Do you know your tire size? Many of us might not. If you are in a high performance vehicle there is an excellent chance that you have wide tires that are low profile. Low profile wide tires are great for racing. In fact, you can see this if you watch any racing events on television.
So what is a profile on a tire? Profile refers to the height of the sidewall. On a normal tire, 60 or 65 is normal, on a low profile, 45 to 50. Low profile tires improve the car’s handling but there aren’t a lot more benefits to them.
So, what’s the problem with low profile tires? Well the biggest problem is they handle poorly in the snow and ice. Your drive is harder and you have a noisier ride. No one enjoys road noise, even if you use Bluetooth in your car, it is still annoying feeling like you have to yell over the road to talk to your friends.
Your tires are part of the suspension on your car the sidewalls absorb some of the shock of the road, when you have low profile tires your ride isn’t nearly as smooth. What also happens is when you turn your car, your sidewall can flex and can make the handling less crisp.
Since the sidewall is shorter between the road and the wheel, low profile tires can lead to a lot of bent wheels. No one wants to deal with that.
There is also a perception that low profile wide base tires wear differently than normal tires. Tire makers will say that this used to be the case in older generations of tires but is not longer really a problem.
Some vehicles come with low profile tires and wheels fit for such things, and that’s okay. It doesn’t mean you are doomed to buy new tires every other month and that you’ll feel like you just got off a white water rapids expedition every time you park your car.
What you should do is research before you purchase a car, think about the weather where you live and what you’re going to be using you car for. Do a bit of research about winter tires and what other tires you will be able to add to your car if needed.
Millions of people drive on low profile wide tires everyday, and are happy as can be. We just want you to be as informed as you can be when it comes to your safety.
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Written by: Nicole Weisbrich