What Are Wide Tires? Are Wider Tires Better?

The size of the tires impacts how the car performs in different situations. So what are wide tires? Are wider tires better for your vehicle's performance?

You can consider a tire "wide" if its size exceeds the standard size recommended by the car's manufacturer.

If you want to upsize your wheel, expect both benefits and drawbacks. For a detailed explanation, let's follow our post!

What Are Wide Tires? 

The tire's width on the sidewall comes in this format: P225/55R16. The 225 refers to its width in millimeters.

A wide tire is one that is wider than the manufacturer-installed width on your car. When you unlock the driver's door, you'll see the standard tire size on the label.

So, there is no clear answer to this question. You can only determine if a tire is big or not after checking the reference of your car.

Are Wider Tires Better? 

Upsizing wheels is an optional adjustment because it offers both benefits and drawbacks. If you plan to, consider both sides carefully. 

1. Advantages

Car owners choose to upsize their wheels for enhancing their driving experience and safety measures.

  • Better traction and grip

You can improve traction by either putting more pressure or increasing the contact area with the ground.

Wider wheels provide higher traction and grip in this way because they have a greater contact surface.

Please keep in mind that raising the contact area lowers the force applied to the affected area and vice versa. You can't have both possibilities at the same time.

As a result, since thin, narrow tires create more pressure per square inch, they can also give superior traction.

Each type of tire has its own set of benefits. As a result, choose a tire that is most suitable for the kind of terrain you drive on and other driving scenarios.

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Bigger wheels mean more contact area

  • Better cornering

Larger wheels give better road handling and cornering due to the broader contact surface with the road, as mentioned previously.

These components also have less body roll when turning because they have a stronger thread and sturdier sidewalls.

  • Improved braking

Upsizing the tire can improve your vehicle's contact area and traction when it is on the road.

As a result of this adjustment, the braking distance decreases, especially on dry roads, and your vehicle's braking system improves.

  • Nicer look

Another advantage of this upgrade is that it gives your car a sleeker appearance. 

These days, many automobile owners choose wide tires since they boost their vehicle's aesthetics.

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Your car will look sleeker

2. Disadvantages

Everything has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Here are some drawbacks of a wide tire to consider before upgrading its size.

  • More fuel consumption

The less contact your automobile produces, the less turning force it requires, and consequently, the less gasoline consumed.

Moreover, Wider tires boost fuel consumption since they cause more friction.

Wider and larger tires are clearly heavier, which means the motor will have to work much harder. Hence, they will undoubtedly use more gasoline.

Narrow tires are a preferable alternative in this case since they lower fuel usage by creating considerably less friction.

  • Slow acceleration

Wider wheels are heavier, leading to an increase in vehicle weight. The vehicle's acceleration decreases as a result.

Wide tires hamper acceleration and create tight steering and poor handling due to their large contact surface.

The vehicle with larger wheels, on the other hand, takes longer to maneuver or return to the centerline after each sharp curve.

Another disadvantage of this feature is that the big wheels make steering more difficult.

  • Quick wear

Larger tires would definitely wear out faster than the narrow ones due to the problems mentioned above.

For example, they place more pressure on the brakes, forcing your braking system to work more. As a result, it wears down faster, requiring car owners to change them more regularly.

  • Speedometer problem

By upgrading your tires, you are adjusting the standard components of your car.

As a result, the integrated technology might be a little off in terms of precision, causing speedometer reading issues.

  • Safety system issue

Other electronic security systems in the car, such as EBD, ABS, and traction control, may also change accuracy, timely warnings, and the speedometer value. 

  • Expensive

Large tires, of course, will be more costly to make. The cost of installation is higher as well. 

As fewer alternatives are accessible on the market, these accessories are also more costly than the narrow models.

When Should You Use Wide Tires? 

It would be best to determine the right tire for your car after considering what kind of terrain you will be driving on. Here are the two cases where wide tires work better than narrow ones. 

1. Wet conditions

Because wide wheels come with sipes, which help capture and drain water out of the contact area, they are excellent for driving in rainy weather.

Narrow models have sipes, but fewer of them are due to the limited surface area.

When driving through puddles, narrow wheels can move water out of the way due to the increased friction force.

Wider wheels, on the other hand, are the more reasonable solution because you won't be going through puddles all the time.

Aside from changing the size of your wheels, you can also follow the tips recommended in this video when driving in the rain:

Driving Tips for Wet Roads

2. Dry roads

If you are often driving on asphalt roads, you might consider getting broad wheels.
Rather than additional pressure, a greater surface area offers improved traction for this sort of road surface.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Car owners have some questions when hesitating to upsize their wheels. The answers will give more information for your own decision.

  • How wide is a wide tire?

A wide tire is larger than the factory-installed size on your vehicle.

  • Should I use wide tires for the snow?

When driving in winter, you need tires that have better traction by breaking through the snow. In this case, the narrow tires perform better when snow covers the roads because they can delve deeper into the snow and provide better grip.

However, on packed snow, wider tires with more sipes will perform better.

  • Do wider wheels wear faster?

Yes. They offer more contact areas against the roads, speeding up their degrading process.

Conclusion 

You can upsize your car tires if you want to improve their traction, braking, and appearance. Yet, expect the degradation in acceleration and safety systems.

Hopefully, the guide we have shared can help you decide whether or not to upgrade your automobile. For any further information, please feel free to ask.

Thank you for reading!

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