5 Types of Car Tires - Vol.346
Tires are the interface between automobiles and roads. The types of car tires, therefore, are designed for the road conditions they are to be driven on. In Southeast Asia, the weather is uniformly tropical - year-round summer divided into rain and dry seasons. Here are the 5 most popular types of car tires for the local driving conditions.
1. All-Season Tires
The term "all-season tire" was popularized by Goodyear in the 1970s. Designed to handle all road surfaces and driving conditions, all-season tires are the most popular tires in most regions of the world including Southeast Asia. All-season means that the threads and rubber compound are equally at home on dry and wet summer roads as cold and snowy winter roads, though it is not particularly optimized for either. It is the jack of all trades - you can't really go wrong with it - but you have the options of more specialized tires if you so desire.
2. Summer Tires
Summer tires are designed specifically for the summer season of the temperate zone, but for the climate of Southeast Asian countries, they might as well be known as all-season since they are equally competent on wet and dry hot weather conditions. Summer tires have better traction than all-season tires on summery roads, and some models are further customized to handle very wet road surfaces and puddles. As is true with all earthy things, the laws of natural physics cannot be defied - better traction on Southeast Asian roads means they will also wear out quicker.
3. Performance Tires
Performance tires are designed for feel-the-road grip at low speed and superior stability and low noise at high speed. Needless to say, they also offer better cornering at all speeds. Back in the days only high-end sedans and fancy sports cars were equipped with performance tires. Nowadays, with the proliferation of highways and driving, performance tires can also be found on family sedans and sports-utility vehicles. Some car owners who modified and souped up their compact cars may also opt for performance tires. Once again, all that extra traction and stability comes at the cost of higher thread wear.
4. All-Terrain Tires
Pickup trucks and sport-utility vehicles continue to gain popularity everywhere, and Southeast Asia is no exception. For most intents and purposes, they are considered passenger cars by the government and car owners alike, except some drivers also prefer the confidence of being able to drive on surfaces other than paved roads. Go for all-terrain tires and you'll be able to take your pickup truck or SUV anywhere. Just be careful not to drive too far out into muddy rivers and lakes.
5. Snow and Mud Tires
These are the most competent tires on snow and mud. Of course, when people talk about driving on snow, they are most concerned about the slushy half-melted snow that's usually mixed with ice and dirt, and except for the temperature, this stuff is almost like mud. Excluding the highly urbanized island state of Singapore, there are many rural areas with unpaved roads throughout Southeast Asia where snow and mud tires would fit right in.
The 5 major types of tires above are often subdivided into other categories such as passenger and touring, and outfitted with different technologies, such as run-flat, low-profile, and radial or circumferential design. These various types may not even be mutually exclusive. For example, the Goodyear Excellence ROF tire is rated by the manufacturer as a run-flat, summer, and performance tire. Isn't that thrilling? Who would have thought that shopping for tires can be this exciting, right? May you have a fun-filled adventure the next time you look for new tires?