Which Type of Tires is Right For Me?

Which Type of Tires is Right For Me?

When people think about their car’s performance, they often think of their engine, transmission, suspension, exhaust, or a number of other systems. However, few people pay enough attention to their tires and just how much of an impact they can have on their vehicle. Tires are extremely important: they keep you stuck to the road you’re driving on, allow your car to turn, stop you when you need it, and even influence your fuel consumption. These are just a few reasons why it’s vitally important that you choose the right set of tires for your needs. Each car and driver is going to have different needs that influence their ultimate decision.

If you need help choosing the right set of tires for your car, then this blog is for you. Here is a brief guide to the different sets of tires you can buy and a few tips for when each is appropriate so you can make an educated purchasing decision.

Summer vs. Winter Tires

If you’ve been around the automotive world for any amount of time, you’ve probably heard people mention that they need to put their winter tires on their car when the first sign of chilly weather starts to sink in. However, generally these people are from northern states. It’s no secret that the weather is quite warm here in Texas for much of the year, and because we see very little in the way of snowfall, winter tires aren’t really necessary.

Generally, winter tires have deeper treads placed in a pattern that encourages them to “dig” into the snow that can collect on roads during winter months. This encourages better traction in low-grip conditions and makes driving safer. However, since snow isn’t all that common here in Texas, these aren’t really a necessity.

Summer tires usually have a much shallower tread because they want more rubber exposed to the road than winter tires. The more rubber makes contact with the road, the better the tire performs. One of the most characteristic signs of a summer tire: orbital grooves running all the way around the tire. However, summer tires also have a downside: they tend to lose a lot of traction and grip during wet weather, so be careful during summer monsoon rains if you chose to go with a set like this.

There is a happy compromise between the two as well: all-season tires. All-season tires are kind of a hybrid combination of both summer and winter tires, providing better grip during low-traction conditions while also offering a smoother and more enjoyable ride and added durability that you find in summer models. Most average day-to-day drivers find these the ideal choice because they often have a great lifespan, ride, and handling characteristics while also offering better poor-weather safety.

Touring vs. Passenger

If you’ve been tire shopping for some time, you’ve probably heard two different terms thrown around in regards to tire models: touring and passenger. Touring tires are generally designed for lower road noise and better handling. They have smaller tread depths, and are generally softer, leading to a comfortable ride, but one that’s also fairly high-performance. An all-season touring tire is going to offer you perhaps the best compromise between performance and longevity if you use your car as a daily driver but occasionally want to have a bit of fun.

An all-season passenger tire is usually better for daily drivers or commuters who don’t care so much about pushing their car’s performance and just want something that’s going to last a long time and give a smooth ride. These tires usually have better warranties, but you’ll find they struggle to keep up in any sort of a performance application.

High-Performance

Want to have some fun with your car? Performance tires are the way to go. These tires are generally designed to encourage maximum grip, handling, and braking capabilities, but sacrifice in durability and longevity in order to do so. Performance tires are generally built using some of the softest rubber compounds available, which is great for getting the most out of your car, but also means your tires are going to wear out much quicker. High-performance tires are also generally more expensive as a result, especially when you start getting into larger rim sizes.

There are four common grades of these tires: performance, high performance, ultra-high performance, and competition-grade. A sports car owner who doesn’t take their car to a track and instead uses it as a daily driver but still wants to be able to have that sporty capability will likely want to stick with a regular performance tire. Conversely, someone with a drag-strip or autocross monster that only runs during racing events should invest competition grade tires to get the most from their ride.

Need help choosing the right tires for your ride? Call HP Motorsports at (281) 231-9950 to speak with one of our Houston high performance automotive experts!

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