The Right Tire for the Season
So many kinds of tires. So many sizes. So many things to consider. Let us help.
Here are the basics:
- All Season tires are designed to provide well in warm weather conditions and reliably in moderate winter conditions. If you live where the winters are consistently harsh, consider a winter tire.
- Winter tires are designed to perform in icy, cold, snowy, wet conditions, but are fine when it’s dry as well. They should be removed when the ambient temperature is consistently above 7 degrees.
- Summer tires are just the opposite, they perform best in warm weather and should be removed if it’s consistently below 7 degrees.
tire season graph
Tire type is important and a dealer will often ask first what type of tire you’re looking for.
If you seek comfort and handling...For comfort and handling, Touring tires are the best choice for a smooth, quiet ride and good handling on wet and dry pavement.
If you drive a sports car, or look for handling and performance...For a sports car or high performance vehicle, High-Performance tires are designed for higher speeds, they’re good for cornering and handle wet and dry conditions well.*
If you drive a pick-up truck or an SUV...For a pick-up truck or SUV, Light Truck tires help with durability and traction in off-road conditions. SUV tires are ideal for on-road comfort. So it depends on how you use your vehicle.
If you own a commercial vehicle...For commercial vehicles, Commercial Light Truck tires handle dirt, mud and lots of everyday wear and tear.
Winter tires are designed to perform in cold, icy, wet and snowy weather. They are optimized for handling and traction under wet conditions, but can be used in dry conditions as well.
Most automobile tires are all-season tires. These tires satisfy the needs of most road conditions. They have the deep water channels for wet traction, but also harder rubber compound for greater tire life in warm weather.
Off-road tires are ideal for drivers who take their vehicle off the road and do limited on-road driving. These tires have stiffer sidewalls for greater resistance against puncture when traveling off-road. The tread pattern offers wider spacing than an all-season tire to help remove mud from the tread.
* Exceeding the safe, legal speed limit is neither recommended nor endorsed.
Knowing your tire size can save you time and help you to make an informed purchase. Your vehicle's original tire size can be found in your owner's manual or on the tire label located on the driver's doorjamb, glove box lid, or inside the fuel hatch. If in doubt, consult your local Uniroyal ½ tire retailer or check your sidewall (see diagram below):
en tire specs full
Tire Width: The three-digit number refers to the overall width of the tire in millimeters.
Aspect Ratio: The relationship between the tire height and width. In this example, the tire height is approximately 60% of the tire width.
Radial: The letter “R” indicates a radial construction of the carcass plies. The carcass plies run across the tire from lip to lip, helping to provide strength, stability, flexibility, and ride comfort.
Wheel Diameter: The number indicates that this tire fits on a wheel with a 16-inch diameter.
Load Index: The load index can range from 0 to 279 and indicates how much weight the tire is certified to carry at maximum inflation pressure. Never buy a tire with a lower load index than your vehicle’s original tire. To determine your tire’s load capacity, refer to the load index chart (see below):
en load index full
Speed Rating*: The speed rating tells you the top speed at which the tire can operate. Speed ratings range from Q (lowest) to Z (highest) with one exception: the H rating falls between U and V.
To maintain the speed capability of a vehicle, use replacement tires with ratings equal or greater than those of the original tires.
Mud & Snow: The letters M and S indicate that this tire meets the Rubber Manufacturer's Association's standards for a mud and snow tire. The letters can be found in the following combinations: M+S, M/S, and M&S. All-season tires carry this mark.
Note that a separate, severe snow marking appears on winter tires that are designated for severe snow applications.
Tips: Never choose a tire that is smaller than the tire that came with the car. If you are interested in a size other than your vehicle's original equipment or are upgrading, consult your local Uniroyal tire retailer.
For front or rear wheel drive vehicles, we recommend mounting the new tires on the rear axle to prevent an unstable oversteer condition. When purchasing a single new tire, it should be paired on the rear axle with the tire having the greatest remaining tread depth.
If you must use radial tires with bias-ply tires on the same vehicle (not recommended), the radial tires must always be placed on the rear axle. Never mix radial and bias-ply tires on the same axle.
For 4-wheel drive vehicles, if no instructions for tire mixing appear in the vehicle owner's manual, adhere to the following guidelines:
- Do not mix sizes -- all four tires must be branded with the same tire size
- Do not mix radial and bias-ply tires.
- Outside circumference of all four tires should be within one and one-half (1-1/2) inches of each other.
- Do not mix tread patterns such as off-road and all-season.
- Exceeding the safe, legal speed limit is neither recommended nor endorsed.