Choosing 4WD Tyres is really complicated. There are so many parameters that you want to maximize it was very hard to choose the best compromise.
On bitumen roads I want a quiet ride, good cornering and stopping ability in both wet or dry climate conditions. I also desire good tracking to avoid driving fatigue for highway driving and good balance to avoid any vibration. Off road the prerequisites are very different wherever I want an open tread for good self cleaning properties in mud, resistance to punctures with an industrial quality construction and plenty of all round grip. In all cases I want my tyres to be as minimal cost as practicable and to last as long as possible before wanting replacement.
Unfortunately many of these requirments are paradoxical. Big open treads that are very good in the mud have a tendency to be noisy on the bitumen. Hard compounds that last a long time have a tendency to have worse wet weather cornering and stopping capability. Fundamentally good on-road tyres tend to be poor performers off road and vice versa.
Types of 4WD tyres
So when it came time to pick my tyres I had to decide which of these features was most critical. I use the vehicle 90% of the time for going to work or driving the family around the town on weekends. Even driving to a camping location or where a 4wd track starts is mostly highway driving so on-road safety, performance and comfort are the most significant features.
The Pajero has a name of sufferring a little from increased road noise. I believe this is because it doesn't have a new framework so there's less padding between the suspension and the body of the car. Due to this choosing a low-noise tyre is rather more critical than normal as any noise will be noticed more. When I'm off road most of the terrain I encounter is beach sand or gravel track. With all this considered I decided that an All Terrain kind of tyre was the best choice with its bias toward on-road conditions but still with better off-road performance than a standard road tyre.
Brands of 4WD tyres
The following question is which type of all terrain tyre? Some of the brands which profess to have a harder compound appear to have reviews that suggest that when they get a little older their grip levels can drop significantly for bitumen driving. In my opinion I would rather my tyres wore out a little faster but always gripped well, it is not worth saving a little bit of cash for the sake of safety.
I also wanted to buy a tyre precisely the same size as the standard tyres. This is because of the fact that I don't want any effect on the speedometer accuracy or performance of the traction and stableness control systems. A different size tyre may or may not effect these however I simply do not want the trouble of trying to fix it if it does. These points ruled out a lot of tyres making the choice a bit easier.
So in the end after much debate I chose to give the Pro Comp range a try. They had a few good reviews showing that it has glorious on-road performance while still maintaining decent off-road ability. I've had them for quite some time now and they have categorically lived up to expectations.
The largest thing I've learned about selecting four wheel drive tyres is this: select what is Best for you. Do not fall for the hype that says your Have to have a light truck, 35 inch, mud terrain that will last 10 years. Look at how you use your vehicle and buy what makes sense for you.
Making tyres last longer
The very last thing I need to say is: revolve your tyres! My previous tyres would have lasted much longer if I had have revolved them each 5000km or so. Instead , at roughly 15000km they developed a horrid whirring sound that actually sounded like a blown diff or worn wheel bearings. It took some time to work out it was just the tyres after much concern. To revolve your tyres move the rear tyres directly to the front keeping them on the same sides they were on.
Move the front tyres to the rear but swap sides in order that they are actually rotating in the opposite direction. In a full cycle of rotation this may mean that every corner of each tread block will get the same wear and this will hopefully reduce uneven wear that causes over the top noise. The next thing I would say is to look out for tyres engineered to avoid humming noise by having variable block sizes as these can develop this pulsating whiring noise that in my view is worse.
4 wheel drive vehicles and SUV’s sometimes arrive outfitted with general road tyres, or at least a combo on road and general off road tyre. The 4WD tyres that your 4×4 came with aren't necessarily the best ones for the applications that you would like to use it for.
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