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Buying Car Tires

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There are a lot of important parts that make up your vehicle, but car tires are crucial to your everyday commute. Unlike other key components on your ride, these touch the road and take a major pounding. Whenever you start seeing noticeable wear or fading tread, you should consider upgrading them as soon as possible. Here are some important features and types of car tires to consider before making a purchase.


Tire Features

Seasonal Features

  • All-season tires - From dry and wet roads to light snow, these varieties are constructed to handle different kinds of weather conditions throughout the year. 
  • Summer tires - These high-performance options handle well on dry and wet surfaces in warmer conditions.
  • Winter tires - Also known as snow tires, winter models provide exceptional grip on larger amounts of snow and ice.

 

Browse all all-season tires, summer tires and winter tires

 

Seasonal features

  • All-season tires are constructed to handle different kinds of weather conditions throughout the year
  • Winter tires provide exceptional grip on larger amounts of snow and ice
  • Summer tires are a high performance option that handle well on dry and wet surfaces in above freezing conditions

Learn more about all-season tires and winter tires

 

 

Seasonal features

  • All-season tires are constructed to handle different kinds of weather conditions throughout the year
  • Winter tires provide exceptional grip on larger amounts of snow and ice
  • Summer tires are a high performance option that handle well on dry and wet surfaces in above freezing conditions

Learn more about all-season tires and winter tires

 

Performance Grades

  • Standard performance tires - These variations have a thinner composition suited for sports cars or aggressive drivers.
  • High-performance tires - High-performance models have a soft tread compound that helps improve handling, cornering and traction at high speeds.
  • Ultra-high performance tires - Ultra-performance tires usually operate best at the highest everyday speeds and give drivers a smooth ride.
  • Touring tires - These use a low profile and wide tread to create exceptional control in more dry conditions.
  • All-terrain tires - All-terrain options are commonly used on four-wheel drive vehicles to handle on and off-road capabilities.

Tire Codes

  • Tire size - This code lists a tire's class, section width, aspect ratio, construction and wheel diameter.
  • Tire speed rating - Speed rating denotes a tire's maximum driving speed using different letters that indicate specific mph.
  • Tire load index - Tire load index measures the maximum amount of weight your vehicle's tires can carry.
  • Maximum pressure rating - This code lists the maximum air pressure in pounds per square inch that a tire can handle.
  • Tread wear grade - The rating measures a tire's durability based on manufacturer tests.
  • Tire traction rating - This code grades how a tire stops on wet surfaces in controlled conditions.
  • Temperature rating - Temperature rating specifies a tire's resistance to heat in normal conditions.
  • Manufacturer code - Tire sidewalls include a code specifying U.S. Department of Transportation standards and the official tire manufacturing date.

Learn more about reading tire codes


Types of Tires

Passenger Tires

Passenger tires are constructed with higher profiles to reduce noise and create a comfortable ride. As a result, these models can handle an everyday commute exceptionally well.

  • Common seasonal usage - Passenger tires are available in all-season, winter and summer varieties.
  • Performance grades - These tires come in performance, high-performance, ultra-high performance and touring options.
  • Vehicle fit - Passenger tires can be used on almost any size vehicle. Most models are best suited for sedans, hatchbacks, standard minivans and small SUVs or trucks. If you own a sports car, performance-based models can create a smooth driving experience for higher speeds.
 
 
 
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Light Truck Tires

Light truck tires are specially constructed to support heavy loads on mid-size and heavy-duty trucks or SUVs. 

  • Common seasonal usage - These models come in all-season, winter, summer varities, so you can find options that suit any season.
  • Performance grades: Light truck tires are available in all-terrain and touring models to handle standard highway driving or off-road situations. For instance, all-terrain tires create solid traction off-road or on unpaved roads. This combination works best for pickups or SUVs that haul items back and forth to construction sites or on muddy surfaces.
  • Vehicle fit - A set of these tires are perfectly suited for mid to large-sized SUVs or pickup trucks. If you're someone that uses a pickup or SUV to transport items regularly for work, light truck tires are able to handle heavy loads for almost any project.
 
 

Mud Tires

Mud tires use large, block-style tread patterns to give vehicles improved grip on dirt, sand or gravel surfaces. The deep tread design allows them efficiently dig into these kinds of surfaces, letting mud move in and out of the tread without getting stuck.

  • Common seasonal usage - These types of tires are available in all-season and winter varities, giving you plenty of options for any season.
  • Performance grades - Mud tires are availabe in all-terrain constructions to tackle off-road driving, whether it's at a construction site or a dirt race track.
  • Vehicle fit - You should only install these on vehicles, trucks or ATVs that you drive off-road. Driving them on paved highways can cause damage to your tires or the road.

 

Top models: BFGoodrich MUD Terrain Tire, Nanking Mudstar Mud Tires

Browse all mud tires