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Tire and Wheel Changes to Enhance Your Car’s Performance

Close up of vehicle tire

Improving the performance of your car is sometimes not as difficult as you think. A change in the tires and wheels on your vehicle can affect the handling, and with the right changes, you can enhance the handling to improve the overall performance of the car and make it more fun to drive.

Tire Size and Width

The manufacturer sets the size of the tires on your car using a number of calculations and the tires become a part of the suspension system. Because of that, it is critical that the tires you select for your car meet some minimum standards.

Rim Size and Offsets

The first thing you need to consider is the rim size for your tires and for the car. A wider wheel or rim is important if you are trying to add a wider tire to your car. Using wider rims is okay if you can fit them under the car, but in many cases, the rim is going to hit something on the suspension unless you select a wheel with more offset.

The advantage to a wider tire is that is increases the amount of tread on the ground and can increase the stability of the car. Often wider tires mean shorter and stiffer sidewalls which make the car corner harder and with more precision.

You may need a positive offset wheel which will change the position of the mounting surface on the rim centerline, to make those wider tires fit under the fenders. The shorter sidewalls will help but in some situations, a body kit, wide fender kit, or fender flare is the only way to make the tire fit the car.

Tread Design

The tread design for the tires you are putting on your car is important as well. For performance cars, the tread design can change the way the tires grips the ground. Talk with the dealer about the options in tread design and the type of driving you do in your car.

A car that is only street driven may not need an exotic design but if the car is going to see track time, the tread pattern on the tires can change the way the car handles. The width of the tire also increases the contact patch of the tire and will affect the way the tire handles corners as well as improving the stopping distance of the car when the brakes are applied.

Wet weather performance can change with tread design as well, so if you are driving the car daily, talk with the dealer about the performance on wet roads. If the tire tread is too shallow, it may have a tendency to hydroplane on the water, which can make the car very hard to handle.

Speed Ratings

The speed rating of the tires indicates the top speed the tire manufactures rates the tire for. Some sport tires have speed ratings in excess of 170 miles per hour, but the tire is very soft and wears quickly. Often tires with elevated speed ratings are best kept for track day use as they are very expensive, but they can greatly enhance the performance of the car on the track.

The speed rating for the tires you are considering is printed on the sidewall of the tire with the aspect ratio and the tire size. The dealer can help you determine the speed rating that is best for your car.

At Evans Tire & Service Centers, we have over 40 years of experience dealing with tires, wheels and suspensions systems. Our technicians and salespeople can help you choose a tire that will best suit your needs. Stop and see us today and we can help you improve the performance and handling of your car.

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