USjunkCars Blog

How to Choose Tires: Know the Key Differences Between Car Tires and Trail Tires

When buying or selling a car, one often overlooked factor is the tire choice. Most car buying individuals are more concerned about what’s under the hood then they are about understanding the types of tires that come with it. Those selling their car are more concerned with getting a single lump sum instead of considering selling a car for junk parts.

Believe it or not, automotive tires do have a value to them, so it’s essential to consider them when buying or selling a car. Tire value  should also be kept in mind while shopping for new tires. 

How to Choose Tires: Know the Difference Between Trail Tires and Car Tires

When it comes time to consider purchasing new tires for your vehicle, there are several questions you’ll want to ask yourself, including:

  • What kind of tires do I need for my car/truck?
  • What tires fit my car/truck?
  • Do I have to replace all tires at once?
  • What are the differences between tires?
  • Can I use trailer tires on a car?
  • What happens if you have too much tongue weight? What is tongue weight?
  • How often do you need to change car tires?
  • Which tire store is best?

That’s only a handful of questions worth asking. To help cut down on the confusion, today’s focus will be on trail tires vs. car tires. 

how to choose tires

Tire Choice: Picking the Right Tire for Your Vehicle

Looking at the many types of tires you can choose from can easily overwhelm you, especially if you aren’t an automotive fanatic. Tires come in all sorts of types, including:

  • Truck/Trailer Tires
  • Classic Car Tires
  • Universal/All Season Tires
  • All Terrain Tires
  • Low Profile Tires
  • Mud Tires
  • Snow/Ice Tires
  • Performance Tires
  • SUV Tires

Each tire has its pros and cons, so it’s worth taking the time to investigate each one when trying to decide which would best suit your vehicle’s needs. If you’re still unsure, take the time to research the question: “What tires came on my car” and go from there. 

Trail Tires Vs. Car Tires: Is There a Difference?

For those focusing on the difference between trail tires and car tires, it’s important to note that there are some significant differences. For example, most car tires fall under the “Highway Tread” tires category, while trail tires (most commonly referred to as truck tires) fall under the “All Terrain” category. 

While the two types of tires are very similar, trail tires tend to have stiffer sidewalls than car tires, while also having a higher weight rating than car tires in the same size. This because trail tires typically must carry higher weight loads than standard cars, so they need to have larger tires to help them balance their load while maintaining their center of gravity so they don’t overload the vehicle.

how to choose tires

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Tires

Aside from the few questions mentioned above, there are a handful of other frequently asked questions that many car and truck owners tend to ask, including:

Can You Use Trailer Tires on a Car?

There is plenty of discussion on whether or not you can use trailer tires on a car (or vise versa). Car forums across the internet have threads dedicated to this question. So, can you use trailer tires on a car (or the other way around)? 

The simple answer is no. The more complicated answer is no, except for light truck (LT) tires

Most trailer tires are built with a specific function in mind, as are passenger (car) tires. For example, trailer tires are often built with stiffer sidewalls to help support the vehicle’s vertical load, while car tires have more flexible sidewalls to allow for more comfortable steering. 

Can You replace Just 2 Tires on an All-Wheel Drive Car?

Most individuals firmly believe that on all-wheel-drive cars (four-wheel-drive cars), when one tire goes, they all need to be replaced. However, that’s not necessarily the case anymore, thanks to tire shaving. This method is an excellent money saver when you blow a tire, but the rest of your set remains in good condition. 

Tire shaving is exactly what it sounds like: shaving down the tread of the new tire to match the existing tread of your tires. However, it’s worth noting that if you do purchase a single new tire and have it shaved down to match your current tires, it will likely void any tread-wear warranty that comes with the new tire.  

 what tires fit my car

What Are Considered the Best Tires?

Finding the best tires comes down to the vehicle you are buying for. Curious about which tires work best for your vehicle? Here are a few to keep in mind:

Tire TypeBrand
Best SUV TiresMichelin Premier LTX, Goodyear Assurance CS Fuel Max, Bridgestone Dueler H/L Alenza Plus
Best Classic Car TiresBFGoodrich Redline Radial, American Classic Bias Look Radial, Firestone Deluxe Champion 
Best Universal TiresMichelin Defender, Bridgestone Dueler H/P Sport AS All-Season Radial Tire, Yokohama AVID Ascend Radial Tire
Best All Terrain TiresBFGoodrich All-Terrain, Goodyear Wrangler Radial Tire, Cooper Discoverer AT3 Tires.

How to Choose Tires: Making the Right Choice

When it’s time to learn how to choose tires for your vehicle, there is a lot to take into consideration. When in doubt, you should consider speaking with a dealership that specializes in your automaker (Toyota, Chevy, Ford, etc.). These individuals will be able to show you where you need to start your search and give you reliable information about the tires that will help meet your travel needs.