Consumer Reports just finished its tests of new tires. It rated them on everything from performance to gas-savings.
Here are the top three new tires in the all-season category:
* BEST ALL-AROUND TIRES: GOODYEAR ASSURANCE TRIPLE-TRED. Yeah, Goodyear spells "tread" that way on purpose. CR says it stops 10 feet shorter on wet pavement than the worst performer.
* BEST GAS-SAVING TIRES: MICHELINS X RADIAL. It can add as much as two miles per gallon to your gas mileage. Do the math. It adds up!
* BEST LONG-LASTING TIRES: YOKOHAMA AVID TRZ & MICHELIN HYDROEDGE. They both maintain safe levels of traction longer, according to CR.
* BEST ALL-SEASON PERFORMANCE: DUNLOP SP SPORT 5000 & MICHELIN PILOT HX MXM4
* SUV'S/PICKUPS ALL-SEASON:
- All-Around: GENERAL GRABBER HTS & CONTINENTAL CROSSCONTACT LX
- Gas-Saving: GENERAL GRABBER HTS & CONTINENTAL CROSSCONTACT LX
- Longest Lasting: CONTINENTAL CROSSCONTACT LX & COOPER DISCOVERER CTS
Since we're talking new tires, I want to remind you about the code we found on every tire that instantly gives away just how old it is.
Look for a 4-digit code at the end of a long Department of Transportation (DOT) designation. The four digits are usually inside an oval, etched on either the inside or the outside wall of the tire.
The first two digits are the WEEK, and the last two digits are the YEAR the tire was manufactured.
For example: (1408). That tire would have been manufactured in the 14th week of 2008.
That's how you can tell if a tire is really new or not.
Starting this September, those codes will have to be etched on the outside wall of every tire manufactured in the United States.
Click here for our November Driving On Danger investigation of Mid-South retailers who sold old tires as new tires: