Factors to Consider When Buying Tires for Your 4WD Vehicle

Will you wear high-heeled stilettos for a hike through the woods or wear your cowboy boots for a run? Of course not. This principle of wearing the right type of footwear for specific activities also applies to choosing tires for your vehicles. When you buy 4WD tires, you may be overwhelmed with a lot of information and factors you need to consider. Buying a new set of tires for your 4-wheel-drive vehicle may be an expensive investment but will be worth every dollar if you choose wisely. Here is a guide in choosing the right 4WD tires for you.

Be Honest

The first thing to consider when buying new tires is to be honest with yourself on your driving lifestyle. There are many 4WD owners that hardly ever use their vehicles outside of the city. Therefore, it is impractical for you to purchase the more expensive off-roading tires when all you ever do is drive your vehicle in flat and smooth pavements. Suppose you know that you will be driving your 4WD vehicle on concrete pavements for 90 to 100 % of the time, and the most off-roading condition that you will find yourself in is a muddy country road whenever you go for a summer vacation. In that case, you are better off with a set of all-terrain tires. On the other hand, if you are an off-roading fanatic and spend most of your time travelling the rugged and muddy terrains, you will need to buy 4WD tires designed to go through mud or crawl above rocks.  

Look at the Finer Details

Once you have matched the right type of tire to the predominant use of your 4WD vehicle, you can now look at the finer details of the tires.

  • Type of Rubber Compound: Tires can be made from natural or synthetic polymers. Tires from natural rubber are especially resistant to tearing and cracking. Synthetic rubber tires are mostly made from a combination of butadiene and styrene polymers combined with natural rubber. The combination of these tire components will depend on the tire manufacturer. However, when you plan to buy 4WD tires for off-roading purposes, you will need to have tires with softer rubber compounds that allow them to flex and grab hold on to obstacles such as rocks. On the other hand, if you are buying all-terrain tires, you need to have a stiffer rubber compound that will allow your vehicle to run better on smooth concrete pavements.
  • Tread Pattern: The tread patterns of your tire are responsible for how they grip the road. Likewise, the tread pattern will also determine how noisy your tires will be when running on roads. Light terrain and all-terrain tires have straight closely-spaced treads and will run quietly on a highway. However, because of the tight spaces between the treads, these AT tires will not have a tight grip on the pavement.

On the other hand, off-road tires have larger spaces between their treads to have bigger biting edges and greater debris ejection when used on rugged terrains. This type of tires, however, will produce more noise when used on a paved highway.

The tread pattern and the type of rubber compound you choose will be directly affected by the compromises you are willing to make. You may buy 4WD tires that may run noisily on the highway but will perform great on the mountains.