SUV Tires: How to Buy Them

Before you buy the best SUV tires rated by top research agencies, do some research on what brands that consumers and unbiased experts recommend. Most buyers are looking for long lasting and fuel economy tires and while those are good reasons to consider buying them, there are far better reasons in choosing tires. The following is an example of why not to choose the tire solely on its longevity and economics. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in the top percent of the tire market for light truck SUV tires, General Grabber AT2 carries a 60,000 mile warranty for tread life, yet it received the worse ratings for braking on any surfaces including roads that are dry. One of the Goodyear SUV tires, the Goodyear Wrangler SilentArmor, is also a good tire for tread wear and carries a 50,000 mile warranty for tread life, but it breaks badly on ice. Some tires that did get good reviews for performance and tread-life were the General Grabber HTS and Pirelli Scorpion ATR. Both priced over a hundred and twenty five dollars each.

When buying tires for SUV, know and understand what type of tire you need. You should stay with the same type and size as specified in your owner’s manual. The same goes for speed rating, replace your tires with the same or greater speed rating. Rollover rates are greater in SUVs and light trucks so the load ratings are important. Buy fresh tires for SUV, meaning look and see when the tires are manufactured. Do not buy any that are more than several years old. You can tell how old they are by looking at the last for digits of the designation (it starts with DOT for the Department of Transportation) and it will read something like 3107, meaning it was manufactured in the thirty first week of 2007. Wide tires give you less traction so check with manufacturer, as wider tires may not be the best tires for your vehicle. For your light truck SUV tires, check the specification sheets for handling, resistance and hydroplaning information, let noise level, ride comfort level and tread wear be the tie-breaker if you are having a hard time deciding.

Tire safety and thread life has come a long way in recent years, but no matter how well the tire is made or how well you have taken care them, eventually you will need new tires. The tread life will vary from car to car and to different driving types. Aggressive driving, uneven pavement and weather conditions will shorten the tires life. Nothing last forever so you will eventually have to replace your tires. A quick way of telling if you need new tires is by turning  a penny upside down and if Lincoln’s head is visible you will need new tires. The penny trick does not work on all weather tires. For your safety do not wait to long to replace your tires. Remember, the best SUV tires to purchase are often the same ones that your car came with but double check your owner’s manual for recommendations.