Education & Help

How to choose the right tires for your vehicle

3 min read time

Learn about the differences and benefits of each type of tire.

Tires differ in multiple ways, including in size, tread type and intended use. Start your search by getting familiar with your vehicle’s recommended tire size and the different types of tires available.

You can find your vehicle’s tire size information in your owner’s manual or on the driver’s side doorjamb of your car. This information pertains to the original equipment tires. Make sure that your tires are the correct size and have the proper speed rating (or higher) and load-carrying capacity. Only use the tire combinations outlined in your owner’s manual.

 

Differences between the main types of tires:

 

Passenger

This is the most common type of tire. It features long tread life and a quiet, smooth ride. Other attributes include:

  • All-season traction 
  • High aspect ratios (tire height), which means a softer ride
  • Best use: passenger car, SUV and light truck applications

 

Performance/touring

This tire combines the characteristics of performance tires with the long mileage and smooth ride of a passenger tire. Features include:

  • Higher speed ratings than passenger tires 
  • Medium aspect ratio (tire height), resulting in a combination of performance and ride comfort 
  • Best use: passenger and luxury car applications

 

Light truck

Light trucks are designed to carry cargo. These tires are designed to support higher loads and have:

  • "LT" designation followed by size
  • Higher tire pressure compared to passenger tires
  • Load index designated by alpha character, typically "C" through "G"
  • Best use: SUV, van and light truck applications

 

High performance

Not a tire for the masses. This tire type is designed for enhanced handling under demanding circumstances. Tire highlights:

  • Typically uses "Z" or "ZR" in size description
  • Highest speed ratings
  • Low aspect ratio (tire height) for enhanced control
  • Best use: sports car and high-performance sedan applications

 

Source: nhtsa.gov

Still have questions about your tires? We offer comprehensive tire services and more than 15 name brands if your tires need to be replaced.

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