The Chevrolet Equinox has grown out of its rental-fleet-only beginnings into one of the most popular crossovers on the market today. The popular Equinox comes in four different trim levels, has available all-wheel drive, and comes with one of three wheel sizes. Because there is such a high level of choice, finding the right tire size can be tricky. We’ll break down the different options below.
Online tire prices are usually less than in store
The 2020 Equinox comes in four different trims: L, LS, LT, and Premier. The vehicle can be equipped with one of three different wheel and tire sizes, depending on the trim and options packages:
For each stock wheel size, we’ll provide a recommendation for a Budget, Moderately Priced and a Cost-No-Object replacement tire
These crossovers have a mainstream 17-inch wheel size that makes it easy to shop for tires.
The Equinox Premier’s 18-inch wheel size is middle of the road in today’s world of oversized wheels. That said, you’ll have to be careful that you’re buying the right type of tire for your driving style and weather conditions that you see regularly.
Large wheels like the 19-inches that come on some Equinox models sometimes make it hard to find a proper all-season tire at a reasonable price. Thankfully, there are plenty of good options to fit your Equinox’s upgraded wheel size.
Two major factors should be a consideration when deciding to replace tires on any vehicle, not just the Equinox.
Most drivers travel somewhere between 12,000 and 15,000 miles per year, so the tires are much more likely to pass their useful life in mileage before any time-based expiration date rolls around.
The life of your tire can be somewhat predicted by its UTQG (Uniform Tire Quality Grade) rating. Tire manufacturers apply their own grades to tires for treadwear, traction, and temperature. When you’re researching tires online, a UTQG will come up next to the tire name in three digits and a number (ex. 500 A A).
You can glean a bit of info from the tires by reading this rating:
The other consideration is time. Each tire has a raised date code on the sidewall. The number begins with the letters “DOT” followed by 12 digits in three four-digit groups. The date code is the third group of four digits. To decipher the date of your tires, the first two digits represent the WEEK the tire was produced, and the second two digits represent the YEAR.
For example, if your tire’s date code is 3217, that indicates the tire was manufactured in the 37th week of 2017, or sometime between September 11 and 17th that year.
Once tires go beyond five years old, it’s time to consider replacing them. Tires are made up not just of rubber and steel or kevlar belts, but chemicals that help the tires resist UV rays, temperature changes and a lot of other environmental hazards. Those chemicals start to break down after five years or so, and the tires aren’t doing the job that they need to do.
You may choose to replace the tires on your Equinox with the same tires that came from the factory. There’s nothing wrong with that, but you may choose to change the tire or wheel size and type depending on the kinds of driving you’ll be doing.
You only need to purchase ONE set of tires for your car every four years or so, depending on how much you drive. When an auto manufacturer purchases tires, they buy them by the hundreds of thousands. For the manufacturer, the decision to choose a supplier one brand or another comes down to a price point.
For you, your consideration may be completely different. If you could get a tire that stopped 20 feet shorter for an additional $10 per tire over the original equipment, you’d probably do it. Similarly, if there was a tire that provided less road noise or longer tread life for a minimal investment overstock, chances are, you’d probably decide on the slightly more expensive tire.
The wheels on your Equinox can be swapped for a different size. This may be done for a variety of reasons, which can range from the need for a different type of tire or desire for a smoother or sportier ride. When you decide to downsize your wheels, you must compensate for the smaller size with a larger tire size that has a taller sidewall. This is done to maintain a consistent overall diameter of the wheel and tire.
Downsizing wheels has its advantages. Benefits include:
On the other side of the coin, going up in wheel size has its benefits:
When reading tire sizes, it’s important to understand what the numbers mean. The Chevrolet Equinox Premier’s P225/60 R18 all-season tires:
Now that you know what comes on the new Equinox and how to read the size numbers, let’s look at the different types of tires available to you. Depending on the type of driving you’re doing, where you live, and the weather, you have a variety of choices for tire types:
Online tire prices are usually less than in store
Chevrolet recommends a tire pressure of 35 psi for many Equinox models, but the specific requirements of your vehicle may vary a bit from those numbers. Inside the driver’s side door jamb is a white and yellow label that will tell you the exact tire pressure requirements for both the front and rear of your vehicle.
Rotating tires is more about the tire than it is about the car. A typical rotation interval is somewhere between 5,000 and 7,000 miles, though specific cars and tires may change those numbers a bit. The Equinox may be an all-wheel drive vehicle, which means that the tires have to be rotated in a specific pattern to maintain proper wear and alignment.
Your Chevrolet Equinox should have come equipped with a spare tire and changing tools in the trunk. In this case, you already have everything you need to physically change the tire, but you may want to carry an extra roadside emergency kit with an upgraded lug wrench, jumper cables, and emergency markers just in case.
All of that information is contained in the information on the sidewall of your tire. The Tire Industry Association provides an excellent guide to finding the tire size, the UTQG rating and the date code of your current tires at its website.
Absolutely not. There are many other reasons to replace your tires, mostly due to road hazards. Any punctures, cuts or abrasions -- especially in the sidewall -- should be a reason to consider at least replacing one tire. If there are any bulges or other visible deformities in your tire, that’s when it’s time to place a call to replace them.
It’s always a good idea to, but it’s not 100 percent necessary. If you’ve got one tire that’s had a puncture and the other three are in good shape, there’s no reason to replace all four. Tire rotation will become that much more important, though, to allow the tread on all four tires to wear more evenly.
That’s not such a great idea. If you’re going to replace two tires, it’s a good idea to find tires of the same brand. If you absolutely have to mix and match brands, replace two at a time on the same axle.
At Car Talk, we recommended checking out the online retailers for the best prices on new tires. Places like TireRack and SimpleTire are great options for the lowest price. Read more on the Best Places to Buy Tires Online and Save Hundreds here.
Ordering your tires online vs. the shop will save you money