How to Choose the Right Tires for Your Car- [The Best Guide!!]

You have to match the tire size, weight, and speed rating of your new tire. Make sure that the new tires have low braking distance, high fuel economy, and longevity. You can choose summer, winter, or all-season tires based on the weather of your region. For specific brands, there’re also OE tires. 

But that’s not all. Thus, we’ve elaborated as necessary in this article. Be sure to read all of it. 

Choosing The Right Tires- Factors to Consider

While choosing the right tires for you, there are some factors to consider. Here, we’ve discussed it in detail. 

Reading Tire Numbers

Before elaborating on the factors, you need to know the numbers marked on the tires. So, What do the numbers on tires mean? Let’s explain using an example: 

Source: continental-tires

The numbers 1-12 mean different things. They are:

  1. Width: The tire’s width is 225 millimeters
  1. Aspect Ratio: The percentage height of the sidewall is 45% relating to the width. It’s also called the aspect ratio. Since the width is 225 mm, the height of the sidewall will be: 225* .45= 101.25 mm
  1. Construction: ‘R’ represents radial construction or designation. Most of the tires today are like this. 

Although, there are ‘D’ and ‘B’ based on different internal constructions. ‘D’ represents diagonal bias and ‘B’ represents belted bias construction.

  1. Diameter: The diameter of the rim is 18 inches.
  1. Load Capacity: The maximum load capacity of the tire is 95 kg.
  1. Speed Index: H represents the speed index. Different symbols mean different speeds. You can check them out from Tireplus.
  1. Tire Type: SSR means the tire is a self-supporting run-flat tire. Here, in case of a puncture, the sidewall won’t get crushed between the rim and the road. It won’t  slip out from the rim too. 

If the tire isn’t SSR, you won’t get these benefits. If the tire gets punctured, both your rim and tires will get damaged. 

  1. OE Brand: MOE means it’s an OE tire for Mercedes. We’ve discussed it in later section.
  1. Road Suitability: M+S means it’s suitable for both mud and snow. Another symbol you might see in your tires is the three-peak mountain snowflake symbol.

Source: Tireseasy

It means that the tires provide exceptional traction in winter. They’re classified as true winter tires.

  1. Safety Standard:  It passes the safety standards of DOT(Department of Transportation).
  1. Manufacturing Week: 36 represents the manufacturing week. So, it was manufactured on the 36th week of the year.
  1. Manufacturing Year: 12 represents the manufacturing year. So, the manufacturing year was 2012. Thus, the week and year combined mean, the tire was manufactured in the 36th week of 2012.

Now that you know every detail about your tires, let’s move forward. 

Basic Properties

While changing tires, you’ll need to match the dimensions first. Then, it also has to be of the same capacity. These are the basic properties. 

Tire Size

Firstly, you need to match the tire size with your previous one. Here, you’ll have to check the tire width, aspect ratio, and diameter. We’ve already mentioned where you can find them. 

So if your previous or manufacturer’s recommended tire was 235/40 R15, you need to match these numbers accordingly while choosing the right tire. 

Load and Speed Rating

Load and Speed Rating

Every tire has a maximum speed and load rating. As mentioned, they’re written on your tires. If you use a lower load index tire, it won’t support the vehicle’s weight. And, if the speed index is lower, it won’t be able to withstand higher speeds.

So, it’s best to match with the original one. 

Performance Based on Roads & Driving Habit

Based on different types of roads and driving habits, you need to consider the following:

Braking Distance

The minimum road length a vehicle needs to stop is called braking or stopping distance. Your new tires should have better traction for a lower stopping distance. 

This will help you grip both dry and wet roads. Usually, tires with more tread depth have shorter braking distances. Also, you’ll have to consider tread patterns, tire contour, and construction. 

For example, the tread pattern on one-way asymmetrical tires is better than on symmetrical tires. That is in terms of braking distance. 

There are also relations between tread patterns and construction. If your tire has a block-type tread pattern, it needs to have a soft compound construction. This will ensure that the tire has a proper grip. Thus, it’ll be able to achieve a shorter braking distance. 

So, be sure to purchase tires with higher tread depths. Especially make sure that they’re above 2mm.

Fuel Economy

Fuel Economy

Tires with lower rolling resistance save fuel. Rolling resistance means the energy the vehicle supplies to keep your tire moving at a constant speed. So, lesser resistance means you’ll need less energy and save on fuel.

About 3%-11% percent of the fuel is used to overcome rolling resistance. But, depending on your tire, you can reduce this percentage. Here, consider these factors to identify low rolling resistance tires:

  • Tread Compound: Lower rolling resistance tires use a stiffer tread of unique rubber compound. Thus, it’s more energy efficient because stiffer treads keep the tire cooler. Thus, less energy is lost from the heat. 
  • Tread Design: Rather than a blocked tread design, low rolling resistance tires use a continuous tread design. Thus, the tire can smoothly roll along the road requiring less energy. 
  • Sidewall Construction: low rolling resistance tires have stiffer sidewalls. Thus, it deforms less when driving. Lesser deformation means lesser energy is required to keep the tires in motion. 

So, keep these factors in mind while choosing your new tires. 


Also consider the tire’s longevity. City driving puts tires through a heavy toll with numerous amounts of stops and starts. Thus, your new tires should be well-built. They should have a higher treadwear rating and tire mileage warranty.

A higher treadwear rating means the tread depth of your tires will wear down slowly. Thus it’ll last longer. You can find the number written on the tire sidewall after the word ‘Treadwear’.

Source: TireAgent

Tire Mileage warranty means the number of miles you’ll get before your tire wears out. So, the higher it is, the more it’ll last. Also, if your tires wear out before that, you might get a prorated refund.

It’s not written on the tires. Ask your dealer about the mileage warranty. The best tire mileage warranty you’ll usually find is 80,000 miles limited warranty. Although some highway tires do have 100,000 miles warranty.

Seasonal Performance

Next, you’ll have to consider the weather while changing your tires. For example, there are all-season, summer, and winter tires. So, let’s talk about them. 

All Season

All season tires provide good performance in all weather conditions throughout the year. You’ll even get a good grip during rain and some capability during the snow. But, it’s not appropriate for extreme weather conditions.

Among all-season tires, there’re two categories: 

  1. High-performance and
  2. Grand touring

High-performance tires provide more accurate handling. They’re more sporty and provide a better grip. It’s better for rough rides rather than smooth highways. For example, driving on sand, gravel, rocks etc. 

On the other hand, grand touring tires provide good enough performance regarding their price. This is good enough for your daily commute on highways and within budget. And, although tires are expensive in most cases, there are valid reasons for that.


Summer tires are meant to deliver good traction in dry and wet weather. They have sharper steering response and cornering traction. Also, they have a shorter braking distance.

But, the downside is they only work properly in temperatures above 45 degrees Fahrenheit. In lower temperatures, it works inconsistently and loses grip. 

Thus, if it never snows in your area, this is the right tire for you. For example, Brazil, South Africa, Zimbabwe etc. However, there are tires like Kumho and Toyo that work great on snowy and icy roads.


Winter tires provide maximum traction in snow and ice. It has better stopping and turning capability in lower temperatures. So, if you live in the Arctic, Antarctic, Northern Hemisphere, or Alpine regions, this is the tire for you. 

But they can only be used as a second set of tires in some places. Especially if you live in the northern states. That’s because as temperatures rise the tire’s efficiency drops. So, you’ve to change them in summer.

Off Road Tires

Off road tires provide a comparatively deeper tread and thus, more grip. They have reinforced sidewalls which are highly resistant to punctures. 

They’re perfect for carrying your vehicles on sand, grovel, rocks, boulders, mud, snow, and any other uneven surface.

Now, there are three types of off-road tires. They are:

All Terrain Tire: These tires have an interlocking tread design. Thus, they provide proper grip on dirt, gravel, grass etc. For example, a ride from town to your country. Even on paved roads, they provide a smoother ride.  

Mud Terrain Tire: They have an aggressive tread pattern which provides better grip in extreme terrains. Especially in wet snow and mud like riverbeds. Due to tougher sidewalls, they’re incredibly durable in resisting off road hazards.

Snow Tire: These tires can stay soft in even sub zero temperatures. The treads have tiny grooves and channels to dig into ice and wet snow. Thus, they provide better grip in slippery conditions. You can use them in regions where you use winter tires. 

Choosing OE Tires for Your Car

OE Tires refer to tires that are approved by manufacturers to be used in a vehicle. For example, BMW, Audi, Mercedes, Porsche, etc. have tires specially made for their vehicles. These tires have special markings on their sidewall. 

The markings are provided below: 

BMW, Mini*
PorscheN0, N1, N2, N3, N4

If your vehicle brand has OE tires, it’s recommended to equip them while changing. 


What Are The Most Important Tires in A Car?

Rare tires are the most important tires in a car. They provide the car with stability. Thus, while replacing, they should be replaced first. Cause, if their tread depth reduces, the vehicle will lose stability. That’s because they’ll hydroplane and cause your vehicle to spin out off-road. 

Should I Replace All 4 Tires Or Just 1?

Replace all 4 tires at once if your vehicle is all wheel drive. Here, if all tires aren’t of the same tread depth and design, they’ll cause an unbalance. Although, replacing just 2 tires is enough for front and rear wheel drive cars. Also, you can replace one tire if it gets damaged in an accident.

Do Front or Rear Tires Wear Faster?

Front tires wear faster than rear tires. This happens especially in front-wheel drive vehicles. But, it also happens in rear-wheel drive vehicles. That’s because the front tires manage all the drivetrain force of the vehicle. Thus, it tends to wear down faster than rear tires. 


Hope you got to know everything about how to choose the right tires for your car? Still, we want to let you know something. Driving at higher speeds damages your tire more. Thanks for staying with us till the end.           

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William Baldwin

This Is William Baldwin, The Founder & Managing Editor of this website. Me and my team share automotive tips, tricks, and news

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Talha Atta

Talha Atta, a Mechanical Engineer and experienced technical content writer and editor at with a passion for the automotive industry.