WASHINGTON-Though abbreviated from previous editions, the tire chapter in the ``1995 Car Book'' still champions the Uniform Tire Quality Grading System as the best method for consumers to buy tires. There are nearly 1,800 tire lines in the U.S., the chapter noted. ``Because it is so difficult to compare tires, it is easy to understand why many consumers mistakenly use price and brand name to determine quality,'' it said.
But with UTQG grades on treadwear, traction and temperature resistance available, tire buyers have a quantifiable point of comparison, the book said.
``Use the treadwear grade the same way you would the unit price in a supermarket,'' it advised readers. ``It is the best way to ensure that you are getting the best tire value.''
A $100 tire with a treadwear grade of 300 is a better buy than an $80 tire with a 200 treadwear grade, according to the chapter. The $100 tire has a ``unit price'' of 33 cents per point, whereas the $80 tire's unit price is 40 cents per point.
Unlike the 1994 edition, the ``1995 Car Book'' no longer contains specific information on different kinds of tires or advice on tread design, load range and when to replace a tire.
The 1995 edition also omits a map showing mileage densities in the U.S.
The new edition does, however, contain the usual table of ``America's Top-Rated Tires,'' arranged in descending order of treadwear grades, with a section showing expected mileage from each tire.
It also contains the usual box warning consumers about the importance of registering their tires after they are purchased.
Written for the past 15 years by Jack Gillis, ``The Car Book'' is published by HarperCollins. The cost is $12 at bookstores or $15.50 (including postage and handling) from the Center for Auto Safety, 2001 South St. N.W., Suite 410, Washington, D.C. 20009.