How to Select the Best Tires for Your SUV

May 24, 2016 by Cedric (Driver Weekly)

Whether you are an experienced owner or you have just bought a new SUV, you know it is important to have the right tires. SUVs need proper tires to maintain traction and get the most out of the powerful engines. You don’t necessarily need to replace your current tires, but if they are showing signs of wear or losing grip, then you should change your tires as soon as possible. Anytime you plan to replace the tires on your SUV, take the time to do some research to make sure you get the right ones for your needs.

Speed Preferences

The average SUV driver doesn’t necessarily need the ability to achieve extreme speeds; this is typically a requirement for dedicated sports cars rather than SUVs. That being said, if you plan to make full use of a sport-oriented SUV, then you should opt for ultra-high-performance tires. They are the ideal option for handling, braking, and cornering and will always provide the best grip. Keep in mind, however, that going with ultra-high-performance tires will give you a shorter tire warranty, a shorter tread life, and a harsher ride.

Don’t Be Afraid to Spend

Since you have to replace all four tires at the same time, doing so can get expensive fairly quickly. Because of this, many people are tempted to go with cheaper tires, but this is typically a bad idea. In almost every case, expensive tires from name brands will last much longer than cheap ones. In fact, you may even find a difference of 40,000 miles in tread life. With such a big difference, it pays to opt for the more expensive tires that will last longer; you can wait nearly twice as long before replacing them.

Seasons


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Take some time to think about where you live and the type of weather that will affect your vehicle. The vast majority of drivers can use regular all-season tires, which are designed to provide a reasonable amount of traction in all weather conditions. If you live in a colder climate, then you want to use snow tires during the winter months when the temperature is below 45 degrees Fahrenheit (7 degrees Celsius). These tires remain flexible in colder temperatures and stick to the road with a unique grip pattern. Remember to swap the winter tires back out for your normal ones in the spring as snow tires aren’t ideal for warmer weather.

When in Doubt, Ask

If you are confused by a plethora of similar tire options in the store, then ask your mechanic for advice. Since mechanics want satisfied customers, they will recommend a type of tire that works with your SUV and matches your specific requirements. If you think your mechanic is just trying to make a sale, then consider asking two or three different mechanics for their opinions. When they offer the same suggestion, you will know they are honest and simply doing their best to help you. With the right tires, you will get the most out of your SUV.

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