How to Choose Replacement Tyres for Your SUV

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How to Choose Replacement Tyres for Your SUV

Owners of sport utility vehicles, or SUVs, may be faced with replacing the tyres on their vehicles. They are pleasantly surprised to learn that there are different types of tyres that can be installed on SUVs. This means that, in addition to knowing what size tyres to purchase, individuals need to determine the ideal tyres for their SUVs. This includes considering the tyre suited to the type of driving and weather conditions. Having the right type of tyre installed on a vehicle could mean the difference between a pleasant driving experience and a ride that is much less comfortable. Prospective buyers should therefore take the time to determine the types of replacement tyres that suit their needs before making a purchasing decision.

Choosing the replacement tyres for an SUV does not have to be difficult. Once prospective buyers know the main differences amongst the various tyre types, they can make an educated decision. Being armed with this knowledge on various SUV tyre types can help prospective buyers as they review the choices available in the marketplace.

A Brief History of Tyres

The early metal-wrapped wooden wheels did nothing to reduce the shock experienced on bumpy surfaces, nor did it reduce any of the friction exerted on the tyres by the road. Inventors began experimenting with new materials for wheels that would provide a smoother ride and reduce the amount of friction the wheels experienced. Charles Goodyear's invention of vulcanised rubber in 1844 provided just the material that automobile manufacturers needed.

Though John Boyd Dunlop was not the first inventor of the pneumatic tyre, his design was less expensive and more widely accepted, so it was the one that was put into production after being patented in 1845. The pneumatic tyre was originally developed and used on bicycles, but in 1911, it made the jump to the automobile industry. Early pneumatic tyres installed on vehicles actually used an inner tube that was filled with air, similar to the bicycle tyre, but manufacturers began using tubeless tyres on vehicles during the 1950s.

What is a Pneumatic Tyre?

The term pneumatic tyre refers to any tyre that is filled with air. The air inside a pneumatic tyre is pressurised, allowing the tyre to remain inflated even when the entire weight of a vehicle is resting on it. The tyre itself is made of rubber and is reinforced with steel belting or other heavy-duty materials to prevent the pressure inside the tyre from causing the tyre to burst. The pneumatic tyre absorbs some of the shock experienced while driving.

While pneumatic tyres are found on all types of vehicles, they do have a few drawbacks. Punctures can cause air to leak out of the tyre, making it go flat and rendering it unusable. Punctures that happen at high speeds can cause blowouts, where the tyre actually pops and can lead to an accident if the driver does not handle the situation properly.

A minor drawback of pneumatic tyres is that they may slowly leak air over time, which means vehicle owners must check the tyre pressure from time to time and add air if necessary. Vehicle owners need to take care not to add too much air when refilling tyres, or they could burst from the excess pressure. Tyres that are not inflated to the proper pressure cause the vehicle to use more petrol and reduce traction.

Types of Tyres for an SUV

There are a couple of different factors that prospective buyers need to take into consideration when shopping for replacement tyres for an SUV. When considering each factor, one should choose the option that suits the driving style. For example, if one drives an SUV on roads most of the time and only takes the vehicle off-road occasionally, then tyres that perform better on roads should be chosen.

Light Truck or Passenger Car Tyres

The first decision SUV owners need to make is whether to install passenger car tyres or light truck tyres on an SUV. Many SUVs are sold with passenger car tyres installed. Light truck tyres are made to handle more weight, so individuals who use SUVs for towing or hauling heavy cargo may want to consider light truck tyres when shopping for replacement tyres.

One can determine whether a specific tyre is a passenger car tyre or a light truck tyre by simply looking at the information about the tyre size. If this string of information begins with the letter P, the tyre is a passenger car tyre. Sizes beginning with LT indicate light truck tyres.

All-Season or Seasonal Tyres

The next factor that prospective buyers need to consider is whether to purchase all-season tyres or winter and summer tyres. Individuals who live in areas where it does not snow frequently may want to consider using all-season, summer, or all-weather tyres, but individuals who live in areas where heavy snow is common should opt for winter tyres during the snowy months. Snow tyres have special features on their tread that help channel snow, slush, ice, and water off to the sides to improve a tyre's traction in winter weather. Individuals who attempt to use all-season or summer tyres in the snow find that their vehicles slip on the snowy, icy roads, which is why these tyres are not recommended for use in areas that receive heavy snow.

Individuals who opt for winter tyres for an SUV should switch to all-season or summer tyres when the weather improves so that they do not wear the winter tyres out prematurely. Another important thing to keep in mind is that, in order for winter tyres to be effective, all four tyres on a vehicle must be winter tyres.

Performance Tyres

In addition to deciding whether to purchase winter tyres along with all-season or summer tyres, prospective buyers also need to determine whether to purchase performance tyres or touring tyres. Each of these tyre types is designed for different purposes and offers a different type of ride. There is no right or wrong type when it comes to choosing between performance and touring tyres, so individuals should choose the type based on their preferences.

Individuals who prefer a smooth, quiet ride should consider touring or grand touring tyres, as these provide a great ride. SUV owners who want superior performance and do not mind sacrificing some of the quiet may go for one of the performance class tyres. Classifications range from regular-performance tyres and high-performance tyres to ultra high-performance tyres and extreme-performance tyres. Most performance categories work well on both wet and dry surfaces. The only exception to this is the extreme performance tyres, which are ideal on dry surfaces only.

Off-Road Tyres

Many SUV tyres are suitable for a limited amount of off-road driving. However, individuals who use SUVs solely for off-road driving may want to consider purchasing tyres specifically for this purpose. These tyres offer improved traction on a variety of surfaces, including mud and sand.

Decoding Tyre Sizes for Your SUV

The final step in selecting replacement tyres for an SUV is to determine the size that is correct for your specific SUV. To do this, individuals can check the size of the existing tyres, or they can look for the information placard provided by the vehicle manufacturer. This placard is often located on the SUV frame inside the driver's side door. Individuals who have modified their vehicles to accommodate tyres other than those recommended by the manufacturer cannot use this information to determine tyre size.

Tyre size is denoted by a string of letters and numbers. Each set of letters and numbers represents a different factor, so individuals need to know how to read tyre sizes so they can be sure they are purchasing the correct tyres. For example, P265/70R17 M+S is a tyre size designator. A definition for each of the size and descriptive factors in this designator is provided in the table below.




Type of tyre: P for passenger car, LT for light truck


Width across tread in millimeters


Aspect ratio of sidewall to tyre width


Radial tyre construction


Diameter of tyre rim in inches


Weather rating: M+S for all-season, M+S plus mountain and snowflake icon for winter; and no designation for summer tyres

When shopping online for SUV tyres, prospective buyers may find listings that only provide the first five pieces of information listed above; however, if they read a description, they can ascertain whether the tyre is an all-season, winter, or summer tyre. Shoppers need to confirm that the three numbers in the tyre's size match the manufacturer's specifications, or the tyre may not fit on the SUV's wheels.

Shopping for Replacement Tyres for Your SUV

Prospective buyers could purchase replacement tyres for their SUVs at local tyre stores or directly through a vehicle dealership; however, the prices at these locations tend to be somewhat higher than the prices online. Buyers may also find a very limited selection of replacement tyres at auto parts stores, though local stores may not necessarily stock the sizes that are the right fit for a vehicle.

Before making a purchasing decision, it is a good idea to review the prices and availability on eBay. The site offers listings from thousands of sellers, so prospective buyers can expect to find listings for what they are looking for.

Buying Replacement Tyres for Your SUV on eBay

If you are ready to take a look at the listings on eBay, go to the site's home page, and type "tyres" into the search box. Once the search results load, you can filter the listings by size, price, and other criteria. You could specify SUV tyres as you enter a search term on the home page, but it is better to search on a general term such as "tyres" as you may inadvertently eliminate relevant listings by limiting your search to SUV tyres. Buyers can also search on a specific tyre size for a more refined search.

Before making a purchase on eBay, prospective buyers should read through each listing carefully and confirm that the tyres meet their vehicle's size requirements and their preferences. It is a good idea for buyers to also compare prices for tyres from different sellers to confirm they are getting a great price price for the replacement SUV tyres they choose. Shoppers should also ascertain the seller's return policy in the event they change their mind after purchasing tyres.


Purchasing the replacement tyres for an SUV could mean the difference between a smooth, quiet, comfortable ride and a loud, bumpy ride with greater petrol consumption. Prospective buyers, especially those who have never purchased replacement tyres before, should learn the differences between the different types of tyres so that they can choose the ones ideally suited to their driving style and needs. Although many SUV owners simply purchase a new set of the same tyres that are currently on a vehicle, it may be a good idea to explore other types as it can lead to an improved driving experience.

To avoid being overwhelmed by the amount of information involved in purchasing replacement SUV tyres, prospective buyers should break down each piece of information to better understand it. Being aware of the differences between the various types of SUV tyres and knowing how to decipher tyre sizes can help prospective buyers find the right replacement tyres for their SUVs. Additionally, by utilising the search tools on eBay, shoppers can expect to get the tyres they need at great prices.

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