We’ve all heard it before, but it’s important enough to repeat: Your tyres are the only link between you and the road. You can have the most sophisticated suspension and the most powerful engine, but it’s useless if your wheels and tyres aren’t up to par. The tech that makes tyres and wheels so great is also what makes choosing them so intimidating. Below, we’ll give you some basic facts to consider when upgrading your wheels and tyres.
Think About Tread Life
People have vastly different ideas on how long a set of tyres should hold up. In some cases, tyres’ wear ratings are found via manufacturer testing, and they may not be entirely indicative of true lifespan. While temperature and traction ratings are specific levels of performance, tread wear ratings are given by manufacturers and are only accurate across tyres from the same brand. While it’s not an exact science, the tread life rating will help you estimate how long your new tyres will last.
Wet Weather Handling
While some parts of Australia are quite dry, wet weather is a factor at some times. If it’s a concern for you, an all-season tyre will go nicely with your new rims. Consult an online 4×4 superstore for help choosing the right wheels and tyres for your off-road vehicle.
Even in places with high speed limits, it’s not really necessary to have a tyre that’s speed-rated in excess of 200 km/hour. Buying a tyre with a lower speed rating will help you save some serious money, and you’re not likely to notice a decline in performance. While having high speed-rated tyres isn’t a bad thing, you should know that they’re made from softer rubber compounds and they have a lower uniform tyre tread life rating, so they won’t last as long in real-world conditions.
Low-profile alloy rims and tyres look great, but they can be harsh on rough roads. Generally, lower profile tyres leave your rims 4×4 more vulnerable to damage. These tyres have stiffened sidewalls, which offer increased handling and a harsher ride. When you’re upgrading your wheels and tyres, it’s all about compromise.
Some tread patterns are noisier than others are, and it can vary widely between tread designs and tyre brands. If you’re doing most of your driving on low-speed city streets, noise won’t be a big factor. However, for highway use, you should consider your options, especially if you’ll be driving your 4WD on paved roads most of the time. A knowledgeable salesperson will recommend the quietest tyres among the brands you’re considering.
Other than appearance, plus-sizing is a primary reason to upgrade your wheels. Plus-sizing your tyres and wheels is the easiest way to improve your vehicle’s appearance and performance. By using a large-diameter wheel with a low profile tyre, you can maintain your overall wheel/tyre diameter without making changes to your 4WD suspension.
The Benefits of Alloys
Other than plus-sizing, you should consider other factors before spending money on new wheels. There are many benefits to a good-quality set of alloys, and many of today’s cars come with them as standard equipment. Alloy wheels reduce a vehicle’s unsprung weight, which affects its road-handling characteristics and steering precision.
The strength added by quality alloy wheels can reduce tyre deflection during cornering, which is especially important in cars with high-performance tyres. Additionally, alloys can be designed for greater airflow over the brake rotors and calipers. The decreased rotational weight of alloys can provide a bit of an increase in fuel economy and acceleration.
Seek Help If You’re Unsure
These days, it’s really hard to buy a ‘bad’ set of tyres and wheels. While some models have lower quality than others have, there are so many great options out there that most vehicle owners have multiple choices within a single category. As we’ve mentioned here, be honest about your needs and your budget, and you’ll be ready to choose a wheel and tyre combo that keeps your vehicle firmly on the ground. For more help choosing wheels, tyres or Ford Ranger accessories aftermarket, visit an online wheel and tyre superstore today.