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Should I Purchase Performance Tires?

By Charles Hopkins Published 07/6/2006 | Auto and Trucks

The average driver will come across many different descriptions of tires when he or she is browsing through the local tire shop. This is understandable, as most people are usually only interested in standard tires or all season tires. However, when a person comes across a tire designated a high performance tire, curiosity and interest may be peaked.

High performance sounds cool. It sounds active. It even sounds like something that may have the side benefit of actually performing better than a standard tire.

So, the consumer stares at the tires with his arms folded and his chin resting on one hand. Deep in thought, he debates whether or not he should purchase the hire performance tires. The main reason for all this debating lies in the fact that the consumer probably doesnt know when a high performance tire is necessary.

So what is the function of a high performance tire? A high performance tire, such as those made by BF Goodrich, for example, offer the following benefits: a superior degree of handling, grip, and cornering ability than standard tires. High performance tires are also rated for operation at higher speeds than non-high-performance tires.

There are also variations of this type of tire known as an All Season High Performance Tire. Primarily, these tires can give a car better traction in snow or icy road conditions while, at the same time, not handling any different when on roads that do not suffer from these conditions.

So, when does one need high performance tires? Well, the All Season High Performance tires would certainly be recommended if a person lived in an area where the aforementioned cold weather road conditions existed. And, also, if a person spends a great deal of vacation time skiing or snowboarding and has to leave the comforts of the city and into mountainous areas where the cold weather road conditions are common.

As for the regular high performance tires, one needs to ask himself or herself if the standard tires they are driving offer a gripping and traction level that is acceptable to the driver. If not, then one may wish to purchase the high performance tires. In a way, this could be subjective and a personal choice. But, it could also have a measure of safety precautions to it as well, as 'regular' high performance tires aren't actually safe for winter driving because they employ softer rubber, which wont break gain traction on icy roads.

If your car seems to glide or slide (as which may be the case under certain road conditions, even those in urban areas), then you may find a higher comfort level with tires that are of the high performance variety in the summer. I contrast, you may want to keep a set of winter tires in the trunk if you live in a temperate zone.

So, at times, a high performance tire may actually provide more safety. There is nothing wrong with this. But at other times, they are actually the latest safe choice you can make; and you would actually be better off with stock tires, all season tires, or winter tires.