready to buy a new set of tires. Finding the right tires to fit your needs and budget is a matter of understanding a few key features. You can narrow down your options by focusing on:

  • Tire size: The easiest way to determine the right size tires for your vehicle is to look at your old tires. You can also check your owner’s manual or the tire placard on the front driver’s side door sill. Look for a series of numbers similar to the image below: 235/60 R18 103H. In this example, the wheel diameter is 18”. 
  • Tire Type: All-season, summer, and winter tires are the most common options for passenger vehicles. Performance and all-terrain tires are designed for specific vehicles that require unique features like extra grip or superior handling. 
  • Vehicle type: SUVs and trucks require different tires than a small car or minivan. Make sure you’re taking your specific vehicle into consideration as you shop for tires.


If you need advice, the experts at Firestone Direct can guide you in the right direction and recommend a few options based on your vehicle and budget considerations.

blog_tire size diagram.png

What to Expect During Tire Installation

You’ve decide on a set of tires, all that’s left is to have them installed. One option is to make an appointment at your local tire shop. Another is to make an appointment with Firestone Direct. We offer a mobile tire installation service where our mechanics come to you at home or at the office and complete the tire installation wherever you are. A tire installation appointment includes:  


Full tire inspection

We’ll inspect your old tires to make sure there are no red flags indicating other issues with your vehicle. This could include issues related to uneven tire wear and other damage that you may not have noticed. 


Courtesy vehicle check


We’ll inspect your vehicle’s health, including checking fluid levels, brake health, and double-checking tire pressure on your new tires.


Tire delivery


Purchase your new tires from Bridgestone or Firestone, and your mobile mechanic will bring them to your service appointment. Alternatively, if you have replacement tires already, we’re happy to inspect and install those instead.


Mounting and balancing


We’ll evaluate your wheel system and install tire weights to perfect wheel balance and tire assembly to ensure a smooth ride with your new tires. This involves measuring and re-measuring to ensure the tires are installed properly. 


Tire recycling or disposal

We’ll dispose of your old tires so you don’t have to.

Get Started

Get Started with Firestone Direct Mobile Services

Firestone Direct mobile mechanics have everything they need to complete your tire installation on-site wherever you are, and get you back on the road with brand new tires. Learn more about our mobile tire installation appointments.