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Tires come in all shapes and sizes, and all kinds of patterns too! Each caters to a different driving style and performance index, giving you better efficiency numbers, better handling on or off road, or better traction to grip the road and haul around big weights.  There are four types that span all types of tires, from summer to winter tires and performance built vehicles to all-terrain adventurers. Which should you opt for? Depending on your daily driving needs and style, the type of pattern you opt for can make your vehicle run more smoothly and more fuel friendly.  


Unidirectional tires are patterns that are arrowed to roll one way. They are good to drive on weather-treacherous roads that are rain-slick, snowed upon, or icy, as their particular pattern expertly displaces water to prevent hydroplaning and slips. Their pattern is specific to one side of the car or the other, lending to a good handling advantage at all speeds on fair roads.


These tires can be identified by their same repeating pattern used across the whole tire that are either continuous angled grooves or independent lugs.  The main advantage to symmetrical tires, says our tech consultant at South Point Dodge of Austin, TX is that they are long lasting and run across pavement smoothly. They’re worn down evenly, as their pattern allows them to be rotated on both sides of the vehicle on either front or back axles, giving an upper hand in utility and budget-friendliness.


Most popular on sports cars and performance-bred vehicles, the asymmetrical pattern is a hybrid style of the above two types of designs for the best handling and stability around corners at higher speeds. Typically, the interior of the tire will feature moisture wicking arrowed design for good wet or iced road surface traction, while the outside will have large tread blocks more akin to the symmetrical design for good dry-road performance, as they give maximum road contact. They’re versatile in rotation options, but have indicators to which side is “outside only” and “inside only.”


Bringing the best of both worlds, the directional tire is categorized by a subtle lateral V-design to displace water for aquaplaning protection coupled with a block pattern that gives nice dry-road grip and traction. The V-pattern is less exaggerated than asymmetrical designs, as they expect you to drive more slowly since these tend to be sold on more heavy-weight vehicles.  Their blocky design gives them high traction, catering best to trailering vehicles or SUVs that are driving a heavier vehicle along.

Understanding the best tread for your car can substantially impact your driving stability, and serves how your car should handle in terms of noise and efficiency. Each tread offers their own advantage, whether its longevity of the tire, higher performance speeds, or heavy weight handling. Now you can pick the best tire for your vehicle and preferred handling!

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