Tire selection requires more than finding some that fit and putting them on your car; your selection can significantly impact how your vehicle handles, rides, and performs under different driving conditions.

Take an honest, realistic assessment of your driving habits and road conditions to select an appropriate tire type, then look for one with appropriate sizes, speed ratings and load index ratings.

All-Season or Winter Tires

All-season tires offer safety, performance, and traction in moderate climates without the cost and effort associated with switching them out for winter tires. They’re great at handling both wet and dry roads as well as light snowfall for short stopping distances and confident handling.

These “jack of all trades” tires utilize siping and grooves to increase grip on dry pavement, absorb wet conditions, and manage light snowfall. Their long lifespan usually allows them to reduce road noise and vibration.

If your region experiences extreme seasonal weather and temperature variations, investing in dedicated winter tires might be necessary. If you frequently drive on snowy or icy roads, installing three-peak mountain snowflake (3PMSF) icon tires with optimized tread patterns that provide maximum traction would help ensure shorter stopping distances and safer driving experiences; they also feature deeper treads with more biting edges to minimize skidding to help avoid accidents and ensure your safety.

Performance Tires

Performance tires are often found on sports cars to optimize handling, traction and stopping distances. They often feature unique tread patterns and enhanced rubber compounds to further enhance driving experiences.

These high-grip tires do have drawbacks; reduced tread wear and a shorter lifespan as well as soft sidewalls which may compromise ride comfort.

As part of your decision-making process, consider your driving habits and road conditions when making this choice. If you commute long distances on highways or are often off-road driving in winter weather conditions, all-season or touring tires may best meet your needs; but for off-roading activities or driving through twisting mountain roads at speed tracks requiring high performance tires all-terrain tires may be more appropriate.

Summer Tires

Tires on your vehicle serve as your only point of contact between yourself and the road, so it is crucial that you gather as much information as possible to make an informed decision based on your unique driving needs. That is why Les Schwab offers a team of specialists ready to assist in finding you just the right tires for your car, truck or SUV.

Performance summer tires are specifically engineered to deliver superior road grip, cornering and braking under warm conditions. Their rubber compounds typically utilize soft compounds for increased grip as well as dissipating heat more effectively than all-season or winter tires making them suitable for warmer environments.

Use of summer tires in colder weather can result in unreliable traction on snow, slush or ice, endangering yourself and other drivers on the road. To stay safe, when temperatures dip below 45 degrees Fahrenheit (F), switch over to dedicated winter tires for optimal driving safety.

Touring or Grand Touring Tires

When shopping for tires that will see mostly highway driving, touring tires are an ideal choice. Touring tires offer a more comfortable driving experience and typically last longer than performance tires.

Performance tires resemble sports shoes in that they are designed for speed and agility, often outstripping touring tires in terms of longevity. Performance tires typically wear down faster.

Recommending the appropriate tires for a vehicle begins by understanding their driving needs and preferences. Talk about road noise to discover whether increased noise levels are an issue or whether lower noise tires are desired. Also take into account environmental conditions in your area – if winter driving conditions differ significantly from general highway conditions, maybe choose two sets of tires: one specifically tailored towards winter conditions and another more suitable for general highway driving to maximize driving satisfaction in both instances.

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