What would that classic hot rod be without the best tires (view on Amazon)? Driving in those hail and snow storms really test your tires’ performance. Having a blowout can really be dangerous. Yet, choosing the best tires for your favorite car can be confusing. After all, there are so many tire brands and so many tire features to choose from. This article will give you some idea of what to look for when you shop for the best tires based on the uniform tire quality (UTQG) standard.
What Makes a Tire?
All tires are black, round, and imprinted with a tire brand. Beyond these commonalities, tires can have major differences in performance and endurance. Tire manufacturers have researched the composition of rubber, friction, road surfaces, season, and several other aspects of tire performance to develop the best products. The result has been a number of tire models that boast a number of capabilities. The major features of the tire which separate the world class tire from the junk is tread life, temperature, traction, and aspect ratio:
Tread life – Tire tread is not only a major factor in the tire’s longevity, it is also critical to the tire safety and performance. Tread depth is measured as the vertical distance from the top to the bottom of the tire’s deepest grooves. Governments regulate tread measurements to maintain safety on the road. Off-the-road tire tread is usually the highest. Tire tread depth can be measured by using a tread depth gauge.
Tread affects how well the tire can grip the road, stop on brakes, accelerate, and turn corners. If you only use your car to go buy bread from the corner store, tread won’t mean much when you purchase tires. Nonetheless, maintaining tire tread is a part of vehicle maintenance. As tire tread wears away, the vehicle performance and safety also wears away.
Temperature – Tires are also classified by heat resistance ratings. Heat ratings are based on the American UTQG scale of A, B, or C. The ‘A’ rating is for speeds over 115 mph. The ‘B’ heat resistance rating is for speeds between 100 and 115 mph. The ‘C’ rating is between 85 and 100 mph. A ‘B’ heat resistance rating is just about the average. High speed tires typically have a higher heat resistance rating.
Traction – Traction, or the tire’s stickiness, is also a very important measure in tire quality. The less the tire skids and slides all over the road, the better the traction rating. Dry traction measures the tire performance on dry surfaces by testing on paved roads. Wet traction tests the tire’s performance on wet roads. The tire traction improves by the materials used to make the tire. Softer compounds used to make the tire improve the thread. However, the improved tread does not last long. Tire manufacturers compromise tread for the tire life cycle when choosing the tire materials. Choosing a tire with high traction ratings is one of the most important aspects of choosing a good tire.
Aspect ratio – The aspect ratio is the measure of your tire’s height from the sidewall. This is the second pair of numbers that is imprinted on the tire. The lower the measure, the less sidewall the tire has. To compensate for the lack of sidewall, you have to buy larger tires. If you don’t, the small size may increase the engine revs.
Types of Tires
The number of choices for tires can be bewildering. Choosing tire types requires a little knowledge of what the different types are designed to do. There are several types of tires designed for different types of uses in different environments. The most common types of tires include all season, low profile, performance, and winter tires:
All season tires – All season tires are most dependable in dry, snowy, or wet weather conditions. These tires have optimal handling all year long and in most any weather conditions. Yet, these tires are not optimal for snow and ice conditions.
Low profile tires – These tires are designed for better performance and handling. The sidewall is much shorter than the standard tire with an aspect ratio that is 50 or less. These tires grip the road better with wider traction. These tires are damaged or deflated more than other tire types.
Performance tires – Performance tires have excellent maneuverability and traction. These tires are often low profile tires with wide tread. The automobile has higher performance at high speeds. Many sports car owners choose performance tires. These tires tend to be more expensive than other styles.
Winter tires – These tires are designed to handle snow and ice on the road and come in studded and stud-less models. These tires have many sipes to help tread through the snow and ice. Soft rubber retains its shape when traveling through rough terrain. If you live in northern regions with rough weather, these tires are your best option. These tires do not offer the same performance during warm temperatures.
Best Tire Brands
When it’s time to replace those tires, it helps to know what tire you need. How do you pick the best tire brand when there are so many choices? Which tires rank best in areas of handling, noise, and comfort? There are different types of tires for different types of vehicles. There are passenger tires, pickup truck tires, and performance tires. Among these tire types, there are many tire brands. There are several tire manufacturers out there who make premium quality tires as well as those who produce cheap tires that won’t last. The best tires for you are the ones that fit your purpose and also made by the best tire manufacturers. Here are the most popular tire brands for most types of tires:
Goodyear – Charles Goodyear produced vulcanized rubber which eventually was used to make tires. Throughout the 20th century, Goodyear was a leader in the evolution of automobile tire design. Today, the Goodyear tire remains an industry leader. The Goodyear Assurance WeatherReady is one of the top rated tires in the world.
Pirelli – Giovanni Pirelli started making tires as far back as 1872. His rubber band tires were used on carriages and eventually on automobiles. The quality of Pirelli tires continued to improve. Today, the Pirelli is ranked as one of the top tire brands in the world. The Pirelli P Zero Nero is one of the top rated tires in the world.
BF Goodrich – BF Goodrich tires have been known for high performance. You may find these tires on racing cars due to their high performance design. The first car to travel across the United States had Goodrich tires. Goodrich introduced this tire in 1870, and the family legacy of top performing tires has continued. The BF Goodrich All Terrain Radial is one of the top rated tires in the world.
Hankook – Hankook tires came on the scene in 1941 from the Chosun Tire Company. Many of the Hankook tires are used in racing. These tires are low priced with excellent tread life. The company answered the pressure from the competition and improved the life cycle and quality of their tires. These tires are now common for passenger cars as well as race cars. The Hankook Ventus ST RH06 is one of the top rated tires in the world.
Kumho – Kumho tires are one of the biggest values in the tire market. Not only is the value high, these tires are durable with long tread life. The price is also very competitive. Kumho tires come in two different types of all season: the Ecsta and the Solus. There is also a winter and truck Kumho tire selection. These tires are not very expensive, so they can be noisy and give shorter mileage. The Kumho Road Venture AT51 All Season Radial is one of the best-selling tires in the world.
Firestone – The Firestone Tire and Rubber Company came about in 1900. These tires were used on wagons and any vehicles that used tires. The production of these tires continued, as did the quality. The Firestone tire made its way to racing cars in the 1950s. Today, these tires definitely make the list of the best tire brands in the world. The Firestone Firehawk All Season is one of the top rated tires in the world.
Michelin – Michelin offers top tier all weather tires with low rolling resistance and a long tread life. The Michelin brothers joined the bandwagon in 1889 with a rubber factory and focused on pneumatic tires for bicycles. Later, the run-flat tire was created, followed by the radial tire. Michelin tires continued to rise in the ranks of the best tires in the world. The Michelin Pilot Sports A/S 3+ is one of the highest rated tires you can buy.
How to Choose the Best Tire for Your Car
Choosing the best tires for your car is an important decision in terms of safety, value, and longevity. With all of the brands, options, and prices for tires, making those replacements can be a daunting task. How do you choose the best tire? Here are a few hints:
Your vehicle – Choose the tire that is appropriate for your car’s make and model. That glamourous performance tire may be too much for your car. On the flip side, that cheap seasonal tire might not be enough. Consult your automobile manufacturer for the best tire size, aspect ratio, and tread.
Mileage – How far will you go on those news tires? Is your job right down the street or do you commute to another city? Choose your tires based on how much you will use them to be sure you get the most for your money.
Price – Tires don’t have to be expensive, but then again you get what you pay for. Some tires are too cheap. Pick the tire based upon its qualities and then be willing to pay the price. Saving a few dollars is not worth a dangerous blow out on the road.
Replacement or upgrade – Are you replacing a bad tire or considering an upgrade? If the tires you are replacement got the job done, it will be safer to get the same king you had before. If you have a sensical reason for upgrading your tires, get the facts first on what the new tires will mean when you hit the road.
If you are still not sure which tires are best for your vehicle, ask a professional. Most car shops and tire dealers can tell you what to look for according to your car’s make and model. You may also find that information in your owner’s manual.
You Need to Look After Your Tires!
The main reason why you’re going to notice a lot of issues with your tire is due to poor maintenance. There are a lot of maintenance techniques that need to be done on your tire in order to keep them in good condition. Failure to do this means that the rate of wear on the tire will be a lot more. You’ll notice that your tires get punctured often and the sidewall can fail easily.
If you want to tire problems or other issues and save $100s of dollars that you’ll spend at the auto repair shop, you’ll need to service your vehicle often – you can use our mechanic-rated Auto Maintenance and Repair Manual to do this. It’s basically what mechanics use to go through your vehicle to check if there are any problems that need fixing. As soon as they notice the most minor problem, they’ll ask you to fork out some money even though it’s a problem you can fix yourself in minutes – the manual will teach you how to maintain your vehicle every few thousand miles and it’ll teach you how to fix minor problems that mechanics will ask you to pay for; saving you money in the long run.
A lot of our readers have the Auto Maintenance and Repair Manual printed on their garage wall and 92% of them haven’t visited the auto repair shop in the last year because they know what to do to avoid problems. All it takes is giving your vehicle a little attention every few thousand miles and you’ll never spend money at the workshop again.
Go For It
Now that you know everything about tires, go for it. This is especially if you need replacements. Pick the best tires for your car and get rollin. Remember, safety first. If your tires need replacing, it’s not safe to drive.