Car Tires

Tires are among the most important features of a vehicle. Not only do these components have a direct impact on your car’s handling and braking performance, but they also influence ride quality. According to maintenance experts, you should inspect the condition of the tire tread at least once a month. When the thread becomes low, traction won’t be nearly as good. The chances of you becoming involved in an accident increase dramatically. Let’s take a closer look at the different tire types you can choose from.

All-Season Tire
An all-season tire type is perfect for drivers who don’t want to make any changes throughout the year. It’s the most versatile tire type on the market. No longer will you need to buy a different tire set for the summer and winter. Whether the weather is rainy or dry, you’ll be able to maintain good traction.

Keep in mind that all-season tire types have their limitations. Typically, they are only recommended for regions that rarely experience below-freezing conditions. Performance in extremely cold weather won’t be nearly as good. This is especially true for car owners living in the Snowbelt.

Winter Tire
When temperatures start to drop during the winter, you may need to switch to winter tires. A winter tire type is designed with a more durable rubber compound, which remains flexible even during freezing conditions. The tread design is quite different as well. Deeper blocks in the tread help cars to churn through snow and ice. A winter tire also does a better job of clearing slush on the road. Traction is enhanced greatly. When stepping on the brakes, the improved grip will help you to stop quickly during emergencies.

There are a few downsides to a winter tire type. For starters, hot weather will cause a winter tire to wear out much sooner than expected. Handling on dry pavement will also take a noticeable hit. Maintenance professionals advise switching them out during the summer months.

Summer Tire
While a summer tire type is not ideal for cold climates, it’s perfect for hot weather. A summer tire type can take your vehicle’s handling capabilities to the next level. The tread patterns help the car to better stick to the road, thus promoting a sportier driving experience. Because there are fewer grooves in the thread, contact with the road is maximized. Improved fuel economy is yet another benefit. A summer tire type has a lower rolling resistance, which means there won’t be as much friction.

Remember, a summer tire type is not ideal for cold winters. The rubber compound in a summer tire will become hard and brittle. Driving on snow and ice will be an absolute no-no.

Run-Flat Tires
Many of today’s high-end luxury cars come equipped with a run-flat tire type. This tire type has reinforced sidewalls. In the event that you happen to run over a nail, you’ll be able to continue driving until you reach a service station. Most can hold air for up to 50 miles. The extra peace of mind is well worth it for drivers who tend to do a lot of traveling. You won’t even need to keep a spare tire in the trunk.

While a run-flat tire type is great from a safety perspective, they tend to be a lot heavier. This added weight often results in reduced fuel economy. You should also consider the fact that a run-flat tire type is substantially more expensive.

Low-Profile Tire
A low-profile tire type is perfect for drivers who want to bolster their vehicle’s curb appeal. A short sidewall and wider tread promote a more aggressive stance. Many car owners prefer to combine a low-profile tire type with custom wheels. However, enhanced styling isn’t the only benefit. Handling improves as well.

While a low-profile tire type has become increasingly popular, drivers must be willing to sacrifice some ride comfort. The thinner sidewall allows more vibrations from the road to enter the cabin. Because a low-profile tire type doesn’t provide as much protection, tire damage is more likely to occur.

Performance Tire
To no surprise, a performance tire type is commonly found on sports cars. Handling and maneuverability are taken to the next stage. They have a much higher speed rating, which allows you to go faster on twisty roads.

Keep in mind that a performance tire type requires a bit more routine maintenance. The softer rubber lowers life expectancy.