STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE: HOW I SELECTED TYRES FOR MY SUV
“I wanted a proven tyre from a reputable manufacturer and one that came recommended by friends since i’m new to off-road tyre buying.” – Juliette Remfrey
Juliette Remfrey went on a journey to find the most suitable tyres for her SUV. Follow her story below.
The first step is to figure out the minimum requirements for your next set of tyres. Identify the driving you do most to find the right specs for your tyres. Think about what sort of driving you will be doing, whether you want to do any modifications to your vehicle and the look that you want to achieve.
For Juliette, these were her requirements:
“There are several reasons for the change . I wanted:
- As much sidewall as possible so that I can let the pressures down safely with less worry about damaging the tyres;
- Protection from damage for the wheels that comes with increased sidewall;
- A decent selection of offroad-oriented tyres in Light Truck (LT) construction for load carrying and puncture resistance. Highway tyres are not suitable for my 4×4 purposes;
- A little bit of extra height and clearance in addition to my lift”.
If you are still unsure how to go about this, here is a full blog on everything you need to know about buying tyres for your 4×4.
There are 3 ways you can go about this: replace the tyres that came with the vehicle, change the tyre configuration without modifying your vehicle or a complete tyre upsize to fit your modified vehicle. If you are looking at replacing the tyres that are the same size as what came with the vehicle originally, you can find the recommended tyre size on the vehicle’s placard or you can use the tyre finder by vehicle.
If you are looking for a different tyre size configuration without modifying your vehicle, you need to consider the overall diameter and work out a combination that would fit your vehicle and meet your requirements.
This is how Juliette worked it out:
“The first thing to do was to figure out what size tyre I wanted. The stock size is 225/60/18, which has an overall diameter of 727mm – calculated by (225 x 0.6 x 2) + (18 x 25.4) – two tyre sidewall heights that are 60% of the 225mm width, and 18 inches of wheel by 25.4mm per inch.
I can’t go more than 50mm taller, and to be honest I wouldn’t want to for a vehicle this small, so I am looking at overall diameters of 750mm or less.”
If you decide to modify your vehicle, with a suspension lift for example, to fit bigger/wider tyres, you will need to consider a suspension lift on your vehicle. Always be mindful that there are state and territory regulations around this topic that you will need to meet. In this case, we recommend you to call 1300 COOPER or chat now with one of our tyre specialists
Once you have decided what way you want to go, make sure your tyres meet the manufacturer’s minimum load rating reccomendation. This can be found on the tyre placard or in the owner’s manual. To learn more about load and speed ratings click here
You wouldn’t wear hiking boots to the office and you wouldn’t wear business shoes to the beach. Like shoes, tyres must suit the places you want to go. Once you know your tyre size, select the tread pattern or tyre type that is going to match the type of driving you intend on doing. In a nutshell, whether it suits the way you drive, the places you go and the value you are looking for.
Here are some of the things Juliette considered,
“The first thing I did was narrow down the tyre that I wanted. There was no point in looking for a wheel if my chosen tyre wasn’t available in an appropriate size. While temptation would draw me to look at wide tyres that I’m told would fit for a more aggressive look, my sensible side told me to look at a tyre around standard width, but in a higher profile. The big question was did I need an All Terrain or a Mud Terrain tyre? Surprisingly this has been quite a hard decision that I’ve sat on for a month or more. Once my Grand Vitara is sufficiently modified I expect that it should spend maybe 20% of its time off-road… I plan to use it for proper off-road touring with any number of variance in surfaces – dirt, mud, clay, rocks, water, etc but the remaining 80% of the time it’ll be driven on-road for short runs and the occasional long trip… A serious off-road tyre is on the cards as I will probably drive less than 10,000kms per year, so I might use the tyre up through age not wear.
I wanted a proven tyre from a reputable manufacturer and one that came recommended by friends since I’m new to off-road tyre buying. Cooper Tires got a good wrap from a few people I know and I liked driving with them on Robert’s Ranger, so I began to look at their range. There were two that stood out at the aggressive end of their All Terrain range; The Discoverer A/T3 Heavy Duty, The Discoverer S/TMAXX and, in Mud Terrain there was one choice; The Discoverer STT PRO.
Looking at the tyres side-by-side you can really see the difference as they step up in off-road ruggedness. Discoverer STT PRO Mud Terrain tyres it is. The car will look suitably aggressive with these bad boys!”
By comparing the tread depth of the tyres you see how long the tyre is going to last. More tread means more miles and more value for money.
Here is a quick video on how to compare the value on 4×4 tyres by using the tread depth.
Here is the tread depth before/after comparison Juliette performed.
It’s great to see how engaged Juliette was with her new tyre purchase. At the end of the tyre selection process, Juliette realized that by replacing the attractive, but off-road unfriendly highway tyres that came with the vehicle, she has gained the off-road capability she was looking for, but also great value for money with deeper treads.
For the full detailed story and also to find out how she went about purchasing her wheels, visit her blog here.
Just like Juliette, if you spent as much time researching tyres as you do when buying a car, you would always choose Cooper Tires!