Shop for new or replacement tires and you may be mystified by the many terms used to describe these tires. There are summer tires, winter tires, radials, bias-ply and a whole host of tire names and types. We realize that keeping up with the names is nearly impossible and to that end we’ll look at some of the more popularly used types.
The most popular tires around are all-season tires. These are radial tires, suitable for driving in most weather conditions, but not all. Radials do the best job of ensuring grip.
All-seasons tires, however, do not protect you in deep snows. Certainly, light ice and snow are manageable, but if you live in an area prone to heavy snowfall, then swapping out your all-seasons for winter tires makes sense.
As the name suggests, winter tires are suitable for the coldest months of the year. They’re also known as snow tires, what have long been used to provide the extra grip these tires afford.
Winter tires should be placed on both axles and on all four wheels. That’s because you will get better traction by using them accordingly. Winter tires are ideal in places where heavy snow is commonplace.
Don’t be fooled by the name: summer tires are not confined to one season. However, you will want to remove these tires in the winter or whenever ambient temperatures stay below the freezing mark.
Summer tires are also known as performance tires and are prized by enthusiasts for their superior grip. That means you can enjoy optimum street performance while sacrificing some comfort and safety — including increased hydroplaning potential.
Track and Competition Tires
Summer or performance tires have their place in the grand scheme of things. However, when it comes to optimal track performance, only track and competition tires will do.
Such tires are often referenced as racetrack and autocross only. Others are “street able” and still others are drag racing sufficient. In all cases, these types of tires are DOT-legal, enabling you to use them on the track and in some cases to and from the track.
Light Truck Tires
Rarely do you find car tires on trucks, although that is possible. The better choice here is to buy light truck tires that have the appearance, handling and performance that you demand.
Truck tires come in a variety of flavorings, ranging from light-duty to heavy off-road duty. Some tires are best suited in the snow, while others are just right for the open road. Make sure you understand what you are considering before you make your purchase.
One type of tire that doesn’t get much press are trailer tires. They’re entirely suitable for carrying your boat, utility trailer or camper as they are comprised of heavy duty materials and can also accommodate higher inflation levels.
It is time to replace your tires when they have aged, particularly when signs of wear and tear are evident. Tread levels should always be at least 2/32 of an inch. When you reach that minimum, it is time to replace them.
Always replace your tires in pairs or groups of four. When replacing two tires, the new tires go to the rear axle. Also consider replacing your spare tire when replacing any or all of your tires.
Lastly, shop carefully for tires and use only a reputable dealer advises Mavis Tire Stores. Choose only a retailer that has a broad selection of inventory for the types of tires your car requires. Ask about manufacturer discounts and find out if balancing and rotations are included. You want to work with someone who has the ability to meet and serve your needs and when you need them.