Selecting Proper Replacement Tires

Some tires are designed more for handling & speed while others are engineered for long tread life & soft ride. Dunlop offers many tire lines to provide the most suitable tire for every application. Every Dunlop tire must exceed both federal & strict internal performance test standards. All Dunlop tires provide quality performance characteristics in the vital areas of traction (grip), handling, durability, ride comfort & value. Your Dunlop dealer can assist in selecting the proper Dunlop tires to enhance your vehicle's performance.

Modern passenger car tires have excellent tread life, often achieving more than 40,000 miles. However, in specialized performance tires, treadwear is compromised to gain the benefits of superior handling & grip.

Deep tire treads wear longer, but squirm more than shallow treads. Squirm actually increases tire wear, so any gain in tread thickness gives diminishing returns in tread life. Also, a thick tread increases tire weight, thus increasing rolling resistance & heat, an enemy of tread life. Long tread life is a positive consideration, but it is only one of many criteria for determining a tire's function.

The tire is the only contact a vehicle has with the road surface. The most common tire-to-road contact patch (footprint) is about 4" x 5" or about the size of your hand. A full set of four tires may have a total footprint area about the size of a sheet of paper. Everything a car does - start, accelerate, maneuver, stop - is done through its tire footprint. A contact patch is similar to the image on the right & may have an actual area of about twenty square inches. That's why tire performance is critical to vehicle performance & safety.

Like most vehicle components, tires have undergone a continual design evolution. The greatest improvements have been in handling characteristics. Years ago, a 92 aspect (sidewall height to width) ratio tire was typical, an 82 series tire was considered 'low profile' & a 70 series tire was the hot setup. Now 70 series tires are common, & many cars carry 60, 55, 50, & even 40 series tires. Exotic fitments today are possible with 30 series tires. (Remember, tire clearance, load capacity & performance suitability for the vehicle are critical considerations.)


For a car to continue to benefit from the performance that was engineered into it, replacement tires should match the original fitment size. Upgrades start from the OE tires. Your Dunlop dealer can discuss tire replacement for your vehicle.

Tires with wider treads & lower aspect rations can improve a car's handling capabilities. These tires take advantage of suspension systems engineered to keep the tire upright in corners & straight-ahead when going over uneven road surfaces.

Today's tire tread patterns & compounds are engineered for a variety of traction requirements such as: high performance cornering, wet grip, all-season or mud, snow & ice capability; & wet handling characteristics.

Vehicle manufacturers have improved engine efficiency to meet emission regulations & fuel economy standards as well as customer dem& for performance. At the same time, vehicles are more aerodynamic & gear ratios are selected to maximize fuel economy. As a result of these changes, the top speed of new cars, particularly performance models, has increased greatly. This has created the necessity for tires designed to match those speeds & handling capabilities.

These high performance & ultra-high performance tires are also engineered to work with sophisticated suspensions to deliver improved handling at high speeds & traction. Do not downgrade speed rated tires with replacement tires that don't match the vehicle's performance capabilities. Downgrading of this nature cases detrimental effects on tire performance, i.e., handling response & durability.