The Advantages of Larger Tire Sizes

by John Michael

Countless options are available for changing the appearance of your automobile: window tinting, custom painting, wings or spoilers, and body modifications are just a few examples. Although these changes create a unique look for your car, they don't have many actual advantages when driving. One aesthetic option that does create a better driving experience is to change your tires to a larger size. Larger tires typically cost more than standard tires, but if you are willing to spend a few more dollars, you will gain some significant advantages over smaller tires.

Handling

Turning corners at high speed can be dangerous. Oftentimes you will hear a car squeal as it goes around a corner quickly. This is a result of the tire slipping due to lack of surface area of the tire touching the ground. Having a wider tire creates more surface area that will touch the ground. This gives you better traction, which makes it easier to handle an automobile as it goes around turns at high speed.

Safety

A car's ability to stop quickly increases safety, as you are more likely to stop before hitting something when driving a vehicle that can stop quickly versus one that can't. As with handling, a wider tire will create more friction between the tire and the road, which is ultimately what stops a vehicle. The more friction you have, the more "sticky" a tire is and the faster it is able to stop.

Clearance

Changing a tire’s size can also mean increasing the overall height of the tire. The advantage to this is that the taller tire will raise your car up higher, thus creating more clearance. This is especially helpful with off-road vehicles, which drive over objects that may hit the bottom of the vehicle.

Smoother Ride

The way a car "rides"--how smooth or bumpy the ride feels--when driven can have a major impact on purchase interest and how much someone is willing to pay for that car. A larger tire can minimize the bumps, making for a smoother ride, by "averaging” the road surface over a larger area so that small bumps are not as noticeable.

About the Author

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