If you need tires for your SUV, then you may have some extra things to consider. SUV tires are often similar to passenger car tires but can also have truck-like features. Which features you need depend on how you use your SUV. You might need something different than what most other drivers of your make and model use. Here are some things to consider when buying new SUV tires.
Choose Tires Based on Your Regular Driving Conditions
If you have a light SUV, you may be tempted to buy oversize tires with deep treads. However, you may sacrifice ride and handling if you mostly drive on paved roads. Save these tires as an extra set for dirt road or heavy snow use.
Keep an Eye on Your Tread
Most modern tires have wear bars that become prominent when your tire's tread wears down. When your tread is even with the bars, you need a new tire. If you drive your SUV over unusual conditions like dirt and gravel roads or snow, you may need to replace them earlier. The thinner your tread, the less traction you have. As such, if you're driving on slippery dirt or sand, you may not have enough traction if you let the tread wear down to the bars.
Be Careful About Upsizing/Downsizing
You may want to put oversized or undersized tires or wheels on your SUV to achieve a certain look. However, you can't do this without making a few calculations. Your SUV is designed to run on a certain size tire and wheel. Drastically change that size, and you could have handling and stopping problems. If you are certain you want to change your wheel size, talk to a tire or wheel expert first.
Consider Your Ride Quality and Handling
Different types of tires handle differently under certain circumstances. Some tires are specifically made to handle wet conditions, while others do great in cold weather. You can also buy tires that are good for both on and off-road driving. When choosing a tire style, consider what is important to you and what surface you drive on most. Usually, tires with more traction have a rougher ride and different handling than tires with smoother treads.
Buying SUV tires isn't much different than buying tires for any other passenger vehicle. However, if you use your SUV in certain ways, you may need to think carefully about different features. If buying a tire and figuring out sizes and ratings is confusing, help is available. Talk to a tire sales service about your specific needs to get matched up to the best tire for you.