Tires 101: Which Type Is The Best For You

September 14th, 2018 by
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The process of purchasing tires can sometimes be a challenge, especially for someone who has limited knowledge of it. Fortunately, having a clear understanding of the various types of tires and narrowing down which one works best for a consumer doesn’t have to be an intimidating experience. To determine which tire best fits a consumer’s driving needs we must begin with the type of the vehicle. So, to assist in the tire purchasing process, we’ve put together a list of tires with their appropriate explanations and what kind of car is required to use them.

Sedans, CUVS, + Minivans

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The tires that are specifically designed for this class of vehicles are meant to offer consumers a smooth and effortless ride. While delivering exceptional comfort and handling on the highway, all-season tires also provide dependable all-season traction. All-season tires typically feature asymmetrical tread pattern and surrounding grooves for a better grip during rainy weather conditions. Next are touring tires, also known as Grand touring tires, that offer a more responsive type of handling in addition to reliable all-season traction. Contrary to all-season tires, touring tires commonly have a higher speed rating and feature an asymmetrical tread pattern. Furthermore, consumers who drive high-performance sport and sedan vehicles typically demand a more enhanced handling capability from their tires. This is because when driving a performance vehicle, drivers want reasonable traction in various weather conditions without losing focus on performance rather than comfort.

Next up are performance tires, which need little to no in-depth explanation. Performance tires usually have larger circumferential and lateral grooves, specifically for better traction in wet weather conditions. Summer tires are aimed towards damp and dry weather conditions, but not for all-season traction. Explicitly designed for warm weather, summer tires also deliver grip and responsive handling in either wet or dry conditions. Moreover, summer tires also feature solid contact patches and sufficient circumferential grooves for hydroplaning resistance. Lastly, similar to street performance tires, track, and competition tires are designed to deliver the peak of high performance and are not meant for daily driving. While featuring high-tech body and sidewall reinforcements, like Kevlar or Aramid brands, track tires are intended for extreme performance and can be seen on amateur tracks or professional competitions.  

Truck + SUV

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The different utilizations of the vehicle would result in the use of truck or SUV tires. It all depends on whether the consumer requires a more aggressive tire for off-road use or for those commercial workers who are always on the road. Highway tires predominantly have durable compounds and tread patterns that can withstand uneven wear, to deliver long-lasting tread life. Similar to highway tires, ribbed tires are also designed for ultimate highway handling and long lasting mileage. Typically consisting of a solid rib tread design for not only heightened stability and enhanced wet weather traction, sport truck tires are also very similar to highway tires. Including all-season tread patterns and sipes that are improved for numerous weather conditions, performance sport truck tires also feature increased speed rating than highway tires and may highlight an asymmetrical tread pattern. Sipes are thin slits across the surface of the tire to improve traction when driving in snowy, wet, or icy conditions.  

Now, listen up off-roaders, this one is for you – all-terrain, mud-terrain, and all-purpose tires. All-terrain tires have more aggressive and more prominent tread patterns to provide better traction during off-road driving conditions primarily. With little to no on-road discomfort, most all-terrain tires achieve off-road traction when taking on gravel, sand, and light mud. In addition to those adventurous off-road thrills, all-terrain tires also provide highway stability and comfort. Those more aggressive and extreme off-road trails would require mud-terrain tires. For the tires to get more traction in soft terrains, they often have bold sidewall features while giving them an even more rugged appearance. Those sidewalls are resilient against punctures, abrasions, and tears that are common during extreme off-roading obstacles. Lastly, all-purpose or trail tires are slightly more rugged and featureless sipes than the standard highway tire. The tread pattern will usually include overlapping blocks to provide underwhelming off-road grip in loose road conditions.

From all-season to all-terrain tires, we hope the previously stated descriptions can assist you in your tire searching journey. At University Dodge, we offer numerous tire options available in our parts department. For more information visit our website or call us at (954) 271-1690.