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Quick Tips to Choosing the Right 4×4 Tyres for Your Vehicle

Every savvy 4 wheel-drive owner knows that your tyres don’t handle or wear down in isolation. They pass along much of their experienced impact to the shocks, axles, suspension, body, and so on. The tyres often decide the longevity of many other parts of your 4WD, which is why it’s crucial to choose the right ones for your type of driving!

Here are some questions to consider when deciding on the right 4×4 tyres:

What sort of terrain do I drive on most?

This is the determining factor in what sort of tyres you’ll be needing. Most tyres are optimised for specific conditions; in other words, tyres designed for rougher terrain won’t handle paved roads well. If you drive mostly on roads, you won’t be able to simply shrug, buy some off-road tyres, and hope for the best—you won’t get it!

Generally, 4×4 tyres come in three varieties: All Terrain, Highway Terrain, and Mud Terrain. All Terrain tyres will handle about the same on roads as off road, and they last a decent while if your time spent on rough terrain and roads is roughly the same. They don’t produce nearly as much noise as off-road tyres when on roads, and their rounder shoulders are resistant to puncturing. Because of their versatility, these tyres are a popular choice. However, while A/T tyres are great for frequently switching driving conditions, they are less recommended if you only occasionally expect to be switching. If, say, you spend 6 days out of 7 off-road, you’re better off taking M/T tyres and handling the roads carefully on the 7th day.

Mud Terrain tyres, on the other hand, have shoulders, treads, and sidewalls designed to handle the unpredictability of snow and the sudden impacts of rocks. The reinforced sidewalls absorb impacts better than any other tyre; meanwhile, the tread pattern will be designed for maximum grip. That gives you good control and handling of your vehicle even in the roughest of conditions. If you’ve already had M/T tyres before, you might notice that they wear down faster than other kinds; that’s a result of their increased grip, which does put more strain on the tyre. Despite that, a high rubber concentration keeps these tyres perfectly reliable and sturdy for a decent while.

Lastly, if most of your driving is in an urban or suburban setting, you’ll want to purchase Highway Terrain or H/T tyres. These will have smaller treads and shoulders; after all, grip is less of an issue on paved streets, and unexpected impacts are not a given part of the terrain. This also helps keep the noise created to a minimum, which makes for a much more soothing drive.

What size tyre do I need?

Your owner’s manual will give you the most trustworthy answer to this one. Some 4WD models are heavier and require larger tyres to manoeuvre safely. Generally, your vehicle’s weight will determine if you need larger tyres; this includes extra weight attached to your car, such as a trailer.

Do all my tyres need to be the same?

In almost all cases, yes. The pattern, rubber content, hardness, and grip of your tyres all contribute to how you handle the road, including turning, traction, and speed. Different tyres will have different amounts of friction with the road, which will produce different amounts of resistance. You don’t want the back half of your car operating very differently to the front half.

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