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Tires

Types of Vehicle Tires

Choosing the right tires for your car can be a big decision since it's not one that you should have to make all that frequently. But the decision doesn't have to be overwhelming if you understand the different tire types and how they work with your car.

Most likely if you're in the market for car tires, you already have a vehicle and are just replacing tires that have gone bad for one reason or another. If you're replacing tires that are balding, you can either make this determination for yourself, or an expert has told you that your tires are too worn. Either way, if you want to be sure your tread is getting thin you can use the standard rule that if your tire tread is below 2/32" depth you are definitely in need of new tires.

Driving on tires with less than 1/16" of tread, or groove, becomes dangerous in wet, snowy or icy road conditions especially. Even if part of your tread is low, the tire can be compromised.

The first determination to make is the size of tire that specifically fits your vehicle. If you want to simply replace the tires with what you previously had, you can find the size of the tire on the sidewall of the tire itself. If you are unsure if your old tires are original to the vehicle, you can also check the owner's manual to find out what the manufacturer recommends for your vehicle. You don't have to stick with the same tire you previously had; you can upgrade to improve driving performance, but always check with your tire seller to make sure what you buy is appropriate for your vehicle.

After you figure out the size of tire you need, the next decision is the type of tire you want.

All-Season Tires

This type of tire works as an all-around tire that performs well in every driving condition. These tires can handle dry or wet conditions; have durable reinforced sidewalls, offer greater road contact with center ribs, and a good dry grip due to asymmetrical or symmetrical tread. They also usually provide greater mileage and reduced noise inside the vehicle.

High-Performance Tires

The average car doesn't require high-performance tires. Investing in a set of these tires would be ideal if you have a sports car, do a lot of racing, or want a more stylish sportier look for your vehicle. These tires feature softer rubber that improves traction and cornering performance. They also have increased steering response and stability due to lower tread profiles.

Mud-Terrain Tires

These tires are best known for their ability in off-road driving. They are nosier and have a less comfortable ride than traditional tires, with large tread blocks that increase your vehicle's traction. They work best when traveling through mud, snow and dirt.

Snow Tires

These tires may be something that you consider using during the snowiest winter months; trading them out with other tires that are used the rest of the year. These tires perform best in low-temperature driving conditions, providing increased traction with softer rubber that heats up while in use, improving your vehicle's grip on ice and snow. They are also designed specifically to increase traction in snowy, wet conditions.

No matter which tires you choose, keeping them properly inflated and in good condition can not only improve gas mileage, but will also help keep your car in good running condition for years to come.