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How Do I Choose the Best SUV Tires?

Article Details
  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 13 July 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
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The first step in choosing the best SUV tires is to take note of the current size of the tires already on your vehicle. The size of the tire is noted on the sidewall, and it will look something like this: p235/75r16. These numbers dictate the height, width, and depth of the tires, and while you do not necessarily need to replace your SUV tires with the same size, you will get a basic idea of how large of a tire you need. If you just want the same size and style of tire, then use this number to make your purchase.

If, however, you want to upgrade your SUV tires to a wider tire, a taller tire, or a tire with more tread, you will need to take a few more measurements into consideration. Simply slapping on a larger tire can lead to problems, such as steering instability, or tire contact with the wheel well. Some places even have laws about how wide tires can be in relation to the side of the vehicle, so you will need to do some research about such laws if you are considering purchasing an exceptionally wide set of SUV tires. If you are planning on doing some off-road driving, consult a tire store or off-road components store to get recommendations about the best tires for your vehicle.

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Like other automobile tires, SUV tires are often rated by how long the tread is expected to last. This rating is usually done by miles: you can, for example, buy a 10,000 mile (approx. 16,000 kilometer) tire that will wear out after about 10,000 miles. This tire is likely to be far less expensive than, say, a 30,000 mile (approx. 48,000 kilometer) tire that will last far longer. Other mileages are available for tires, and the price will generally fluctuate accordingly.

The tread of your SUV tires will have an effect on the steering capabilities as well as the gas mileage of your vehicle. Tires with more aggressive treads will generally not handle as well on-road as tires with smoother treads, and high-tread SUV tires will also reduce gas mileage. This reduction may be slight or severe, depending on the size and tread of the tire. Aggressively treaded tires are also likely to wear out more quickly if they are driven regularly on-road; they are designed primarily for off-road use, and while driving on-road, you may notice a shudder or shake from the tires, as well as increased tire noise.

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