Choosing the right 4×4 tires for your vehicle can be a confusing affair, as there are literally hundreds of sets of tires to choose from on the market. However, taking time to choose the right tires for the 4×4 vehicle you drive, whether it be a pickup truck or a sports utility vehicle, is perhaps one of the biggest decisions you can make to further your safety in on and off road conditions. Reading numerous reviews, comparing prices on and off line, and informing yourself about the different tires you can buy for your vehicle will help you make an informed decision when next you are in the market for new 4×4 tires.
First, look through the owner’s manual of your 4×4 in order to see what the requirements are for the tire sizes you need on your vehicle. Typically, the requirements will be related to a class size, which may be light, medium, or heavy. If you cannot find or do not have an owner’s manual for your 4×4, you can also find the information on the inside of the front door on the driver’s side on a white sticker.
Next, you will want to read reviews of 4×4 tires for trucks and sport utility vehicles, depending on what you drive, from a source that is known to be reliable, like Consumer Reports. These product reviews will provide you with valuable information about safety ratings for different tires, as well as ratings from users who have actually purchased and driven the tires. Do not neglect safety when making your purchase.
You will want to learn about the different types of treads that can be used on 4×4 vehicles. Common treads will typically range from street treads, which are mostly used on highways and streets, to mud treads, which can be used in snowing, muddy, or rocky conditions. There are also all terrain treads, which are a compromise between on and off road performance. Decide what you need the tires for to help you decide which tires to get.
When shopping, you should feel free to ask sales personnel any questions you have about pricing, warranties, or safety information. It is best to choose a tire that comes with a solid warranty, as that will save you hundreds of dollars if you need to return it after a blowout on the road weeks later.
Radial tires are a good choice if you are looking for improved traction and a smoother ride. Typically, vehicle tires for your 4×4 will be radial in design. You can also purchase diagonal tires for your 4×4 in certain locations, but they are known to have more difficulties with shock absorption, which may require more frequent replacements of your shock absorbers, which can become costly quickly.
Do compare the prices of 4×4 tires when you come close to making a decision. Although price is not the single most important factor when choosing a tire, it does affect purchasing options, and if you are aware of potential deals by dealers on person or in physical stores, you may save a few dollars.
Finally, you should check the tire on the outside for markings to determine the age of the tire. The U.S. Department of Transportation has a four digit code which is stamped on ever tire to inform consumers of when a tire was manufactured. Each of the numbers reflects a week or year of manufacturer. For example, the number 5109 means that the tire was manufactured during the 51st week of the year 2009. The manufacturing date of the tire is important as it gives you the age of the tire, which itself is important because a tire that is newer is less likely to have experienced wear from sunlight and general break downs, which means you get to spend more miles wearing it down when it is attached to your vehicle before it needs replacement.