There’s one reality that all vehicle owners share – that at one point or another they’re faced with the prospect of replacing the tires on their car, truck, or SUV. It’s a unique opportunity for drivers to better tune their vehicle to how they use them. After all, every input the driver makes to control the vehicle has to pass through the tires, including acceleration, braking, and steering, on surfaces that vary by where the vehicle is driven and in what conditions.
First let’s consider the tires the vehicle manufacturer selects to equip the vehicle from the factory. There are a wide range of considerations, as there are a wide range of potential uses in which the new buyer can place their vehicle. The vehicle could be delivered to Phoenix so the tread needs to operate in extreme hot condition, or delivered to Canada where it could face days or weeks below zero degrees. And that’s simply one consideration of about two dozen decisions the vehicle manufacturer has to evaluate when developing tires in conjunction with the tire manufacturer.
So what your vehicle came equipped with was a set of tires with a number of compromises to suit a wide range of conditions and drivers. When it’s time to replace your OEM tires, though, you can literally reconfigure your car truck, or SUV to better suit how you use it. If you own a sports sedan a set of higher performance tires will improve handling and response. And for owners of pickups and SUVs who drive their vehicles off-road, they can trade off less important factors like tread noise for increased traction in dirt or mud.
Westview Ford is a fully-equipped tire store inside the dealership, and stocks all types of different types of tires – not just straight replacement – to meet the desires of their customers. Let’s take an example of a 2015 4WD Ford F-150 XL Super Crew Cab with the FX4 Off-Road Package and we’re looking to improve off-road traction with some Ford all-terrain tires. Heading to the Ford Canada Tire website it displays six possible choices from five different manufacturers in the tire size LT245/70R17.
To see whether your local dealer, Westview Ford, carries those tires, click on the “Select your dealer” button and you’ll see that Westview Ford in Courtenay, BC offers all six tires in their range. Let’s look at each of the available tires individually to help make the purchasing selection:
General Grabber HTS60
These are tires designed for predominantly highway use, so they don’t meet our needs for improved off-road traction.
Continental Terrain Contact A/T
While billed as an all-terrain tire, the ratio of tread-to-void (or land-to-sea, if you will) is closer to that of the Grabber HTS60. A large void area in the tire (spaces between the blocks) as well as lateral grooves (ones you can follow from one shoulder to the other, even if it’s not a straight line) are key elements in off-road tire design. Unfortunately, the Terrain Contact A/T offers neither, so we’ll eliminate that from your choices.
Kelly Edge A/T
Kelly is a division of Goodyear, so you know it’s a quality product, but they’re unlikely to include the latest technologies found in premium brand tires. The Edge A/T does offer more void area than the previous tires, as well as a lateral void path you can follow across the face of the tread. It’s also the first, tire we’ve looked at that’s Mud and Snow (M&S) rated. While it should offer acceptable off-road performance, we believe the next two tires are better choices for serious off-the-highway fun.
Goodyear Wrangler A/T Adventure
In this tire Goodyear has created a higher void ratio but using many small blocks, and it does feature both a full lateral path as well as aggressive shoulder blocks. What makes the Wrangler A/T Adventure different than all the other tires here is the use of Kevlar in its construction. Kevlar, as you probably know, is the high-strength fiber from which bullet-proof vest are made. Having Kevlar in the sidewall and under the tread of the Wrangler A/T Adventure should make it less prone to punctures, so if you’re off-roading in areas with sharp stones or outcroppings, the Wrangler A/T Adventure is definitely worth considering.
BF Goodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2
First, these are the tires that Ford has selected for the 2018 Raptor. That may be reason enough for many. In addition, the KO2 features thick, reinforced sidewalls for greater off-road durability, biting edges in the shoulder blocks, a high void-to-tread ratio, and a lateral void path across the tire. Not only is the KO2 Mud and Show rated, it’s the only tire of the group rated for Severe Snow Service by the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) and the Rubber Association of Canada (RAC).
Further reasons to consider your next tire purchase from Westview Ford include up-front pricing posted right on their website, a price match guarantee that’s good not only on the day you purchase your tires, but for 30 days after the purchase. So whether it’s Westview Ford or an independent tire dealer who puts the tires you’ve purchased on sale two week after you’ve purchased them from Westview, you can stop in to the dealership and be refunded the difference. So before considering purchasing tires for your truck, or SUV, or car, turn to the experts who know your vehicle best, Westview Ford in Courtenay, BC.