You don’t have to be a tire expert to figure out what kind of tires you need for your car. But it does help if you school yourself on the different types of tire tread there are out there. Picking the right kind can not only impact the quality of the grip your vehicle has when you’re out and about, but it can also greatly improve (or greatly decrease) your gas mileage.
Here’s the lowdown on the different kinds of tire tread on the market, and which one is best for you.
- Passenger Tread – Frequently referred to as “all season tires,” this tread is the most popular used by the majority of passenger cars on the road today. Their smoother tread is conducive to a quiet ride and optimum gas mileage because there’s less drag than what you’d find on more aggressive tire treads. But don’t let the name fool you. Just because the tire is described as “all season” doesn’t mean that it’ll perform well in snowy conditions. All season tires are rated for optimum performance in places where winter weather is limited to rain and light snow.
- All Terrain Tread – Most often installed on pickup trucks and SUVs, all-terrain tires offer better grip when taking your vehicle into off-road situations. The good thing about all-terrain tires is that they can also be driven on normal paved surfaces without impacting your gas mileage too severely. Just remember that not all off-road situations are best served by all-terrain tread and that you may still need something a bit more aggressive.
- Mud Terrain Tread – You usually know if someone’s driving a vehicle with mud terrain tires because you can always hear them coming. Mud terrain tires can be driven on paved roads, but because of their deep tread they’re usually loud and get poor gas mileage for your vehicle. Mud terrain tires are designed specifically for use in – you guessed it – muddy terrain, where lesser tires may fail to get the needed grip to get you out of sticky situations.
If you’re still confused, your best bet is to pay a visit to your local auto mechanic and ask them what the best kind of tire for your vehicle (and for your particular use) is. With their length of experience – not to mention their access to original equipment manufacturer recommendations – they’ll have at their disposal everything you need to come to a smart buying decision about the kind of tire tread that’ll give you maximum grip and minimum gas consumption.