How To Choose Tires for Wet Conditions
When you’re looking for a wet-weather tire, consider these factors:
- Wet-weather frequency. If you drive in wet weather frequently, finding a tire that performs well in the rain might be more of a priority than if you only occasionally drive in rainy conditions. Think about the general climate where you do most of your driving before choosing a tire for rain.
- Vehicle type. The type of vehicle you drive will affect your choice of wet-weather tire as well. A sports car naturally performs differently in the rain than a truck, for example, and requires different tires in general, and the handling patterns of different vehicles might impact your choice of wet-weather tire as well.
- Driving style. Your driving style and habits can help determine the type of tire that’s right for you. If you usually drive under regular conditions, for example, an all-season tire might work well enough in the rain to suit your needs. Drivers who clock more hours behind the wheel and under challenging conditions might need a more specialized tire for their driving patterns, especially in the rain.
- Rubber composition. Think about how the rubber compound of a particular tire might affect its performance in the rain when purchasing your next set of tires. Different tire materials can impact the way the tire interacts with rain on the road, so be sure to ask about rubber compound before your purchase.
- Tread pattern. Look for a tread pattern that will send water away from your tire. This will help increase the amount of tire surface in contact with the road to increase traction and grip. Examine the tread pattern of the tires you plan on buying and compare them to make sure you choose the right tire for your circumstances.
- Budget. It’s possible to find a good wet-weather tire at most price points, though it’s possible that higher-quality tires might cost a little more. If you can only afford one new set of tires, consider all-seasons to get you through more varied conditions than an exclusively summer or winter tire.
How to Replace and Install Tires for the Rain
Disclaimer: The guidelines in this article are general and not meant to replace instructions for your specific vehicle. Please consult your owner’s manual or repair guide before attempting repairs.
Once you find the best tire for rain for your situation, the next step is to get them mounted and installed. Think about whether you’ll need rims or if you want to have your new tires mounted on your existing rims. You might choose to keep an extra set of rims on hand so you can handle future tire changes yourself, if your budget allows for it.
Depending on your level of comfort with the process, you might have your tire dealer replace your tires for you, or you might handle this process yourself by safely lifting the vehicle, removing the old tires, and replacing them with your new ones. Always follow best practices in automotive-repair safety when working on your vehicle.