Shopping for replacement tires? If so, keep in mind that, typically, you and your car will be best served when you buy the same type of tires that came with your vehicle as original equipment.
If your car or truck has antilock brakes (ABS), vehicle manufacturers advise buying new tires that are the same size as those installed at the factory. The reason: the diameter of the tires affects how the wheel speed sensors read, which affects the operation of the ABS and traction control systems. Installing different-sized tires in the front and rear can also impact the operation of antilock brakes. (You’ll know that the ABS has been deactivated when the ABS warning light comes on.)
Do you own an all-wheel drive or full-time four-wheel drive vehicle? If so, remember that all four tires need to be the same size to maintain the proper drive relationship between axles. If the front set of tires is larger than the rears or vice versa, slippage will occur between the front and rear axles. That will lead to premature tire wear and poor handling.
If you’re considering buying wider or oversized replacement tires, be aware that those larger than your vehicle’s original tires will affect the accuracy of your speedometer and odometer readings. Wide tires often provide less traction on wet roads. Larger tires also can rub against your car’s body during turns and while driving on bumpy roads, causing damage to your vehicle and reducing the service life of the tires.
IMPORTANT: Always use the same type of tire on both sides of the front and rear of your vehicle. For instance, don’t use a radial tire on the driver’s side front position and a bias ply tire on the passenger’s side front position. Mismatched tires side-to-side can cause a vehicle to lead left or right and pull when braking.
For maximum control and safety, always try to buy tires in a set of four, or five if you’re also purchasing a spare. That way, the size, tread design, belt type, and available tread are all consistent, and you’ll enjoy a better ride.
(This piece was inspired by and includes content from a Yahoo Autos article.)