About Choosing the Best Tires and Wheels


There is just one thing between your vehicle and the road and it’s your tires. Think about that for a few seconds. You can have the best car on the planet but it may perform sub-par if it doesn’t have good tires on it.

When it comes to when you have to replace the tires on your car, there are a number of ways to go. First, you may elect to get the exact size and type that came on the vehicle when it was new. Or, you may consider going to a better quality tire or one that improves wet and/or dry handling that’s the same size as the OE tire. Then you might want to do some plus sizing. This means that if you possess a 15-inch wheel, plus one inch would be a 16-inch wheel and plus two would be a 17-inch wheel.

Here’s a brief list of what you should think about before ordering your next set of tires.

Weather requirements: Many of us live in a climate where less-than-ideal weather is a factor at least some of the time. Clearly if you live in, say, Oregon or Washington, you’ll want to look more closely at a wet-weather tire than if you are in Arizona or Nevada. Some type of four-season type of tire people should consider if they live in Snow Belt States.

Tread life considerations: What is your idea of how long one set of tires should last? Keep in mind that in a few cases, a tire’s wear rating is done through manufacturer testing and might not be the most correct representation. One way to get a handle on the projected life expectancy of a tire is to look at part of the UTQG (Uniform Tire Quality Grading) rating. It’s marked on the tire. Here’s an example: a tire grade of 150 wears 50% longer than a tire graded 100.

Speed rating: Speed ratings signify the safest top speed of a tire under the ideal conditions. For just about any street vehicle, a V-rated tire will be more than fine. Usually, most ultra-high performance handling tires come with a speed rating of at least V, so while you might want the ultimate handling of that tire type, part of what you’re paying for (the speed rating) is something you’ll never use.

These days it’s tough to purchase truly bad tires. There are so many great ones out there that you will usually have many possibilities from which to choose not just for what would work best for your vehicle but for styling reasons as well. We hope that this article has served as a wheel-and-tire primer that has provided you with some basic information you can use when it comes time to make a replacement tire purchase or a wheel-and-tire upgrade. Thank you to the Sales team at Lee, a Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and RAM full-service car dealership in Wilson, NC for sitting down to discuss tires with us!


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