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What Kind of Tires to Buy for Your Classic Car

Building an automobile from the ground up can be one of the most satisfying experiences that drivers will have. Once most of the body has been assembled, drivers will want to turn their attention to their vehicle’s wheels. Selecting the right tires for the car can complete its look and provide owners with the desired degree of motion on the road. As such, it is important to pay attention to the types of tires available in order to make the best purchase for the future of the vehicle.


Tread Patterns and Sizes

Tire TreadsSelecting the right tires always begins with sizing and tread considerations. The tire needs to be sized correctly, or it can harm the efficiency of the vehicle. If the tires are too small, the vehicle will be difficult to handle during regular driving. If the tires are too large, the car can hydroplane more quickly. There is a correct tire size for every vehicle, and drivers can find it when they inspect four places on the car. They can look at the owner’s manual, on the driver’s side doorjamb, on the glove box of the same door and in the gas tank hatch.

The tire’s tread is designed to help the car adhere to different driving styles and road conditions. There are four primary tread types.

Directional tire treads feature a predominant V-shaped pattern with accompanying grooves and spaces. These grooves are designed to help the vehicle to avoid hydroplaning at high speeds.

Symmetrical tire treads feature the same V-shaped pattern on a smaller scale all over the tire. They are commonly featured on passenger vehicles because they are versatile, quiet and long-lived.

Asymmetrical treads are frequently featured on sports cars. They are a hybrid pattern that combines two styles to maximize grip on dry and wet roads.

Directional/asymmetrical treads combine the V-shaped patterns of directional tires with asymmetrical grooves. These tires help discharge water and establish a stronger degree of traction.


Types of Tires

Snow TireThere are four primary categories of tires that drivers will need to choose from for their vehicle.

One of those categories is summer tires. Summer tires are primarily designed for use during dry and wet driving. These tires usually are lighter and not designed to be used on ice or snow. They do not work well in cold temperatures, but they can provide drivers with maximum traction and resistance on hotter roads. Summer tires will usually have tread designs that range from directional patterns to orbital grooves. This helps drivers maximize their movements in hotter climates. Drivers should be sure to choose a smaller tire with a directional tread design to prevent hydroplaning.

Winter tires, much like summer tires, are specifically designed to handle driving more efficiently in colder environments. Drivers may need to switch between winter and summer tires as the seasons change, but it is recommended to stick to these tires if the climate is cold enough. Winter tires are designed to provide drivers with a more effective degree of traction in difficult winter driving conditions. These tires can safely adhere to snow, ice and sleet. More narrow winter tires can help drivers plow through snow, and smaller sizes are generally recommended as long as they still adhere to the vehicle’s general template.

All-season tires are good for moderate climates. These tires, as the name implies, are designed to be efficient all year round, though they usually do not provide drivers with the best degree of traction. These tires can be found in two primary classes: touring tires and passenger tires. Passenger tires are designed to provide drivers with a smoother ride. They feature a longer tread life and are frequently chosen for casual installations. Touring tires, on the other hand, are used for a more intensive degree of driving since they provide individuals with lower noise and enhanced handling characteristics.

Finally, drivers may consider performance tires. These tires are best paired with sports cars and vehicles that drive fast and need a high degree of control. They are divided into four primary categories: performance, high-performance, ultra-high-performance and competition. The higher up the spectrum these tires go, the more stability they can provide drivers during high-speed handling situations. No matter the specific type chosen, all performance tires can offer drivers an incredible increase in handling, traction and cornering ability. The treads are often very shallow and they feature a greater contract patch for optimal road performance.


Reading Tire Codes

tireAll the information about their tires that drivers will need can be found on the tire’s sidewall. There are usually seven numbers here that can help drivers determine how the tire functions and for what applications it should be purchased.

– The first number is the metric of the tire, or the tire’s type. It is a letter that abbreviates the tire’s design.

– The second number is the tire width, and it is usually measured from sidewall to sidewall in millimeters.

– The third number is the aspect ratio, which is the ratio of the tire’s cross-section height to its width. It usually describes a percentage ratio.

– The fourth number is the tire’s construction. It tells drivers how many layers of the tire were set together. R stands for radial, D stands for diagonal and B stands for bias.

– The fifth number is the rim diameter. It is the width in inches or centimeters of the wheel from one of its ends to the other.

– The sixth number is the load index, where the driver is given a number that corresponds to a scale, identifying how much weight the tires can safely carry.

Finally, the seventh number is the speed rating, which describes the maximum service speed for the tire.


Common Brands

Drivers will have a variety of brands to choose from when they shop for tires. Bridgestone tires are one of the three largest manufacturers in the world. They supply tires for just about all applications, making them a versatile brand. Hankook is another popular brand name. This company is renowned for its domestic line of replacement tires, designed to provide drivers with a more well-rounded performance in all weather conditions. Kumho is another reliable name, able to provide drivers with excellent value on all types of tires. Drivers may also consider Michelin tires, which are renowned for their long tread life and their low rolling resistance.


How to Buy the Best Tires

No matter what vehicle the owner is planning to build, it is vital to think of the long term. The driver needs to consider the local weather and environment before they invest, especially if they are planning to build a vehicle for regular driving. When purchasing the tires, it is a good idea to buy four at once in order to maximize their value. If drivers are planning to replace existing tires on a build that they have already completed, it can be a good idea to match treads and sizes to buy a single pair. Car owners should always shop with overall value in mind and look into brands that will suit their specializations and needs.

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