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7 Different Types of Car Tires & Their Purposes, Pros, & Cons

close up benz tires

There are a surprisingly large number of car tires out there, and each tire type is made for a specific scenario and driving condition. If you want to choose the best tire for your vehicle, it’s vital that you take the time to learn about your different options.

You want to choose the type of tires that best match when and where you’ll be driving. In many cases, people have different sets of tires for different seasons and circumstances. You don’t want to mix tire types, though, as it can potentially be dangerous, and you also don’t want to use tires in a situation that doesn’t call for them.

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The 7 Different Types of Car Tires:

1. All-Season Tires

close up tires
Image Credit: PublicDomainPictures, Pixabay

As the name suggests, these tires are designed for all seasons. Usually, they are the default option that comes on a car. If you live in a place with mild weather, you may be able to get away with only having these tires on your car at all times.

However, because they are designed for every season, they don’t really thrive at one particular season. Therefore, they are best for areas that do not experience extreme weather.

If your area gets a lot of snow or is very hot in the summer, you may want to get tires that are more specialized.

Pros
  • Versatile
Cons
  • Not very good in extreme weather

2. Touring Tires

Touring Tires
Image Credit: Pixabay

These tires are very similar to all-season tires but they are specifically designed to boost the performance of your vehicle. Only certain vehicles will have these tires available, and they are usually not the default option.

However, you may be sacrificing longevity for performance with these tires. Because they are made for performance, most are not crafted with durability in mind. For this reason, they can often get quite expensive over time.

Pros
  • Enhances performance
Cons
  • Potentially expensive
  • Not as durable

3. Summer Tires

Summer Tires
Image Credit: Pixabay

As the name suggests, these tires are specifically designed for warmer climates. The rubber is made to not get as squishy when heated up, which makes them last longer in hot climates. They are also very good at gripping the road in wet conditions, which may be an essential feature for places that get a lot of rain in the summer.

However, they are not versatile and should only be used when the temperature is on the warmer side. Most people have a set of summer tires that they only put on for the summer. Otherwise, you need to have generalized tires on your vehicle.

Pros
  • Great for warm conditions
Cons
  • Not for all driving conditions

4. Performance Tires

Performance Tires
Image Credit: Pixabay

You would imagine that touring tires and performance tires are the same thing. However, they do have some slight differences. As you’d expect, performance tires are built for exactly that – performance. But they are not designed exactly like touring tires. In many ways, this sort of tire is more practical.

Usually, performance tires are designed to support different weather conditions. They are much safer in wet weather, for instance. Usually, these tires are designed to help increase grip in moderately dangerous weather conditions.

In many cases, they also have a higher speed rating.

However, they are usually much more expensive than other tires and are not a good option for more extreme weather conditions.

Pros
  • Supports performance
  • Safe in moderate driving conditions
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Not for extreme driving conditions

5. Highway Tires

Usually, highway tires are found on SUVs and trucks. As the name suggests, these tires are specifically designed to work on highways, where they provide a smooth ride. The tread pattern is specifically designed to wear evenly and minimally when on a highway.

Generally, these tires can also be used throughout most seasons, as long as your area doesn’t commonly experience extreme weather.

With that said, these tires are not made for off-road driving of any sort.

Pros
  • Wears less on highways
  • Suitable for most weather conditions
Cons
  • Not for off-road driving

6. All-terrain tires

All-terrain tires fall somewhere between highway tires and off-road tires as they are not designed specifically for either situation. While this means that they can be used in most driving conditions with some success, it also means that they are not very specialized. They are not going to be as great on highways as highway tires, for instance.

However, if you find yourself driving in a lot of different terrains all the time, then these tires may be suitable. Otherwise, you should choose something a little more specialized.

Pros
  • Versatile
Cons
  • Not designed for any specific condition

7. Winter Tires

Winter Tires
Image Credit: Pixabay

For those that live in areas with extreme winter conditions, you’ll probably want to invest in winter tires. In some cases, these tires are even required for driving on certain roads during the winter months.

As the name suggests, these tires are specifically designed for winter conditions. Usually, the tread is a bit larger, which allows the tires to channel slush and snow away from the contact points. In the end, this provides more grip and prevents accidents.

While studded winter tires are available, they are illegal in many areas. Luckily, non-studded tires are around as well and are much more popular.

Pros
  • Great in winter weather
Cons
  • Not versatile

divider 5Conclusion

While there are likely other tire types floating around out there, the above seven are the most common types and likely the ones you’ll be choosing from.

We recommend that you choose tires that best match your driving situation. If you are in a northern area with lots of snow, you may want two different sets of tires. Those that live in extremely hot places may want a set of summer tires to use for part of the year as well. For the most part, it just depends on the climate where you live.

You’ll also need to consider what you want out of your car. Off-road tires are extremely specific and can only be used in certain situations. Alternatively, all-terrain tires are sometimes not versatile enough to be very useful. Therefore, carefully consider what option best fits your needs before making a purchase.


Featured Image Credit: tianya1223, Pixabay

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