Tires

At TBA we specialize in tires, and with Maine’s ever changing climate it is important for your safety, and the life of your tires, to purchase the proper tire for your vehicle and travel needs. With the tire technology constantly evolving, we at TBA are committed to carrying the best quality tires on the market at affordable pricing.

nokian tire Goodyear Dura-Trac

We carry only the best brands in the industry

 bfgoodrich  bridgestone  Continental Dunlop 
 Firestone  Fuzion  General  Goodyear
 Hankook  kelley  kumho  Michelin
 nokian  nanking  Pirelli  sailun
 SUMITOMO  TTbc Brands  Uniroyal  Yokohama

 

 

 


Tire Services

  • Mounting Tires
  • Alignment and Rotation
  • High Speed Compter Balancing
  • Seasonal Swaps
  • Tire Studding
  • Tire Repair
  • Tire Disposal
  • Free Air Pressure Checks
  • Free tire rotation for the life
    of your tires purchased with us
  • Road Force Balancing
  • And much more...

Know your dates!

  • October 1st:  Studded snow tires may be put on in the state of Maine. 
  • May 1st:  Studded snow tires must be off in the state of Maine.

 

Tire Maintenance Tips

  • Rotate your tires every 5,000 to 6,000 miles
    • Regular rotation of your tires will achieve more uniform wear. If there is a wear problem one of our technicians will determine the cause and recommend a solution. When you purchase tires here at tba it is free for life.
  • Check your air pressure once a month
    • The correct air pressure is shown on the tire sticker attached to the vehicle door edge, doorpost, glove box door, or fuel door. You will lose gas mileage if your tires are not inflated properly.
  • Balance your tires
    • We will balance your tires when we mount them on your wheels for the first time or when they are remounted after repair. Tires should be rebalanced at the first sign of vibration or "shimmy".

 

 

tire info

 

Identify Your Tire Size / Reading Tire Markings

 

You will find your tire size on your tire's sidewall. 

Each of our tires are listed with a string of numbers and letters. 
Here's an example: 205/55R16 82H

 

205 The tire width in millimeters
55 The aspect ratio (height of a sidewall section divided by the tire's width)
R The tire's construction type - in this case it's a radial
16 Rim diameter in inches
82 Load Index
H Speed Rating

 

 

The Aspect Ratio

The aspect ratio is the relationship of a tire's sidewall section to its width. The larger the aspect ratio, the taller the sidewall. The smaller the aspect ratio, the shorter the sidewall.

But there's more to it than just looks.

When the aspect ratio is higher, the tire deflects more weight and the ride is softer. When the aspect ratio is lower, tires are less flexible and not quite so comfortable, but they provide quicker response.

Vehicle Class

Sometimes you will find vehicle class markings on the tires as well, which indicate the intended use of the tire:

Vehicle Class Marking Explanation
P P-metric Passenger Car tire
LT Light Truck tire
ST Special Trailer tire - not for use on passenger vehicles.

 

 



Installing Your Wheels and Tire Packages

 

Installing tires and wheels correctly on your vehicle, will make your every drive a pleasant and safe one. Be it directional or asymmetric tire, make sure you check and position the tire the right way. We recommend setting every wheel and tire around your vehicle, so as to avoid mistakes. You should always install the new pair tires on the rear, and move the worn ones to the front, to keep stability on wet roads. Take into consideration the advice of a fitter, in case your vehicle requires different sizes.
Directional tires are designed to rotate in one direction only. The direction is indicated by the rotation arrow. Asymmetric tires can be used in any position on the vehicle by following wording such as 'inside' and 'outside' on the tire's sidewall. 
Directional and asymmetric tire carry markings on the sidewall which show the correct direction of rotation and identify the side facing outwards. Before installing the tires, test fit each wheel in its final position! The owner's manual must provide you with the information for tire and wheel removal. We recommend the use of a four-way wrench or a socket on a breaker bar when removing lug nuts or bolts. Take into consideration the following:

      • Always check the state of the vehicle's lug studs or wheel bolts, while loosening them, before reinstalling the wheels.
      • Wheels have to fit flat against the vehicle's hubs.
      • Do eliminate any devices such as stud clips, any rust and dirt from the hubs of brake rotors and drums. The large bolds holding Hyundai rotors need no removal!
      • Make sure the last wheel's hub centering rings have been removed from the hubs, in case aftermarket wheels have been first used on the vehicle.
      • If having drum brakes on the vehicle, verify that the wheel seats on the hub are not against the drum's outer flange or balance weights.

 



Is it okay to put Passenger Tires on your Truck?

 

The simple answer is no.

It is unsafe to mount passenger tires on a light truck. Furthermore, you will find that your truck performs better with the right tires. Light truck tires are built to carry the extra weight of a loaded truck, with rigid sidewalls and heavier construction than passenger car tires. They tolerate the extra pressures on the road, when carrying a load or towing another vehicle, and they give you, the driver, far more control.

Passenger tires are designed for comfort, lower noise, and better fuel economy. And sometimes for their looks. But they are not safe on your truck because they are not rated for the extra weight and not built for the extra stress.

That's the simple answer, and it's a safe rule of thumb to follow. 
But there are some complications:

Many minivans, some truck-based SUVs, and some crossover vehicles come with OE P-metric tires that were chosen by the manufacturer because they had strong enough characteristics to meet the requirements of those cars. In such cases, you have a choice when you replace your original tires: 1) you can replace them with the identical original equipment tire that was chosen by the manufacturer, or 2) you can replace them with tires that are designated light truck tires.

There are also people who don't use their trucks as trucks. They don't haul anything. They don't tow anything. They just use their trucks for transportation. Is it okay to put passenger tires on those vehicles?

We don't recommend it.

If you have a truck, it is very likely that sometimes it really will be used as a truck, and you will load it with cargo. When that happens, you need the correct tires for safety.

 



Load Range/ Ply Rating Identifications

 

"Load range" is a term that is synonymous with the term "ply rating" and is gradually replacing it. It relates to the actual load carrying capacity of the tire. The term refers to a specific tire with its maximum load as used in specific ways. Basically it is an index of tire strength and is expressed as a letter. The higher along the alphabet (A, B, C and up), the higher its load rating will be:

 

Load Range Ply Rating / Load Pressure
B 4/35
C 6/50
D 8/65
E 10/80
F 12/95

 

The load-index figures imprinted on the sidewall of the tire denote the maximum load capacity of a tire when driven at a maximum speed. The list of load indices and corresponding maximum speeds are listed below:

 

Li kg Li kg
65 290 94 670
66 300 95 690
67 307 96 710
68 315 97 730
69 325 98 750
70 335 99 775
71 345 100 800
72 355 101 825
73 365 102 850
74 375 103 875
75 387 104 900
76 400 105 925
77 412 106 950
78 425 107 975
79 237 108 1000
80 450 135 1030
81 462 110 1060
82 475 111 1350
83 487 112 1120
84 500 113 1150
85 515 114 1180
86 530 115 1215
87 545 116 1250
88 560 117 1285
89 580 118 1320
90 600 119 1360
91 615    
92 630    
93 650    

 

 



Low Rolling Resistance Tires

 

What is Low Rolling Resistance (LRR)?

Tires with low rolling resistance require less energy than standard tires, which increases fuel efficiency. 
The easier it is for your tires to roll, the less gas you need.

How much gasoline will I save?

It depends upon how you drive. 
It takes more power to push a tire from stop to go in downtown traffic than it takes to keep it going at high speeds once it is already moving. LRR tires save the most fuel on slower streets.

Overall, you should save somewhere between 1.5% - 4.5% per gallon. 
That might not sound like much, but take a look at these figures:

In April, 2011, the AAA auto club announced that it takes $9,000.00 worth of gasoline for the average car in America to drive $15,000 miles. They calculated gasoline at $2.88 per gallon.

The average driver will save 3% overall on gas. At $2.88 per gallon, that is $270.00 per year.

Chances are, however, you're not the perfect average driver. LRR saving calculations take into consideration what kind of car you drive, what kind of driving you do, and where you do it.

Will I see a sudden increase in gas mileage when I put new LRR tires on my car?

You will see fuel savings over time.

Some people don't see much initial change if the tires they replace were old, bald and worn out. 
LLR tires are designed to roll easily, but they also meet all safety standards.

LRR tires will decrease fuel consumption over time, and they meet all National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) safety standards.

 



Mixing Tires

 

It is advisable not to mix different tire sizes or brand tires on the same axle, if not indicated by the tire or vehicle manufacturer, but use identical ones so as to keep the stability and safety of your vehicle.
The mixing of snow tires with summer, all season tires, of run-flat tires with non-run-flat tires on the same vehicle is not recommended under any circumstances.

If all tires of your vehicle get worn simultaneously, a new set of tires is required.  This is important in order to keep the handling balance that is engineered into the vehicle, while restoring poor weather fraction. You can purchase the exact same set proposed by you vehicle manufacturer, or a similar alternative. The tire size, tread pattern, compound of the tire, and the performance category should be identical as the original tires.

 



Mounting and Balancing

 

If you have decided to install new tires by yourself, read the below advices and have a look at "Tire &Wheel Package Installation" and "Proper Lug Nuts or Lug Bolts" for further information. The following recommendations are to be observed when mounting tires and wheels:

      • Ask a professional to carry out the installing and balancing job!
      • The wheel should have the right form and not be damaged.
      • The tire beads must be securely mounted.
      • No dirt between the hub and the wheel is allowed.
      • The lugs must be correctly torqued.
      • Make sure the wheel is securely seated on the hub.

Balancing means the distribution of the mass of the tire around the axle when mounted on its wheel and the car's axle. Balanced tires can determine the quality of a driving experience. An out-of-balance tire can shorten the tires' durability, the life of bearings, shocks, and other suspension components. A vibration appearing at 40-45 mph increasing speed, is most likely related to speed or the fact that the tire and wheel assembly is not completely round. If this happens, contact the specialist to see, whether rebalancing will fix it. 
Remember!
Only specialists should mount tires, so as to ensure safe operation. The tires should never exceed 40 psi (275 Kpa) and should be mounted only on designed diameter rims.

 



Mounting New Tires on your Alloy Wheels

 

Custom alloy wheels can add a lot of flash to your car, but like most beautiful things, they require extra care. That doesn't just mean cleaning and polishing, extra care should be taken during the mounting process as well.

Any wheels that are painted, chromed, or machined are far more susceptible to scratches and scrapes than regular steel wheels. Not to mention that these wheels are made with metals that are much softer than steel, so they bend more easily.

Some automobile tires now feature a ridge that helps shield expensive wheels from scraping against the curb. Likewise, modern mounting machines are padded to avoid scratching the wheels during the mounting process. Similarly, proper mounting machinery is specially designed to apply pressure equally to both sides of the tire at the same time to avoid unbalanced pressure that can warp the wheel.

Find a tire mechanic with know-how and experience. For instance, it is essential that the tire beads are properly lubricated during the mounting process. If the tire beads don’t seat on the wheel at 40 psi, the tire mechanic must stop the process and re-lubricate the beads.

Always choose a tire installation shop with experienced mechanics and an up-to-date shop.

 



Original Equipment (OE) Tires

 

Your new car came with tires specifically chosen by the automobile manufacturer. Those tires weren't picked just because they were the right size and a familiar brand. The manufacturer weighed the attributes of various tires and chose the best fit for your car's performance profile.

 If you have a high performance car, your tires were chosen for speed and handling. Certain touring cars are built for comfort, and the manufacturer called for tires that provide a smooth ride. Some energy efficient vehicles need special tires designed for less road resistance and better gas mileage.

Tires are designed with various combinations of already mentioned and other attributes. When your tires need to be replaced, many people believe, it makes sense to replace them with original equipment, to give you the ride and the performance that the automobile manufacturer intended.

Note: When you replace your tires, it is always best to put 4 new tires on your car. It is best to rotate your tires according to the manufacturer's schedule, otherwise, your tires probably won't wear at the same rate. If that's the case, it's okay to replace just the two in the front or the two in the back. For maximum safety, if you replace just two of the tires, it's best to purchase the same tires that are already on your vehicle.

 



P-Metric and Euro Metric Tire Sizes

 

P-Metric sized tires always have "P" at the beginning of their size description, such as P225/40 R18, while the Euro Metric tires just leave that out. Euro Metric tires are the older method for measuring tires, and began by using metric measurements for the tire's width. P-Metric tires were introduced to the United States in the late 70s for passenger cars and light trucks, and use an engineering formula to calculate the tire load capacity. This helps car manufacturers design new vehicles with tire standards.

      Euro Metric and P-Metric tires are identical in their dimensions, and have just small differences in the inflation pressure and load capacity designations. Therefore, if two tires have the same measurements, the same speed rating, and the same performance category, the two are considered the same, if used in pairings, or sets of four. Just follow your car maker's inflation pressure recommendations.

 



Performance description

 

This is a designation at the end of a tire size that combines the load index followed by a single letter referring to the speed rating. Using 25/40 R18 92W as an example, 92W is the Performance description, with:

      • 92 as the Load index
        • The load indices of tires for passenger cars and light trucks are typically between 70 and 110
        • An index of 80 can carry 992 pounds, 90 can carry 1323 pounds etc.
      • W as the speed rating
        • This rating is designated by a letter from M up to Z, and applies ONLY to undamaged and properly maintained and inflated tires.
        • M is for a maximum speed of 81mph.
        • S & T rated tires are for maximum speeds of 112 and 118 mph respectively, and are often used on tires for family sedans and minivans
        • V if for a maximum speed of 140 mph and can be seen often with Sports sedans and coupes
        • W & Y ratings are for more exotic sports cars and carry maximum speeds of  168 and 186 mph respectively
        • Z speed ratings is an older designation and means the tires is rated for speeds over 149 mph

"Load range" is a term that is synonymous with the term "ply rating" and is gradually replacing it. It relates to the actual load carrying capacity of the tire. The term refers to a specific tire with its maximum load as used in specific ways. Basically it is an index of tire strength and is expressed as a letter. The higher along the alphabet (A, B, C and up), the higher its load rating will be:

 

Load Range Ply Rating/Load Pressure
B 4/35
C 6/50
D 8/65
E 10/80
F

 

12/95

 

The load-index figures imprinted on the sidewall of the tire denote the maximum load capacity of a tire when driven at a maximum speed. The list of load indices and corresponding maximum speeds are listed below:

 

Li kg Li kg
65 290 94 670
66 300 95 690
67 307 96 710
68 315 97 730
69 325 98 750
70 335 99 775
71 345 100 800
72 355 101 825
73 365 102 850
74 375 103 875
75 387 104 900
76 400 105 925
77 412 106 950
78 425 107 975
79 237 108 1000
80 450 135 1030
81 462 110 1060
82 475 111 1350
83 487 112 1120
84 500 113 1150
85 515 114 1180
86 530 115 1215
87 545 116 1250
88 560 117 1285
89 580 118 1320
90 600 119 1360
91 615    
92 630    
93 650    

 

The speed rating is designated by a letter from M up to Z, and applies ONLY to undamaged and properly maintained and inflated tires:

      • M is for a maximum speed of 81mph.
      • S & T rated tires are for maximum speeds of 112 and 118 mph respectively, and are often used on tires for family sedans and minivans
      • V if for a maximum speed of 140 mph abd can be seen often with Sports sedans and coupes
      • W & Y ratings are for more exotic sports cars and carry maximum speeds of  168 and 186 mph respectively
      • Z speed ratings is an older designation and means the tires is rated for speeds over 149 mph

 

Speed Symbol
M
Max Speed km/h
140
Max Speed Mph
81
N 140 87
P 150 93
Q 160 99
R 170 106
S 180 112
T 190 118
H 210 130
V 240 149
W 270 168
Y 300 186
ZR 240 149

 

 



Plus Size Tires

 

Why upgrade to plus-size tires and wheels? 
Two great answers: Great looks. Great handling.

Great looks because your car shows a lot of shiny wheel and a modern, low profile tire.
Great handling because you get a wider tire with a stronger grip on the road.

Plus-sizing involves combining larger wheels with shorter, wider tires. For example, if your car or truck usually requires a 17" wheel, you would increase it by an inch and purchase an 18" wheel. What this means is that the tire you purchase to match must have a shorter sidewall and wider tread to support the same load and tire diameter.

Many experts say that plus-sizing your tires can increase traction and handling. If you think about it, it makes sense that a wider tire would have a better hold on the road. Increasing by one inch is thought to provide the most benefit for the cost.

Some people go further, and want to plus-size their wheels an extra two or three inches. Or even more. That can be dangerous.

It's safest to stay within one inch when you plus-size. When tires are too wide, they tend to graze or float on snowy roads rather than grip, which inevitably leads to slippage. You also end up with a much shorter tire sidewall, which gives less cushion, so it makes the wheel more vulnerable to damage when driving over ordinary potholes.

An important thing to note is that your tire's load rating must meet the minimum of your factory-specified tire. To achieve this with plus-sized tires, you may be able to change the pressure.

 

Avoiding Rubber Cracks in Your Tires

 

Don't let your tires wear down before they have to! Protecting your tires from cracking will enhance the life longevity of your tires. Tires are some of the most vulnerable consumer products on the market. They must hold up under harsh weather conditions, extreme friction, road debris and heavy weight. Tires are designed with chemical compounds that maintain strength. Still, certain conditions cause them to wear down faster than necessary.

Over time, tires naturally break down as they are exposed to the elements. As tires spin around and around, they stretch and pull against the road. Eventually they begin to lose some of their elasticity. They become stiff and vulnerable to rubber cracks. Small cracks will begin to develop along the sidewalls and at the base of the tire's tread. Shallow cracks are considered to be harmless; however, if the cracks begin to deepen beneath the outer layer of the rubber, it's best to have the tire replaced.

There are preventative methods to help reduce tire rubber cracking. One of the biggest causes of premature cracking is too much exposure to the sun's heat. Keeping your vehicle parked indoors, or keeping it covered outside will definitely help prevent rubber cracks. Driving without the proper air pressure in your tires can also stretch your tires out, which causes them to age, as the rubber quickly breaks down. Excessively washing your wheels and tires with certain chemical cleaners will also dry tires out, making them vulnerable to cracks. Lastly, it's important that you USE your tires! If you leave your vehicle parked for long periods of time without use, it will diminish tire elasticity. Tires need to be used and stretched frequently in order to maintain the flexibility that keeps them from becoming stiff and cracking.

 

 

Comparing Price Vs. Value When Tire Shopping

 

It's pretty typical to be in the dark when it comes to choosing tires. There are a ton of tire brands in the tires-easy shop, and most of them offer quite a range of styles and pricing. You're probably asking yourself whether or not it's worth it to spend extra money on high-end tires, or if you'd be perfectly happy going with a less expensive option. Your car or truck will likely be running on the tires you choose for a few years at least. Considering price vs. value is important in figuring out what will work best for your tire needs.

You probably think that higher priced tires last longer than lower priced tires. This, however, isn't always the case. Scientists, for example, have designed specific microscopic compounds of ground silica that they impregnate into the tire rubber. This technology is applied to certain performance tires to increase tire performance by allowing tires to get a better grip on the road, gracefully corner at faster speeds, and hold performance integrity in both cold and warm weather. In fact, all-season tires and winter tires also have high silica content so they don't harden and get brittle in icy weather. This technology offers better performance because silica adds a soft quality to tires, which means that tires with a higher silica content can actually break down quicker then all rubber tires. For example, the highest priced tires for sports cars allow for maximum performance by really grabbing the road, but you can guess what happens if they grab the road closely. They wear out much faster. So in that case, the consumer spends much more money for a high-quality product that only lasts a short while, but believes it is worthwhile for the added performance.

Rubber compounds alone also vary with price. Even if you're not choosing between a tire with or without silica, the rubber compounds of the tire can drastically affect tire quality and price. Higher priced tires are usually thicker, offering more durability for people who tend to be hard on their vehicles.

With all this in mind, carefully considering your own personal vehicle needs, driving style and budget will help you select tires that are right for you vehicle.

You can't always judge tire quality by its price. Tires-easy offers many tires at great prices because we buy overstock on the spot market at exceptional prices, and we buy high quality tires from brands that are new to the market and haven't yet spent a lot of money on advertising and publicity. When you search for a tire on the tires-easy website, make sure you read the tire description to learn more about the tire.

 



Contact Patch – Where the Rubber Meets the Road

The “contact patch” is that specific few inches of your tire where the rubber meets the road. It’s your tire’s footprint, the only part of your tire that happens to be touching the road at any given time.
And that footprint’s shape greatly affects the way your car handles. 
A high performance tire, for example, is generally wide with a low profile, and so its contact patch tends to be a long horizontal strip on the road. That means more stability when driving, and more traction and responsive handling when cornering, especially in dry weather
Why? Such a tire has a wider grip because that long rubber contact patch has more surface area to grab the road. 
That doesn’t mean everyone needs high performance tires. Most passenger tires are designed quite differently, with a contact patch that’s long and thin instead of wide and narrow. While that deemphasizes handling response, it increases comfort and produces quieter tires with improved wet weather traction and better driving on snowy roads.



Easy Ways to Measure Tread Depth

Naturally, you want the tread on your tires to be at healthy depth. Your car will drive more smoothly because your tires will do what they were designed to do: grab the road around turns, stop quickly in an emergency, and perform safely through uncompromising weather conditions. To make sure that you a have an adequate amount of remaining tread, there are two easy ways to check your tires tread depth. These two methods can both be performed at home in minutes.

The Gauge Test:
To obtain a tire tread depth gauge, try a car parts store or ask your local certified technician for assistance. Tread gauges are inexpensive and user friendly. Insert the gauge into different parts of your tire tread. Measure the outer and inner portions to re-assure that the tire's tread wear is even.

When reading the results on your gauge, make sure you have at least 2/32" of tread life remaining. That's the law. Twice that much , 4/32", is a lot better. After all, why keep driving on your tires when they're at the very lowest point of what's legally allowed? The tread can only wear away further from that point, to below the legal safety limit

The Coin Test:
Simply place a penny in the grooves of the tire treads or pattern. Make sure the face of Abraham Lincoln faces downward into the grooves. If you can still see Abraham's face, chances are you need to replace your tires. If at least half of his face is hidden in the groove, the tires should be safe to drive.

Perform this test on several spots on the tire's tread for a good estimation of your tires remaining tread life.

 



Hydroplaning and Tires

 

Be careful not to hydroplane on the road! Hydroplaning, also called aquaplaning, is often the cause of serious road accidents. As a driver, it's important to take every precaution to avoid losing control of your vehicle in the rain.

Hydroplaning happens when layers of water gather between the rubber tires of your vehicle and the road's surface. No more traction. No more brakes, steering and acceleration. Suddenly, your car is now water skiing! As you can imagine, hydroplaning at high speeds can leave you completely out of control and in great danger to yourself and others.

The perfect storm leading to hydroplaning is a deadly mix of vehicle speed, water depth, vehicle weight, tire width and tire tread. Slowing down your vehicle and avoiding large puddles helps to keep you safe. Having the right tires helps prevent hydroplaning as well.

The best tires intended to prevent hydroplaning have a carefully designed tread known as directional tread design. On these tires, multiple tread grooves connect with a repetitive "V" shape. This "V" shape is used to push water out from underneath the tire, maintaining the tire tread to road contact. The "V" design forces water forward and out to the sides of the tire. This is especially effective when used on wider tires.