Jun 9, 2016

What You Need to Know About Choosing Tires

Purchasing tires is not only a hectic task but also a big decision. However, you don’t have to be confused anymore!

One of the factors you should consider is the type of tires you need. There are many types of tires that you can purchase for your car but, what you choose will mostly depend on where you reside, how you use your car and how much you like the ride of your car among many other factors.

Summer Tires

Summertime is considered the safest time of the year to drive. However, you should be careful and watch out for places that experience summer rains once in a while. The rain makes the road surface slippery and you should drive carefully to evade the unthinkable.

To ensure that the contact between your tire and the road surface remains rigid, summer tires have block-shaped tread patterns to ensure optimum grip. This also ensures that the friction between the road and the tire is maximized throughout.

All-Season Tires

These are the type of tires that you will get on every production car that has been released from the factory. The tires are built to balance between performance, noise, grip, durability and safety during wet weather. To increase the tire life, these tires are manufactured using a hard rubber compound that ensures an instant grip while at the same time cornering performance. For most drivers, this isn’t a major issue. The tread block design on these tires is mainly a balance between water dispersion and quiet running. This means that the tires are not too noisy and they can work well on wet roads and during downpours. The all-season tires are neither the best summer tires nor the best winter tires, but they are a combination of the two.

Winter Tires

Winter tires are designed to work better during wintery conditions where there is ice and snow on the roads. These tires have larger tread blocks that cause a lot of noise. In extreme winter conditions, the tiny metal studs that are fabricated in the treads of these tires bite into the ice and snow. On dry roads, the winter tires make a lot of noise and they easily wear out both the tire and the road. The winter tires either have a symbol of a snowflake or an ‘M&S’ stamp on the sidewall of the tire.

Performance Tires

These tires are designed for fast cars and drivers who prefer to drive harder and faster than the average drivers. These tires have more grip and performance than durability due to the soft rubber compound used during their manufacture. The tread blocks are normally structured to offer more grip than the ability to pump water away when driving on wet roads. A good example of performance tires are those called “slicks” that are used in the racing tracks. They are called so because they don’t have any treads.

All Terrain Tires

These tires have a 50% balance between off and on road performance. The treads have enough width to resist clogging of mud and they are deep enough to withstand and retain their performance during wet weather conditions. The carcass of the tire has a flat contact patch design to ensure that there is even wear of the tire. All terrain tires also have strong traction when used in off-road terrains, the bold tread blocks have well-designed patterns to avoid clogging and to easily clean themselves. These tires also provide a comfortable ride.

Run Flat Tires

These tires have become very popular and are the newest concept in the tire industry. The tires are designed in a way that the car can continue to drive safely even after a puncture and can function at zero tire pressure. Therefore, if you get a tire puncture, you won’t have to worry about changing the tire or asking for help from other drivers. With these tires, you can drive safely home or to the nearest garage. The run flat tires have been proved to reduce potential dangers that come with tire blows due to their unique factory construction. However, you should keep in mind that keeping the correct air pressure in all the tires is the best way to maintain their lifespan.

4*4 Tires

These types of tires are designed for four wheel vehicles including SUVs. Modern luxury vehicles such as Porsche, Mercedes and BMW among other 4*4 vehicles require performance tires because they are designed for use on roads that require tires manufactured using softer tread compound. The soft rubber compound will ensure that you get a fantastic drive because these tires offer an excellent grip on the road.

Traditional 4*4 tires were designed for use on different terrains, and over time these tires have changed and can be used comfortably in the mud and on the road. The new 4*4 tires are now manufactured using improved technology similar to other new types of tires. This means that these tires can offer similar braking distance that other standard tires offer on the road. All terrain tires are also preferred by many drivers due to the long distance they can cover before they are replaced.

Eco Tires

These are tires that are uniquely designed to help in economy mileage of the car without affecting the performance of the car. The economy tires are manufactured by adding a mixture of silica in the tread compound. This in turn affects the general amount of energy a tire can absorb while turning. The lower the resistance of tires during turning, the lower the amount of fuel consumed by the car.

In the past, the reduction of resistance to increase the fuel economy of the car was at a cost of losing tire grip, especially in wet conditions. However, with new technology, the eco tires can now offer good grip and fuel economy at the same time due to silica technology that has been adopted in the manufacture of these tires. It is also estimated that these tires can save many motorists a significant amount of money every year.

If it’s time to change your car tires, make sure you choose the best place to buy tires. Ideally, choose a place with different types of tires and make sure the tires you choose are of the same size as your original car tires. Car and tire manufacturers don’t recommend the use of different tire types across an axle.

Clive Tooth / Shutterstock.com

Clive Tooth / Shutterstock.com

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