As tempting as it is to buy tires simply because they’re cheap, it’s not worth it.

Not All Tires are Created Equal

The type of tires you need depends on the type of driving you do. What’s your climate like? Where does your commute take you? If you need all-season tires, you’re going to invest in a different set than if you enjoy temperate weather year-round. As with most auto expenses, it’s often cheaper to make the right purchase upfront than cut corners and end up with more expensive auto repair costs after the fact.

What Do You Want From Your Tires?

Once you’ve determined the conditions in which you drive, you can focus on prioritizing tire performance. What do you want most out of your tires?

  • Traction
  • Handling
  • Warranty

These are just a few things to consider, as not all tires are created equal when it comes to tread wear, reducing noise, and performance.

Size Matters

It doesn’t matter if you’re purchasing all-weather or winter tires, size matters! Tires that aren’t the right size for your vehicle shouldn’t be forced to fit or your run the risk of reducing fuel efficiency and messing with your vehicle’s alignment and shifting. Buying the wrong size can lead to car repair you didn’t plan on, as well as compromised performance from your vehicle.

You can determine what size tires you need by referring to your owner’s manual, or checking the stickers affixed to the inner well of your driver’s side door. Master Muffler performs maintenance on tires, whether it’s adjusting the pressure of existing tires, rotating tires, or adjusting tire alignment. Let us know if we can help with these auto repair needs.

What’s the Weather?

If you live in a climate that doesn’t see snow and ice, you can get away with having one set of tires for year-round use. You could purchase “summer” tires or “all-season” tires. However, if you find yourself sloshing over slick roads in winter, be sure you have a set of winter tires ready to roll. They’ll give you more traction in inclement weather, and snow tires may actually be required if you need to get through canyons or roads with steep inclines.

Features of Winter Tires

Whether you’re loyal to a particular brand or are just on the hunt for the best deal, there are some universal features of tires that perform well in snowy or icy conditions.


All-season tires marked with “M&S” (or “M+S,” “M/S”) are rated for performing in mud and snow. They have treads made to generate more traction in slushy conditions. They’re not necessarily going to get you through slick seasons, though, as they can’t create traction on icy roads or roads covered with packed snow. If you live in a climate with mild winters, you may be satisfied with M+S tires.


If your tires are labeled with a snowflake on a three-peak mountain (3PMSF), they have been tested for actual winter weather. They’re likely made with hydrophilic rubber and may feature studs in the tread design. This emblem is only stamped onto tires that meet the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA) winter requirements for tires.

Hydrophilic Rubber

This is a more flexible rubber, which is less prone to cracking in cold weather. Known as “water-loving” rubber, its added flexibility helps it find traction on slick roads.


Some winter-specific tires have metal studs on the ribs of the tire treads. Studs are tiny metal spikes embedded in your tire that grip the road. While beneficial, they are regulated in some states, so be sure you know if/when they’re permitted where you live. You can check regulations HERE

Snow chains are another option for outfitting your vehicle with winter-friendly tires. Instead of changing out your tires, you can add chains that wrap around your tires to add traction. However, keep in mind that chains can’t be used at all times; they should only be on your tires when you’re currently driving in snow. Some canyon roads require chains for passage, regardless of whether or not you have winter-rated tires on your vehicle.

Where You At?

When logging most of your miles on city streets, you probably want tires that can handle the constant stop-and-go. You want tires rated high for braking distance, wear, and fuel economy. For driving on highways, you want tires that can brake efficiently at high speeds, and that reduce noise.

How do You Drive?

To hear your podcast better during your daily commute, you need to invest in tires that provide a smooth, quiet ride. Touring tires rated S, T, or H can help your stereo system play a starring role instead of being overpowered by road noise. These types of tires might compromise speed slightly, but it’s worth it to deaden the sound of the road.

If you want to feel one with the open road underneath you, high-performance tires are the way to go. They’re optimized for precision handling and perform well even at high speeds.

You can always turn to the auto repair team at Master Muffler if you have questions about purchasing tires. We can help you prioritize your wants and needs, and shop for the best set of tires.