There are many options when it comes to choosing the right tires for a vehicle. Having a good understanding of each type of tire is important when purchasing new tires or when helping a friend or a customer choose the right tire for their vehicle and driving style. When choosing a tire type, consult your owner's manual and make sure to consider the climate and type of weather the vehicle goes through regularly as well as the type of performance the driver is looking for.
All season tires have become the standard factory tire for most new vehicles. These are suitable for all seasons, but if you live somewhere that experiences extreme weather, consider a tire that is made to perform in those specific weather conditions. All season tires provide traction on wet and icy roads but are not intended for off-road travel. These tires typically provide passengers with a smooth and quiet ride.
Snow/winter tires boast large grooves, soft rubber, and sometimes metal studs to improve the grip in the ice and snow. Unlike some tires, the soft rubber snow tires are made of will not harden in low temperatures, improving their grip. Snow tires are not made to be used during all four seasons because they wear down faster than warmer weather tires and do not perform as well in warmer months. It’s recommended that drivers have a set of all-season tires to use during the warmer months.
All-terrain tires are capable of performing on any road surface and most weather conditions. These tires have added grip and an open-tread style that makes them adequate for a wide range of terrains. Due to their open-tread type, all-terrain tires are noisier than street tires. These tires are typically made with a softer rubber than street tires which can mean a shorter tread life. These tires are not meant for off-roading but will stand off-road, wet, or icy conditions occasionally.
Mud tires are great for vehicles that spend a majority of time off-roading. With their deeper gaps and large tread blocks, these tires perform in many conditions such as sand, mud, and gravel. Mud tires have qualities different from most tires like strong treads that continue along their sidewalls. These help to maneuver uneven terrain and withstand sharp objects. Mud tires are much noisier and less comfortable on the road than regular street tires.
Off road tires are ideal for vehicles that spend most time off-road. These tires can perform better than mud tires on rocky terrain. They can keep you moving through wet and soft terrain. Mud tires have deep voids and large lugs to help maximize traction. They are typically puncture-resistant with reinforced sidewalls. These tires are not ideal for regular road travel. Due to their large treads, they are noisy at highway speeds and make for a bumpier ride than street tires.
Low profile tires are made to provide improved handling and performance while also adding a sleeker look to vehicles. These tires typically have a wide tread which allows them to grip the road better when making turns. The downfall of these tires is that since they have a shorter sidewall than most tires they don’t absorb bumps as well as other tires, resulting in a rougher ride.
Performance tires are typically used on sports cars and sports sedans that are known for handling high speeds and hard turns. These tires offer better traction, grip, and maneuverability than all-season tires. Performance tires have stiff sidewalls and are made of soft rubber that allow drivers to react quickly and stop fast. Due to the stiff sidewalls, these tires do not provide the smoothest ride. The soft rubber composition results in faster tread wear.
SUV tires provide a sporty appearance while also providing all-season versatility. These tires typically have wide treads that allow the tires to provide control in snow and rainy weather. SUV tires also provide sophisticated comfort and ride quality.
Truck tires provide traction on and off-road. They are made to withstand heavy workloads and all weather conditions, though not extreme. They also offer comfort qualities similar to SUV tires.
- Prior to using or installing any of these products always consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual for compatibility and warranty information.
- Always take appropriate safety precautions when working on or operating your vehicle. Take the necessary steps to help prevent injuries; always use protective gear like helmets, safety goggles, and gloves.