Pros and Cons of Bigger Tires

August 19, 2022 Published by Leave your thoughts

Aftermarket wheels can change how your vehicle looks and handles. You can get taller and wider wheels that require larger and wider tires. Many people choose to do so for the looks and potentially better traction.

Bigger tires are not always a benefit, though. The following look at the pros and cons of bigger tires can help you determine whether you want to go with larger tires on your vehicle.

Pros and Cons of Larger Tires on Your Vehicle

Bigger is not always better, so it pays to consider the pros and cons of bigger tires before you invest in a new set. Some careful consideration could help you to determine whether switching to larger tires would be worth the modest investment.

There are many potential benefits to running wider and taller tires on your vehicle. Those include:

  • Better traction
  • Improved handling
  • Stronger braking
  • Alters the appearance

Wider tires create a larger contact patch that helps your tires to gain more traction. More traction enables your vehicle to corner better and shortens the stopping distance. Bigger tires can also give your car a taller or more aggressive stance, making it look better even when parked.

While there are several benefits of bigger tires, there also are several cons that might make you rethink investing in a new set of tires. Those include:

  • Decreased fuel economy
  • Speedometer error
  • Faster tire wear and tear
  • Harder to steer
  • Slower starts

Bigger tires weigh more and have more grip, which makes it harder to start rolling forward. You likely will notice decreased fuel economy and slower acceleration. You also will have a harder time steering.

Bigger tires also throw off the speedometer by making it read slower than you actually are driving. The speedometer is calibrated for the size of tires that the manufacturer intended to run on your vehicle, so larger ones will send your father with each rotation of the tire than the speedometer recognizes.

Bigger tires also tend to suffer more wear and tear by heating up more while driving in the summer and catching more road debris. Larger tires also have less clearance in the wheel wells.

Driving Conditions Matter

The answer to “Should I get big tires for my vehicle?” also depends on the vehicle and how you use it. The width and size of the wheels and tires greatly affect how your vehicle will handle different terrain and under varying driving conditions.

Snow tires are a good example. Snow tires are narrower and taller than all-season radials. The narrow tires enable it to cut through the snow while the taller profile creates a little more ground clearance.

If you do a lot of off-roading, a wider tire with lower tire pressures could help you to get over rough terrain better than smaller tires. The larger tires will cause more bumping and jolting as you go over rough terrain because they have more weight and greater mass affecting the suspension.

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