Buying the right Jeep tires can be confusing, right?
I have a 1987 Jeep Comanche Pickup. You have a 1995 Wrangler. She has a 2004 Liberty. They own a late model Grand Cherokee.
And, he has a classic old CJ5.
So, how can I find the right tire for my particular vehicle?
Well, you can go down to your local Tire Center and simply ask what the manufacturer recommends for your vehicle and hope they have your size in stock. Simple enough for most street applications, but what if you want a tire designed for snow, mud and/or off-road use?
The most important question to ask yourself is "How do I use my Jeep?". If you drive
on-pavement 98% of the time you probably don't need tall, big lugged, fat off-road tires.
Also, if you live on a farm or do a lot of off-roading you certainly don't need
low-profile street tires.
However, there comes into play the impress and dazzle factors where Johnny must have
those 40 inch tall tires on his little CJ to look cool, even though Johnny's CJ never
leaves the pavement. And that's okay if Johnny can afford the significant cost of
such tires, and put up with the annoying whine of those monsters on the concrete.
Also, large off-road tires are often difficult to balance and they tend to "wander" on-pavement which also leads to premature tread wear. Then, depending on how much you drive, you
may be replacing those expensive shoes like cheap light bulbs.
Jeep tires are as varied as the models they ride under. The Grand Cherokee owner is
more than likely using his/her Jeep in town and on-pavement most, if not all of the time.
The CJ or Wrangler owner may run the spectrum of use from full-time on-pavement to
full-time off-road and/or any mixed use in-between. Since the CJs/Wranglers were designed
with strong off-road capabilities they are most often purchased or found wearing
some form of multi-use tires.
Multi-use tires are somewhat forgiving on-pavement and have mild to moderate
off-road capabilities, which suits the city commuter who loves those week-end off-road excursions.
My '87 Comanche Pickup has had street truck tires with basic street treads. I live in Texas, but drive it mostly on-pavement. However, these tires have served me well during bad spells of weather from rain to ice and snow...and currently it sports a more aggressive set of All Terrain tires. Oh, I didn't mention that my Comanche has 4-wheel drive which helps...a lot.
Aside: This is just my opinion, but I have never felt comfortable with the idea of 2-wheel drive Jeeps. Maybe, it's the mystique or the Jeep heritage but a Jeep should have 4-wheel drive. I have nothing against 2-wheel drive Jeeps or their owners, but if you ever have the chance, get a new or used 4x4 model.
For the uninitiated, just be cautious of tire sales-people trying to sell you more tire than you really need for your Jeep. This has happened recently to my daughter (and I'm sure many of you ladies out there as well). I too have been suckered into the the cool.. big tire.. macho.. hard sell, and the tires wore out in less than 20,000 miles on pavement.
So the bottom line is to do some research before you need to replace your Jeep tires and use reputable dealers to help you with your choices. There are many great discount tire companies. (There are even several good ones on-line.) Check them out with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Ask friends and relatives for referrals. Shop around. A knowledgeable consumer saves money and makes sound purchases.