When the time comes to choose a tire for your Jeep, there are countless options available, each one bigger, rougher, and more rugged than the one before.
With so much choice, how do you decide which is the right tire to fit your new Jeep wheels?
Use this quick guide on Jeep tire selection so you can ask yourself the important questions for good tire selection and let the answers help you decide!
1. Know Your Need
An essential part of choosing tires for any vehicle is knowing what type of tire you need.
What do you plan on doing with a vehicle such as a Jeep?
- Will you drive it on the street only or take it off-roading too?
- Will it be an exclusively off-road Jeep that you’re going to modify with a lot of other Jeep JL off road products to improve its rock crawling performance?
- Will you go mud bogging or drive the sand dunes?
Make a list of all the things you may do with your Jeep so you choose the right tire type, because all these different activities have different tread requirements.
2. Know Your Types
Be sure to educate yourself on the main types of tires that might apply for your Jeep and what those different types mean as far as traction and utility is concerned:
All Terrain - The basic tire that any Jeep comes with, AT tires are great on the street, trail, and over mild to moderate rocks, mud, snow, and sand. Available in many types with less or more aggressive treads, AT tires do just what their name implies and travel over all terrains with reasonable effectiveness.
Mud Terrain - Similar to all-terrain tires but designed with bigger treads for getting through mud and softer rubber that flexes more rather than digs into softer surfaces; also good for sand.
Rock Terrain - When you want to venture into some serious rock crawling and your MT tires are not quite meaty enough, you need rock-terrain tires. Made with an even more aggressive tread to better withstand punctures and rock damage, RT tires make rock and hill climbing easier and safer.
Snow - If you plan on doing a lot of trail riding and field driving in the snow, dedicated snow tires are a great option with their grooved and channeled treads for gripping the snow as well as a softer, more pliant construction that reduces stiffening in cold temperatures.
3. Know Your Sizes
Choose the right size based on the activities you have planned with your Jeep and the modifications you’ve made or plan to make.
Depending on your Jeep model and package, you may have stock tires all the way up to 30 inches.
If you plan on focusing on off-roading or want to go to a larger tire so you can do certain activities, here are some popular choices:
33” Tires - Great for part-time off-roaders who still spend a good deal of time on the street. Just a little more height than the stock tire, you still won’t need to do any modifications to your Jeep to fit them.
35” Tires - Another popular tire size for Jeeps, a 35” tire gives you a little more ground clearance for hill and rock climbing and other fun off-road activities; however, you’ll need a slight lift with these of about 2.3 to 3 inches.
37” and 38” Tires - A 37 or 38 inch tire gives you even greater ground clearance but usually involves doing a 3 to 4 inch lift and possibly some gearing changes to retain fuel economy. These tires are considerably wider than the stock 30” tires so you get additional traction for climbing, mudding, or other off-road activities.
40” Tires - These tires are the off-road driver’s favorite because they give you maximum ground clearance and exceptional climbing ability in comparison to stock tires. They also require a big 6 inch lift to fit under those fenders.
Many Great Tire Options for Your Jeep
Now that you know a little bit about aftermarket off-road Jeep tires, it’s time to figure out which one is going to handle your needs.
Narrow your choice down to a type and size, then start searching for the choices available that fit your budget.
If you do decide on a bigger tire for your Jeep, make sure you keep in mind whether or not you’ll need a lift to fit them, as that can add considerable expense to your new tire and wheel buying adventure.
You could also save yourself some money to fit those bigger tires by adding the Fab Fours Light Fender system, designed to provide the tire clearance needed for your Jeep.
You’ll have the right tires for the job and look all tricked out at the same time, all without having to take the huge step of doing a suspension lift!