The importance of tires to a vehicle can sometimes be forgotten. People pay more attention to the engine and worry about fuel efficiency. However, without a good set of tires, a car is shackled to lesser performance, and potentially dangerous to drive! 

Tires are required for all kinds of transportation. Obviously most people think about tires on cars and trucks. But keep in mind that industrial vehicles like construction equipment, tractors and other things require tires too. This article will focus on car and truck tires, and helping ensure that consumers are buying the right ones for their vehicles. 

Proper Tire Function

Getting the right set of tires is important for your vehicle and your safety. There’s actually far more to the job of a tire than many people realize. They are responsible for several different jobs in the working operation of a vehicle. The first is shock absorption. It’s not just the suspension that’s responsible for this. The tires are the first line of defense in handling road vibrations before they are reduced again by proper shocks or struts. The second job of tires is to bear weight properly. A car or truck is incredibly heavy. The construction of the tire combined with the air pressure within it need to be capable of holding that weight up properly. 

In addition to those support functions, tires are also responsible for providing speed and handling. An engine can produce power, but if the tires aren’t capable of delivering that power to the road, then it’s pointless. The same can be said for the vehicle moving in reverse. The best brakes in the world won’t stop a vehicle if the tires can’t apply that stopping force properly to the road. Tires don’t just provide translation for moving forward and backward, but also side to side. It is the tire’s responsibility to maintain the vehicle’s position and integrity through the tight corners. 

Choosing the Right Tires

The right tires make a vehicle better. When buying tires for your vehicle, you need to be able to read the language of tires. Certain tires fit certain cars. Cars give measurements for their width, aspect ratio (height to width ratio), diameter, load they can carry and ratings for their speed. Tires also give ratings for their treadwear, traction and temperature grades. Each manufacturer can specify exactly which type of tire is best, and in most cases that information is available at stores as well. 

Beyond that, there are many different types of tires for different road conditions. All-Season tires are typically designed to work in essentially any scenario. They can handle dry or wet weather and work reasonably well in cold and hot temperatures. For more luxurious feel and comfort, touring or performance tires can typically go faster and hug the road better, but perhaps are not gripping as well in wet weather. Winter tires are specifically designed for snow and ice, and should be taken off during the warmer months. Trucks and SUVs have more options as well. They may focus on highway tires for normal driving, but all terrain or mud tires allow them to become off road machines of unparalleled skill! 

Top 5 Routes for “Tires”

There’s plenty of information available for tires online. These resources feature tire experts that help break down information into easy to understand sections. Soon, you too can be a tire expert. 

  1. GT Radial - Ready for tire school? GT Radial has an easy to understand tire education section which can provide a large amount of information. Go from tire basics to understanding the technology behind tires. 
  2. Bridgestone - One of the best tire makers in the world also provides a large amount of information for people who want to learn more about tires. 
  3. Discount Tire Direct - Another car sales store that provides plenty of shopping opportunities to people can also be used to learn more about the different types of tires that cars use. 
  4. Tire America - Whether you’re buying new tires or just trying to decide if it’s time to find new ones, Tire America can help. Simply select a vehicle and go from there! That method is much easier than having to translate tire language. 
  5. Consumer Reports - If you’re not a member of consumer reports by now, what’s keeping you? Consumer Reports provides great information about any number of consumer items, including all season tires. 

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