Different Types of Tires | How to Determine Which Type You Need

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Shopping for tires can be tough, with multiple options available that fit your vehicle. We break down each type so you can find the right tire for your needs.

Tires are an essential part of getting from Point A to Point B. They are also one of the most visible features on our vehicle. We see them every day, unlike most of the intricate inner workings of our vehicles.

And yet, for many drivers, shopping for tires is just as confusing and frustrating a process as dealing with any other automotive issue. For that reason, we often settle for the tires that come on our vehicle at the time of purchase, figuring our job is done. We don’t think about them again until we’re forced to, but by then, the stress of timing and necessity can compound the frustration.

From sizes to brands to the sheer variety of different types of tires, tire shopping can be overwhelming. So let’s break down the key areas of focus when making your decision on new tires.

What Fits Your Vehicle – We’re Talking More Than Just Size

Every car has certain specifications for each of its parts, and the tires are no different.

Of course, the size of a tire is one consideration. They need to fit on the wheels of the vehicle, getting their job done without interfering with any other functions.

Finding tires that fit on your vehicle is an obvious step to the shopping process. Going further, however, finding tires that are fit for your vehicle also matters.

Depending on how closely you’ve inspected your tires, you may have noticed numbers and letters on the sidewall. These markings aren’t simply model numbers. They actually tell you a lot about what a tire is designed to do, and yes, how they’ll affect your use.

Most people do not know how to read these sidewall designations, but they are essential to finding the different types of tires that would fit your vehicle. They can tell you information such as the size, how much weight your car can handle with them, and how fast you can drive on them for an extended time without issues.

Professionals would likely be able to decipher these designations to ensure you have the right tires for your vehicle. But for those shopping themselves or online, it is crucial to understand this information.

What Kind of Driving?

When it comes to purchasing tires, one of the most important considerations are the different types of tires that are available. Beyond the specifications like size or speed rating, drivers have options based on the kind of driving they envision.

Most vehicles come with some form of all-season tires at the time of purchase. This is usually a perfectly fine option for most drivers, because all-season tires are made to perform reliably in different types of weather or road conditions.

However, some drivers live in climates that bring the expectation of extreme weather.

In these cases, they may switch between different types of tires to adapt to those conditions. Drivers in Arizona may opt for summer or all-season tires because they rarely experience the cold and snow that a driver in Minnesota can expect each year. That driver may switch to winter tires in the colder months to handle any extreme conditions.

Of course, there are other considerations for drivers of another stripe. Off-roading and mud tires are there to help the most adventurous among us to enjoy their thrills at maximum performance and safety.

It all comes down to what sort of driving you envision, and what tires will best get that job done.

How to Shop

When shopping for tires — or any automotive need, for that matter — customers often rely on the simple factor of cost.

Pricing obviously matters. However, settling for the wrong tire even at the right price point can prove to be costly down the road. Keeping all the above factors in mind can not only save you money but also bring you peace of mind. At the end of the day, you need to find tires that both fit your budget and ensure your car can safely perform at its highest potential.

It’s not always easy for the average driver to know how to thread that needle. In addition to offering mobile tire services for those needing an upgrade or simply a replacement, tire professionals at Tread Connection can help you better understand the process and get you back on the road with confidence.

There are other factors, such as treadwear warranties. It also simply comes down to comfort. You could be just as happy finding an exact replacement.