Depending on where you live, you may be keenly aware of the type of tire that you need – or ma be completely oblivious! Both are fine, but if you want to have the best performance from your car, as well as the safest ride, then it is well worth reading up on what tires you need. It might seem obvious that a Land Rover designed to crawl up muddy mountains will need different tires to a performance car, but do you think the same way for your own car?
If you live somewhere with severe weather in summer and winter, you will probably have at least an idea that you need different tires in the hot months compared to when you’re driving in the snow. This also applies to tires that are made for performance compared to those that are made for a comfortable ride. Read on to see what the main differences are between each type of tire and find out which are best for you.
Everyone knows that the engine is the most critical component of any modern-day vehicle. But, if you want to think about it, a car with even the most powerful and most efficient engine will still not be able to bring you to your destination without your car’s wheels and the tires that are mounted onto the wheels. Technically, your tires are what connect your car to the ground. Such is the importance of tires that we’ve prepared this ultimate guide to help you better understand that piece of technology that keeps you rolling wherever you may want to go.
For 90% of people, this will be what you spend most of your time driving on. All-purpose tires are what are fitted onto most stock cars and are designed to be a jack-of-all-trades but are master of none. An all-purpose tire will take you through all of the seasons comfortably, and you won’t have too many issues unless weather conditions get severe.
These tires and designed with general comfort in mind more than anything else. The average driver will probably spend most of their time driving around town centers or something similar, and then going on longer journeys on the highway. Not much of their time will be spent over 70 mph, so the goal for designers and manufacturers is to make the ride as smooth as possible in these conditions. In addition, these tires will be adept at driving in the wet during rain and are wide enough to give an excellent performance.
If you aren’t looking for anything more extreme than this, then these are probably the best tires for you. The only other thing to think about is the level of quality that you need, as not all tires are created equal. In general, the more you spend on your tires, the longer they will last so that you may be saving money in the long run.
Tires for Performance
If going fast is more your style, then performance tires could be a good investment. When people think about increasing the performance of their cars, they usually think about expanding the power under the hood. This is often expensive, though, and you need to either be knowledgeable with the mechanics of your vehicle or happy to pay someone else to do the work for you.
Tires, on the other hand, can provide an instant performance upgrade with minimal effort. If you have ever seen a Formula 1 racing car, you may have noticed that their tires are extensive and have no tread. This is to maximize the overall surface are the tire has with the road. With this extra surface are the tire is better equipped to take corners and break at speed.
Performance tires are often softer than other types of tire, though, so you may find yourself wearing through them quickly if you aren’t careful. If you are interested in buying custom wheels to go with your performance tires, then make sure to check out Revology car shop for everything that you may need.
Tires for the Snow and Ice
On the other side of the year, you may live somewhere that has at least a handful of heavy snowfalls every year. If this is the case, then you don’t want to be caught off guard and not have the right tires for the job. Driving in snow is difficult in all-purpose tires, and getting stuck on the way to work is the last thing that you want. Snow tires are designed with more and deeper tread when compared to other tires to help grip through the powder. If you live somewhere with very severe snow, then you may even want to consider studded winter tires. These come with metal studs that dig into the snow and even ice to help you get around. Be aware that outside of snowy conditions that these tires will reduce performance on tarmac quite significantly, so you will want to have your regular tires ready for when the snow clears.
Tires for Trucks and SUVs
If you plan to take your car off-road, then you will definitely need tires that can cope with the terrain. Trucks and SUVs should be equipped with tires that have deep treads for covering ground on mud, as well as resilience to handle rocks and other obstacles in the way. These tires will have tough sidewalls so that they do not puncture easily and can be thinner than traditional tires to help them carve through mud and gravel. With these tires, don’t expect high speeds on the highway. This isn’t the natural habitat for this type of vehicle or tire. These tires have the opposite characteristics of performance tires and have much less surface area with the ground when it is flat. One sub-type of the all-terrain tire is the mud tire. These have even deeper treads than other all-terrain tires to find grip in very wet and muddy conditions.
What are Tires Made From?
As mentioned in the tire types above, some tires are hard, and some are soft. This generally comes down to what the tires are made out of. There are two essential materials that tires are manufactured from, the first being cross-ply and the second being radial. These two materials make all the difference when it comes to performance in different types of conditions.
This is the less common of the two materials that tires are commonly made from, but this isn’t to say that the quality is any lower. Cross-ply tires are very resistant to cuts making them ideal for all-terrain tires. They are also simple to repair, so if a puncture does occur, you can fix it with ease. Cross-ply tires also provide a great deal of stability for your ride, which is also very useful if you are driving off-road.
This is the most common system for modern tires. It provides excellent resistance against day-to-day wear and tears, as well as good heat resistance. Radial tires also offer good fuel economy and great traction, which is very important for both performance and all-purpose tires.
The essential Parts that Compose a Tire
Tires may seem like a fairly simple structure, but when you start to break a tire down, it actually has several different elements to it.
This is the area that touches the road when you are driving. Tread is where the force goes from the tire to the road and is designed to move as effectively as possible, depending on what the terrain is. This is made to be especially resistant to wear and tear to that your tread lasts as long as possible, as well as being heat resistant when driving at fast speed. This is where the most apparent differences are found between tires varying from almost no tread for performance tires to massive treads for all-terrain tires.
This is simply the side of the tire but is still a vital component. The sidewall of the tire is what is most likely to take significant impacts to be it from a rock when driving off-road, or from a curb when parking with too much enthusiasm. The sidewall is designed to be able to resist impacts as well as cracking and scuffing so that the tire lasts as long as it can.
In cross-ply type tires and is what stops any chafing around the bead. This is located where the tire meets the rim of the wheel. The chafer can also be found on radial tires, but rather than preventing chafing, it is made to reinforce the bead and adds stiffness to this part of the tire. To find out more about how the wheel impacts the tire, click here.
A liner can be found as an additional layer inside the tire and is there to prevent any air from escaping in tires that don’t have an inner tube.
This is what sits inside of the chafer and is what holds the whole tire together. This is where the tire meets the rim of the wheel and needs to be very strong to prevent any punctures or blow-outs. It is made out of steel wires that are insulated with rubber and run all the way around the inside of the tire. These are even stronger on cross-ply tires as these are what all-terrain tires are generally made from, so they need to be able to withstand as much punishment as possible.