The only parts on your car that touch the road are its tires, making them the most important safety components your vehicle has. Their role is to maintain traction with the road surface so you can accelerate, brake, and point your car in the direction you want to travel. Automotive tires are uniquely designed with a spectrum of styles and sizes, and it’s crucial that your tires are ideally matched to do their job right.
Types of Car Tires
Different vehicle tire designs are intended for different purposes. Equipping your vehicle with the correct tires will ensure you get the best performance and longest tread life possible.
All-season tires are the most common for those equipped from factory on a new vehicle as well as replacement tires. They’re intended to adequately handle summer and winter conditions if they’re the only set of tires you’ll have for your vehicle.
Summer tires are made of a more durable rubber compound that offers exceptional grip on both dry and wet roads when the temperature is above 45 degrees. Many performance tires and ultra high performance tires are intended for summer use only.
Snow tires or winter tires have high silica content in the rubber and stay more pliable in cold weather, gripping icy and snowy road surfaces better but experience much faster tread wear in warm weather.
Truck tires often have more plies in the tread section for durability and a more aggressive tread pattern. It allows for better grip in challenging mud, dirt, and snow, and can handle higher load weights.
How to Find the Right Tire
Which tire is the best for you? Locating the right tire includes matching the information from your door placard and the tire sidewall. It includes:
- Tire Size – these are the numbers on the sidewall such as 225/60R16. ‘225’ is the width of the tire in millimeters while ‘60’ is the aspect ratio, or height of the tire compared to width as a percentage. ‘R’ indicates a radial tire, and ‘16’ is the rim size.
- Load Rating – tires are rated to carry specific load amounts. It’s best to match your new tire with the same load rating or higher than the tire you’re replacing.
- Speed Rating – The speed rating is important on performance vehicles especially. Always equip your vehicle with tires rated to handle in excess of the speed you will drive.
- Tire Designation – P-tires are passenger-rated tires while LT-tires are intended for trucks and SUVs. As well, a mountain and snowflake icon indicates a winter-rated tire.
When Do I Need to Replace My Tires?
Tires are designed to provide all-weather traction, and normal use results in treadwear. When the tread depth is at or below 2/32nds of an inch, you’re at the end of its safe operating life. But it’s often better to replace tires before they’re completely worn out, like if they have uneven wear or there’s a bulge in the tread or sidewall. Sidewall punctures can’t be repaired either, necessitating tire replacement instead.
If your tires are excessively or unevenly worn, if you have a large puncture or cut, or if there are deep cracks between the tread blocks, it’s clear that you need your tires replaced.
Tire Shop Near Me
Which tire is right for me? It can be tough to choose the right size, brand, and style for your needs. The knowledgeable staff at Xavier’s Auto Center can help you find the best tire for your needs and budget to keep you traveling trouble-free around Philadelphia.