What’s the Difference Between Wide and Narrow Tires?

October 21st, 2018 by

Tire on a Car

Why do some vehicles have wider or thicker tires than others? Why do other vehicles have narrower tires? Depending on the type of vehicle you drive and where you’re driving it, the thickness of your tires can make a big difference in the way your vehicle handles. In this blog, the Thompson Sales team is going to look at some of the basics about tire thickness and why it matters.

Narrow Tires

When cars were first introduced into the mainstream, they were all equipped with narrow tires. A quick image search for the Ford Model T will give you an idea of just how narrow these tires started out. As time went on, vehicle design changed drastically, and the size and width of tires changed along with it. This meant more variety between narrow and wide tires. 

Narrow tires still have advantages for some applications. Narrow tires are typically better when it comes to wintry conditions because they don’t act like a snow plow in the same way that wider tires do. Narrow tires are also more effective when it comes to providing traction on slippery surfaces.

Wide Tires

All of that isn’t to say that narrow tires are always your best choice. There’s a reason why the majority of cars have wide rather than narrow tires. Overall, wider tires are better for dry surfaces and for high-performance vehicles. Greater surface area allows for better day-to-day traction and durability. 

Differences Depend

Most of the differences between narrower or wider tires depend on the kind of vehicle and the conditions it’s driving in. Wider tires have an increased risk of hydroplaning on slippery or wet surfaces, but they generally provide better grip for dry surfaces. Narrow tires will offer better traction in slippery conditions, but they are generally better for lighter vehicles such as hybrids or electric cars. 

Ultimately, your car, truck or SUV comes equipped with tires designed with the specifications of the vehicle taken into account. That doesn’t mean you can’t switch out or modify your tires, but it does mean you should be careful. The wrong tire width might make a vehicle more dangerous, so you need to do some research and have modifications done by a professional team.

Talk to Thompson Sales About Finding Your New Car

Whether you’re looking for car service or you’re shopping for new, used, or certified pre-owned cars, visit our car dealership in Springfield, MO today. We’ve been serving people in and around Springfield, Missouri for decades and are proud to provide the best customer service when it comes to your car.