How to choose summer tires

Auto and Moto

Predictability of behavior on the road, dynamic characteristics of acceleration and braking, stability on rough roads and rutting, the ability to keep the trajectory of movement – these and many other features depend on the correct choice of summer tires in the most direct way. It is not enough just to go to the market and buy the first wheels that come across – the choice must be deliberate, and their characteristics must fully correspond to the operating conditions, the type of vehicle and the driving mode.

how to choose summer tires


We recommend reading an article from an expert on choosing winter tires and the secrets to choosing the right antipyrase.

The best manufacturers of summer tires for cars

Despite the fact that at present, almost every country in the world has mastered the production of wheels for a car, preference should be given to the products of exclusively well-known world-famous concerns, whose products are highly valued among active drivers and motorsport fans:

  1. Michelin

  2. Hankook

  3. Nokian

  4. Goodyear

  5. Dunlop

The assortment of the above companies includes a huge number of models with a diameter of 13-14 and up to 22-23 inches, installed on the most expensive and prestigious business class cars. For those who do not need to buy large-size or high-speed wheels and are limited to models with a diameter of 14-15 inches, it is best to pay attention to the budget tires of domestic manufacturers – 'Kama', 'Matador', 'Belshina', 'Omskshina'. For urban operating conditions and low speeds, their production is more than enough.

Summer rubber types

Summer tires are designed for operation at outdoor temperatures of +7 degrees and above. Its application is legally recorded in many countries of the world. In its manufacture, special rubber materials are used that provide the necessary characteristics of traction with the road, resistance to mechanical stress and resistance to moisture, temperature extremes and ultraviolet exposure. The required rigidity is provided by a cord – a special metal frame located along the entire inner surface of the tire, preventing rolling and maximizing its rigidity under any operating conditions.

Symmetrical tires

symmetrical tires

The tread pattern of these tires has a pronounced design, most often reminiscent of a herringbone. Due to their shape, they perfectly wick moisture away from the contact patch, and therefore such tires are designed for operation on wet surfaces. They feature a well-developed tread pattern with wide and deep sipes. When installed on a vehicle, the direction of rotation is required.


  • Designed for operation in wet weather;

  • They hold the road well, do not have a pronounced 'rut';

  • Remove moisture from the contact patch of the tire with asphalt;


  • Tread lamellas quickly become clogged with dirt and sand, thereby impairing traction;

  • Show very mediocre dynamics and braking results on dry surfaces;

Asymmetric tires

Asymmetric tires

They are distinguished by a multi-texture pattern on the left and right sides of the wheel, due to which they well wick moisture away from the contact patch, and also perform well on dry asphalt. Perfectly “holds” the road, allowing you to confidently start and effectively brake, and also well keeps the car from skidding during high-speed maneuvering. This type is most often installed on all kinds of 'charged' cars of famous brands.


  • Good road holding;

  • Variety of models on sale;

  • High braking performance;

  • Perfectly cling to the asphalt with a dynamic start;


  • Expensive;

  • They behave worse on wet asphalt;

Off-road tires (All-terrain or Mud)

Off road tires

Wheels designed for off-road use only. They have a well-developed tread that literally 'bites' into the mud and allows you to overcome deep puddles, wetlands, sand embankments, and climb a serious slope.


  • Maximum cross-country ability;

  • A wide variety of models for a disc of any diameter;

  • Hardy and unpretentious in maintenance;

  • Powerful protector;


  • Suitable exclusively for off-road use;

  • Expensive;

  • You can not install it on every car;

  • Not suitable for city driving;

The main criteria for choosing summer tires

summer tire selection criteria

Tire size

  1. Wheel diameter. It is selected for the specific size of your car's wheels Measured in inches;

  2. Rubber width. Measured in millimeters, the choice should be given to the models recommended for use by the car manufacturer;

  3. Tire height is measured as a percentage of the wheel width and is indicated on the side of the tire. For example, the inscription 225 \ 45 \ R17 says that the tire diameter is 17 inches, the width is 225 millimeters, and its height is 45% of the width;

Speed ​​index

A parameter that determines the suitability of specific tire models for use at high speeds. It is designated by a Latin letter that characterizes the maximum speed that the tires can withstand during active movement on the highway. The most common types of rubber are:

  1. U – maximum speed up to 200 kilometers per hour;

  2. H – allow acceleration up to 210 km / h;

  3. V – limited to 240 kmph;

  4. Y – make it possible to accelerate up to 270 km / h;

  5. Z– the limit is 300 km / h;

date of manufacture

Like any other material, rubber is prone to aging. If stored improperly, it cakes and becomes covered with numerous microcracks and other artifacts. Even if the tire is new and has not been used before, it is very dangerous to use it – no one knows how such a wheel will behave in an extreme situation. It is for this reason that the choice should be given exclusively to 'fresh' wheels, since the release of which no more than 1-2 years have passed. It is for this reason that in many European countries 'old' 3-4 year old tires are 40-50% cheaper than their more recent counterparts.

Air chamber design type

  1. Chamber tires. Models known since the times of the USSR. The tire here is only an outer shell, inside which a thin-walled air chamber is located;

  2. Tubeless tires. Modern models, tightly fixed thanks to their design on the disc;

  3. RunFlat tires. A special case of tubeless tires, not afraid of punctures. Thanks to the reinforced lateral cord, they can move up to 50-60 kilometers at a speed of no more than 70 kilometers per hour, even on a punctured wheel. It will hardly be possible to move freely on an empty tire, but you can easily reach the nearest tire fitting.

Bus structure

  1. Diagonal tire (D) – an outdated type of wheel, characterized by decent protection against cuts and punctures, as well as maintainability;

  2. The radial tire (R) is a modern type of tire that has many operational advantages. Provides better grip, increases roll and passability, is heat-resistant and resistant to temperature changes;

Features of choosing summer tires for a crossover

Crossover means not only highway operation, but also regular trips to dirt and country roads. Tires purchased for this type of vehicle must have the following characteristics:

  1. The size corresponding to the diameter of the discs used and the required parameters of the car manufacturer;

  2. Tread type – asymmetric or off-road, if the vehicle allows it;

  3. Tire design – radial;

  4. Speed ​​index – H or V (210-240 kilometers per hour). Due to the high center of gravity, only crossovers of premium brands, the choice of rubber for which is identical to that for a passenger car, can develop greater speed. For owners of budget crossovers, there is no point in overpaying for rubber with an index Y or Z;

Features of the choice of summer tires for a passenger car

The operation of modern passenger cars almost always involves the use of low-profile tires with the following parameters:

  1. The size that suits the offset of the car hub and the characteristics of the cast or steel rim;

  2. The tread is asymmetric for use in dry weather or symmetrical for use in places with high humidity;

  3. Radial tire cord construction;

  4. The maximum permissible speed index, Y or Z, if we are talking about a powerful sports coupe or sedan, in other cases, you can limit yourself to models with an H or V index, allowing movement at a speed of 210-240 kilometers per hour;

Features of the choice of tires for an SUV

The choice of tires for an SUV is based on two different scenarios of its operation:

  1. In the case when an SUV is operated as a traditional city car, the choice of wheels for it is no different from that for a crossover;

  2. If you need to use an SUV for its intended purpose, you should choose models of the Mud or All-Terrain class, equipped with a powerful tread of the corresponding shape. The speed index in this situation plays almost no role, because equipped frame SUVs rarely accelerate faster than 100 kilometers per hour.

  3. Well, of course, when choosing rubber for any car, preference should be given to fresh, no older than 2-3 years from the date of production, models. Only in such a situation will the declared characteristics of the tires correspond to the real ones.

Attention! This material is the subjective opinion of the authors of the project and is not a purchase guide.

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